iPhone overview: Apple of discord
Apple iPhone 360-degree spin - hover your mouse cursor over the image
You've probably already seen pictures and videos of Apple's iPhone but in reality the handset is smaller than you might have expected. It measures 115 x 61 x 12 mm, which is a normal smartphone size, only a little wider and a lot slimmer.
The handset is actually a bit weighty at 145g, but, again, compare it to a 30 or 80GB iPod and you'll find that the iPhone weighs pretty much the same. Plus, precisely the size gives you the opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous 3.5" TFT display.
Actually almost the whole front panel is the display itself. You'll only see the earpiece above it and the Home key below. Other than that - it's all flat! Nothing sticks out. That smooth combination of flat surface and the sleek chrome framing surrounding the glass face of the iPhone is to us the most appealing aspect of the appearance of the phone. It kind of looks like everything has been thought through and all you need is on the inside of the phone - not on the surface. By the way, the glass and the metal framing should be scratchproof, but seriously, we don't have the nerve to test that.
The back is also metal-covered and has the reflective Apple logo in the middle, a slightly recessed 2 megapixel camera lens and the general product information about the phone (IMEI, serial, etc.). It's not like this information is vital, but it kind of tells you it's a cool gadget you're holding in your hands.
|Actually almost the whole front panel is the display itself. You'll only see the earpiece above it and the Home key below. Other than that - it's all flat! Nothing sticks out.|
On the left side are the volume rocker and the mute key - this dedicated key is a pleasing feature actually. On the right is the 3.5 mm headphones jack, but don't get your hopes too high for plugging your favorite headphones in just like that. The plug is strangely recessed and hardly any standard jacks will fit in. However you can buy yourself an adaptor - either third-party one or a set from Apple themselves. On the top of the iPhone is the SIM card tray (yes, the SIM is removable) and the sleep/wake button. In order to open the tray you have to stick a paper clip (not included!) into the little pinhole and the tray just pops up. That's basically it as regards the outside of the phone. Didn't we tell you - it's as smooth as it gets.
The whole geometry of the iPhone makes it pretty comfortable to hold. It fits in the palm nicely and, even when in portrait mode, it can be operated with one hand.
As we already pointed out, the handset is a bit wider than usual but its slimness makes up for that. The iPhone will fit almost perfectly even in the tightest pocket.
In the same time, it's exactly the smooth shape that makes the phone a bit slippery and if you are not so handy there is a serious risk of dropping the iPhone… often. That would be a shame, because this baby is definitely not made for hitting the floor, although Apple claims the metal casing should be strong enough to take a hit, but we wouldn't recommend relying on that. Keep it safe!
Keeping it safe inevitably leads us to keeping it clean. Due to the iPhone's glossy finish the whole front surface is a real fingerprint magnet. And since the finger navigation is your only option, the screen becomes smudgy after just a few flicks or taps, which leaves you with a part time job as an iPhone cleaner. And note that since the touch screen only responds to fingertip touch, you won't be able to control it wearing gloves.
In terms of battery life the iPhone is pretty solid and, as numerous test posted online claim, the announced 8 hours talk time is actually a credible figure you can pretty much rely on.
The iPhone also has a loudspeaker. It's a single mono speaker, but still better than nothing and it actually makes it the first iPod with a built-in speaker.