The iPhone after the luster wears off

13 Comments

No doubt the iPhone is the single coolest phone ever released.  Even power users like Kevin and Matt couldn’t resist (repeatedly) the lure of the keyless iPhone.  Houston Chronicle’s Dwight Silverman has been using an iPhone for a month now and this column explains how the luster has worn off for him.  Dwight evaluates a lot of gadgets but had never actually owned a smartphone until his wife gave him the Samsung Blackjack he’s been using for a few months now and in his article he details why he’s grabbing the Blackjack over the iPhone for "serious" tasks.  I think Dwight’s suffering from nokeyitis but read his column and draw your own conclusions.

If you weren’t one of the early possessors, but you’re consideringbuying one, wait for the next version. The iPhone has a lot ofpotential, and it will surely influence what other phone manufacturersdo. But for now, you’re better off using something else if you’reserious about getting your data on the go.

13 Comments

Trevor

I’ve had an iPhone for a month–switched from a BlackBerry 8700c, which I loved.

No plans to go back.

As a phone, I find the iPhone far superior (voice quality, calling features) than my 8700. The newer blackberries are better I hear, but I’m just comparing to what I had.

Using the iPhone as an internet device is just awesome, and that’s been the real turning point from a device perspective.

The email, I’ll readily admit, is lacking. Fortunately, removing myself from the crackberry addiction has given me a better quality of life. I really don’t miss being tethered at the hip to work email. I don’t miss waking up in the middle of the night and checking my corporate email just to see if there’s anything urgent.

By the way, Dwight never found the Share URL part of Safari, which makes it easy to send stuff on the web to others.

Recessed headphone jack? Yeah it can be a bummer. My regular headphones fit so I had a non-issue here. I use the included dock to hook up the iPhone to my speakers at home.

Replaceable battery? In the many years that I’ve owned a cell phone, I’ve replaced the battery just once. Honestly, I can’t see what all the commotion is about on the battery. If I talked on my cell a lot more than I currently do (and drained the battery down) I could see the problem, but I don’t fall in that camp. The replaceable battery is a complete non-issue for me.

Ringtones and apps? Annoyed that they aren’t here now, but I know they’re coming, and the amount of web apps coming out has me pretty happy in that regard.

Keyboard? I could touchtype on the blackberry with 95%+ accuracy so going to the iPhone was a challenge, for the first two weeks. I’m typing at the same speed in most cases. Somethings are slower, somethings are faster. I can’t touchtype on it, but I’m just as productive in my typing.

This is all coming from someone who has never owned an Apple product in his life. I’m also not a teenager or a mother. :)

Rodfather

I’m still loving the iPhone. Despite its flaws, everything else is so boring. Even borrowed a N75 to check out.
WM5 and s60 feels like a 10 year old OS.
I’ll still use the Blackjack for tethering but otherwise, the SIM card stays put in the iPhone.

Muliadi Jeo

I used iPhone since the Sunday of the weekend release date and I never look back. The only phone out there that I am so itchy to try is the Nokia communicator E90 but for now I am quite happy with my iPhone. I don’t agree with spinedoc, my iPhone only crashes once so far to me (where I have to do reset) and the reception and phone quality here in Los Angeles is better than my other AT&T phone so far. Other PDA phones (especially MS phones), I have to constantly reset the phone once every couple days and I have the worst experience with PPC 6700 where I switch to Palm Treo 700 within 2 weeks.

The biggest appeal of iPhone to me is the simplicity of the features that are available through it. I have the luxury of getting my mail through POP (on the top of my shared Exchange account), so the missing Exchange Server sync feature has not bother me so much yet. I am thinking of building my own web based Exchange client for iPhone when time permitted. The fact that I can use the WIFI feature of the phone without suffer too much on the battery is a big big plus to me and I don’t there are any phone out there compete with that.

spinedoc

I am constantly confused as to why the iphone keeps being referred to as a “smartphone”, or compared to them. My old Samsung A900 could do everything the iphone can sans the storage, actually it could do more via Orb and EVDO.

The iphone is a great “teen and mom” phone as someone else put it. Very fashionable, but when put to the test, especially in basic things like voice quality, speakerphone and GSM, it comes up lacking.

iphone remorse is hilarious, very entertaining! I think Apples shares might rise just with the 10% restocking fee.

Matthew Miller

I think I don’t regret the purchase, but I am kind of wishy-washy when it comes to the iPhone. I think that is because it has such a great UI, is so dang snappy, and has a beautiful, mesmerizing display that overpowers my sense of functionality. I do now have a 3G TyTN that supports the AT&T HSDPA network so that helps my decision to stick with the iPhone and AT&T.

I think the fact that I can’t cheaply drop T-Mobile and must pay the $45/month difference to keep AT&T over what I pay now is what keeps me from making such a clear and defined decision. If I was already an AT&T customer then it would be a no-brainer to keep the iPhone and the lower priced data plan.

Kevin C. Tofel

I echo Matt’s sentiments here. The fun experience and overall stability of the device make it a keeper for me. I have kept my T-Mobile Dash and now have it unlocked for use with the AT&T SIM card. If I need a heavy-duty, true smartphone, I have that option although to be honest, I haven’t used the Dash in at least a week.

Although the iPhone is currently limited in functionality (when compared to other smartphones), I’m very impressed with the quick creation of web services for the device. I’ve also just heard back from the folks at Synchronica about their Exchange solution and should be starting the beta of their service in a few days. Between that and hope for software updates via Apple, I don’t regret the purchase.

Matthew Miller

As MoTR listeners know, I took back my first iPhone and went back to using a Nokia N95 and T-Mobile Dash for about 4 days when I couldn’t resist and went back to pick up a second iPhone. Today is the last day of my return period, for the 2nd phone, and I am keeping it.

Yes, the iPhone isn’t perfect, but I think Apple did an excellent job with a 1st generation phone and that is not an easy feat. The iPhone responds fast to application switching, has a BEAUTIFUL screen, has been rock solid for me (no crashes in 2 weeks), has a nice solid form factor that seems to be extremely durable, syncs like a champ with iTunes and Entourage, and hasn’t really cramped my style too much.

Surfing on EDGE isn’t super, but it is faster than surfing on the N95 or Dash via EDGE so it has been more than adequate for me. I bought the cheap program to add custom ringtones and used iFuntastic to modify my Homescreen.

I hope that Apple gets off the stick and does improve on a couple of key software issues such as better Bluetooth profile support, Exchange sync functionality, improved email application, and Notes synchronization.

I still have a HTC TyTN and other devices in my gear bag, but I have to say they are rarely used and I am pleased with the iPhone even after 1 month of use. I have been listening to more podcasts than EVER due to the easy iTunes syncing.

David

I do agree with the general concept of the review, electronics have a short life and that “the wow” factor will wear off pretty quickly.
As a 1st generation having Apple show other alternatives will encourage other companies to take some design risks.

Apple did create some problems on their own which is what I have heard from several users. The EDGE speeds are poor, enough to make them notice.
The battery replacement
The recessed earphone plug.
Not been able to install ringtones, other software,etc

The users I talked are not power users they are mom’s and teen’s. So if they are noticing I am assuming that power users will start seeing these limitations also.

Apple has always stated that the machine should adapt to our needs, the person should not adapt to the machnine lacks.

Tax Man

I’m a fanboy but I’m not a hater. I appreciate that Dwight put a lot of time and usage into his conclusions and I respect that. On the other hand, I used the Cingular 8125 over a year and the Blackjack for a couple of months before I switched to the iPhone. I don’t deny that the WM devices have more features. But like the old saying that “an elephant is a horse designed by a committee”, I’ve always felt like WM offers a lot of features but doesn’t necessarily execute them well. I still have my Blackjack and I pop the SIM into it every so often. Each time, I say “NOOOO!” and go back to the iPhone. It’s just my 2 cents. By the way, the touchscreen is infinitely better on the iphone than on the 8125 and the screen…it’s so all about that screen!

P.S. it totally sucked trying to post a comment on JKOTR with the iphone. I gave up and typed this on my computer. 2 points for Dwight there.

Frank McPherson

Obviously, in my previous post I meant to say that Safari has problems rendering web sites that neither Firefox nor IE have…

Frank McPherson

I didn’t really see any new negatives in the review that haven’t already been reported. The bottom line is that after a month, the positives don’t outweigh the negatives.

I do find the comments on the article amusing, particularly the Safari comments. The desktop version of Safari has problems with rendering web sites that Firefox nor IE have, yet somehow that is the web site author’s fault?

Aaron J. Walker

Wow James, that is a very thorough review from someone who obviously spent time with the device after the hype died down.

I wonder if Kevin will come to the same conclusion(s)?

I expect the Apple zealots to boycott and picket the Houston Chronicle and cancel their subscriptions after that article.

And I also expect there to be a backlash of how much people love their iPhones and this guy must be a Microsoft shill.

From a very happy T-Mobile Dash users :)

BTW: You guys going to say anything about the redesign or let it speak for itself?

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