Martin MC Brown

Hugely disappointed by the iPhone

By Martin MC Brown
January 16, 2007 2:45 AM EST
So the iPhone was announced last week, and while there's lots to like, there are many elements which for me either don't fit, or that I would have preferred to see in a separate device. Let's take a look at the detail. The good: The touch screen interface, and the UI in general, looks amazing. The integration with the desktop looks good too, if it really does handle everything they say it will. The widescreen, switchable, display, and the other sensors, will turn a comparatively stupid device into something that handles more instinctively. The display is gorgeous, from the perspective of the quality and clarity. The bad: Battery life - at five hours when playing a movie, it's hardly going to keep me entertained on a flight, not that, as I explain below, I'd probably be able to keep enough content on the machine in the first place. The lack of 3G or N-wireless networking seems decidedly odd. I'm sure it will be resolved relatively quickly, but with 3G phones having been out already for some months from other manufacturers, the iPhone will look like an also ran. The ugly: 8GB is pitiful. Sorry, but if Apple expect me to sync photos, video, and music, 8GB is not enough. I'm still using my 1st generation 20GB iPod (well, two of them, in fact), but 20GB is not enough when I go on holiday, and that iPod just holds music. If I wanted to take the iPhone on holiday and provide with some alternative choices to fit my moods, plus email, plus calendars, plus photos, plus TV, movies, and other media, 8GB is going to seem like using a pocketbook to hold my entire luggage. What would have I preferred instead? I think the iPhone is right for Apple, and I'd still love one, but the lack of space on a device on which they expect me to carry in place of my much more capacious - and three year old - iPod is not gonna happen. Instead, I see the iPhone as replacing the typical mobile phone and iShuffle/iPod mini combination. Unfortunately, that makes that gorgeous wide screen a waste when it could have been part of an 80GB iPod which really could have stored a useful amount of video media to enable you to make the most of the display. Hopefully the iPhone will just be the first of a range of touchscreen based iPhones and iPods. Otherwise the iPhone may end up being a nice concept device that never quites lives up to its potential.