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Apple iPhone Part V - The Verdict
Design and Interface
Let’s start off with the design and interface. We like it! It’s sleek, it’s sexy and even though it’s a bit thin (not too anorexic) it’s light and really easy to use. The singular button only simplifies the whole usage of this device. Having a scratch resistant large display is a bonus, so ladies, go ahead, keep those nails long, it don’t matter. What makes the iPhone really stand out is, of course, the fantastic interface with Apple’s ‘Cover Flow’ technology incorporated. It’s awesome and extremely easy to use and navigate through. This is something unlike any touch screen device you have ever come across. What we did find that didn’t bode too well with us was the onscreen keyboard. The letters are too close together and you would end up typing the wrong alphabet more times than you’d want. Till you get used to it of course.
But from Internet usage to scrolling through the menus to moving through videos and music in the iPod music player it was a pleasure to work with. The idea for simply using your fingers instead of worrying about losing a stylus is a great idea. All this makes the iPhone extremely user friendly. We gave it a 4 in this section.
I must have said this enough already, but let me stress one last time that through their latest offering — the iPhone — Apple has the first step towards a different direction with regards to interactivity in mobile phones. To have the legendary iPod bundled with a phone, I’m sure some of us have wondered if it was a possibility. And sure enough, the iPhone is just that reality. We have to give points to the iPhone for integrating a great music player, and we definitely like what we saw. But the iPod application we are talking about goes one step ahead, and offers more in terms of how well you interact with your player. We like the Cover Flow system that allows you to graphically engage yourself with the playlists and the album artwork.
While it’s great to have speakers to what seems like the next generation iPod, the speakers themselves do absolutely no justice to the quality of the application. In today’s day and age, we are constantly looking towards simplifying things, yet Apple’s inclination to weigh their customers down with an ‘iTunes’ only attitude is only making them take a step forward and sleepwalk back again. But because of the sound quality and interactivity with the player itself, we thought it quite right to give it a 4 rating in this part.
Features and Connectivity
In the third segment in the iPhone’s dissection, we checked out the features that this device offers. Sadly we were quite disappointed. Although the technology may be state-of-the-art, the features that Apple has incorporated fell extremely short of our expectations. Features like the weather and stock market application may be cool to have but are not entirely necessary. Working with what’s already there is great but that’s only because of the user-friendly interface. But the iPhone offers nothing else nor anything new in terms of software. Though having a large screen and Google Maps is awesome. Other features are pretty average and include reminders, a World Clock, calculator, a timer, stopwatch and all other such functions you’ll find in any normal phone.
Connectivity wise the iPhone’s mediocrity is a sad realization. Using the large screen with Apple’s gyroscopic technology that allows you to merely tilt the phone to switch to landscape mode, is really handy when you’re surfing the Internet. The simple pinch-to-zoom feature also helps to make the images or lettering more comfortable for viewing. The Wi-Fi feature is a definite plus for quick connectivity. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t seem to work the Bluetooth function at all. It refused to find devices and devices somehow felt the neglect and failed to locate the iPhone as well. There’s also no option for sending files via Bluetooth or MMS for that matter. Just via email. Something else the iPhone lacks – A2DP support. But the dedicated YouTube feature is also another plus point for the iPhone. So all we could give it is a 3 here.
The iPhone boasts of a camera that seems to be present more for the sake of it than for any real use. I like the way clicking pictures on the iPhone feels. A largish screen makes it all the more worthwhile. I also love the animated shutter. But we also have to take into account that the camera comes without a flash or any options for adjusting any settings.
The 2MP camera also doesn’t allow video recording. I mean, even the oldest phones with a VGA camera could manage videos. This is one of the major drawbacks. When it comes to performance, we like the way the pictures were taken. Colors are vibrant, with some gradation issues, but it has a decent camera all in all. Still, the camera will disappoint you if you intend to use the pictures for anything but for web purposes or within the phone itself. So we thought it best to award it a 3.5 for the camera.
The iPhone may seem like ‘All Dat’, but here’s what it lacks –
1. You can’t use music files as ringtones and the inbuilt ringtones are just plain Blah.
2. The iPhone doesn’t have Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP). Nor does there seem to be any option for transferring files via Bluetooth or connecting it to the PC via the same.
3. The speakerphone is too darn low.
4. It has no FM radio and no inbuilt games. What will we do to pass the time while commuting?
5. The 2MP camera has no settings whatsoever and doesn’t record video.
6. When the iPhone is hooked up to your PC only the image library opens up to either remove or add pictures. There’s no other option for a drive for data.
7. There doesn’t seem to be any option for sending images via MMS, only email.
8. There doesn’t seem to be any option for reading office documents either.
9. You can sync the iPhone only to one PC unless you’d like to lose all your information.
10. The earphone slot is a bit odd to use with normal 3.5mm jack earphones.
Here’s the verdict. The iPhone incorporates some of the most amazing technology we’ve come across. It’s a damn good-looking phone as well with a bright interface and Apple’s Cover Flow and gyroscopic technology that make maneuverability really easy. But it has the most basic of applications for normal usage thogh it's equipped with a great media player with a large screen.
The thing is though, the iPhone makes even the most mundane applications look good. The Bluetooth issue could be just a problem with this one piece, we can give it that. But the lack of some of the most basic of features in a device 'so politely' termed as the ‘Jesus’ phone, leaves too much to be desired. Ok so this is round one, hopefully Apple will overhaul it in round two. Let’s hope so. But as it is, I’m afraid it wasn’t what we expected, perhaps that’s also because, it’s possible it was hyped a bit too much thereby increasing our expectations.