More iPhone reviews: Newsweek and USA Today

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
On the heels of reviews from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, Newsweek's Steve Levy and USA Today's Edward Baig have also weighed in on their official two-week iPhone experiences with a pair of reviews from their respective publications.



"If you're looking for quibbles, flaws and omissions, you'll certainly find them in this first version of the iPhone," Levy wrote for Newsweek." But the bottom line is that the iPhone is a significant leap. It's a superbly engineered, cleverly designed and imaginatively implemented approach to a problem that no one has cracked to date: merging a phone handset, an Internet navigator and a media player in a package where every component shines, and the features are welcoming rather than foreboding. The iPhone is the rare convergence device where things actually converge."



Meanwhile, USA Today's Baig says: "After months of hype, Apple has delivered a prodigy -- a slender fashion phone, a slick iPod and an Internet experience unlike any before it on a mobile handset. [...] Still, iPhone isn't perfect, or even the most ideal smartphone for every user. It's pricey. It lacks certain features found on some rival devices. AT&T's coverage was spotty in some areas I tested over the past two weeks."



Points of interest (Newsweek's Steve Levy)

"One of the most hyped consumer products ever comes pretty close to justifying the bombast."

iPhone comes in a "snugly fit black box."

"When the phone is at your cheek, the screen goes dormant. But when you lower the phone to tap in some numbers in a voice mail system, the screen reappears to take in your input."

"Learning to type on the iPhone requires some concentration."

"You can also play with other applications while you talk."

"If you've been using the iPhone a lot it feels warm on your cheek."

"E-mail looks more like you're working on a computer than a clunky phone."

"Workout lovers will want to keep their Nanos and Shuffles for the gym."

"Web-browsing is where the iPhone leaves competitors in the dust."

"Simply typing 'yo' qualifies as one of the 200 SMS messages that come with your plan."

iPhone allows you to merge up to five conversations into a conference.

"It will expertly route a trip for you and even clue you in on the traffic density."

"The specially formatted YouTube videos work great on Wi-Fi, but can display in a lower quality when you're not at a hotspot and are using AT&T's EDGE network."

"The calendar works as you'd hope, with a charming odometer-style way of setting the time of appointments."

"The EDGE network actually has two speeds, and when you're on the slower one, Web pages load up with what feels like dial-up speed."

"As for wear and tear, I've been jamming it in my pocket with keyrings, coins and pens, and so far it's nearly as good as new."

During Levy's iPhone conversation with Steve Jobs, the Apple boss professed that he wasn't concerned about inflated hopes, and certainly not whether he would meet his own projections of 10 million sold in 2008. ?I think we're going to blow away the expectations," Jobs said.

Check out Steve's complete iPhone review over at Newsweek.



Points of interest (USA Today's Edward Baig)

"The scratch-resistant glass-top surface protects iPhone's gorgeous 3.5-inch touch-screen display, which I found visible even in direct sun."

"Finger-tapping takes getting used to."

"This is the closest thing to the real-deal Internet that I've seen on a pocket-size device ? but there are limits."

"On the data side, it works through AT&T's Edge network, which is pokey compared with third-generation, or 3G, data networks used with other phones. At times, I fell off the Edge and lost coverage. Even at its best, Edge never felt close to the broadband-type speeds I experience on my home network."

"Apple CEO Steve Jobs has called iPhone the best iPod that Apple has ever made. I agree, unless you want to carry a music library larger than either the 4- or 8-gigabyte iPhone can hold."

"I experienced one snag playing music. A song wound up in an endless loop. I had to turn iPhone off to restore order."

"Lots of people (me included) eschew iPod earbuds in favor of their own headphones. Now the bad news: They may not work. Because of how the connector is designed on the Shure headphones I use, I could not fit them into the iPhone headphone jack. Shure is readying a $40 accessory that would let you plug in its headphones and use them for voice."

"Though iPhone has Bluetooth capabilities for connecting to hands-free headphones, it does not support wireless Bluetooth stereo."

"Movies can eat up a lot of space. When I finished watching A Bug's Life, iPhone offered to remove it from the device to free up some."

"Pictures look fabulous on iPhone."

"I expected to miss the tactile feel that a physical keyboard provides. I didn't."

"Once you get the hang of its "multitouch" interface ? give it a few days ? you won't have to schlep a separate iPod and cellphone in your pocket."

"Battery life didn't prove to be a big problem in my unscientific tests ? a mix of calling, surfing, listening and watching. Still, it's a good idea to charge it overnight. You receive warnings when you have just 20%, 15%, 10% and 5% of power remaining."



Check out Edward's official iPhone review over at USA Today.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    ajunrajunr Posts: 13member
    Quote:

    "I expected to miss the tactile feel that a physical keyboard provides. I didn't."



    That is the one thing that worried me, so that is good to know
  • Reply 2 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Simply typing 'yo' qualifies as one of the 200 SMS messages that come with your plan."





    um ya, just like every other phone
  • Reply 3 of 44
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post


    um ya, just like every other phone



    Ya -- It was added for giggles. =P
  • Reply 4 of 44
    cubitcubit Posts: 846member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post


    um ya, just like every other phone



    Well that clinches it, I'm going back to this tin cans and a string-- That was cheap~!
  • Reply 5 of 44
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    All in all, it has been a good day for my impression of the iPhone.



    Reasonable plan rates and generally glowing reviews from a variety of sources (though all with some reservations).



    That said, I still don't feel the need to rush out and buy one. The mandatory 2 year contract and the inevitable first gen issues would give me pause. What if they upgrade the iPhone line to 3G in 6 months? You can't just eBay yours and buy the new one--you would have to sign up for another 2 years, no? Then you would be tied to a phone with no replaceable battery for 3.5 years...



    I dunno, maybe they will deal with upgrades better than that, but I just can't see myself jumping into this pool yet. Fortunately for me there will probably be millions who will so the second gen iPhone should be that much awesomer.



    (With all the iHype this iWeek, I thought it would be ok to use a fake word...)
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    iPhone comes in a "snugly fit black box."



    I'm sold.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    joeyyyjoeyyy Posts: 35member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajunr View Post


    That is the one thing that worried me, so that is good to know



    I agree, this was one of the main technical question mark with this product that was raised over and over during the past weeks. From all the reviews I read today it looks like the keyboard is working great once you get used to it which takes a few days.



    Even so, I still think that iPhone users will not be using the keyboard as much as predicted mainly due to the strength of the UI and the strong browser application.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    macflymacfly Posts: 256member
    all in all the iphone looks pretty nifty but there are a few things i dont understand. i have been using a sony ericsson p800 and then a p910 for the last few years. short of wifi they both have a large touch screen and do pretty well. i can sync my contacts and calendars over bluetooth...why cant the iphone do this? why must i be tethered to sync? i can send pics that i take with the phone via mms...iphone cant do this. ? i can take video too. not iphone?

    obviously i think the iphone has a slicker gui but im confused about the things it lacks.

    not bashing here...just truly confused. what do others think?
  • Reply 9 of 44
    heyjpheyjp Posts: 39member
    Great on the positive feedback on the virtual keyboard. i was concerned about that.



    Bummer on the mono-only support for bluetooth (no wireless stereo ;-(



    Double-bummer on the quality and speed of the ATT network.



    Jim
  • Reply 10 of 44
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macfly View Post


    all in all the iphone looks pretty nifty but there are a few things i dont understand. i have been using a sony ericsson p800 and then a p910 for the last few years. short of wifi they both have a large touch screen and do pretty well. i can sync my contacts and calendars over bluetooth...why cant the iphone do this? why must i be tethered to sync? i can send pics that i take with the phone via mms...iphone cant do this. ? i can take video too. not iphone?

    obviously i think the iphone has a slicker gui but im confused about the things it lacks.

    not bashing here...just truly confused. what do others think?



    Can it not sync contacts and calendars over bluetooth? I had assumed that this would happen..
  • Reply 11 of 44
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,028member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macfly View Post


    all in all the iphone looks pretty nifty but there are a few things i dont understand. i have been using a sony ericsson p800 and then a p910 for the last few years. short of wifi they both have a large touch screen and do pretty well. i can sync my contacts and calendars over bluetooth...why cant the iphone do this? why must i be tethered to sync? i can send pics that i take with the phone via mms...iphone cant do this. ? i can take video too. not iphone?

    obviously i think the iphone has a slicker gui but im confused about the things it lacks.

    not bashing here...just truly confused. what do others think?



    I don't understand why some people are so rattled about syncing over a Bluetooth connection that is at least an order of magnitude or two slower than USB (likely USB 2 these days).



    Other than having a thrill when doing it, I can't see any advantage, and only negatives.



    You don't mind that it will take several times as long to do?
  • Reply 12 of 44
    dahlenudahlenu Posts: 15member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    What if they upgrade the iPhone line to 3G in 6 months?



    I asked a friend of mine, who works for Sony Ericsson, why they didn't go with 3G. "Battery Life" was the immediate answer. 3G draws much more power, apparantly. But I would assume 3G will come in the next version of iPhone. It has been rumored the iPhone will be 3G when it arrives in Europe this fall/winter.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    Auto Synch'ing over bluetooth allows you to just be in the general area of your computer. No need to connect a cable, but I don't see how it would be a deal breaker for anyone.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I don't understand why some people are so rattled about syncing over a Bluetooth connection that is at least an order of magnitude or two slower than USB (likely USB 2 these days).



    Other than having a thrill when doing it, I can't see any advantage, and only negatives.



    You don't mind that it will take several times as long to do?



  • Reply 14 of 44
    steviet02steviet02 Posts: 594member
    I haven't read any reviews about securing the iPhone, does anyone know if you can manually lock people out of the phone with a password?



    Is the 700MB for the OS coming out of the 4GB or 8GB that they are advertising is in the iPhone?



    Maybe it's a memory issue but Voice Recognition for hands free dialing seems like a great feature, I hope they add that in at some point, much safer when driving.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    Awwe shucks...no business discounts.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    From the article:

    Quote:

    Alas, I was unable to test my USA TODAY e-mail with iPhone because our company tech department raised questions about the security settings Apple required with our Microsoft Exchange servers. Apple insists corporate e-mail through the phone is safe. But because the product is so new, many businesses remain cautious. If receiving corporate e-mail is important, check with your tech department first.



    I wonder if they are referring to enabling the mobile access setting in Exchange? To support push email on Windows Mobile devices you need this on anyways. It could be their IT department are just being difficult about it.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I don't understand why some people are so rattled about syncing over a Bluetooth connection that is at least an order of magnitude or two slower than USB (likely USB 2 these days).



    Other than having a thrill when doing it, I can't see any advantage, and only negatives.



    You don't mind that it will take several times as long to do?



    Syncing calendars and contacts is so fast that it doesn't make any difference bluetooth vs. USB. It's much better to not have to manually connect the cable to your computer every time you change something on one of the devices. Bluetooth automatically keeps them up to date as soon as your in the same room.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    pbg4 dudepbg4 dude Posts: 1,611member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    From the article:

    I wonder if they are referring to enabling the mobile access setting in Exchange? To support push email on Windows Mobile devices you need this on anyways. It could be their IT department are just being difficult about it.



    No MAPI support on iPhone so Exchange needs IMAP enabled. Most places don't want to enable IMAP.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macfly View Post


    all in all the iphone looks pretty nifty but there are a few things i dont understand. i have been using a sony ericsson p800 and then a p910 for the last few years. short of wifi they both have a large touch screen and do pretty well. i can sync my contacts and calendars over bluetooth...why cant the iphone do this? why must i be tethered to sync? i can send pics that i take with the phone via mms...iphone cant do this. ? i can take video too. not iphone?

    obviously i think the iphone has a slicker gui but im confused about the things it lacks.

    not bashing here...just truly confused. what do others think?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meelash View Post


    Syncing calendars and contacts is so fast that it doesn't make any difference bluetooth vs. USB. It's much better to not have to manually connect the cable to your computer every time you change something on one of the devices. Bluetooth automatically keeps them up to date as soon as your in the same room.



    Besides what Melgross stated...
    ? It will not only use your battery while syncing but use even more battery power by taxing the Bluetooth component to do the transfer

    ? The iPhone not only syncs your contacts and calander but also syncs your email, music, movies, TV shows, pictures and Safari bookmarks

    ? You don't need to carry the USB connector with you. Just keep it with your computer. If you have more than one computer and a seperate iPod then you can keep a dongle with each as it's the same connector

    Did your Sony-Ericsson phones come with an attachment to connect directly to your computer or did it only come with a power supply and expet you to sync via Bluetooth?





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dahlenu View Post


    I asked a friend of mine, who works for Sony Ericsson, why they didn't go with 3G. "Battery Life" was the immediate answer. 3G draws much more power, apparantly. But I would assume 3G will come in the next version of iPhone. It has been rumored the iPhone will be 3G when it arrives in Europe this fall/winter.



    That would a smart assumption. The non-US models due out in 6 months will surely have 3G.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PBG4 Dude View Post


    No MAPI support on iPhone so Exchange needs IMAP enabled. Most places don't want to enable IMAP.



    There is a recent Digg article (so take with a grain of salt) that claims Apple will license Exchange ActiveSync for complete compatibility. I doubt it's true, but thought I'd mention it anyway.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Besides what Melgross stated...[INDENT]? It will not only use your battery while syncing but use even more battery power by taxing the Bluetooth component to do the transfer

    ? The iPhone not only syncs your contacts and calander but also syncs your email, music, movies, TV shows, pictures and Safari bookmarks

    ? You don't need to carry the USB connector with you. Just keep it with your computer. If you have more than one computer and a seperate iPod then you can keep a dongle with each as it's the same connector



    Again, we have both stated that bluetooth syncing would be used only for contact and calendar syncing. The beauty (and necessity) of this is that contact and especially calendar information is something that is changed frequently on either or both of the two devices. Using bluetooth to sync these components means that one doesn't have to remember to plug in to the computer at regular intervals in order to keep things up to date, and worry about the havoc created if it is not done.



    FWIW, I'm guessing this is a feature on the iPhone and it just hasn't been covered by these reviews because it's not a very exciting feature. I mean, every Mac comes with built-in bluetooth, iSync has been handling this for years now (and it was a much promoted feature when it first started), and it just doesn't make sense to not include it.
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