iPhone: good features, but falls short of design expectations

As some of you know, we are very much a pro-Mac household. Also, John is more than a bit of a technophile. So it shouldn’t come as much surprise that John wanted to get one of the new Apple iPhones as soon as possible. John camped out for most of the afternoon today outside a nearby phone store, and we were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the coveted, ultra-cool, ultra-sleek iPhones.

The iPhone has been awaited with great anticipation for years, long before it was officially announced by Apple. But since Apple released details and images of the iPhone, with its large high-res LCD and touch-pad with multi-touch operating, and versatile phone + camera + video player + music player + internet ready identities, it has been creating quite the buzz.

We were, naturally, quite eager to see whether the iPhone could live up to the hype. Since some of you may not have had a chance to see the iPhone in action yet, aside from in the commercials, we thought we’d share our own experiences and impressions.

When we got ours home, John opened up the box.


As advertised, all he needed to do was plug it into the computer, and go through iTunes in order to activate it.


Also as advertised, the iPhone not only shows images, but it can also function as a music player:


The iPhone is easy to navigate, with handy built-in scrolling features:


While much of the functionality has been very cool, the design of the phone itself is surprisingly clunky: with big plastic buttons, and a screen that’s a bit smaller than we’d hoped. The sound quality of the music is a bit tinny, and somewhat annoying with various boingy and chirping sounds jumping in unexpectedly, and the selection of songs you can listen to is quite limited. While I do like the way the brightly colored lights flash when I push the buttons, I haven’t yet figured out how to dial the phone, as there are only buttons for 1 through 4. Most distressingly, we have already encountered at least three bugs with the iPhone, which are obvious in the image below.¹


Has Apple fallen down in its standards?


¹ And not just bugs: a frog, a bird and a duck, too.

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25 thoughts on “iPhone: good features, but falls short of design expectations

  1. *Claps*

    I don’t know what to say. I’m awed.

    Question: How do I call someone if they have a digit exceeding 4 in their phone number?

  2. D. Peace:

    All phone numbers must first be translated into quaternary notation, with an offset of one into our system of numerals. (Thus honoring our forefathers who lacked zeros.) It’s really quite simple… e.g. 555-1212 becomes 222222-12131213. Honestly, it’s almost second nature by now.

  3. Pingback: Anonymous
  4. jwbates-
    Yeah, you got the cool toy. But Phoebe’s has more sparkly bits.

    Ah, but did you predict it would look so very cool?

    D. Peace-
    I’m glad you enjoyed my product review. Thanks so much for your visit, and please come again! (And I see jwbates has offered some helpful information on 4-digit dialing. I was going to suggest that people should get all their friends and relatives to change their numbers to ones only containing 1, 2, 3 and 4.)

    Yeah, the color is attractive. And you should see the flashing lights. Mesmerizing.

    Yes, cracked. And I cracked myself up with those pictures. (Just ask John.)

    As usual, you are a font of useful information.


    Could it be? Are you sure yours isn’t just a cheap rip-off? No matter. You should still be able to get a good price for it on ebay. Just be sure to post some pictures of it.

  5. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! This is a GREAT post!

    We’re still anxiously awaiting the arrival of an iPhone into our VERY Mac household, but Mr. Chili is thinking of holding off for the next generation, when some of the bugs are worked out….

  6. Jay-
    The WiFi service is really fast, but unfortunately you can only access 3 different websites: one with a racetrack, one with a rainbow, and one that’s just very shiny. I’m pretty sure I can use it to check my email, but I have yet to figure out the interface. I mean, is it the button with the duck, or the one with the bug?

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