Reviews of iPhones

By: Adam Nowak

Copyright (c) 2008 Adam Nowak

iPhone as iPod

Actually - iPod Touch. What can I write here... 8GB of music and films always with me, available after clicking 1 button. The quality of sound and picture is excellent, the screen is perfect, the screen is ideal for watching films e.g. in a bus or a train. Put the headphones in your ears and iPhone into your hands and even a 6 hour journey isn't horrible! The way of inserting multimedia is really worth paying attention to. Apple says - 'iTunes!' Is it really like that? I will say even now - NO! You can read the description of the 'Tux vs. iPhone' struggle on the Techblog :-) From the very purchase, my iPhone hasn't seen iTunes nor a computer with Windows (and no MacOSX) and I hope that it will stay that way. But - let's go back to the iPod function.

Headphones added to the set are of very good quality (after all, they cost PLN 129), but we have to be very careful about our hearing. Inadvertent turning up the volume to the maximum value will result in a really bad sensation. I'm not the kind of a person who likes listening to music quietly, but iPhone, in this case, makes me feel a buzzing noise in my ears after 15 minutes or so. That's why - be careful!

If you want to have a close look at the function of iPod, I suggest that you turn your steps towards an Apple shop. The experience connected with using is the same as in the case of iPod built in the iPhone. But be careful - it's difficult to get away and a queue is forming behind you...

iPhone as an Internet tool

One of the main functionalities for which I bought this smartphone. iPhone has one of the best browsers in the history of mobile devices - Mobile Safari - as well as the reader of mail - MobileMail. What's more, there are also a few dozen applications that use the Web directly, but I will be talking about them later. GPRS/EDGE as well as WiFi are the optional connections to the Internet. They both work perfectly, automagically and simply wonderfully. If we are within the range of the WiFiNet, iPhone gets connected with it (or asks for the connection when the network is new for the device), if we aren't within the range of WiFiNet and we want to be connected to the Internet, it activates the EDGE connection. If you want to save some money, you can switch off the GPRS/EDGE connections, so you won't have to pay huge bills for the data transmission :-) And what about the comfort of web browsing? Well... Web pages look exactly like they do on the computer, navigation is very simple and intuitive (phew, we only have to put our finger on the screen and move it, we move its fragments closer or away etc.) The keyboard appears at the moment of activation of the enter data field. The only drawback is the speed of operations. Pages load quite slowly. In fact - they render slowly. The Jogger's main website needs about 3 seconds for full loading (with high speed transfer). However, it's not so obtrusive - after all, iPhone wasn't designed to be a main tool for webdesigners, programmers etc. Casual web browsing, reading news or scouting Google in search of the answers to bothering questions work perfectly and there is nothing one can pick on.

The built-in mail reader works, though frankly speaking, I don't use it. I check my mail account 3 times a day and there are so many e-mails that if I was to use iPhone for this purpose, I would be answering e-mails literally non-stop. It's not for me.

However, I notice 2 drawbacks in this category. Firstly, Safari isn't ideal and it doesn't load the whole page at once. In the case of web browsing, subsequent fragments of a page are loading dynamically and, because of that, we can often notice unrendered fragments, marked with a black-and-white chessboard, which after a second, they turn into a page. The second drawback - a lack of Java and Flash. One can forget about films or web applications. At the same time, one can forget about in-your-face advertisements that appear on most portals. ;-)

Other

That is - other functions offered by the external applications that are available in the unlocked iPhone:

A console - by means of a console, we can do... hmm, I don't know how to write it... Everything? Probably everything, because recently I set up the Apache + PHP + Python server on my iPhone. And it worked... So maybe it's true that we can do everything with it! Well, I'm not writing about such an apparent thing as logging with ssh into your own server to check if everything is all right.
A camera - takes photographs. And that's all. Nothing more, nothing less. We can't record a video, use filters, set the quality. Simply - click and a 2Mpix photo ends up in the memory. A piece of cake. The quality of photos is satisfactory (comparable with the photos taken by SE K750i)
EBooks - simply EBooks on a more than 3 inch touch display. You probably catch my drift :-) And it reads not only *.txt and *.html formats, but also *.pdf is read in a proper way!
VNsea - a client of VNC server. You're lying in bed, a film is displayed on a desktop computer with a huge screen. The film comes to an end, we get up... Noooo! We take iPhone and play another film on the remote screen. One of the most lovely applications which I currently have installed on this equipment.
MobileScrobber - KILLER APP! A client of LastFM with full support for all functions of this service! Are you getting bored with music from iPod? Turn on LastFM radio. 10/10!

... and where are games? No, I won't describe this issue... It would take too much time and space in this already lengthy description. However, you should know that it's impossible to get bored.

To conclude, a couple of words about the durability of the device. Despite everything, the display gets scratched (a little) in the course of normal use and I strongly recommend a cover. It can also get terribly scratched, e.g. when you drop it onto a concrete surface. Well, after all, it's only glass, not a diamond. The back of the iPhone gets covered very quickly with a huge amount of microscopic scratches.

Battery life? With MAXIMUM use - (WiFi + EDGE switched on non-stop), plus watching films or listening to music (+- 4h per day), a lot of phone calls (from 10 minutes to 2h per day) and masses of SMS texts - it holds exactly 48 hours. If you don't use it that often (a darkened display, the Interned switched off, no films), it can hold about 3-4 days. I can't give the exact time, because I haven't managed not to use it for too long. However, you can surely count on 2 days of maximum use working.

Finally - iPhone is a toy. A toy similar to electric model railways, which are bought by dads with the purpose of playing with them in secret. A toy similar to a car at a scale of 1:1 that hides a complex of toys at the scale of 1:43 in childhood. A toy, which, just like the model railway, gives a lot of pleasure, and just like the car at the scale of 1:1, is very comfortable. And who of us doesn't dream about a model railway or a good car? :-)

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