When you review an Apple product, you can be sure that readers will say one of two things: either you didn't rate it high enough or you rated it way too high. Rarely, if ever, is there any middle ground.
Just take the
Now fast-forward a year to our review of the
While we waited, I got a different set of letters. As concerns about the iPhone'sgrew louder, I received many letters complaining that we had been too easy on the iPhone 3G. Readers asked me to reconsider the rating because of the problems that were affecting so many iPhone customers. Of course, the problems concerned me, but I wanted to see them for myself before I took action. (It would be irresponsible and a disservice to CNET readers if I adjusted the rating based solely on reports I had heard from other people.)
It took a while to put our review iPhone 3G though the battery drain paces and get it back from CNET Labs, but once I did, we performed more usability testing. And gradually, we did notice a few problems. Dropped calls on our phone remained rare, but the 3G connection issues were apparent. Specifically, I noticed the weak connection and the sloppy hand off between the 3G and EDGE networks. Also, while the official CNET Labs battery testing results fell within the promised times, our iPhone's battery came close to running out after a long day of heavy multitasking. I added the new observations to the
Ultimately, we felt the issues that we experienced on our review device weren't reason enough to reduce the iPhone's 3G's rating. We are, however, withholding the Editors' Choice award once again. We agree that these problems are significant, but the iPhone 3G remains a landmark product in many ways. It still offers a great design, the interface and display are no less lovely, the music player and Web browser remain top-notch, and we admire the App Store. Even the sometimes-frustrating Microsoft Exchange e-mail support merits a few points. But more importantly, we want to see whether Apple successfully fixes the problems, as the company said it is planning to do on Friday, September 12 with the. If the problems continue to persist over the next few months, we'll revisit the issue.
Kent German, CNET's cell phones guru, answers your questions about cell phones, services, and accessories and reports on the state of the industry. Send him a question.