The Good The Apple iPhone has a stunning display, a sleek design, and an innovative multitouch user interface. Its Safari browser makes for a superb Web surfing experience, and it offers easy-to-use apps. As an iPod, it shines.
The Bad The Apple iPhone has variable call quality and lacks some basic features found in many cell phones, including stereo Bluetooth support and 3G compatibility. Integrated memory is stingy for an iPod, and you have to sync the iPhone to manage music content.
The Bottom Line Despite some important missing features, a slow data network, and call quality that doesn't always deliver, the Apple iPhone sets a new benchmark for an integrated cell phone and MP3 player.
Editors' note, July 11, 2008: This is the review of the original first-generation iPhone model, released June 2007. Coverage of the 3G iPhone model released July 11, 2008 is available here.
Editors' note, July 16, 2009: We have lowered the rating of this product from 8.0 to 7.6 in the wake of the release of the iPhone 3G S. For a full analysis of the iPhone OS 3.0 software update, please see our iPhone 3G S review. For ongoing coverage, please see our full coverage of the Apple iPhone.
From the moment Apple announced its iPhone at Macworld 2007, the tech world hasn't stopped asking questions. Because Apple has kept many iPhone details under wraps until very recently, we've been forced to speculate. Until now. Is the iPhone pretty? Absolutely. Is it easy to use? Certainly. Does it live up to the stratospheric hype? Not so much. Don't get us wrong, the iPhone is a lovely device with a sleek interface, top-notch music and video features, and innovative design touches. The touch screen is easier to use than we expected, and the multimedia performs well. But a host of missing features, a dependency on a sluggish EDGE network, and variable call quality--it is a phone after all--left us wanting more. For those reasons, the iPhone is noteworthy not for what it does, but how it does it. If you want an iPhone badly, you probably already have one. But if you're on the fence, we suggest waiting for the second-generation handset. Even with the new $399 price for the 8GB model (down from an original price of $599) and $499 for the 16GB model, it's still a lot to ask for a phone that lacks so many features and locks you into an iPhone-specific two-year contract with AT&T. We'll be more excited once we see a version with--at the very least--multimedia messaging and 3G.
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