First iPhone Reviews In & Price Plans Revealed

Universally acclaimed but with significant drawbacks...

I hate empty promises but I pretty much knew when I refused to write another iPhone article before release it wouldn’t/couldn’t be kept, but this time with very good reason: the first reviews are in!

I’ll cut to the chase: they’re ”’good”’ with David Pogue of the New York times, Walter S Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, Edward C Baig of USA Today and Steven Levy of MSNBC all agreeing that – despite some fairly serious flaws – the device lives up to its unprecedented hype.

The good:

*The music, email and web browsing experiences are far better than anything we’ve seen before and are seen as genuinely revolutionary

*The screen is unmatched by any current device

*The interface was adored by all and perhaps does signal a major shift away from styluses and keys

*The virtual keyboard is initially frustrating but in time is easy to manage a fast input speed

*The battery life lives up to Apple’s recently inflated claims making it a class leader

*’Visual Voicemail’ is a genuine breakthrough

*The dimensions are remarkably pocket friendly and best in class

*The newly upgraded screen doesn’t suffer from any scratch issues at all

*WiFi setup is intuitive and works well

*There is support for Microsoft Exchange

The bad:

*No 3G was a big mistake – web pages take, on average, between one and two minutes to load using EDGE. This could be a deal breaker for some.

*OS X consumes a massive 700MB of the 4GB/8GB storage capacity.

*No A2DP support – a crazy omission considering Apple will sell Bluetooth headsets

*No cut, copy or paste options for text – staggering

*No MMS (not that many would miss it, but it is a shoe-in on almost every modern handset)

*No document editing for PDF, Word and Excel documents (we knew this already)

*No browser support for Flash or any other embedded video

*Average call quality

*The 2MP camera is just that – no video recording (makes the YouTube tie-in seem a little strange)

*No support for MP3 ringtones, just the tones supplied on the phone with no plans for further offerings

*Contact groups ”must” be scrolled through – no searching and no voice dialling available (another deal breaker for some)

If this last section hasn’t put you off however you will be interested to know the price plans AT&T has come up with since they may influence what we’ll eventually see over here. The hit of taking a mandatory two year contract means pretty reasonable rates with $59.99, $79.99, $99.99, $120, $170 and $200 per month deals offering 450, 900, 1350, 3,000, 4,000 and 6,000 (!) minutes per month respectively.

All packages however come with just 200 text messages included but there is an unlimited data plan bundled and roll over minutes – not that you’re likely to need them! Phone activation can also be done via iTunes.

Now go squabble happily in the forums…

”’Update:”’ Good point from Archangel in the forums: there is an alphabetical scale on the right side of the contacts. I’d missed that – Walt Mossberg too…!

David Pogue
Walt Mossberg
Edward Baig
Steven Levy
iPhone AT&T Price Plans

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