Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Feel, The Features, The Bloopers - Part I

April 20th, 2008 - It is 5:30 AM and as I had promised myself, sitting down to write my experiences with the phone they call "neighbhors envy and owners pride", the iPhone. Should I even bother telling you why I would buy something like this off the shelf, you know by now what an example I make of an impulse decision. I couldnt hang on to my Nokia E50 for too long but mind you, its a kick ass phone, something every office goer would love to have.

Trivia: The iPhone was introduced to the world on June 29, 2007, same date I was introduced in this world 28 years back.

So I got this new offering from Steve Jobs last Weekend, April 12th, 2008. Now this is not my first tryst with Apple products and I have 2 iPod Shuffle, a 512 MB and a 1 GB, both came as gifts. Yea, you cant go wrong when you gift me a gadget :) The reason I mention this is, it helps to know how the Apple products work and what kinda software they use. Now buying the iPhone off the shelf is easier said than done in India. It available in thin numbers and getting the latest model and version can be quite a task. As for the price-tag, you should get it for around $ 550. That is steap for sure, considering it goes for $ 399 in the US for a 8GB model. You may have heard of a 4GB model but that aint available in the US or Indian markets, it has been Archived. Your choices are between 8GB and 16GB models. The firmware version I have is 1.1.4 which is the lastest. You can check this by going to Settings>General>About

Allright, so what you are going to see or get to know is that your iPhone is unlocked or what they call as "jailbroken" in the Tech world. Why? GOD!! When did you last surf the Internet and read something worthwile? Coz Apple iPhones as I write this, is released only in the US and European markets and is supposed to work with only the choice of Carriers they picked for us like AT&T in the US. But the geeks around the world have managed to crack this and get the iPhone to practically work in any country with their local Carriers, how cool is that? if you have survived the price onslaught, lets see what kinda guys would wanna put their money on a phone like that, apart from their crave for gadgets and technology. Again no prizes for guessing that I did enough research on the product capabilities and despite knowing that iPhone is not capable of doing certain things that conventional phone users would like it do, I went ahead with my decision and here is why...Oh yea, watch the guided tour on the Apple Web site, before you dive in to this.

The Exterior...

1. The dimensions are 4.5 X 2.4 inches, the idea was to see if it will fit in my jeans pockets when I go around, I'm not the kinds who have it (phone) hanging on their waistbands. The depth and weight are .46 inches and 135gms respectively and thats neat. Last but not the least, it should fit in your palm, like holding know what I mean :)
2. Next, the finishing and just the whole package is revolutionary besides artistic more than anything, no keys, no anttena, no flip-flap, no swivel action, just a smooth peice of art in your hands to be explored with your fingertips. If you are not the PDA types and touch dont suit you, you either grow up to it or you can be happy with what you have, whatever crap you have that is :)
3. It has a headphone connection on the top, Sleep/Wake button, on the left it has a Vibrator Mode button and Volume Up/Down button, on the bottom it has a connector for both Power and PC-Synch capabilities. It has a 2.0 megapixel camera behind the phone. It also has 2 integrated Speakers on the bottom, one of them acts as a mic. All of these look and feel very aesthetic on the iPhone

The Interior...

4. You put this baby ON by pressing the single round button in the bottom center of the phone or pressing the Sleep/Wake button on the top right corner of the Phone. And what you see immediately is a beautiful rich display of a Wallpaper, you can choose to display everytime the phone comes up from Sleep. Now here is what will hit the Wallpaper lovers really bad, once you unlock the phone by sliding your finger on the phone, the Wallpaper disappears and you see the dark black screen with standard icons on the iPhone. You can choose to put a theme and the dark screen will be replaced by the Wallpaper options the theme has but you cannot simply choose a picture from the Gallery and make a Wallpaper to display at all times. Something almost every multi-media phone is able to do. Do I care? No. Do you care? I dont know.
5. Next thing I want to highlight is its ability to pickup the Network signals and the fact that it supports only EDGE type of Internet capabilites versus 3G, which is the most popular. In my opinion, after having used cell phones for 8 years, Network has to do with where you live more than the fact that phones are made with poor reception quality, which is a thing of the past. So I did not find any issues in this department. Now I have advanced GPRS with my Vodafone connection and browsing pages was reasonable. If someone has a problem, I think he doesnt know which devices should be used for high-speed browsing. Also, a regular Internet user knows sites with pictures and heavy content (like YouTube) will take time to render on the screen. Actually, I found YouTube rendering pages pretty well. The iPhone also supports Wi-Fi and surfing should be a lot faster using this connection.
6. Battery Life is again depending on the Usage, my Talk Time usage is not worth mentioning, although one of the things I was very particular about, was to use this device as much as possible for its iPod capabilities so I'm going to be using it to watch movies and listen to music more than anything else. So why didnt I go for the iPod or iTouch? Would you mind if a supermodel was also your wife? Exactly, thats what I thought :) Talk about Multi-Utility. The Video and Music playback time is 7 and 24 Hours respectively. So much for Part I, will continue in Part II.

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