All Things iPhone: What’s Outside
Body: As is apparent from photos, the design is inspired as much by Danger’s Sidekick 3 on its front - a black slate with polished and anodized metal accents - as by a Motorola Q in back (metal). Despite the fact that it packs an incredible amount of cutting edge technology, it felt cool to the touch, comfortable in hand, and roughly the same as a 30GB fifth-generation iPod (see Measurements, below). It’s obviously a product developed to appeal to the smartphone user niche, rather than the cell phone mass-market, which traditionally has demanded iPod mini- or nano-styled candybar or flip phones.
Compatibility: Works with any Mac or PC capable of running the version of iTunes Apple releases in June.
Dock Connector: Like every iPod since the third-generation model except for iPod shuffles, iPhone has a 30-pin Dock Connector on its bottom, and is capable of physically connecting to most iPod accessories released over the past several years. When in iPod mode, iPhone is supposed to work as an iPod with many iPod-compatible docks, speakers, chargers, and other audio devices, except those that are physically too small to accommodate its larger-than-iPod body. However, it will not work in phone mode with past docking accessories, apparently because of “TDMA sounds,” the high-pitched beeps you hear in (most) speakers when a cell phone is making a call or receiving data. New accessories with better shielding - and Apple authentication chips - will be needed. It does not appear that iPhone works with iPod-specific video devices.
Headphone Port: iPhone’s headphone port is, surprisingly, not physically compatible with the vast majority of headphones released for the iPod and other digital media players. It is recessed several millimeters below the top surface, and though it uses a similar 3.5mm connector to the ones found on current headphones, the connector must be housed in a narrow casing that doesn’t prevent the connector from sinking deep into iPhone’s top. iPhone-specific headphones include three connector surfaces that separate left and right channel output from microphone input, versus the standard two bands (audio output only) of most headphones. iPod-to-iPhone Headphone Adapters will be available from multiple companies.
Home Button: Pressing iPhone’s Home button will bring you back to the main menu. It’s like a more powerful version of the iPod’s Menu button. Holding down the Home Button and the Sleep/Wake Button together at the same time for a number of seconds performs a hard reset on iPhone, bringing it back to an Apple logo screen. And holding the Home Button alone for a number of seconds quits the current application, if it’s stuck.
Measurements: The iPhone is a little taller than a fifth-generation 30GB iPod, but otherwise very similar in size and weight. While the 30GB iPod measures 4.1” by 2.4” by 0.43”, and weighs 4.8 ounces, the iPhone measures 4.5” by 2.4” by 0.46”, weighing the same 4.8 ounces. It’s lighter and thinner than 60GB and 80GB fifth-generation iPods, and feels sleeker thanks to the shape of its edges.
Microphone: iPhone has one microphone, located not inside the bottom-of-screen Home button as one might guess from pictures, but instead on iPhone’s bottom surface, alongside the Dock Connector port, and near the unit’s second speaker. At the moment, the microphone’s only known use is for phone calls, but it is possible that it will also be capable of recording voice memos.
Screen: Overall, the iPhone’s screen quality is very, very impressive; everything looks very, very crisp. That’s partially because Apple has picked a 3.5” diagonal, 320x480 display - twice the resolution of the fifth-generation iPod, at 1” larger size - with an effective PPI (pixels per inch) rating of 160 PPI. In our brief hands-on test, the screen was bright, capable of ambient light level adjustment, and evenly lit from edge to edge - except for its very top, where the lighting was a little uneven.
A counter-clockwise rotation - available only during certain applications, such as photo or video playback - shifts the screen from portrait mode into landscape mode. Proximity sensor turns it off during a call. Smudges do show up on the screen - you can see them on camera during Steve Jobs’ keynote speech - but the screen is more mark-resistant than the iPod’s, and easy to clean. On June 18, 2007, Apple announced that it had replaced the screen’s original plastic cover with a new optically superior and more scratch-resistant glass surface. This surface covers the iPhone’s entire face.
Sensors: iPhone includes three unique sensors to detect Promixity, Orientation, and Light. Using the proximity sensor, located above the ear speaker, iPhone knows when it’s near your face so it can deactivate its on-screen controls. The proximity sensor detects whether iPhone’s mounted vertically or horizontally so it can tilt videos, photos, or the iPod music interface to match the way the screen’s being held. The light sensor automatically senses the ambient light level and adjusts for the room’s lighting.
Side Controls: iPhone’s left side has a button that shifts from silent to ringer-on mode, and a two-ended button that toggles volume up and down. This button can be used to change iPhone’s phone or iPod volume even when its touch screen has been disabled.
SIM Card Tray: Found on iPhone’s top center, the SIM Card Tray is flush with the unit’s top surface, and designed to hold an AT&T card encoded with your personal information. A pin-sized dot on the Tray can be depressed to make it pop out from iPhone’s top surface, revealing your card.
Sleep/Wake (Power) Button: Found on the unit’s top right, next to the SIM card tray, the “Sleep/Wake Button” turns off the iPhone’s screen and disables its touch controls. While the phone can still receive calls, play music, and see its volume adjusted via the side volume buttons, the screen goes completely dark and is no longer touch-sensitive. The same button is held down for several seconds to turn iPhone’s power completely off, and a slider appears on screen to confirm that you want to do so.
Speakers: iPhone has two speakers. One is right above the screen in a narrow slit, and optimized for close-distance cell phone use. The second is used for both iPod audio playback and speakerphone mode, and built into its bottom surface, next to the Dock Connector port. We tried to turn the second speaker up close to its peak volume level, and found that it sounded quite good, and clear by speakerphone standards.
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