Near-simultaneously released with Walt Mossberg’s review, The New York Times has published a review by David Pogue of Apple’s iPhone, offering a mix of strong praise for the phone’s multimedia features and interface, and blistering criticism for its AT&T-provided data services and keyboard.
Pogue’s review describes the phone’s size and software as sleek and beautiful, noting that its screen “doesn’t scratch easily” and didn’t have a mark on the body after two weeks of unprotected use. However, he noted that the screen’s glass gets “smudgy,” and noted slightly-lower-than-Apple battery run times of 5 hours of video, 23 hours of audio. Video quality was described as “spectacular” on the 3.5” “very-high-resolution screen.” Pogue loved the web browser, e-mail, and iPod features, but said that call quality was “only average,” depending on the strength of AT&T’s signal, and requiring too many steps to initiate from a locked phone situation. For these reasons and others, he said that “the iPhone is amazing,” but “no, it’s not perfect.”
In addition to complaints about the keyboard, which is “not the iPhone’s strong suit,” and the AT&T network, which was described as poor in both rankings and real-world testing, Pogue decried the lack of a memory card slot, chat program, voice dialing, third-party applications, Java, Flash, video capture, MMS, or a user-replaceable battery. He said that the EDGE network is “excruciatingly slow,” with multi-minute load times for common pages such as Amazon.com and Yahoo. “You almost ache for a dial-up modem.” It also noted “a couple of tiny bugs and one freeze,” but said that software updates, and “a future iPhone model” that “will be able to exploit AT&T’s newer, much faster data network,” will remedy some of these issues.