Yes, there's a lot of hype about the iPhone. Yes, it's a very expensive piece of equipment. But neither of those things really matter. The only thing that really matters is: How good is it?
Is there too much hype about the iPhone? Maybe. I'm having a good time with it, and, based on our traffic numbers, I can tell that most of you are too. I particularly enjoyed the two articles I wrote yesterday, about people getting paid to wait in line for an iPhone and about a group that claims it will, for a price, create a diversion that will allow iPhone buyers to cut to the front of the line. In my line of work, technology journalism, I seldom get to write about people faking seizures while dressed as bananas.
But that's just a sideshow, a diversion from the main act.
Likewise: Yes, it's a very expensive phone. But we can be sure that great numbers of people will be willing to pay the price -- if it's a good phone. Even greater numbers will buy an iPhone starting in six months, when the price comes down and follow-up models come out -- if it's a good phone.
That's what I'm looking to find out this weekend. I'll be on line tomorrow at 6 pm, with the rest of the hoi polloi, buying an iPhone, and I'll work all weekend putting it through its paces, and bringing you a review and image galleries.
Here's some of the things I'll be checking out:
How's it work as a basic cell phone, iPod, and video player? Are the calls, audio, and video player clear? How's the service? I won't be able to test it out all over the AT&T calling area, but I can at least drive around San Diego and check it out and compare the calling quality to my Treo. My aunts in Florida should like this part of the test; I've owed them calls for some time.
Is the software keyboard a problem? Lots of people seem to think the lack of a hardware keyboard is a big handicap.
Is the throughput on the EDGE network really as bad as they say? I have pretty low expectations about throughput for Web surfing on a cell phone, in my experience it's always agonizingly slow. And the fact that the iPhone can switch to Wi-Fi is a real plus.
What do you want to know about the iPhone? Anything you'd like me to test? Leave a message below and let me know, and I'll incorporate the best of your suggestions into my review.