The iPhone: Lots to Love, but Flaws Too

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Phone Call Quality

Dialing on the touch screen was easy enough for my small hand, though I'm not convinced I'd be able to successfully dial one-handed, without looking at the screen, as I can when I press tactile keys on an ordinary cell phone.

I found call quality mixed in my initial sample of calls. Most calls sounded good, with just an occasional hiss to remind me that I was on a cell (the recipients didn't hear the hiss, though, and reported I sounded clear).

I loved how the screen darkens while on a call, and the internal sensors reactivate it when I moved it from my head (no more accidentally activating hold with my cheek, as I routinely do with my Treo 680). I also loved the visual voicemail feature--what a pleasure to pick and choose which voicemails to listen to first (you either see the number, or the contact's name if he or she is entered in your address book) or to switch among voicemails with a click of the finger.

The speakerphone seemed inadequate, though. Even on maximum volume, my caller sounded faint, and she had difficulty hearing me clearly.


The 2-megapixel camera, for example, lacks any adjustments and has no zoom. Shutter lag is longer than with a dedicated digital camera--or even the better camera phones I've seen. Syncing nearly 258MB of images--that translates into 392 JPEG photos--took a little over five minutes.

Photos looked eye-popping on the bright, brilliant screen. Colors closely matched the originals, and I saw no issues with images being cropped to fit the screen. Most of the time, I felt the images were sharp and faithfully reproduced; occasionally, I felt my high-resolution image lost some clarity in the conversion to the iPhone's format.

-- Melissa J. Perenson

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