The Official iPhone Review

Here's the thing about my new iPhone. If you don't have an iPhone, and don't feel like spending $500-600 dollars to get one, you can think up various excuses for yourself, you can think up a whole bunch of them. One should distinguish, however, between inadequacies in the sense that "I wish they'd done X" and a situation where the iPhone is actually worse than some alternative. On this latter score there's only one genuine problem -- the EDGE network is inferior to Verizon's mobile broadband and if you were a really heavy user of Verizon mobile web functions (I don't know anyone who fits this description, but such people must exist) you'd find yourself frustrated with EDGE.

Other than that, it's clearly the best gadget thingy ever made. The reviews that say it's hard to type on the touchscreen pad are misleading. Those reviews were written by guys who review gadgets all the time and are very accustomed to typing on Blackberries and the like. To my fingers, the iPhone is tricky to type on, but no trickier than I find the Blackberry keypad. The difference is that people who've been using a Blackberry for a while have already honed their Blackberry skills but have no iPhone skills. I'm already about three times as good at iPhone typing as I was when I took the thing out of the box and have no doubt that I'll continue to improve.

That said, this is obviously a situation where if you wait 12 months a new iPhone will be available that's going to be better than the one in my pocket, and probably have the same price in nominal terms. If you already own an iPod and you already own a smart phone, there's nothing that awesome about the iPhone that should override one's basic prudential wariness of first generation devices. Unless, that is, you just want to own the best phone available. My iPod was stolen about six weeks ago, and I was using a Verizon Razr, so in those circumstances buying it was a no-brainer. Footnotes below the fold.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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