iPhone: The Unclutterer review

070708-iphoneYes, folks, I dutifully stood in line for a couple hours and got my hands on a hot new iPhone. After a week with it, it’s time I told you how it fares in the uncluttering department.

The good news is that it lives up to the hype. It is a stunning device that is easily the best mobile phone I have ever used. The call quality is great, the interface is amazing, and the big bright screen is gorgeous. The bad news is that it really isn’t going to do much to relieve clutter, at least not totally. Because it’s a phone, a camera, an iPod, and an internet communicator, you’d think you could consolidate all of your devices. But as good as it is, it’s not going to replace a proper digital camera, a laptop, or even an iPod.

If you’re going on a road trip, for example, you’re going to want a better camera to document your journey than the iPhone’s 2 megapixel offering. If you plan to play hours of tunes over the car’s stereo, the iPhone might also not be the best choice. Although it has terrific battery life, you probably want to save that for actually placing calls and viewing maps. And if you want to take your whole music collection with you so you have options, you’ll still need a high-capacity iPod.

That said, the iPhone will reduce mobile clutter. I would often walk out of the house with a bag just because I wanted to have with me a camera for spontaneous pics, and iPod for a few podcasts, a laptop for email, and a cell phone. Now I just drop the iPhone into my pocket and I’m set. For daily urban jaunts it’s all you’ll need.

If you have any questions you’d like me to answer about the iPhone, just drop them in the comments. Any one else get an iPhone?

18 Comments for “iPhone: The Unclutterer review”

  1. posted by Robin on

    How is the email interface? I really am hesitant to give up my handy full keyboard (albeit mini) despite being a dedicated mac user…

  2. posted by Ab y on

    I am a fellow iConvert, and I’m loving it. To address the question about email above, I had never texted in my life and this thing came pretty natural for me. Plus the auto correct is pretty amazing.

  3. posted by Lemonade Stand on

    I got an iPhone amidst the June 29 consumer frenzy (quite an experience)… and as for it’s uncluttering advantages, I’ll boast of it’s sync capabilities. I absolutely LOVE that I am able to sync with my Address Book, Mail, etc on my Mac. All my contacts are now with me, wherever I go. No more paper addy notes floating around. And in the past week, I’ve gotten to be quite skilled at the iPhone’s intelligent keyboard. But I do agree, it won’t replace all my other devices. But it sure beats the antiquated cell phone I had!

  4. posted by Jack Cheng on

    Personally, for everyday use it replaces both my iPod shuffle and my digital camera (a point-and-shoot I bought because the dSLR I had before was too bulky to carry around for spontaneous-capture purposes).

    Now I’m thinking of going back to a DSLR, and I’ll probably keep the shuffle for the gym. In the end, it’s the same number of devices, but my pockets are a lot lighter 🙂

  5. posted by LeslieT on

    I love my iPhone. (And I did NOT wait in line, by the way, just showed up around 11pm and bought one with no waiting.) Your assessment is about right. I also think it will mean that when I travel, I will not have to lug my laptop with me just to read email and check the web.

    Mail is a bit lacking right now. Currently there is no filtering or smart folders. And if you have a POP account you can’t create manual folders (you can have folders on IMAP accounts). And there is no delete all for mail. So keeping your inbox cleaned out can be rather tedious. I hope this is something they will be fixing in an early software update.

  6. posted by Brian on

    My iPhone is allowing me to reduce four units of beltware (camera, personal cellphone (basic Nokia), work phone (Verizon Q) and iPod), to 1+1 (the iPhone and, occasionally, my Lumix camera). That alone makes it worthwhile.

    I’m addicted, in spite of being a skeptic from the beginning. Some aspects (mail, text messaging) are noticeably 1.0, but that’s to be expected. On the whole, I’m very pleased.

  7. posted by Andamom on

    I went out an tried the iPhone the day after it came out. Then, I blogged about it because I wasn’t sure that I should pay for it (http://andamom.com/?p=96). Right now, I am happy that I didn’t splurge and get one on the spot. My current Windows phone already has Internet access, a phone, and a camera/video — so “upgrading” wouldn’t get me much further along. That said, I think it might be really neat once the modifiers figure out how to get Linux and a variety of useful apps onto it… Or Apple figures out copy/paste.

  8. posted by Tom on

    First of all, congratulations on your new device. I’m from Europe, still waiting for a release over here.
    Would you say that the internet browser totally replaces a notebook for mobile surfing like emails, instant messaging (try meeboo.com), and news surfing?


  9. posted by Arjun Muralidharan on

    If you had a car charger, it would suffice as an iPod in the car. I really want one, but I’ll have to wait until 2008 here in Europe, and until I have the necessary cash.

  10. posted by Alan Thomas on

    For $2500 over two years, there are better ways to unclutter. Plus it doesn’t have GPS like the Blackberry 8800, making that phone a better device for road trips (with Google Maps!).

  11. posted by -n- on

    Yes, but is is really worth $600?? It’s just one more contraption to plug into that “charger station” imho. I also think it just goes to show that folks will pay any amount for anything that starts with an “i” ;).

  12. posted by Cyrano on

    It’s a neat phone, but I’m going to stick with my Windows Mobile device. The crippled bluetooth is a dealbreaker for me, since I assist my uncluttering by trying to ditch as many cables as possible, plus my Bluetooth GPS receiver is key. On the same line, I need a faster internet stream because I download maps and overhead satellite pics in realtime, so I need Verizon’s EVDO – I also watch TV through a Slingbox, and iPhone support on that is shakey (plus it has pretty high bandwidth demands).

    All in all, I like the interface and the fact that you can watch youtube on the iPhone, but I still want/need real bluetooth support, my Slingbox, and I also prefer my textile feedback keyboard.

    Hoping V2.0 offers this and more!

  13. posted by John on

    I have had the iPhone for a week, I didn’t wait in line.
    I have found that when I am on a computer, browsing the web, I want to double click to zoom in on something on the web page.
    (I do know how to zoom in on web pages)
    I love the iPhone. I carry one device instead of three.

  14. posted by Maxernst on

    the big question i have for those who have it: did you have to buy a monthly service to activate the wifi? or, can you use the wifi feature w/o AT&T? thx.

  15. posted by Haggie on

    Before you purchase the latest hipster garbage, you probably should have read the contract from AT&T. If you are willing to accept these terms from your cell phone provider, you deserve to be overcharged…


  16. posted by Julian Schrader on

    I’ll get one ASAP, but I have to wait until they sell it here in Germany… 🙁

  17. posted by Jerry Brito on

    @Robin- The email interface is great. The only drawback is no spam filtering. But if you have a Google or Yahoo mail account that gets done on the server side, so it’s no problem. The keyboard works like a charm. Whether it should be this way or not, the fact is that if you “trust the keyboard,” it works. By this I mean that you peck away at a fast clip while you see that you’re hitting some wrong letters. Don’t stop. Keep forging ahead and when you look up at what you wrote, it’s all perfectly written.

    @Andamom- I think you’re missing the point of the iPhone entirely. It’s not about feature-by-feature comparison, it’s about the first mobile phone that actually works as advertised. Also, you want Linux on an iPhone?

    @Tom- Well, the browsing experience on the iPhone is the best of any mobile phone I’ve ever used. That said, it’s not a substitute for a real computer. You have to make a cost-benefit analysis depending on the task at hand. But for most day-to-day surfing, it works great.

    @John- I’ve had the same experience! I think others have too. Browsing the web on my laptop, I’ve actually flicked my MacBook’s trackpad expecting the web page to scroll up. I don’t think it would be too hard for someone to write a plugin to do that.

    @Maxernst- Basically you have to activate the phone before it will do anything at all. Now, if you just want to use all the other features besides phone, what I’ve heard people do is activate the phone using a prepaid AT&T account and then cancel the account. Once it’s activated the iPod, wi-fi, email, etc, works just fine. See here: http://arstechnica.com/journal.....-plans-101

    @Haggie- You really hurt my feelings. You’re basically calling me a dumb “hipster” for not thinking the same way you do about telephone contracts. Is that what you meant to do?

  18. posted by Meg on

    The Google maps are great. Driving directions are easier to use than my husband’s GPS. I drive a Prius and can charge the phone, listen to music and have bluetooth at the ready for phone calls while the iPhone is tucked away in the armrest console.

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