iPhone Review: Hardware and Appearance

One word to best describe Apple's new long awaited and highly praised iPhone in sleek. Overall, the iPhone is sleek in appearance and its interface's ability to seamlessly shift paradigms.

Perfectly sized to fit in your hand, the iPhone has a slim profile and a durable surface. In fact, the touch screen can actually stand up to repeated key scratches and drops without a scratch or any mars on its surface - face or back. It minimalist appearance also crates a modern clean feel to the gadget.

The external button layout is common-sense and they are easy to find. The volume control clearly identifiable by touch. Of note with respect to the external buttons is the on-off ringer switch, which lets you turn on or off the ringer of the phone without interacting with the screen. Handy feature indeed. Be aware that this does not affect the music function, so even with the ringer turned off, music will come out of the speakers if no earphones are attached. All of the buttons have a definite "clicky" feel to them, which gives the user a nice tactile experience.

The sensors of the iPhone are one of it's best qualities, and there are three all together - orientation, light, and proximity. These help the phone interact with the user and the world at large in a meaningful way. The light sensor is great for saving power, and the orientation sensor provides the user with the option of portrait or landscape orientation of the monitor, depending on the situation. But the most useful sensor is the proximity sensor, which shuts off the monitor when the phone comes within 3/4 inches on the user. This means that you can pout the phone up to your ear without worrying about accidentally interacting with the screen while on the phone. As soon as the phone pulls away from your body about an inch, the screen goes back on.

On the display, everything is clear and readable; one of the most attractive displays on a portable device with a 160ppi resolution and an extremely bright 3.5-inch display that runs at 480 x 320. Beware fingerprints on the screen though, since the iPhone is definitely a fingerprint magnet. But due to the durability of it's face, you shouldn't be afraid to wipe it off with anything that's around - including your jeans.

One problem with the iPhone hardware mentioned a lot has to be its incompatibility with any headphone not by Apple. The headphone dock is too deep to fit most headphones, which will upset users who are anxious to try out their expensive headphones while listening to the iPod function of the phone.

Also of note is the iPhone's charging dock. It is very sturdy and sleek like other Apple charging docks, however it holds the iPhone at a bit of an awkward position: at about 80 degrees, the iPhone, when in dock, is angled a little to far upright to make interacting with it on the dock a comfortable experience. It's actually rather awkward.

The power retention on the iPhone is very impressive, however, lasting up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of internet use, 7 hours of vido playback, 24 hours of audio playback, and 250 hours of standby time. Perfect for travel, this should let you download and watch a feature-legnth move, while taking a call or two in the process. The iPhone also quick changes from 0% - 90% in just under two hours. If you want a full charge though you will have to wait up to 4 hours for the last 10%.

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