The iPhone appears in Berlin!
Yesterday I finally got my grubby mitts on an iPhone. There is ONE ‘official’ iPhone in Berlin, and its being held under tight control at Gravis, which is a extremely large Apple-focused store in Charlottenburg (West Berlin). Anyway, when I got there, they had a display cabinet with the iPhone box, headphones, and dock inside it. But no iPhone. I spoke to one of the guys there that I know, and he went off to see where the iPhone was….but he came back empty-handed, and had no idea who had it. Eventually it showed up (another ‘Blackshirt’ had scuttled off with it, and had gone into ‘hiding’). The battery was dead though, so it had to be charged for about 30mins. After that, my friend who works there handed me the iphone. It was activated, but I noticed that there was no GSM signal/carrier logo (turns out that it had to be activated with some of the hacking tools floating around the net). The screen…..ahhh…..the screen is beautiful, the most vivid display I have ever seen on a mobile device. It was sharp as a pin, and it renders the onscreen fonts perfectly. Obviously the limited time with the phone I could only spend about 5mins with each program , so I tried to set to it as quickly as possible. Heres a very brief summary of the iPhone:
Hardware: gorgeous. simply put, this is a solid little tablet of fine design, clean lines, and it has a very high-quality feel.
Mail: I wanted to use the keyboard as soon as I got the phone, so I opened mail, which is instant. The keyboard (in portrait mode) is actually a bit easier than I anticipated. I tried to type as I would with my E61, but I soon hit a wall of mistakes. Second attempt I tried it a bit slower…looser even, and then it became more fluid. It works.
Safari: We had a wifi connection, and so what can I say? it works exactly like the demo videos, and switches instantly between portrait and landscape mode. The pinch-and-zoom for viewing is a godsend on this kind of device. It makes the Safari browser on my E61 seem clumsy and slow to move around.
iPod: yup. coverflow is the best thing ever. on this type of device it makes total sense. people around me (which had formed quite a little crowd) were cooing and aahing when I was flicking the album covers. For a moment I felt like Jobs at a keynote. Weird.
YouTube: just viewed one video to see how responsive it is over wifi. yes…..it was again just like the demo vids.
Calendar: WOW. beautiful. best looking calendar I have seen on a mobile device. pleasure to use.
Camera: I am not the best person to talk about cameraphones, as I own an E61 (no camera) and so have little comparative knowledge. But…it works fine, looks good, and having a massive LCD screen as the viewfinder is great.
The rest of the apps (weather, stocks, notes etc) all look and function exactly like the demos. All worked perfectly.
This is going to be a hit in Europe. No doubt about it. It really does make other phones look antiquated (in terms of design and implementation). I will be getting one when it officially is launched here. And from the sound of what the guys at Gravis told me, so will many others…..