It’s time for your daily fix of iPhone updates!  The first reviews are in from The Wall Street Journal (Walt Mossberg), The New York Times (David Pogue), USA Today (Ed Baig), and Newsweek (Steven Levy), and overall I’d say the reviewers were pretty impressed and generally had nothing but good things to say about the phone. My biggest concern after reading the reviews however, is that they mentioned that AT&T’s Edge Internet service is slow. I’ll get more into that later, but first we’ll start with the areas where they were all in agreement.




Areas of Agreement :

Worth the hype?

Is the iPhone worth all of the hype that it’s been receiving lately? The general answer is absolutely! Pogue of the New York Times says, “most sophisticated, outlook-changing piece of electronics to come along in years,” while Baig of USA Today says “This expensive, glitzy wunkerkind is indeed worth lusting after.”

Design, Screen and User Interface

Good news! All four pointed out that it’s practical, but more importantly fun to use. And in a nutshell, it’s slim, sleek, and comfortable in the hand to use and touch.

Regarding the screen, many people including myself were wondering how the screen would stand-up to heavy use. I was thinking that users would end up using a screen-protector of sorts to keep it scratch-free, however that may not be needed. All four reviewers noted that the screen doesn’t scratch easily, and after weeks of use, it was nearly as good as new. Now, whether or not the phone will look “as good as new” a year from now we have yet to know.

Edge Internet/Wi-Fi

While they were all in agreement here, they’re not agreeing that the Internet is great. Instead, the resounding agreement was that it was slow. Not good!

  • Excruciatingly Slow (Pogue)
  • Pokey; far slower than Verizon or Sprint networks (Mossberg)
  • Pokey, compared with 3G data networks (Baig)
  • Feels like dial-up

The one thing that will help compensate with the slow Internet is the Wi-Fi access which Levy notes is partial compensation, and Baig says is iPhone’s savings grace for data. Mossberg says that it doesn’t fully make up for the lack of a fast cellular data, but Pogue says it is fast and satisfying.

I have a feeling that users will be quick to switch to a Wi-Fi network for data when one is available if the Edge Internet is as slow as all four said it was.

Areas of Disagreement :

Typing

I had already been hearing that the keyboard is difficult to use for typing, however it may be one of those things that just takes getting used to. The reviewers didn’t all agree here with Pogue saying it was frustrating, especially at first, and Mossberg saying it’s a non-issue because of smart software.

Apple has actually put together a video specifically for typing on the iPhone.  I must say, it does look like there is pretty amazing technology behind the keyboard. While they recommend getting started with just one finger, I don’t think it’ll be too difficult before you’re using both of your thumbs to quickly type emails and text messages (unfortunately, no instant messages).

Battery Life

Just a couple of weeks ago, Apple surprised everyone with battery life details for the iPhone saying that it will get 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback, and 24 hours audio playback. While those numbers are impressive, how did the reviewers rate battery life?

Well, three of them thought it was great with comments like “impressive,” “so far so good,” and “generally lasts the day.” Pogue however, said that it was not quite as impressive.

I think we’ll wait for the masses to give their opinions on this one, because I’m sure it will widely vary depending on what people are doing with their phones.

Overall

Overall, I’d say wait for the masses to give their opinions. While I think all four reviews had a lot of great insight in them, I tend to find the average-joe review to be more accurate, and I’m sure we’ll be reading plenty of those within the coming weeks. From the sounds of it, the iPhone will in fact live up to its hype and really change the cell phone industry.

Note: Gizmodo has a great iPhone Review Matrix for quick, easy referencing.