Call quality was good for the most part, but it wasn't dependable. Though voices sounded natural, the volume was often too low, and the microphone has a sensitive sweet spot. When we moved the phone away from our ears ever so slightly, the volume diminished noticeably and we had to move the phone back to just the right place to hear clearly. The volume wasn't so bad that we weren't able to hear a friend who was in a crowded bar, but it could be better. The speakerphone was also too quiet, though conversations weren't too muffled.
CNET.com users have also reported volume problems, and a few people we called said they heard a slight background hiss. We didn't hear the hiss on our end, but more than one of our friends said they noticed it. Automated calling systems were able to understand us, but only if we were in a quiet room.
Our first test with the Safari browser was over CNET's internal Wi-Fi network. Web pages loaded in 5 to 10 seconds, though sites with heavy graphics took longer. It was a smooth experience overall, though it not quite as zippy as we had hoped. We thought that could be due to CNET's network, but it seemed to be more or less the standard.
Pages took about the same time to load on a home network and just a couple seconds longer in a café. When not using Wi-Fi, you're stuck with AT&T's EDGE network, which is just too slow to render the lovely Safari interface enjoyably. With speeds in the 50-to-90Kbps range, it reminded us of a dial-up browser. In other words, it's pretty intolerable. We can only hope Apple adds 3G soon.
The Apple iPhone has a rated battery life of 8 hours talk time, 24 hours of music playback, 7 hours of video playback, and 6 hours on Internet use. The promised standby time is 10.4 days. When we tested the iPhone with the Wi-Fi function turned off, we got about 7 hours, 20 minutes of talk time. When we tested it with the Wi-Fi activated, we came away with 4 hours less. Video time, however, clocked in at an impressive 7.5 hours.
We'll report additional test results as we get them. Just keep in mind that it's rare you'll be using just one feature for hours on end. As such, your battery life will vary widely as you switch between functions. Large colour screens such as the one on the iPhone tend to be battery drainers, so you'll most likely need to charge your handset every couple of days. According to the FCC, the iPhone has a digital SAR rating of 0.974 watts per kilogram.
Edited by Lindsey Turrentine
Additional editing by Nick Hide