iPhone reviews go mainstream (updated)

Today must have been the day that a bunch of iPhone Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) expired because a couple of tech writers are out with their reviews.First up is the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg with Testing Out the iPhone where he says:We have been testing the iPhone for two weeks, in multiple usage scenarios, in cities across the country.

Today must have been the day that a bunch of iPhone Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) expired because a couple of tech writers are out with their reviews.

First up is the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg with Testing Out the iPhone where he says:

We have been testing the iPhone for two weeks, in multiple usage scenarios, in cities across the country. Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions.

The Apple phone combines intelligent voice calling, and a full-blown iPod, with a beautiful new interface for music and video playback. It offers the best Web browser we have seen on a smart phone, and robust email software. And it synchronizes easily and well with both Windows and Macintosh computers using Apple's iTunes software.

Next out of the gate is the New York Times' David Pogue with The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype where he states:

The phone is so sleek and thin, it makes Treos and BlackBerrys look obese. The glass gets smudgy—a sleeve wipes it clean—but it doesn’t scratch easily. I’ve walked around with an iPhone in my pocket for two weeks, naked and unprotected (the iPhone, that is, not me), and there’s not a mark on it.

But the bigger achievement is the software. It’s fast, beautiful, menu-free, and dead simple to operate. You can’t get lost, because the solitary physical button below the screen always opens the Home page, arrayed with icons for the iPhone’s 16 functions.

Update: more reviews have been posted:

Newsweek's Steven Levy weighs in with At Last, the iPhone:

...the bottom line is that the iPhone is a significant leap. It’s a superbly engineered, cleverly designed and imaginatively implemented approach to a problem that no one has cracked to date: merging a phone handset, an Internet navigator and a media player in a package where every component shines, and the features are welcoming rather than foreboding.  The iPhone is the rare convergence device where things actually converge.

USA TODAY's Ed Baig goes on the record with Apple's iPhone isn't perfect, but it's worthy of the hype:

The mania over Apple's iPhone launch has created stratospheric expectations that are near impossible to live up to. Yet with a few exceptions, this expensive, glitzy wunderkind is indeed worth lusting after.

That's saying a lot. After months of hype, Apple has delivered a prodigy — a slender fashion phone, a slick iPod and an Internet experience unlike any before it on a mobile handset.

It's pretty obvious from the reviews who Apple's PR department has blessed as acceptable safe journalists.

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