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More iPhone reviews coming in -- Newsweek & USA TODAY

Two more reviews of that loveable scamp of a cellphone are out on the Interwebs, and it's more more more of the same: Steven Levy of Newsweek and Ed Baig of USA TODAY are saying it's time to start believing the hype. Both writers, like Pogue and Mossberg, point out the iPhone's weak spots (EDGE, no one-touch or voice dialing, limited apps, no video capture) while furthering the basic premise: by and large, the iPhone experience lives up to the insane advance billing. Levy's long and thorough review states it plainly early on, as he reports on the reaction to his iPhone use during a visit to Pittsburgh, PA:

"[W]hen I showed the iPhone to people during that trip and in the days afterward-especially people under 25-the most common reaction was, "I have to have this," sometimes followed by a quick, if alarmingly reckless, consideration of what might need to be pawned in order to make the purchase.... And there it is: one of the most hyped consumer products ever comes pretty close to justifying the bombast."

Baig puts it this way: "[W]ith 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."

Interesting tidbits from both reviews: Levy got a call from Steve Jobs during his evaluation period, just to check on how he was doing (!), and he noted the new thinking behind Apple's buy-it-and-go-home iTunes activation plan. Baig's article includes a sidebar entitled "The Quest Begins" with the get-an-iPhone strategies of a few would-be buyers, and Baig encountered a feature I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else; when he finished watching A Bug's Life (it would have to be a Pixar film) on his iPhone, the device asked him if he wanted to clear the movie from memory to reclaim the space. Nice.

via Apple 2.0

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