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Why I don't use the phone in iPhone

Yeah, yeah, I love the iPhone. At the same time, I haven't exactly been shy about not using the iPhone as much of a phone. Today I googled across this post at PC Magazine called "Great i, Lousy Phone" that called me out on the issue, saying that I didn't seem to talk on my iPhone much. It's a fair cop and I haven't gone on the record yet except during the TUAW talkcast aftershows. So here are five six seven reasons why I don't actually use the iPhone for calls:

1. It's the wrong size. I have small hands. Side-to-side, the iPhone is just too wide compared to my Kyocera slider. I can easily hold the slider while doing other things--making dinner, *kof* driving *kof*, attending to children, and so forth. The iPhone has such a large form factor that it's just not physically possible to leave two or three fingers free for other tasks.

2. It's uncomfortable. This boils down to one phrase: face sweat. Holding that glass up to your cheek for any length of time is, well, ick.

3. It's not durable. My kids have dropped my slider a billion times. So have I. With the iPhone, gravity always wins.

4. It's expensive. Even after canceling my data plan, which I only miss on trips and at the doctor's office, it still costs me $29.99 for my pre-paid contract free 200 minutes per month. I pay under $20 to Qwest each month for 500 contract-free minutes. I keep the plan for business reasons, not so I or my family can chat. And while I miss EDGE, I don't miss it $20 a month -- I live in a big city and am usually near a wi-fi hotspot. In fact, my doctor (but not the pediatrician) just installed free wi-fi at the office.

5. The sound quality is dreadful. I have pretty good hearing despite a decade of small people shouting in my ears. And the iPhone just does not deliver enough sound boost to make a normal conversation, let alone one while waiting at the bus-stop, practical.

6. Inadequate speaker-phone. I can put my slider down on a table in speaker phone mode, and walk away while making dinner. Not only can I keep listening, but I can keep talking too. Its pick-up microphone is fabulous. The iPhone? Not so much.

7. Phone calls interrupt games. The whole point of having an iPhone is to enjoy it. I read mail, I surf the web, I play games. Using an iPhone for, well, phone calls takes me away from the actual practical utility of the thing.

So there you have it. Over half a dozen perfectly good (even if extremely personal) reasons why I don't particularly care for the phone in iPhone. I know my case isn't typical. People use their iPhones as phones all the time -- and love it. But for me, it's a portable pocket-computer that happens to make calls. I much prefer it to the iPod touch, with its microphone and speaker and overall better hardware, but I use it much the same way.

So what's your take on it? Is the iPhone the best phone ever made? Or do you just prefer to have the Internet in your pants? Let us know in the comments.

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