That Was Then... Apple iPhone review

On June 29th 2007, Apple launched the iPhone in the U.S. and tore up the mobile phone rulebook at the same time. From this distance, it's obvious and unarguable: Apple’s first iPhone set the ongoing template for modern smartphones.

It didn't launch in Europe until November 2007, so our review appeared in our January 2008 issue. We really took to the iPhone - though our description of it as an 'MP3 phone' shows we (and everyone else, for that matter) - hadn't fully grasped just how versatile this thing would become. Apps just weren’t a thing then.

Of course, the original iPhone was a genius bit of design. At the time its operating system couldn’t be bettered, and it would be years before Android was considered a viable alternative.

That 3.5in screen seemed ample back in 2008, its resolution of 320 x480 pixels bettering anything we’d seen.

We praised the Apple’s sound quality – something of a strong point for the company’s phones ever since then. Downsides? We complained about the limited on-board storage of 8GB, and the battery life of just four hours.

3G had yet to make an appearance too, and picture messaging wasn’t on the menu either. Yet this was a truly revolutionary product and, as events have proved, the mass market recognised that in droves.

Fast-forward to today and the iPhone 7 is so much better in every way – it’s bigger, crisper, with a vastly better camera and still fabulous-sounding. There’s a clear link between the two products.

Apple’s iOS has remained remarkably similar and the operating logic is consistent.

The user experience continues to be cutting-edge as far as intuitiveness and slickness is concerned.

Sure, there are many more rivals now, and the Android pack is vastly more capable. Some Android smartphones have eclipsed Apple in some areas, particularly in headline specification and compatibility.

Yet in use the iPhone still has an aura of class that the others struggle to beat.


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Kob began his career at What Hi-Fi?, starting in the dusty stockroom before rising up the ranks to join the editorial and production team as the Buyer’s Guide editor. Experienced in both magazine and online publishing, he now runs the TV & audio section at Trusted Reviews where he keeps a beady eye on all the latest comings and goings in the hi-fi and home cinema market.