First impressions of the Apple iPhone

 [intro]I've managed to spend a couple of hours examining the iPhone. And, dear reader, I've fallen in love.[/intro]Somebody slap me, because I m

[intro]I've managed to spend a couple of hours examining the iPhone. And, dear reader, I've fallen in love.[/intro]

Somebody slap me, because I must be dreaming. I’ve been staring at what appears to be an artifact from the future, or at least prop from Minority Report, and trying to work out what magic makes this centimetre-thick slab work. Is this a cruel trick that Apple are playing on me?

The iPhone is, you see, without doubt the coolest thing in the universe. The display is so sharp it makes my eyes bleed. It’s like the Nokia N80 screen – except it’s  more than twice the size. And it’s touch sensitive. Not touch sensitive like a tablet PC – touch sensitive like the control deck of a 25th-century space freighter.

Like this: look at a map, then place two fingers on the display. Move the fingers apart and the map zooms in. Move them together, you zoom out again.Or this: view an entire web page on the screen in portrait mode. Double tap the part you’re interested in and it zooms in to a readable level. Turn the iPhone on its side and the sensor immediately flips the web page to landscape mode.

Suddenly, mobile web browsing is usable. In fact, it’s more interactive – and more fun -  than browsing on a big computer screen.And that’s just part of the appeal of the impossibly thin iPhone. The movie playback is crisper than the PSP. The music playback, with coverflow artwork, is more beautiful than the iPod. The email client is better than anything on a mobile device – and it comes with free push email – so the Blackberry is suddenly looking a lot less juicy.

Ok, I admit it - there are problems. You’ll pretty quickly fill the iPhone’s 4 or 8GB memory, the lack of 3G will make browsing a little slow outside of a wireless hotspot, and the bigger-than-iPod size is pocket-busting despite its slim profile. But the iPhone’s biggest problem is that I can’t buy one to use in the UK for almost a year.

So please, Apple: can you please develop a time machine that does more than backup my operating system? Or at least offer the chance for gadget addicts like me to be cryogenically frozen for 9 months? Because otherwise I’m taking this whole place down. I’m in love – and if I can’t have the iPhone, nobody can.

You can read my hands-on review here

You can watch my hands-on video here