Thanks to Iurgi from FON, I received a link to Gizmodo where Jesús Diaz gives a good summary on how to unlock an iPhone from AT&T and use it in Spain. At the end of his post, Jesús explains:

[the iPhone] is the best telephone I have ever used, light years away from the Nokias, Sonys, Samsungs, and other junk. That is exactly what those telephones look like after trying the iPhone: junk.

So let me explain, Jesús, my experience with the iPhone. I was just as enthused when I started to use the iPhone, but within a month I had already gone back to the old combo of the Blackberry and a Nokia that I’ve been using for the past few years. I know that carrying around two phones, one of work and one for pleasure, sounds absurd, but I get around with the Blackberry 8800 and the Nokia N95. During the month I used the iPhone, I carried around all three phones, until my iPhone was stolen at a party in Mallorca.  I am sorry but could never get by on the iPhone alone. Actually, it got to the point where I only used my iPhone to look cool whereas I used the other phones to do things. When my iPhone was robbed, many of my commentators asked me why I was carrying it around with me if it didn’t even have service Spain. Well the iPhone did have roaming service from AT&T in Spain but the roaming fees were so high that I only carried it around to show it off and occasionally to see things as the iPhone´s forte is that it is the world´s best spectator phone, great to see what others did (Youtube button) extremely poor when you want to be the protagonist (does not allow you to shoot your own video).   In any case here´s a list of reasons as to why I am not replacing my iPhone.

  • Even though the method of writing text is much better on the iPhone than the N95 or most other telephones, it is still not nearly as good as the Blackberry’s key pad, and if you have to work, the Blackberry is your best tool.
  • The iPhone does not have GPS. I arrived at that infamous party in Mallorca where my iPhone was stolen by using my Blackberry’s GPS (the taxi driver didn’t even know the way). I have been a portable GPS device addict ever since they first came out. I always used to have a Garmins on me, and now both the N95 and Blackberry 8800 have GPS, and I use them a lot because I spend one third of each month traveling. Both the Blackberry and Nokia have been smart enough to build social features around GPS. This summer, for example, while sailing we’d know where to meet up with our friends by sending them our coordinates using the “send location” function.
  • The iPhone does not have filming capacity, an essential tool for a blogger like me. For me, the N95’s video camera is presently the best of any telephone on the market.
  • The iPhone’s camera is only 2 megapixels and photo quality is much worse than that of the Nokia N80 and N95, and the photos end up looking pretty crappy on Flickr.
  • The same aesthetics that make the iPhone so attractive also make it incredibly slippery and it can easily fall out of your pocket (I still don’t know if someone pick-pocketed me or if it fell out of my pocket onto the floor). Plus after only one month, it was already scratched and the iPhone is extremely difficult to use without scratching its screen. Sorry, but I am not the kind of person who is going to walk around using the iPhone cover as if it were a pair of glasses. The iPhone is like an iPod: who has an iPod that is not scratched? And in this case, the screen is what is most important about the iPhone and its best quality. It’s being scratched so easily is a horrible design defect.
  • The only videos you can see on the iPhone are those from YouTube, not the ones I have created and want to store its memory using a video player. The iPhone is great for Web 2.0 users who want to receive videos, but not for those who want to help build the Web 2.0.
  • Even though the iPhone is the best iPod out there in terms of functionality, it will not be replacing my 60 giga iPod anytime soon. I have 43 gigas of music that I listen to. I go biking and want to listen to whatever I feel like: Maroon 5, Ella Fitzgerald, Gorillaz, Fatboy Slim, Carlos Gardel, Johnny Cash, Caetano Veloso. In a two hour sprint, I like to alternate my music, and the iPhone with all of its functionalities is limited to only 4 or 8 gigas.
  • The iPhone does not have Chat, and I use Google Talk on both my Blackberry and Nokia. SMS is a rip off in general, so I prefer to Chat on my phones.
  • The iPhone does not have Gmail which I have integrated into my Blackberry and Nokia. From the iPhone Twitter is incredibly complicated. I have to go through Safari while with the Blackberry and Nokia, I can send messages directly to Twitter through Google Talk.
  • There is no search function. This sounds hard to believe, but the iPhone doesn’t let you search amongst your contacts except by going from letter to letter. It has a favorite contacts feature, but the quantity is fairly limited (I don’t remember exactly how much).
  • I can download applications to the Blackberry and Nokia, but can’t download them to the iPhone. One of my favorite applications for Nokia is Fring. With Fring, I can use Skype, IM, Google Talk, and can call for free from my Nokia when there is WiFi or if I have a fixed 3G plan.
  • Although it sounds unbelievable, iPhone does not have VOIP. This is ridiculous. The iPhone has sold out to AT&T to such an extent that it doesn’t allow you to put voice over WiFi as with the N95.
  • The iPhone does not have push email. You can only get your emails by asking for them periodically and not automatically.
  • And yes, Fon is WiFi and we love WiFi but let´s be frank, there´s not WiFi everywhere and when there isn´t my N95 has 3G while the iPhone only had 2G.

Disclosure: Last year I attended one meeting of Nokia’s Internet advisory board but believe me they did not brainwash me.  And secondly, I am a Mac user and one of the great things about the iPhone is how it syncs with the Mac.

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No Comments

Henrik Ahlen on August 28, 2007  · 

Great to see some realistic, negative reviews from an actual user. The iPhone hysteria has been a bit too much even for a hardcore early adopter and Mac fan like me. I
also use a Nokia N95, and although it also has its shortcomings I will carry on with it until iPhone 2.0 appears.
My absolute demands for switching to aniPhone is:
GPS (agree that it is totally addictive)
3G and HSDPA 7,2 Mbit data capability
Video and still camera on par with the N95
Not locked to an operator

I guess this will be sometime 2008, hopefully sooner than later.

3.0 rating

Javier Sinde on August 29, 2007  · 

Hi Martín,I think that you are the right, not everything what shines is gold, but I believe that steve jobs will give that to speak with his iphone for a long time.

3.0 rating

Lena Michel on August 29, 2007  · 

God, you are demanding!! I’m surprised “iPhone unable to raise Elvis from the dead” wasn’t also on your list of gripes. There are two sides to every story. I want to hear the thief´s side. I wonder if he/she is griping about the iPhone too. “Man, I went to all that trouble to steal this little wonder and it’s got no GPS, no VOIP, no search function and on top of everything, the screen is scratched!! ¡Joder!” 😀

3.0 rating

Ken Berger on August 29, 2007  · 


This is perhaps the best practical iphone critique I’ve seen yet.

I would add to your list 1 more MAJOR deal-breaker for me: the closed nature of the system whereby downloadable software isn’t supported (other than writing a browser app). Big limitation as to innovation potential and freedom.

–and no frickn cut or paste???


3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on August 29, 2007  · 


I told the thief that I give no refunds 😉

3.0 rating

feawco on August 31, 2007  · 

you give a lot of defects
why did you buy the iphone?!!!

3.0 rating

SuperTiti on September 1, 2007  · 

This a great review ! I almost share this point of vue.
I’m a little bit surprised that you scratched the screen ! I don’t own an iPhone but I saw live test for trying to scratch it. It seems hard to do…

Well, it would be also great if you could tell this to Apple, just there :


3.0 rating

Francois on September 2, 2007  · 

highly openmoko 😉

3.0 rating

Martin on September 3, 2007  · 

Lo mejor es dejar el movil en el coche una vez que ya has quedado. He perdido varios ya, en distintos estados y circunstancias en fiestas…
Asi que he aprendido la lección. Para no perder el movil y poder bailar sin molestias no lo lleveis encima!

No hace para ligar de todas maneras…

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on September 3, 2007  · 


To try it out!

3.0 rating

Wolfgang Busch on September 7, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,

sorry for the lost of your phone.
Just a hint for replacing the BB, did you try the Nokia E61i?
as a long year user of BB´s i changed to Nokia E61 series last year and still very happy as it has Wifi, 3G etc. and
its free to configure the IP connection.

(who gets E61i and N95 all the time with him 😉 N95 for Fun, E61i for work)

3.0 rating

Daniel Serra on January 10, 2008  · 

Leo tu post y pienso que el iTouch se inventó para gente como vos. Todo lo que tiene el iPhone sin el phone, incluyendo wi-fi. Para amantes de la blackberry que quieren tener el más cool de los iPods.

3.0 rating

erik tassmer on February 27, 2008  · 

you forgot to mention the complete lack of durability and support in that department

3.0 rating

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