Engadget has posted what I would consider to be the most comprehensive and balanced review of the iPhone I have seen on the web so far (and believe me, I've read lots of them during the last week). If you have any interest in the iPhone at all, you owe it to yourself to go through this three-part piece that examines just about every aspect of the device's design and functionality.

I, myself, visited the local Apple store this weekend, where I had a chance to briefly play around with an iPhone demo unit. I was going to publish a rather detailed post with my thoughts, but now there isn't really much I can add here that isn't already in the aforementioned review; in fact, I found myself agreeing with almost everything in there.

What I will say is that I think the device met the expectations that I had for it going in. For better or for worse, I've always been more of a functionality-over-form kind of person, so while I really do believe that the iPhone is a beautiful piece of engineering with the slickest UI I've seen on a mobile device yet, I simply can't ignore all the shortcomings like many others can. I could live with a software keyboard if I had to, and I could give up 3G for a slower EDGE connection too, but there's still so much missing from the iPhone that we have come to take for granted on our Symbian, Windows Mobile and Blackberry smartphones.

If I had to sum up my thoughts in one sentence, I'd say the iPhone is a fantastic iPod, a great mobile browsing unit, a decent phone, and a rather poor productivity device, but one that brings them all together in a refreshingly appealing way.

What do you think?

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