The critical consensus? Buy the amazing device, if you can afford it. We gave scores out of ten -- in ten categories. The number was determined by the strength of a reviewer's language. "Beautiful" was worth 10 points; and "pokey" only 2, for instance. All four reviewers were fans, and the doyen of the group, Walt Mossberg, gave the highest total score, 81 across all ten categories, out of a maximum possible of 100. The average score for the iPhone? 76.75, brought down above all by the sluggishness of AT&T's data network. Here's the chart, full-scale.
OK, so I am going to take issue with Valleywag's reading of its own scorecard. So far the iPhone's grade is 76.75, or a high C if you wanna go all academic. Call me crazy, but I am not that excited about plunking down $500 for a C-grade product. Now, I admit, this grade is due mainly to the sluggishness of AT&T's EDGE network. Factoring out EDGE, the average looks to be around a high B or possibly even a low A. And for a new product, that's pretty good.
I cannot, however, dismiss the poor marks for AT&T's network as easily as Valleywag did. I am sorry, but the iPhone is a mobile device and if the mobile network it relies on is this bad, then the entire value proposition begins to evaporate. If anything proves to be a deal breaker for the iPhone, it could well be AT&T's EDGE network.
While I have not deviated from my desire to buy an iPhone, I now have to wonder if I can deal with EDGE data speeds.
What do you think? Is EDGE likely to be a deal breaker for you when it comes to the iPhone?