I generally find the orgasmic rhetoric with which many gadget reviewers describe their gadgets ridiculous, but I’ve recently had one of those experiences of my own.
A couple of years ago, I ditched my BlackBerry for an iPhone (3GS).
One of my concerns about switching to an iPhone was that I would smash it: Every week, it seemed, my BlackBerry would go clattering down some stairs or “donk” on a desk or sidewalk or subway platform. The BlackBerry (Curve) handled such trauma with ease, but the iPhone was an aesthete device that would cost me $600 to replace.
So I bought a case for the iPhone. And because I figured I would instantly scratch the magic glass on the screen, I also bought one of those rubbery-plastic-cellophane things that you stick on top of the glass to protect it.
And the case, at least, was a smart decision.
As expected, over the past two and a half years, I’ve dropped the iPhone dozens of times, and the only thing scratched and beat to hell is the case. In fact, relative to the BlackBerry, the iPhone has an extraordinary ability to keep right on doing whatever it was doing before I drop it. No matter how hard it hits, no matter how many somersaults it does, no how it lands, it’s usually still booted and unfrozen when I pick it up again.
And for more than two years, the cellophane-like glass protector also seemed like a smart decision–because it, too, got beaten and scratched and smeared to hell all the time.
But eventually the cellophane-type thing got so scratched and bubbly and peely that I could barely see through it anymore. I figured that removing it would lead to the glass itself instantly getting smashed or scratched, but I also figured that this would just make me finally go wait in line for a 4S, which I had been meaning to do for months.
So, one day, I peeled the protection off and kicked off a new phase of my relationship with my iPhone:
And it has been AWESOME.
No scratches. No cracks. Just beautifully polished and clear glass whenever I shine it up.
The icons and visuals on the screen are now gorgeously clear and easy to read, now that I’m finally looking at them without a protective sheath.
And, best of all, that glass just FEELS awesome when I stroke multi-touch it.
Silky-smooth doesn’t even begin to describe it.
So I now have even greater appreciation for the design genius of Apple and the freaky obsessiveness of Steve Jobs–especially after hearing the story about how, 6 weeks before the iPhone launched, Steve exploded in rage about the scratches that had appeared on his plastic-screen prototype and demanded that the whole production chain be re-engineered to switch to glass.
And, forevermore, I’m going to be having an unprotected relationship with my iPhone.