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Tech's two big hitters -- the NYT's David Pogue and the WSJ's Walt Mossberg -- have out their reviews for the new iPhone 3G, and they're surprisingly so-so about Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) upgrade. To be released Friday, the iPhone 3G is supposed to drive massive upgrades and new unit sales, but in reading Pogue/Mossberg you get the distinct impression that it could be more of a fizzle than Apple investors are hoping for.

The gist:

  • Both like the improved 3G performance
  • The improved system software comes in for plaudits, but both point out that's available to both old and new iPhone users
  • Battery life is unimpressive in 3G mode, according to Mossberg, wiping out the iPhone battery by mid-afternoon. While 3G battery life issues are not unique to iPhone, Mossberg's battery comments are going to put some buyers on the fence.
  • Both Pogue and Mossberg point chidingly to the increased cost of the new AT&T contract, with 200 SMS messages now costing an extra $5/month, and the underlying data plan another $10 /month, which wipes out the lower $199 price of the the device

Full text below:

- For 'Phone the 'New' is Relative, David Pogue, NYT July 9, 2008

- Newer, Faster, Cheaper iPhone 3G: Wider Versatility but Hidden Costs, Walt Mossberg, July 9, 2008

Source: Apple's 3G iPhone: First Reviews Are So-So