If I dare be contrary, the iPhone was judged as revolutionary because it was the first consumer device with a direct manipulation interface metaphor and because Apple cut sweetheart deals with the networks so that people who bought the iPhone got unlimited data where it generally wasn't available to anyone else for similar monthly rates.
So the difference was not technology but friendliness to the consumer — both in the interface and in the bill that came at the end of the month.
As I recall, quite a few mainstream reports correctly cited the original device's flaws: a slow network connection, no ability to install apps, a single day of battery life, no Exchange support, etc.
The media's willingness to report on the iPhone is also a good thing for everyone because it keeps Google on its toes and we're a free market economy. It's also nothing like an anomaly; if you compare the amount of press the iPhone gets to its installation base then compare the amount of press Windows Phone gets to its installation base you'll see that Apple's device is not the outlier.