Well, I picked up my new DSi [black--the blue was a tad the wrong shade for me], and after playing with for a day, I think it’s an upgrade over the DS Lite. The larger screens are definitely a plus for me, and some features are much better than I expected.
For example, even though you cannot crop images, you can apply several filters that transform the image, including erasing and creating picture frames from images. A few of the filters, such as merge, require very good pictures of faces from the front. When I took a picture of my son at 85% profile, I got an error message saying that the portrait couldn’t be recognized. [It also doesn't take much to blur a photo, as the camera seems very sensitive to the slightest movement.] Still, the photo editing is better than I expected. The sound editing is not quite as useful, but it’s fun, at least for a while, as my son and I took his recording from Darth Vader baritones to chipmonk highs.
The interface is also very simple and usable, which is not surprising given that it’s adapted from the Wii Menu. I like that I can somewhat personalize the interface with pictures appearing in the top screen. The DSi Shop is also very clean: although I didn’t use any of my 1000 free points, I downloaded the Opera Browser, which took a while, not unlike the early days of the Wii Shopping Channel. Again, Nintendo leveraged the Wii Shopping Channel for the DSi Shop. [I liked the default categorization of titles by prices--free, 200, 500, and 1000 points. Sometimes, you shop for what you can afford, not to mention, who doesn't like free stuff?]
As for the web browser, I’m actually impressed: it’s faster than the Opera browser that was available for the DS Lite and faster than the homebrew browsers, not to mention that it supports forms better. In fact, using the touch keyboard [which is much faster and easier to use than on the Wii], I drafted most of this post from the DSi. I’m not going to do major surfing on the web with it, but it’s nice to have as an option, for trips or even around the house.
The DSi feels overall more compact and well made. My only nit is the SD slot–the cover opens and bends back for inserting and removing the SD card, something I can see cracking or breaking. I certainly love the matte finish.
If it weren’t for the homebrew issue, I’d upgarde our other DS Lite for the DSi. The camera and recording is fun for the kids, and I can see DSware having a bit to offer in the coming months. So, all in all, this is not a purchase/upgrade that I regret.