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September 13, 2008

iPhone 3G: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

After over two weeks of using the iPhone 3G, I can fairly say I have become familiar with this mobile device to share some insights on how it fares as a primary mobile phone.

First let me say that Apple has revolutionized the way we use our mobile phones. Before that, we are used to a lot of great phones that do a ton of tricks but often fail us when it’s time to connect to the net. In a way, I regard the iPhone 3G primarily as an internet device and media player that has the cute feature allowing you to make calls and send SMS.

That being said, if you are a heavy SMS user, then the iPhone is not for you. That’s because you will have to unlearn everything you know about text-typing all these years — and that is a hard thing to do for most phone users. So if you belong to that crowd, you can stop here and move on to the next page.

However, if you are open to trying out a new interface, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the intuitive touch screen of the iPhone.

The Killer Feature: iPhone App Store
With the new iPhone 2.0 software and the recent introduction of the iPhone App Store, extending the features of your iPhone 3G becomes almost limitless. Thousands of applications and games were developed and available for free or a fee (as low as $0.99 each). The wealth of games found in the iPhone via the App Store makes gaming on the mobile phone like the second coming of Snakes on the Nokia phone over a decade ago.

The Good

  • The real estate is in the screen and you get 3.5″ of that. The large and crisp display is what makes internet surfing and watching videos enjoyable on the iPhone.
  • The built-in Safari browser that allows zooming in and out of objects and webpages is a great feature that almost mimics the full browsing experience (minus Flash & Java apps).
  • Full-featured connectivity — WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth, 3G and GPS. You can’t ask for anything more.
  • Push and Fetch Data allows you to set the phone to receive email and other data from the server (MobileMe) as well as a fetch options (in intervals of 15 mins, 30 mins,hourly or manually) for other emails that do not support the Push function.
  • Ample storage for photos, videos and music the new iPhone 3G comes in 8GB and 16GB.
  • Synchronized email, contacts and calendar management. Works best with a MobileMe account.

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The Bad

  • It’s a battery hog. You can easily drain it up in a single day with all the music, video, WiFi and 3G use. My average is one and a half days so I charge it up almost every day. Always bring your chargers with you.
  • It’s close to impossible text-typing with a single hand. I think 90+% of all iPhone owners use both hands when text-typing. You need full concentration and all eyes to use it (unlike the regular phone keypads where people can type without even looking).
  • Does not support Flash and Java reliant websites and there are tons of websites that heavily use them.
  • Comes with a hefty price.

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The Ugly

  • Predictive text input is a nice feature. It’s available on almost all phones. Problem is, you can’t turn it off on the iPhone so if you’re texting in a different language, it will suck big time.
  • No built-in copy & paste function. Them Nokia phones have it, why not the iPhone?
  • Unlike what Steve Jobs said in his announcement, the iPhone 3G is not any thinner than the old iPhone. The curvy design of the back panel gives that illusion but it’s actually thicker.
  • The built-in speakers ain’t that loud enough and they’re placed at the bottom end of the iPhone. It works but it’s just regular speakers.
  • The 2MP camera takes decent pictures but there’s no flash or autofocus function. You can’t use this on low light.
  • In iPod mode, the iPhone makes it a little hard to navigate between songs as controls are done via touchscreen. That means you need to unlock the iPhone from sleep mode everytime you want to skip or move on to the next song. There should be some physical button to do this simple job (just like the regular iPods) but I think a shake control using the accelerometer should do the trick. Apple tried to solve this by using the headphone as the physical control using single or double clicks to navigate songs forward.
  • Smudge magnet. Makes you wanna wipe the screen every other minute.

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Less of a Phone, More of an Internet Device
Let me say that again — the iPhone 3G is more of an internet device rather than a phone. I use it more to surf the net or play some casual games than to make calls or SMS people.

It took Apple, a new player in the mobile market, to change how the rest of the old players in the industry move forward in innovating mobile devices. Without the iPhone, we would not have seen the likes of Samsung Instinct, Omnia i900, HTC Touch Diamond, LG Dare and Sony-Ericsson Xperia this early.

Nokia picks on the Apple iPhone
iPhone 3G: Exclusive Pics, First Impressions
Guesstimate: iPhone 4 Price on Globe

91 Responses to “iPhone 3G: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

  1. Mat says:

    I bought an unlocked i phone last month, I must say I love the Phone!

  2. iPhone 3G: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    What does it mean?

    firewire

  3. Morgan says:

    I turned off my iphone 3g two days ago and tried to turn it back on the next morning but it won’t start. I tried every step I know, ie, connecting to PC, hard reset, hard reset while connecting the cable to PC, etc. I even rested it for more than an hour to do the same steps over again to no avail. The thing is, itunes can detect and sync with my phone but the screen does not show anything. Everything was running smoothly two days ago until this morning.

    I tried restoring it through iTunes, and even after the procedure and os update my phone is still dead. Well it’s not totally. It’s just the screen. It’s black all over. I can see pixels covering the whole screen, but that’s just it.

    Anyone? Thanks.

  4. Morgan says:

    Anyone guys? Please help…

    Thanks.

  5. stef says:

    hey, morgan!!! if you have problem with your iphone, go to rhe apple store and consult it…

    they will manage your problem

  6. Jhana says:

    I must say that a little tweak on the iphone might change the UGLY disadvantages.

    1. The text predict can be prevented. I can input text on my iPhone 3G in different languages.
    2. The phone has a copy-paste function.
    3. When the phone is jailbroken, you can easily get applications that enable you to switch songs without unlocking the phone. For example, activator plays the next song whenever you push the up&down volume buttons and previous song using the down&up volume buttons.

    Well, maybe the reviews aren’t that updated. These changes might came from different firmware updates from apple.

    But I agree that the iPhone is more on a PC than a PHONE.

  7. Mobgets says:

    Well we can forget about this post now. Ye olde nyews…
    S

  8. barbie20000 says:

    how to disable the auto predict sa text.??plss help me..

  9. MOnsterInc says:

    Magkano na ngayon ang Iphone 3g since lumabas na ang 4? o wala ng binebenta?

  10. robert says:

    txt me 13k 5 mos pa lang 09224372209

  11. stef says:

    I have iphone 3g my aunt gave it to me. the review is right its more on pc than a phone. but it is really user friendly pero the battery drains out easily.

    And you can copy and paste on your text and you can turn off the predictive text on it. just download the user manual on apple website. It will give u guides on the phone.

  12. Toni says:

    nawala wifi ng iphone 3G ko pano maibabalik…i mean di na ako bigla makaconnect.

  13. Howdy! I simply wish to give a huge thumbs up for the nice data you’ve got here on this post. I will likely be coming back to your blog soon.

  14. Ma. Risza says:

    hi , bili po kayo iphone4s meron din po , atleast 28k :)

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Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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