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Highlights

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.

iphone 3g iphone 3g iphone 3g

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.

iphone 3g iphone 3g iphone 3g

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.

iphone 3g iphone 3g iphone 3g

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.



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

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91 Responses

  1. donalyza says:

    Thanks for the review. Thinking twice on Iphone 3G… Looks like its better to get a Nokia E71 and Ipod Touch 2G instead.

  2. Lyle, RN says:

    Good review but there are quite a few points that I want to add:

    1. You can still type using text shortcuts if you jailbreak your iPhone and install ‘asKB’ which will allow you to disable the auto-correction feature.

    2. Battery performance is improved with the latest FW2.1 update.

    3. You can actually go to the next song in iPod mode using the headset (just double click the mic). So, it’s not all touchscreen as you wrote.

  3. yuga says:

    @Lyle, was just editing that part on the headphone because I separated them between the ugly and the bad section.

  4. rr says:

    Or you can set your double tap home screen key schortcut, to ipod control.

    And another one on the bad section, palage syang nag-lag. Specially after waking it up on sleep mode.

  5. Rico says:

    I’d say you pretty much summed it all up! Nice and detailed!

  6. i think it’s just cool to have an iPhone.

  7. katexter says:

    Here’s the procedure to update to iPhone to 2.1 released today and fix some of your problems, including an increase in battery life.

    Unfortunately, there’s no fix for the high price :P

  8. Ferdielicious says:

    Great review! I really wanted to buy one but my pocket can’t afford it yet.

  9. Keiko says:

    Not really a fan of iPHONE…I still prefer blackberry

    Fair review… thanks :)

  10. vance says:

    have you updated it to v2.1? just wondering if there is/are improvemnt/s

  11. Lix Tetrax says:

    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.

    I manage to set this off using a tweak from cydia lols

  12. noemi says:

    updating to 2.1 improved battery life.

  13. Unknown Soldier says:

    so… are you planning to sell your iPhone? =)

  14. vance says:

    @abe should this be like wrong time to put out a review for the iPhone? why? the newer os upgrade was just out and there was no sign that you install that one. just wondering if your using 2.1 already and if it change some of your thoughts about the phone.. just curious..

  15. yuga says:

    @vance – nope, I didn’t install v2.1 yet. The very reason I immediately published the review. I have yet to see the improvements due to the new OS and will put up a new review for it. As for the battery life. It will take me several days to really see any difference.

  16. Got one last Friday and so far I’m loving it except for a few things:

    1. can’t forward sms messages
    2. can’t turn off predictive text
    3. iTunes downsamples photos when synchronizing leaving you with lower resolution images in your iPhone (as compared to the original)
    4. fingerprint magnet! (slightly solved by buying a belkin leather case)
    5. 3G signal is still not very widespread (Globe issue)

  17. vance says:

    @abe ah I see.. will look out for the reviews on that. thanks by the way for this article

  18. Urban Pinoy says:

    That means you need to unlock the iPhone from sleep mode everytime you want to skip or move on to the next song.
    <– You don’t need to unlock it though. On the iPod touch at least, you just need to press the home button twice.

  19. Jan says:

    You can actually press twice the small rectangular thing on your headset’s wire to skip to the next song. Pressing once will pause the song. Its also a mic.

    Also, upgrade your FW to 2.1 now. I just upgraded mine and the battery life has really improved. I used to charge everyday (running on FW v2.0) but now, even with all the emails, calls and wifi, the battery lasts for 2.5 days! Its amazing.

  20. makulet says:

    who won’t like an iphone? an ipod with a phone. but if you’re really thinking and wise, you’d rather get an ipod touch and buy a great phone that best fits your lifestyle. :]

  21. Jep says:

    The iPhone is an over-hyped toy. Apple does not understand the mobile phone outside the US.

  22. Rafael says:

    There are a lot of tricks you can do to your iPhone including turning off the predictive text, it is even rumored to be out in the next firmware release but for now, its one of the tweaks you can do by installing a small software to the iphone.

  23. Mochan says:

    I actually just bought an iPhone to use as an Internet Device. My concept is to stuff in a PLDT WeRoam SIM into it and just use it for surfing whenever I need it.

    I used to have an iPod Touch and it was one of my favorite gadgets. I still like it better than the iPhone in many ways, but since I couldn’t put a SIM in it I ended up not being able to get online when I needed to. So I traded it in for an iPhone and here I am ready to surf wherever.

  24. Mochan says:

    I actually just bought an iPhone to use as an Internet Device. My concept is to stuff in a PLDT WeRoam SIM into it and just use it for surfing whenever I need it.

    I used to have an iPod Touch and it was one of my favorite gadgets. I still like it better than the iPhone in many ways, but since I couldn’t put a SIM in it I ended up not being able to get online when I needed to. So I traded it in for an iPhone and here I am ready to surf wherever. I don’t even use it for calls or SMS. Good for email and chat on the go, though.

  25. Albert says:

    I own an iPhone 3G and I really can say that it is not for texting. It is a mobile device great for multimedia and browsing the internet. What makes the iPhone revolutionary is that there are tons of application on the app store as well as third party apps. These applications make the iPhone more than a phone and more than an iPod.

  26. Joshua says:

    iPhone is not so nice because its really hard to text on it. even if you just hit the number ones, it will come up that you hit it twice. for example. ur typing M and it camed up N…. its really not that good. im sorry….. but with calling , it will be great.. its all up to you…..

  27. Valhalla says:

    I’m Selling my Iphone 3G 16GB sealed in box from globe telecoms. for only 38T.
    you can text me at 09155927847

  28. yvette says:

    i have a question…i bought my iphone in dubai, uae…well, technically, my dad bought it and will arrive here when my mom does…it hasn’t been unbricked yet because when my mom showed it to me through i.m, i can still see the..uhm, world! haha! like you know, the earth…so i’m wondering whether i can use it here in the philippines like…what if i ask globe telecom to unbrick it for me…wait, do you think they will unbrick it? like, i didn’t buy the product here but i’m a globe subscriber (an excuse?)…well, anyway, the bottom line is, can i use it here in the philippines! and someone please, pretty please answer me!

  29. yuga says:

    @yvette, you can go to a Globe Business Center and have it activated with them.

  30. yvette says:

    @yuga really? like, they will really do that even though as i mentioned above, i didn’t buy it here?

  31. Steave says:

    I can not include “3G” and can not be completely disable vibrating alert

  32. jilagan says:

    I got my iPhone this week.

    Some of the things I hate about the iPhone:

    – When I have to call someone, especially if I don’t call that person regularly, I have to scroll through my Contacts list. There’s no way to type the first few letters of the person’s name, unlike in other of my previous Nokia phones.

    – My AirborneAccess account c/o Smart Gold seems to block access from it. I couldn’t log on to my AirborneAccess account. I thought it was just me, but I heard the same thing with my friend who has a similar setup.

    – No SMS forward feature. I heard there are some apps out there that replace the built-in SMS functionality, but I couldn’t find any from the App Store.

    – Related to the SMS forward issue, there is no Copy/Cut and Paste. Having copy and paste would have been a neat workaround to the SMS forwarding problem.

    – I don’t get why App Store and iTunes icons have to be separate.

    – Smudge, smudge, and smudge.

    – I cannot make it into an Internet modem for my laptop. All browsing and email has to be done in-phone.

    – Autocorrect/Predictive typing sucks if you have to send text or email in a language other than English.

    – As a software developer, I find it disheartening that Apple has not yet opened the development program in the Philippines.

    In spite of all these, I will keep my iPhone. It’s hard to explain, but I have no regrets getting it. Hopefully, new firmware updates will address some of the issues I pointed out.

  33. jilagan says:

    Oops, I was wrong about the Contacts list thing. There is a search facility after all, but you have to scroll all the way up to see the search field.

  34. parfumerz says:

    Hello from Russia

    It is very difficult to read in English, but we try:)

  35. John Lacson says:

    “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.”

    Sorry, not to start anything, but I disagree… SonyEricsson (Ericsson Quartz actually) had an all-touchscreen phone when they introduced the P800 and no…I don’t consider that fugly thing they clipped to it a real keyboard.

    I think a proper statement would be “Without the iPhone, the public would not have bothered with touchscreen phones.”

  36. kaka says:

    HATE IPHONE…

    i think why others buy iphone because they want to look cool and because it is a hit….

  37. maria says:

    I would like to purchase iphones original…i am a wholesaler…can you pleae tell me at what price you offer these iphone

  38. mhel says:

    how to open internet MMS,GPRS of Q380A+ ifone

  39. carl says:

    where can i buy the cheapest iphone here in rp? maybe a secondhand from greenhills? u have any idea how much it will cost?

  40. red says:

    i have an iphone 3g 8gb for almost 5 months now and guess where it is now? gave it to my gf kapalit ng old phone nya…. hehehe after a few days… nagrereklamo na siya…. lagi sya lowbatt… hina pa ng signal… she was asking for her old phone back… but unfortunately i traded it off already for a new nokia 5800… no head aches anymore!

  41. mich says:

    sorry, ngayon pa lng ako naging interested sa iphone so i hope someone can tell me if it is worth buying the phone? i really don’t mind buying a 2nd hand phone… and kung 2g or 3g… just wanted to know, what are the difference between the two (besides yng 2g and 3g!)?

    hope to hear from someone soon! thanks

  42. Gelo says:

    I would like to ask if is it worth it to replace my samsung i780 with an iPhone 3G? They are both touchscreen but samsung has a qwerty keypad and has windows mobile as its OS. I really can’t decide yet to what i’m going to do. Please help me decide on this knowing that you have an iPhone. Thanks.

  43. christian says:

    i prefer iphone 3G because it has access a lot like:

    clippy->> copy and paste (almost like iphone OS
    3.0 beta version but this one, not
    version. its only developer who made a
    java as a code)

    games->> like NINTENDO and gameboy

    ibluetooth->> its first application from developer
    who made java also. it comes to any
    device as laptop, cp, etc

    cycorder->> its video recording. its only from
    CYDIA for those who jailbreak it with
    LOCK SIMS but it depends on your
    firmware.

    Now, i enjoyed my iphone 3G which i bought from Globe Telecom.

    for BlackBerry, it has few access but i dont know their information that much. ^_^

    for Nokia, its very simple to use but its worth.

    for Samsung, its very stylish but its worth.

    for Motorola, NO COMMENT but its only TEXT MESSAGING. in the future, they will make a new product like iphone and blackberry.

    thank you for reading this.

  44. Efren says:

    lupit nito..isa sa mga wishlist ko..ang mahal lang kasi sa market..magloloptop nalang ako..waheheh

  45. triccia says:

    i brought my iphone because its cool to have one,for a change,unique fone. but there’s a lot missing in this fone.. its only for a professional not for students like me.. and you have to wear the protector case forever than to suffer for the scratches!

  46. ruth plan says:

    can u have one for me!!!

  47. Before i bought iPod Touch 2G, i read reviews and found out that iPhone isn’t a good choice.

    Choice 1:
    iPod Touch 2G = Php 13,000+
    Cheap Nokia Phone = Php 1,500+
    Laptop = Php 23,000.00+

    Choice 2:
    iPhone 3G = Php 35,000+

    I preferred Choice 1.. Why? Look at it.. 3 devices versus 1 device? More features.. More devices.. :)

  48. Matthew says:

    Why is the iphone 3g is not half the price of iphone 2g?

  49. Dee says:

    thanks for the review! im now thinking thrice whether im going for the iphone or blackberry phones.

  50. monja says:

    salamat at nabasa ko to, i’ll keep my ipod touch 2nd gen and my nokia n82 than purchasing an iphone, dapat wise tayo hehehe….

  51. Anna Castrillo says:

    My iphone 2.0 is stuck. touch screen is not working. i tried jailbreaking but it doesnt work. What will i do? where can i bring it for some repairs? Globe doesnt accept it coz I didnt bought it there. Please reply.

  52. Jhun says:

    anu po ba mga
    reguirements sa globe?
    pag kumuwa po ng plan

    Answer nman po

    PLS!!!

  53. Jhun says:

    para po
    sa iPhone 3G???
    anu po ung requirements???
    pag kumuwa ng plan??

    or anu po ung
    mga dinala nyu???

    need help!!!

  54. jeff says:

    @Jhun: requirement nila is ID, proof of billing, and payslip. :D

  55. Jhun says:

    eh pano
    pag wla pang
    pay slip????

    ang mhal pag
    prepaid
    37 thou???

    sbi s globe??

    dba merun ng iPhone 3G S

    tpos sbi $99 nlang
    ang iPhone 3G!!!!

  56. crazy_dock says:

    after reading all of ur comments, i have decided that I’ll keep my nokia e71 and I will trade my ipod nano 4th gen 16g for an itouch… hehehe, wise di ba?…

  57. ATI ATI says:

    HAHHAHAHAHAHA

    ANG GALING NAMAN NYAN?

    PWEPI MAKA HINGE NG ISA
    HEK HEK?

  58. David Innocent says:

    I would better maintain this ma phone

  59. zenel says:

    I have my iphone but is black i want a white one is there anyone to help ,

  60. zenel says:

    Iphone is not just cool is alaso nice and practical , but yes is true that there is so much missing on the iphoen 3G

  61. ToniToni says:

    Hey Abe, have you heard about axe giving away 50 iPhones? cool right! it’s on their site. search for axe on phone in google.

    Cheers bro!

  62. Dazed says:

    how much is iphone3g now in US?

  63. Dazed says:

    how much is iphone3g 16gb now in US? please reply asap

  64. King-10 says:

    saan po mas mainam bumili ng LG 3g
    I WANT TO HAVE FOR CHRISTMAS

  65. King-10 says:

    WHERE IS THE BEST PLAE TO BY ORIGINAL LG 3G
    PLS HELP ME I WANT TO HAVE IT THIS CHRISTMAS

  66. crumpy says:

    hayz iba pala ang size ng 3g at hindi na iphone
    nagkamali tuloy ako bili ng iphone skin koT_T
    baka may interested sa DecalGirl na skin hehe

  67. John says:

    With the right apps, no other phones can beat the Iphone. It’s not just cool to have, it’s also fun and simple to use.

  68. mattscradle says:

    Comparing Nokia 5800 Xpress Music With Apple 3G Iphone
    http://mattscradle.com/?p=113

    I hope this could be of help to those who are having hard time choosing what phone to buy between iphone 3g and nokia 5800

  69. panch says:

    WHERE CAN I PURCHASE THE IPHONE OR NEXUS ONE IN MANILA FOR A REASONABLE PRICE?

  70. karl says:

    hi, i have this phone for 5 months and its a good phone, i have mine bought from dubai and its factory unlocked, i have jailbroken it to add free apps like games etc. but sadly im selling it for 27k php , its at 97% scratch free(bezel only have some hair like scratch which i got from the case i believe)so any1 interested u can txt me at this # 09277795637.

    btw my reason for selling is, i have the 3GS

  71. daven says:

    ohh..help please..
    ano po mas maganda ung iphone 3Gs or Sony ericsson xperia X10??
    please..
    thank you…

  72. Marsan says:

    Currently I’m in the US, and in July of this year, I will be buying an Iphone 3gs from at&t, which has a 2 year contract. June of next year I would be heading back to the Philippines for college. I was wondering if you would happen to know how I could still use my Iphone there, because I plan on bringing it with me. The 2 year contract here is covered, since I have someone paying for it here. After unlocking my phone, how would approach globe to open a plan?

  73. hayz iba pala ang size ng 3g at hindi na iphone
    nagkamali tuloy ako bili ng iphone skin koT_T
    baka may interested sa DecalGirl na skin hehe

  74. chridj says:

    pls help..what is the diff.of iphone and the iphone 3G?

  75. darwin says:

    How much would an iphone 3gs cost now a days and where can i buy one.

  76. Mat says:

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

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

    What does it mean?

    firewire

  78. 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.

  79. Morgan says:

    Anyone guys? Please help…

    Thanks.

  80. stef says:

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

    they will manage your problem

  81. 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.

  82. Mobgets says:

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

  83. barbie20000 says:

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

  84. MOnsterInc says:

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

  85. robert says:

    txt me 13k 5 mos pa lang 09224372209

  86. 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.

  87. Toni says:

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

  88. 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.

  89. Ma. Risza says:

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

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