Apple iPhone 3G Review
By Ricky Mauch
- July 28, 2008
Pros: The Apple iPhone 3G offers tons of new features, and support for 3G networks. It also offers expanded e-mail, superb call quality, & excellent music and video experience.
Cons: The Apple iPhone 3G is not a perfect phone and just like the original, it continues to lack some features that can be found on even the simplest cellphones. There had been reports that the battery life was uneven as well.
Finally, after a year since the release of the Apple iPhone, the brand has released its next generation iPhone called the iPhone 3G. It is said that this new device is a revamped version of the original, design and performance wise. Apple seems to have corrected some call quality and performance issues as with the previous model. Just like other iOS devices, this new device is still expensive. For new AT&T customers, and the most current ones, they can buy this new iPhone 3G for $199 (8GB model) and $299 (16GB model). Now the question here is, should you buy the new iPhone 3G? Is it worth an upgrade just in case you own the original one? Well.. for me, if you own the original iPhone & you want a faster cellular network, then it is OK to buy this new one. But if you own the original who will not use 3G or can't, then you should stick the original iPhone. The latest software for the iPhone is the iPhone 2.0 which provides Exchange server support, 3rd party apps support, and comes with lots of new features without additional cost. Design wise, itís very hard to distinguish or you will be hard-pressed to notice design differences between the original and the iPhone 3G . Minor changes I have noticed are the silver rim is thinner & the silver mesh behind its speaker. On the sides, you will notice that the brand has replaced the aluminum silver back with a plastic face (white or black). The edges of the iPhone 3G are are slightly tapered which makes the device a bit thinner around its perimeter compared to its predecessor. The Apple iPhone 3G has measurements of 4.5 inches by 2.4 inches and weighs 4.7 ounces. The Apple iPhone 3G has a 3.5 inch display that can render up to 480x320 pixels of resolution which is at the same size as its predecessor. It offers brilliant colors, & fluid movements. I noticed that the home screen is somewhat identical to that on the original iPhone, though there are 2 new icons from the outset which are the Contacts Icon and the App Store icon which opens the iTunes App Store. The Home button is still located below its display, while its volume rocker along with the ringer mute switch rest on the left side. The deviceís power/sleep button sits on top of the phone and all controls are now silver instead of black. The SIM card slot location has not moved though it now includes a SIM removal tool inside the box. At the bottom of the devices you will find the speaker, microphone, & the charger port. Unfortunately, the battery is still not user-replaceable. The Apple iPhone 3G's 3.5mm headset jack is now on surface of the phone allowing you to use any standard headset you like. Whatís inside the box of the new iPhone 3G? The unit, the syncing cable, a cleaning cloth, a headset, user manual, and the aforementioned SIM removal tool along with an electrical outlet plug. The new iPhone 3G comes with the most of the impressive feature additions including the 3G support & enhanced GPS. Thereís also the free 2.0 software update. It also has full support for Microsoft Exchange server and MobileMe e-mail accounts. MobileMe service is an email app that synchronizes Mac's Mail, Address Book, and iCal applications. There is also this new mobile iPhone App Store which downloads apps and other files pretty quick. The device supports AT&T's 3G network which blew away its predecessor. The connection is pretty fast and the Safari Browser performs well. The new iPhone also comes with GPS though its GPS features can't compete with standalone GPS devices as it does not support turn-by-turn directions in real time. Other basic features include the music player 3rd party applications including AOL Radio, Pandora, & Remote. The Apple iPhone 3G supports Audible, MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, and AIFF audio files, MPEG-4 or H.264 video files. Unfortunately, it does not support Windows Media files such as WMA,WMV, and other music and video formats like DIVX, FLAC, or Ogg Vorbis. It also has its own video player that features iTunes movie rental compatibility, video podcast support, and a dedicated YouTube player. Other video player features include autobookmarking, full-screen resizing, and embedded closed captions support. Whatís surprising is that Apple did not upgrade the camera. It sill has the same 2 megapixel shooter although it offers better photo quality. Camera features remain the same as well. Other features included in the new Apple iPhone 3G are contacts search, iWork documents, PowerPoint, Bulk delete and move, Scientific calculator, Parental controls, language support in French, Japanese (QWERTY and Kana), Dutch, Canadian French, U.K. English, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Russian, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Polish. The Apple iPhone 3G Ďs call quality is better compared to the original iPhone - my tests reveale clearer audio and louder volume. 3G connection was superb as well as its blazing fast in our area. As per FCC radiation tests, the iPhone 3G has a digital SAR is 1.38 watts per kilogram. Its battery lasted at around 5 hours of talk time over 3G, while it lasted around 10 hours over the standard cellular network. Activating the device is easy just like with the original Apple iPhone.