Product Type: Apple Smartphone
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iPhone 3G 8GB
Apple iPhone 3G 8 GB
Member Name: Wils0408n
Apple iPhone 3G 8 GB
Advantages: Variety of apps available, style, touch screen, image quality, easy of use
Disadvantages: Battery, memory, reduced performance, restrictions, camera
I bought my iPhone 3G around 6 months ago from Orange at a cost of £340 (+£10 top-up) on 'Pay As You Go'. The initial £340 cost seems expensive but I decided would work out better than a contract as I would only be spending £5 per month to get unlimited texts through 'Orange Extras'.
~~~ Set-up ~~~
The phone was unboxed for the first time in store (which was a little disappointing as it takes away from the excitement of rushing home with it), so that it could be activated. Everything was done for me and my role in the setting-up was basically just taking it home and charging it. Couldn't really have been much easier.
~~~ Unboxing ~~~
Second time round I got a better look at what I was getting in the nicely presented little Apple box.
Inside there was:
iPhone 3G 8GB
Connecting Cable (used for connecting to PC and into the charger for the mains)
~~~ First Impressions ~~~
After spending £340 on something so small, the first few minutes after the excitement has died down could be filled with 'why have I bought this' thoughts, but this wasn't the case. The phone looked and felt very stylish and I couldn't wait to get it charged up so I could play with it.
~~~ Look & Feel ~~~
The phone is very plain, but I think it's quite a good looking phone, this may be because I like iPhone's so much. It looks even better when the screen is at the home page with the nice crisp application icons glowing out at you.
It has a glossy finish which is nice to touch and at the beginning I was very cautious of getting scratches on it. However, after around 6 months of use the glossiness has worn off and it isn't anywhere near as nice to touch. The black finish on the back has also worn slightly where I've been holding it. The screen is also a lot stickier. Small scratches appeared out of the blue on the screen as well, but you can't feel them and they don't effect the operation of the phone.
~~~ Performance ~~~
At first the phone ran nice and smoothly with very little delay between tasks. The more applications I installed on it made it slow down a little bit though. Then came iOS 4.0 which almost completely killed the phone. Performance was shocking and I had to regularly turn the phone off then back on again. Fortunately future updates which were released quickly solved this, but it still doesn't run as smoothly as before. Loading times can be slow and some apps shutdown without warning, some don't even start at all.
The battery life is well known to be on the iPhone's big downfalls. It will probably need charged once a day depending on what you're doing. Charging doesn't take too long thankfully and a full charge can be reached in under an hour.
~~~ Ease of Use ~~~
Without doubt this is the most easy to use phone I have ever experienced. Everything is easy to find. Menus aren't clustered and navigating to and from various things is incredibly easy. Even making calls seems easier, with everything laid out very simply on screen.
~~~ Touch Screen ~~~
The screen is exceptional. My first concern regarding the touch-screen was when texting. When held vertically the keys are very small, but to my surprise texting was still extremely easy, with pin-point accuracy provided by the screen. 6 months on and occasionally it goes a little crazy and selects a key a few along from where you've pressed, but this is solved by switching to a horizontal view.
The sensitivity of the screen is also excellent while playing games, etc. Swiping, tapping and multi-touch are all excellent; making this is a superb device for playing games, better than a DS or PSP in my opinion.
~~~ Sound & Visual ~~~
The sound quality on the phone is okay. It's perfectly fine to listen to music or watch movies on through the built-in speaker. Quality improves when earphones are used.
Visually I think the phone excels again. Images are crisp, bright and really stand out, making you just want to touch the screen and mess around with all the different apps.
~~~ Accessories ~~~
Camera - 2.0MP camera is way behind other phones in the market and is a bit of a let down. It still takes okay photos but not much more than you would expect. There is also no flash and you have to buy a video recorder application (iVideoCamera) for £0.59 if you want that privilege.
Web Browser - Safari is used and does a good job of providing an easy to use, mobile way of accessing the internet.
WiFi - if you're near a WiFi network then it's easy to connect trough the iPhone. Speeds are pretty good depending on the quality of the internet connection. Range of the signal is pretty decent as well.
Bluetooth - another disappointing aspect given you can't connect to non-iPhones. Even once you find someone with an iPhone you have to use apps to share things, which is still limited to protect iTunes purchases. It is good for playing games through though.
~~~ Applications ~~~
There are thousands of fun and helpful apps on the iTunes app store, which will assist you in day-to-day activities and also keep you entertained. My favourites being:
Sky+ - record shows onto your box from your phone. Very simple to use
Angry Birds - top selling game on iTunes, very addictive.
Tune-in Radio - listen to the radio on your phone
Livescore - get the latest sports scores. I only use it for football, but it's excellent.
Co Pilot Live - sat nav for iPhone
~~~ Improvements ~~~
There are 4 mains ones:
Battery - needs to be improved. The newer versions are slightly better but not by too much.
Camera - iPhone 3G S was upgraded to a 3MP camera and the iPhone 4 boasts a 5MP camera which is more what you would expect on the 3G.
External Memory - would be nice if you could expand the memory. I have used up all 8GB on over 150 apps (no music or movies and only a few photos). My advice: if you're going to use the app store and phone to their full potential, then buy the 16GB - I wish I did.
Restrictions - apple have made it hard to do things like custom ringtones (can be done through iTunes) and shares photos, songs, etc. Things which are very basic and easy to do on most phones. This leads to people "jail breaking" their phone.
~~~ Overall ~~~
No regrets apart from not spending an extra £90 to get the 16GB version. Most of my friends thought spending the money on the phone was silly, but ended up getting one themselves. I'd recommend it to everyone and I think it can only be topped by future iPhone models. People who get one and say they don't like it are the ones not taking advantage of the fantastic apps and instead sitting around with basic functions and apps on a fantastic phone.
Summary: Exellent phone. Highly recommended. 9/10
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