Product Type: Apple Smartphone
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Apple have got us right where they want us
Apple iPhone 3G 8 GB
Member Name: bilbob20
Apple iPhone 3G 8 GB
Advantages: Great apps, and does do everything its supposed to
Disadvantages: If you lose it, or if it breaks, you're potentially losing a wealth of your data and information
Remember when you were a kid, and the pressure was on to get the trendiest and most expensive trainers, just so that you weren't the uncoolest kid in the class. Remember how they lasted a month before your big toe started to peak out at the end and your mum would say "I paid a tenner for those one's your brother is running about in, and he's had them twice as long". I dont know if that was true, but the same seems to apply to mobile phones. In keeping up with the Joneses, I find that each time I purchase a new mobile phone I have to go for something a little more advanced than the last time. I like having things like facebook and twitter at my fingertips, so going for a cheap model probably isn't that much of an option. That said, that old trainers adage probably applies on many occasions.
Two years ago, I finally traded in my rather worn out buttoned phone for an xperia x10 mini. At twice the price that I'd normally pay for a mobile phone, it packed up on the eve of my 1 year warranty running out. Researching it online, I discovered that there was a manufacturing issue with the handset that explained away its breakage, and therefore set about calling the manufacturing company. I was told by them that they weren't aware of any manufacturing issues, and that because my warranty was running out within a couple of days they would take a look at the phone and send me a quote for fixing it, or charge me £10 for the return of my broken phone. That's service for you. This time I opted for a wider known and more popular phone...the Iphone 3G.
The first thing I want to mention is that I absolutely hate Apple and the monopoly it holds over its products. When you purchase anything through the apple store or even on i-tunes, it restricts you largely to using the product that you have purchased only on their own products. For instance, if you buy an album on i-tunes at little less than you'd pay for a physical CD in HMV, you dont have the ability to actually play that album on your other media. I believe that this applies across the board with Apple, including on their handsets. To me, it is rather like buying a DVD from amazon and being told that you can only use it on DVD players that you have purchased from amazon. If you have bought the product, you should be free to use it on any of your other media outlets.
Now, to the phone. It is slightly more bulky than the usual handsets that I have. I like smaller as I dont feel that my entire hand is struggling to control it. Aside from that, it does do everything it says on the tin. There are a mass of apps available through the App store that turn your phone from a standard communication device into an all singing all dancing information device. For instance, I currently use weight watchers, and have downloaded the app onto my phone. This allows me all the tracking benefits that I would have online, and access to much of the website, without having to wait til I get home at night. It allows me to track my weight watcher experience without having to memorise it or write it down on scraps of paper.
I have various other apps on the phone that I use including twitter, facebook, and viber, which apparently allows you to speak and message free to other iphone users as long as they have it on their phone. I dont know anybody who does, so I couldn't vouch for its authenticity. In addition I have many games that I bought from the app shop, and itunes as well which allows you some of the same facilities as itunes on your PC or laptop. All of these things are still restricted to your iphone though and are non-transferable if you decided to go with a different type of mobile phone. I believe most of it is transferable if you decided to upgrade your actual iphone though. Most of the phone's apps and information is backed up when you connect it to your pc version of itunes.
The phone also has easy access to the usual facilities, including a contact log where you can store your vitals. The contact facility is fairly easy to navigate and allows you quite a wealth of information including phone numbers, email addresses, contact photo, home addresses and date of births. The only thing with that is the lack of security for your contacts. If you're somebody who is quite anally retentive about keeping records, and decide to store all of this information on somebody on your phone, then at least make sure you have proper security on your phone, such as a pin lock. I dont have this, as I dont really store that kind of information on anybody on my phone. I would be concerned if somebody else lost their unlocked phone with my particulars though.
The text messaging service is pretty standard. It is presented in a conversational way, where you can scroll up and down through the conversation. This is one of the few things I prefer on the newer phones to the old style phones. Remember when a friend would text you back maybe a day after you'd originally text them and you'd have to be in and out of "Sent" and "Inbox" to piece together the conversation you'd have with them. Well, that applies to me, as I'm a scatterbrain half the time. Maybe not everybody is as dopey. However, this presentation of text messaging allows you to see everything you've communicated with that person in a Instant Messaging style.
The iphone 3g was originally released to the UK market in July 2008, and has subsequently been replaced by the more intricate 3gs, using OS software. During its initial time on the market, updates were made available through itunes and the app store for the phone. Last year though, Apple stopped issuing updates to the software for this model, now only issuing it for later versions of the iphone. The touchscreen has a resolution of 163 ppi, with an 8gb memory availability. The camera is a fixed focus 2.0 megapixel, but is disappointing for the photos are quite grainy, and dont have the advantage of a flash or zoom focus. There is also a 3.5 mm headphone jack which essentially turns your phone into an ipod.
The sound on the phone is fairly good, both when speaking to people and when the phone doubles as a media player. That said, I've already encountered a great many problems with it. I now find that the phone takes random snapshots of the screensaver, cuts out when using, cuts on and off at random intervals and is generally quite unreliable. I haven't had for that long and am disappointed that once again a popular and supposedly reliable phone that was quite expensive has given me such problems. I looked up the problem online and it appears that a number of other iphone 3g users have encountered this similar problem and that it is an update issue. With Apple no longer issuing updates for this particular model, and the unhelpful gent at Apple telling me I didn't sign up for insurance - something I wasn't offered when purchasing by the way, I'm now stuck with a fairly new phone that is only half operational. I think the next handset that I will be getting will see me return to a less expensive, more solid handset. I'm not paying upward of £200 a year for a mobile phone on pay as you go, when a less extravagant and less utilised model would come for half the price and give me a couple more solid years out of it.
Summary: A reasonably good idea to turn your mobile phone into your diary, but not a reliable model