Product Type: Apple Smartphone
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Unnecessary gadgetry flimflammery Innovation
Apple iPhone 3G 8 GB
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Apple iPhone 3G 8 GB
Advantages: Design, Speed, Apps, Internet, Sound, General Multipurpose
Disadvantages: RRP, Camera, Battery, General Irrelevance
I admit that I was a tad late to get my hands on Apple's fabled iPhone.. Because I was never keen on blowing hundreds on something that was masquerading as an essential item when in truth its a luxury. My dad was clearing out all the old and broken phones in the cupboard as he bought my mum a new one and realised we had a little pile of them and wanted one spare 'emergency' phone and to cash in on the other, so he asked if any of them worked. First off, I told him no matter what models they were, the phone recycling ads on tv may show people being stunned by cheques of "WOW maybe even £150!" but the reality was - he'd receive pittance. So there it was, a slightly scratched iPhone in a pink floral silicone case.. it didn't turn on and it was 'busted' according to ma. So I did what a lot of Apple products respond to (in this case the iPod Classic) and held two buttons to reset/factory restore whatever. Lo and behold it loaded up that metallic logo and I instantly swapped it for my crummy Nokia touchscreen, girl case and all!
I got this at 22, so its fair to say that I should be used to the device with the knowledge of both Macintosh computers and Apple iPods, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be for someone with no background know how on Apple products, or even standard computer use. For me, it was simple, at least it was after sorting out the troublesome sim card - unless you 'jailbreak' your phone, you could originally only use an O2 sim - (jailbreaking involves changing the phones firmware so it basically runs a different program, allowing for all sorts of custom modifications - however there are drawbacks and if you find problems? You're on your own.) Controlling and navigating the phone requires all sorts of flicking and swiping away at the thumbprint glossed screen, as well as pinching back and fourth to zoom in and out. Gone are the days of chunky buttons, now is the time of the touchscreen and apart from turning it on/off, everything else can be achieved by touch alone. I believe that if one were to use it solely for calls and messaging it would do fine and could be done with ease, however this would truly irradiate the whole point in purchasing an iPhone. Outside of the regular phone activities, expect to be checking your email, the weather, location and generally knobbing about with addictive minigames. I don't particularly agree with the phones heavy reliance on iTunes though, as not everyone is keen on the program, nor the program keen on them. iPhoto is also just as annoying, and simple transferring of photos, music and files becomes a right fiddly task - especially when trying to send file TO the phone.
With only two main buttons to concern yourself with, everything else you need to know, appears on screen. There is also a volume control on the side, along with a silent mode switch. It includes a standard headphone jack - which is fantastic because you can use the phone as an mp3 but mainly because other models slap on a dodgey looking slot that can only be used with a 'sold separately' money grab cable.. Sony Ericsson I'm looking at you. Its receiver is clearly the thin slot seen in the photo (it sounds pretty clear to me but with all phones, I find specific detail about phone line quality, difficult to ascertain), whereas the mic is nowhere to be seen. The On top is where the sim is stored (opened via pushing a pin inside) and kept safe in a little plastic case. On the bottom of the phone is the Apple connecter port for connecting via USB and AC adapters. There are also two very small speakers which although decent in terms of volume and clarity, can be obscured by hands and positioning. Lastly, there is the camera, about the size of a pea, it sits at the top of the back case staring at all who walk by. Compared to the rest of the phones capability, the lens is a let down at only 2.0 megapixels, it offers the most basic of 'phone photos'. It does however possess zoom abilities (although things get rather pixelated and obscured the further you go) and thanks to the freedom of the app world, can gain the ability to record videos. Another let down is its battery, with an ambitious operating system and all those apps running/ready, it drains away in the space of around 30 hours through general use. The final flaw I found in its hardare is the lack of a 'wakening alarm' - something almost every mobile phone has over this one, an alarm clock that turns on the phone, so you can switch off your mobile at night and rise with it in the morning, saving battery - something that should be high on this models priorities.
The apps have gained legendary status amongst phone users, with a wealth of differing programs to download for free, test out or pay full price for. Anyone can create and sell/offer their very own apps, making the AppStore an ever changing source of entertainment and ingenuity. The most common apps downloaded are those under the Google brand (maps, search, earth & translate) and internet favourites FaceBook, YouTube and Messenger. The phones utilities are handy to have as well with weather outlooks, stock market updates, a calendar, clock, calculator. Its worth noting though that not all apps have the desired outcome, nor are supported on older versions. Don't misunderstand, I'm not an appfiend who's constantly fiddling away with silly noises and games - I mostly get apps I deem extremely useful or enjoyable. With 8gb though, I probably could get a load more as they take up very little space. I am yet to find many that are worthy of remaining, outside of the default apps already installed. The whole process of downloading apps can be a bit of a chore too, having to login frequently and I'm not that comfortable paying via this method. Apps that mimic websites and their purpose are also heavily limited, as are the webpages themselves as not all (lesser known) sites support access via mobile devices.
Prices, Faults & Final Thoughts
You can find a 3G 8GB iPhone from anywhere between £100 - £200 which is still a fair investment when so many tariffs offer free phones with contracts (and because of the depreciation of the phone itself). The fact that mobile recycling sites offer 10-20 pounds for them goes to show you just how much they stand to make in profit (1000%!). With more complex OS's comes more errors, and the iPhone doesn't escape them. The most common problem would be the occasional freeze or need to reset which is fine as there is little or no aftermath. Then there are the big ones - mess about with sim cards, jailbreaking, software - and expect issues. One of the major glitches is the iTunes logo with USB - this one effectively BRICKS your phone and you need to connect to iTunes and restore your phone with a new update and wait about an hour. If you get that image with the ability to make emergency calls however, you just need to reinsert the sim and USB. Putting the phone in DFU (device firmware upgrade or 'recovery') mode is annoying also, as you need to hold the power, then home, let go of one, whilst holding the other blah blah blah. These problems are the last thing you need if you've spent so much money on it. Personally, I was glad I managed to 'fix the busted bloody thing' because I now had a phone with up to date capabilities. I've never been onboard with the ideas of being able to do this and that on a handheld device thats sole purpose should be a PHONE, but the benefits of compiling so many things into one certainly makes things easier, if a little irrelevant.
Summary: Defines Multipurpose, as well as Irrelevance
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