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iPhone 3G first impressions – Works for me

Posted by putsimply on 5th September 2008

OK we’re a week in and it’s still working, the iPhone that is. The shine is still on, and I know what all the buttons do, more or less.

So if you have a digital work life with a constant barrage of email, access to an IMAP email server, have a Mac at work and at home, have wi-fi at work and at home, like carrying tunes, photos (like the 1200 holiday snaps I carry today) and games, the 3G iPhone is an excellent all-round tool.

Yes iPhone 3G is good.

In the UK, O2’s 3G network is err… ‘variable’, and I spend much of the time on regular GSM but I don’t care really – it doesn’t affect me. The iPhone GPS location function is also cool, it’s accurate enough that it can show me where I am in my own garden which is impressive. The battery life is fine too – remember I moved from another 3G smart phone so I’m used to charging my phone every day and topping up when I can, that’s normal for me. Bluetooth is a bit limited – headsets only need apply – and so far I have lived without multimedia messages. My wife and I exchange kid photos sometimes but I shouldn’t do that on a company phone anyway so what the heck – I’ll live without, not that I have much choice.

The good bits: Being a techie I like the fact that if you have the calculator open and twist the phone sideways you get a pretty decent scientific calculator, that’s slick. And the wi-fi remote application is very neat, it lets you control music playback wirelessly on a Mac (like from the garden with a glass of wine in the other hand) including controlling the volume – I have an uncle who just installed a Sonos audio system throughout his lovely new house, he could have saved himself enough money to buy a swimming pool if only he’d known what a mobile phone could do.

The bad bits: Contact management is still complicated, I’m sure people struggle getting names and numbers in and easy to access. The standard ring-tones are a bit lame and there’s very few cost-free alternatives. I resorted to using a sticky rubber mat to hold the thing in the car which works really well in the Jag. But then I have acres of space – modern cars don’t have many flat surfaces and there are no brackets on the market yet for the 3G model (the man in the Apple shop told me).

Yes you can crack the access code if you don’t re-route the home button to home (instead of the default setting) but just change the settings, it’s not hard! I’ve had a call or two drop too but it’s no worse than my last phone so far. And so far I have no clue if the 3G version is better, and therefore worth upgrading to from the first iPhone. I’ll see if I can figure that one out.