Marcus Hass' [MS] Blog

Interesting tidbits about Microsoft Office 365 and other products. Occasional rants about travel, gaming and gadgets.

My iPhone 3G Review

My iPhone 3G Review

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Call me a traitor.  Call me weak minded to the Apple Jedi mind trick.  Yes I have a 3g iPhone, the cheapest one of course.

My Treo 750, which I really liked, was starting to have some battery fade.  In addition, I was using the IE browser on my Treo more frequently, with more and more contempt for IE on the phone.  I had loaded an experimental browser on it a while back called Deepfish, and it was great (very similar to the abilities of Safari on the iPhone).  But, Deepfish was canceled as a standalone project and will probably be incorporated in a future version of Windows Mobile.

So, I was stuck using the "diet" version of IE on my phone, which made me want to pitch it for distance at times.

I was indoctrinated to the iPhone during a charity event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society where I took many pictures using people's iPhones as proof they made it to a checkpoint along a race.  I had to fumble into menus on the iPhone, and was instantly hooked by its interface and most of all its Safari browser, even though it was the Edge version at the time.

The stars aligned and I ordered one.  Below are a few observations (please note that I don't care about iPod functionality because my Zune is way, way better).

Pros:

  • Now with Exchange Active Sync (EAS), see cons section for some quirks with EAS
  • EAS means security policy pushed from Exchange server, ability to remote wipe if lost
  • Safari browser rocks!
  • Overall Interface is excellent
  • GPS and Google maps integration
  • Camera is pretty good, interface for pictures is excellent
  • Good Facebook application add-in
  • Haven't had issues with it unlocking keys randomly in my pocket like I did with a "key locked" Treo
  • Better interface to read emails than on the Treo, especially expanding the reply list.

Cons:

  • Battery life, can't make it an entire day even with Wifi turned off
  • I miss Voice Command!!! I got used to not taking my phone out of my pocket/holster and using voice to call someone and it telling me who was calling.  This might be coming in the near future from the application store.
  • Can't sync individual folders with EAS, it is "last 200 of items".  I have a folder with all my travel plans and it usually isn't in the "last 200 items"
  • Calendar sync is screwy.  Even though I accept an appointment in Outlook, the phone insists on me accepting it again.
  • Can't query other's calendars
  • Attachments aren't automatically downloaded, only when you click on them 
  • Some applications from the application store are deemed "too big" so you have to use iTunes to download them.  I have an all-you-can-eat data plan, why can't I use my 3g connection?
  • Smudges, grease spots, makeup (not mine of course).  All inherent with a touch screen, reminds me of the old TMo XDA
  • One handed navigation was a Treo trademark, and still is.  Apple can't match its one-handidness
  • Can't flip things like email on its side for reading.  Only browser and camera seem to flip on their side.
  • GPS isn't real GPS.  I believe it must use cell towers or something because it isn't nearly as accurate as my Garmin.  Probably a fix in the future...

Verdict:

  • The browser alone is worth it, I can live with all the quirks
  • Apple needs to actually pick up a Windows Mobile phone and use it like millions of WinMo customers have been for years.  Take some notes, and refine the experience more on the iPhone.
  • Where can I get an extended battery?  Oh wait....

Note: If you have solutions to any of the issue or quirks, please post a comment.

 

Update: Added Con about querying calendars and con about attachments.

Comments
  • * It is real GPS. Google Maps on original iPhone utilized triangulation of cell towers and fixed wi-fi.

    * I wish the EAS was more compelling - a la Blackberry or WinMo. I need folders, I need links, I need attachments. Serious business phone? Really?

  • So, it is real GPS, but it doesn't follow me in real time, I have to hit the little compass button.  Some of my Apple enthusiast friends mentioned better GPS and turn by turn is slated for a future firmware update.

    Now that you mention it, I just lost all the new WinMo 6.0 features such as voicemail in my email, checking/scheduling other's calendars.

    Ugh, I knew I should have waitied to write this up after a few more weeks!

  • 1) Might be real GPS but the iphone can NOT do turn by turn directions.  You get an 'approximate' area you are in.  Big Failure IMO.

    2) No video camera.  Isnt this a media device?

    3) Its on a limied 3G network only 1/5 the size of Verizon and Sprint.  Outside of this area you're stuck on their slow network.  ie it reverts to a first generation iPhone.

    4) Cant do TV.  (refer to number 3)

    5) Cant download music over the air.  Again see number 3 and number 2.

    6) No removable battery.  Not good if it dies during the day and you cant have a backup.

    7) Plans are too expensive for the above limitations.

    I could go on but I think the above somehwta proves my point that there are far better (and less expensive) PDA devices on the market.

  • Marcus = Apple Lemming...

    From your story it sounds as though Apple has devised some sort of virus that when a person simply touches a iPhone they get the fever and have to purchase one.

    Please MH, I don't want to see this virus go further by converting you to the Apple Server... go get help while you have a chance.

  • LOL Herschel.

  • Voice command - use "SayWho"  it's free.

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