Average review score based on 2,907 user reviews
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Apple iPhone 3G offers critical new features including support for high-speed 3G networks, third-party applications, and expanded e-mail. Its call quality is improved and it continues to deliver an excellent music and video experience.
The bad: The iPhone 3G continues to lack some basic features that are available on even the simplest cell phone. Battery life was uneven, and the 3G connection tended to be shaky. Also, the e-mail syncing is not without its faults.
The bottom line: The iPhone 3G delivers on its promises by adding critical features and sharper call quality. The iTunes App Store is pretty amazing, and the 3G support is more than welcome. Critical features still are missing, and the battery depletes quickly under heavy use, but the iPhone 3G is a big improvement over the original model
Apple’s release of the iPhone 3G was a response to many of the fallbacks from the first generation iPhone. Many little bugs and user requested applications have been added to the iPhone 3G making it even more functional and user-friendly than its predecessor. The new generation is only 0.7mm thicker than the old one, considering the hefty upgrades on the hardware – not to mention, it is actually 2 grams lighter.
With the new iPhone 3G, Apple managed to keep the same amazing touch screen interface that is just jaw dropping as to how accurate and easy-to-use it is. It still has the button on the top of the phone to lock the screen and the home button below the touch screen that takes you back to the iPhone’s main screen.
There are, however, two different iPhone 3G models: an 8GB version and a 16GB version. The difference, you ask? There is no difference other than the storage capacity and a little surprise Apple added – the 16GB versions come in an optional white color, if desired. If you’re willing to cough up the extra $200 for having double the capacity and the unique white color, then the 16GB was made for you if you don't mind paying the price of a laptop but for the iPhone
The main thing that makes this iPhone different than its predecessor is 3G. 3G is a high-speed internet provided by AT&T that only some phones are capable of using. It’s relatively new and allows cell phone users who have 3G capabilities to surf the internet at near broadband speeds. The iPhone 3G boasts this ability to use the 3G network provided by AT&T which has helped expand its features, making everything faster, more reliable, and more accurate. Now that you know the main difference between the first generation iPhone 2G and the second generation iPhone 3G, let’s move onto the fun part of the iPhone – the features.
3G: As stated previouisly, 3G technology allows the iPhone to access the internet at higher speeds than the previous iPhone. This allows you to surf the internet, check e-mail, get directions, and watch video – even if you’re already on the phone. The old network the first generation iPhone used is called EDGE – the 3G network is 2.4 times faster than the EDGE network.
Multi-Touch Control: iPhone multi-touch technology almost seems way beyond it’s time. There is no other touch phone out there with this functional of a touch screen. It is extremely accurate and best of all, multi-touch – this means it can respond to more than 1 contact point on the screen.
GPS: Yes, we already did talk about the GPS but let’s go in depth to the technology behind it. The regular GPS we are familiar with uses information from satellites that orbit the Earth. The iPhone receives this data and estimates the distance to the GPS satellites based on how long it takes the signal to reach it. The iPhone’s A-GPS (Assisted GPS) takes it a step further than conventional GPS systems. iPhone will actually find the closest satellite to uplink to currently in orbit which allows it to more quickly identify your position. This gives you a faster fix on your location than with a conventional GPS system.
Accelerometer: iPhone is motion responsive. When you tilt it sideways, upwards, backwards, downwards – it knows. Many application designers have used this to their advantage in making fun accelerometer games.
iPhone 3G review
By Ryan Block posted July 11th 2008 8:01AM
It's hard to think of any other device that's enjoyed the level of exposure and hype that Apple found in the launch of the first iPhone. Who could forget it? Everyone got to be a gadget nerd for a day; even those completely disinterested in technology seemed to come down with iPhone fever. But the original device was still far from perfect: its limited capabilities (especially in the 3G department), high price of entry, and the small number of countries in which it was available kept many potential buyers sidelined. Until now -- or so Apple hopes.
The wireless industry is a notoriously tough nut to crack, and it's become pretty clear that the first iPhone wasn't about total domination so much as priming the market and making a good first impression with some very dissatisfied cellphone users. With the iPhone 3G, though, Apple's playing for keeps. Not only is this iPhone's Exchange enterprise support aiming straight for the heart of the business market, but the long-awaited 3rd party application support and App Store means it's no longer just a device, but a viable computing platform. And its 3G network compatibility finally makes the iPhone welcome the world over, especially after Cupertino decided to ditch its non-traditional carrier partnerships in favor of dropping the handset price dramatically. $200? We're still a little stunned.
So now that Apple finally stands poised for an all out war on cellphone-makers everywhere, will the iPhone 3G stand up to the competition -- and higher expectations than ever? Read on for our full review.
Update: Updated with more tests from our battery, MobileMe, and enterprise supplemental.
iPhone 3G review - hardware
No one will have any trouble recognizing the new device from its face -- it's essentially identical to the original iPhone. Thankfully, the bright, high quality, high resolution 480 x 320 3.5-inch display that's just so easy to love, hasn't been changed a bit. Unfortunately, it's still every bit as much a magnet for smudges and fingerprints -- in fact, even more so now that the rear of the device has dropped its chic matte aluminum in favor of black (or white, optional on the 16GB model) plastic. Hey, at least now it's more symmetrical.
The move to plastic seemed almost inevitable now that the iPhone has so many radios, frequencies, and antenna needs (GSM, EDGE, HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS), but while we do prefer the original aluminum, the plastic does feel pretty solid and not at all flimsy, which is more than we can say for a hell of a lot of handsets. There's no doubt about the fact that we'd have preferred a matte or soft-touch finish to the glossy plastic, but that's all a matter of taste.
The body of the phone is slightly thicker at its center than its predecessor, although the edges are tapered and thinner than before, which is always a good way to make a device feel smaller than it actually is. (Palm learned this a long time ago.) There are a couple downsides to the body shape, though: first, when you're tapping off-center on a hard, flat surface, the phone wobbles (but only a little, oh well).
Second, the new shape means you won't be using it in your original device's dock. This really wouldn't be all that bad if Apple included a dock with the 3G like they did with the first iPhone, but now they want you to buy that separately. Did we mention they're asking $30 for it? Way lame
It's finally here - the iPhone 3G. No, we mean that literally. It's finally at our office and boy, are we excited! GPS, HSDPA purring under the new iPhone hood with a hefty number of software enhancements.
But all them software goodies are available for the first-gen iPhone too - so is it worth the fuss? It may as well be, but we never know before we take it out for a spin.
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Apple iPhone 3G official images
* 3.5" 16M-color TFT display with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels
* Quad-band GSM support
* Tri-band UMTS support with HSDPA
* Built-in GPS receiver
* 8 to 16GB of onboard storage
* Accelerometer, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor
* 2 megapixel camera
* Silky smooth user interface with multi-touch user support
* Unsurpassed web surfing experience
* Push email with MS Exchange support
* AppStore access for direct application download and installation
* Redone rear
* TV-out port
* No video calls over the 3G network
* The handset wobbles on hard even surfaces
* There are a number of messaging downers
* Camera has no auto focus, nor video recording… nor any settings at all
* Safari browser doesn't support Flash and Java, doesn't have a download manager
* Bluetooth support limited to headset use only (no A2DP or file transfers)
* No office document editor
* No copy/paste functionality
* You cannot sync Notes and TO-DOs
* No memory card slot (but knowing Apple there will never be one)
Now, since we'll be heavily comparing the old and new iPhone, how about the following arrangement - the first one we'll call Number One and the newbie will be Number Two. Sorted. Wait a minute, no good? Crap, we knew it. OK then, the first one will be the iPhone 1G (as in "generation" of the device), while the new one will still be iPhone 3G (as in "generation" of the wireless network). That might sound inconsistent, but it's short and we like it this way, so before you go ballistic in the comments section, remember Number One and Number Two.
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The iPhone 3G 16GB (White) in hand
So, back to the drill - the 3G-enabled iPhone was rumored ever since the iPhone 1G surfaced last year. Now that we have the real thing in our hands, it doesn't seem that groundbreaking anymore. Nevertheless, there are quite a few things to cover so we think reviewing it in detail is worth it. There's the updated design, the new white color (which we happen to have), the new iPhone 2.0 firmware/software/OS (call it what you will) with AppStore on board, the push email functionality and, finally, the GPS and HSDPA topping.
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The Apple iPhone 3G
We will also be on the lookout for improvements in terms of audio quality, loudspeaker volume and camera image quality against the iPhone 1G.
Seems like quite a workload, so let's waste no more time and get to it. Join us after this short break for more on the iPhone 3G.
This is without a doubt the best phone that I have ever owned. It is amazing what you can do with this phone and the thousands of apps that are available. The only drawback is the battery only last for a little over a day so you just have to charge it every night. It is full of features and the only missing ones are the camera does not have a flash and it does not offer the ability to take video. But there are so many things you can do that you could not even imagine on an ordinary cell phone. The 3G network is very fast and the device automatically seeks out wifi hot spots for even faster downloads. The touch device takes a little getting used to but you get faster and faster the more you use it. It is a great way to stay in touch. The extra $30 AT&T charges for the unlimited data seemed a little high especially since it utilizes WiFi as much as possible. It does not come with any cases, covers, nothing but a charger and data cable. You will need to purchase some type of screen cover and I decided on a rubber case to protect the unit in case it should fall. It is a little pricey but well worth it for all it can do. I would recommend it to anyone except those who are technically challenged. Apple has done a good job of updating the device and keeping it current. It took a little navigating to understand iTunes and getting your pictures, tunes, ringtones, etc downloaded to the device. Once you get the hang of it everything is pretty smooth. I wish I had the capability to change the tones used for mail and appointments but maybe that will be in the next software release.
I have bought this particullar brand phone numerous times, because the iOS is very easy to use, even from an older person. It has a big display and the best thing is the big numerals on it like the clock and phone buttons when dialing. It's features are great ! Wi-Fi ; bluetooth and it'ss very fast for browsing the net! It has a very sensitive touchscreen, which is very usefull for people who can't see very well. The sound is fantastic: it's clear;it's loud, well probably the best sound from any brand !! And yes i know what i'm talking about: I have JBL and creative speakers i nthe house,when compared to this sound(although it's from a mobile phone) the sound is great: pure,clear and loud ! The last time i bought this phone was for my mother, which has a difficulty in seeing small numerals and alphabets,and can't hear very weel either. Well with this phone she said she feels like a teenager ! :D And to be honest she adapted to it very quick,although she hasn't used an Apple product before ! She had mastered the phone for a week ! For a big newbie that's really fast ! She likes all it's features and the best thing about it is the big screen and big numerals. Also for me the phone is great too. Whether it will be for games,brosing the net,watching youtube videos,chatting in skype;FB and so on it's realy great ! The battery life is very good it lasts for 4-5 days on standby and 3 days when using it every day. The Wi-Fi range is actuall very wide, some say it's NOT, but it is wide ! My modem is a piece of crap from my ISP and i can get 2 lines on the Wi-Fi icon eventhough i'm out of my house at 2-7metres away from it.For the camera: it's better than most of the 5MP Nokia;Sony Ericsson camers...YES it IS !!! I have it compared with Nokia 5800 and allot of express music editions and SE Xperia X10i; K750i;K850i and so on...the iPhone's 2MP camera beats them with better detail and nice quality ! Really it's a BARGAIN ! the ONLY con about the phone is the finacnial side of this magnificent piece of hardware. It's pricy, BUT it's ABSOLUTELY worth it !! At a scale from one to ten i give it 10 WITHOUT ANY DOUBT !!!
I have bought this particullar model because the iOS is very easy to use, even from an older person. It has a big display and the best thing is the big numerals on it like the clock and phone buttons when dialing. It's features are great ! Wi-Fi ; bluetooth and it'ss very fast for browsing the net! It has a very sensitive touchscreen, which is very usefull for people who can't see very well. The sound is fantastic: it's clear;it's loud, well probably the best sound from any brand !! And yes i know what i'm talking about: I have JBL and creative speakers i nthe house,when compared to this sound(although it's from a mobile phone) the sound is great: pure,clear and loud ! The last time i bought this phone was for my mother, which has a difficulty in seeing small numerals and alphabets,and can't hear very weel either. Well with this phone she said she feels like a teenager ! :D And to be honest she adapted to it very quick,although she hasn't used an Apple product before ! She had mastered the phone for a week ! For a big newbie that's really fast ! She likes all it's features and the best thing about it is the big screen and big numerals. Also for me the phone is great too. Whether it will be for games,brosing the net,watching youtube videos,chatting in skype;FB and so on it's realy great ! The battery life is very good it lasts for 4-5 days on standby and 3 days when using it every day. The Wi-Fi range is actuall very wide, some say it's NOT, but it is wide ! My modem is a piece of crap from my ISP and i can get 2 lines on the Wi-Fi icon eventhough i'm out of my house at 2-7metres away from it.For the camera: it's better than most of the 5MP Nokia;Sony Ericsson camers...YES it IS !!! I have it compared with Nokia 5800 and allot of express music editions and SE Xperia X10i; K750i;K850i and so on...the iPhone's 2MP camera beats them with better detail and nice quality ! Really it's a BARGAIN ! the ONLY con about the phone is the finacnial side of this magnificent piece of hardware. It's pricy, BUT it's ABSOLUTELY worth it !! At a scale from one to ten i give it 9.3 WITHOUT ANY DOUBT !!!
This phone works, and is now a very inexpensive item (under forty bucks) that gives a lot for the money if you're willing to search through the list and find a few good apps for it. It doesn't take great photos, and the manufacturer is rather unscrupulously trying to kill it off by destroying good original apps that performed perfectly well, but it is still possible to set it up to make good live audio recordings and use it as a cheap phone on wifi connections (unfortunately they killed Skype for this phone). The maps and internet browser still work great, and its a really nice cheap ipod if you're into storing music on it. Battery life has been surprisingly good.
I would give the iPhone 3G 5 stars. I was somewhat of a skeptic and being a Blackberry favorite with TMobile for 12 years the reluctancy to change was prevalent. After a few months of researching for my next device I thought that the new Curve 8900 would give me the WOW factor. After waiting 2 months for it the disappointment in both the Curve 8900 and TMobile customer service cannot be expressed (see my review on the Curve 8900). It was either stick with TMobile and get terrible customer service (which use to be quite good) or take my chance with another service provider. Loyalty is a 2 way street. Having no choice but take a shot with ATT I got the iPhone and have never looked back at the last 12 years except to say to "myself why didn't I do it sooner". ATT has been impressive with their customer service and coverage. During a call to them and driving I lost my connection in a remote hilly area to my surprise the CSR called me back (TMobile never did this). Areas that I use to get 1 bar or no service with TMobile I now have 4-5 bars. To fully appreciate the iPhone you must make sure that full phone & 3G service is available in your areas of usage. The iPhone 3G has given me the WOW factor. Like having a mini computer in my pocket at all times. The screen size and resolution blows me away. Having over 15000 free and low cost applications available everyday life has just been made more convenient. With overall very good call quality I now have the quintessential mobile device. From my first hand experience - the Blackberry devices are great for true business users, but if you want a mobile device that can enhance overall conveniences in everyday life get an iPhone.
The Apple iPhone has a stunning display, a sleek design, and an innovative multitouch user interface. Its Safari browser makes for a superb Web surfing experience, and it offers easy-to-use apps. As an iPod, it shines.
The bad: The Apple iPhone has variable call quality and lacks some basic features found in many cell phones, including stereo Bluetooth support and 3G compatibility. Integrated memory is stingy for an iPod, and you have to sync the iPhone to manage music content.
The bottom line: Despite some important missing features, a slow data network, and call quality that doesn't always deliver, the Apple iPhone sets a new benchmark for an integrated cell phone and MP3 player.