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Apple iPhone 3GS White (16 GB) Smartphone
The Fastest iPhone Ever. The first thing you notice about iPhone 3G S is how quickly you can launch applications. Web pages render in a fraction of the time.
343 Reviews from Epinions.com
Jun 20, 2009
Is it worth buying if you don't have to stand in line?
Pros: faster web access, larger storage capacity than earlier models, faster camera, voice control dialing, GPS
Cons: I still like the original design best which seems a little more durable.
The Bottom Line:
I love the iPhone because it has many features integrated into one small package that works with my computer and the programs I use.
A Preliminary Late Night Collection of Impressions from my First Day with the iPhone 3G S 32Mb (which may or may not prove useful to someone)
Two years ago, more or less, my husband stood in line for the new Apple iPhone, buying one for me and one for himself. I think he took off from work early--it was iPhone day. His dedication paid off when, as I stood in the ER next to the hospital bed of my 80 year old mother, I was able to whip out my phone to take a photo of her injuries. The two medical personnel working on her said, "Wow, is that an iPhone?" and then took a little break to check it out. Ha, take that old lady who tried to upstage me by falling down some stairs!
A year ago, more or less, my husband was helped to his car by security when he passed out 10 feet from the door of the Apple store, due to excess sun exposure. That high altitude Nevada sun is a killer. Too bad the news crew had already left; I only got to hear about it second hand. That year he was only standing in line for himself, however, as I really did not want a new iPhone. One reason is, I'm somewhat practical and like to keep my phones as long as I can, which is nigh impossible in the household. The other reason was I just really liked the majestic Silverbacks--the hard shiny plastic on the back of the 3G was not appealing to me. It was years before I upgraded my first; I liked the appearance of the original so much.
This year, however, I caved and asked him to order me a new iPhone, both because he said that he wasn't going to get one for himself, and because I was drawn by the more powerful photo taking ability. I have found over the past two years that I take a lot of photos with my iPhone. I probably have taken over 2000 at this point, pretty much anything that strikes me as funny or interesting is game, and my walks are punctuated by frequent stops to shoot the scenery. I've learned how to stand really still and tilt the phone for the best lighting. Since I'm a lousy photographer, the iPhone camera is about all I need anyway, but it is seriously limited.
Today, my new iPhone came right to my door, no fainting or line waiting required. It was almost anticlimactic. Almost as soon as I shut the door, the phone rang, my husband telling me that my iPhone had arrived, according to the FedEx tracking site. I opened the box to gaze upon its splendor. Eventually I hooked the phone up to my computer, then read the instructions that said to download the newest version of iTunes then connect the phone to the computer. Oops. Oh well, I downloaded and installed iTunes 8.2 pretty quickly, then set about to updating my phone. For some reason, the default language after the download came up as Danish, and I ended up running part of the connection dialogue text through Altavista, just to make sure I wasn't doing something horribly wrong. After it updated, however, the language went back to the one I know.
It was easy other than that, and all my contact info, notes, calendar settings and text messages were copied over quickly. It just coincidentally happened that I've changed computers since the last time I synced my phone, so I had to go into iTunes and authorize my apps and songs and specifically select the things I wanted copied over before I got everything back the way it was. After that, it was just a matter of waiting for AT&T to activate. It seemed to take a few hours to actually activate, although it came up immediately once I powered down the iPhone 3GS and turned it back on, so it's hard to know the exact time frame. I should say, actually, my husband powered the phone off and on--and he also immediately set up the find phone option, since I tend to lose things quite frequently.
The interface more or less looks the same, although I had a few new default applications, including Compass, Voice Memos and Nike +iPod. The last one in that list actually looks interesting, but I'm not yet sure what other things may be required to get it to work. Perhaps it can motivate me without buying any extra paraphernalia. It did let me enter my weight, and didn't express disapproval. There appears to be several exercise related apps that can tell how far you've biked based on the GPS calculations, and keep track of your workouts, so I'll probably look into those.
Compass, denoted by a brown compass looking icon (not to be confused with the blue compass icon of the Safari browser), seems hand and fairly accurate at times, although north varies more than I would think it would as I'm moving the phone around. It can be recalibrated by moving the phone in a figure 8 pattern, and sometimes I get a prompt to do just that. I did a quick voice memo to check out that feature, and my voice sounded loud and clear. I took a few photos, noticing the box in the middle that shows how it is focusing. The camera snapped the photo much more quickly, but I think I needed to wait until the box disappears before actually snapping the button, as I did have some blurriness in a few shots.
The phone has a few other functions I'm just now exploring, including the voice control that will play specific pieces of music or call a certain number. I've had that feature on other earlier phones (my Samsung, I believe), but it was never very practical. It didn't seem to understand what I was saying most of the time, so I never used it. I decided to test the voice control feature briefly, without reading up on how to do it, so I pressed and held the home button. The voice control display box came up with a chime, so I told it to call my husband. It repeated his name and asked work or mobile. I said mobile and it dialed his work number. Seriously freaky. Then I tried to get it to play a song. I didn't think of something quick enough, but it heard me say play and started at the beginning of my iTunes library. I went back and tried to tell it to play Madonna, and at that point it tried to call my niece, whose name sounds perhaps a bit like Madonna. Hmmmm...I tried again, telling it to play music. It told me, "Music is already playing." Doggone, it has me there! Music is indeed playing: Mary's Lullaby from the John Rutter Christmas album, to be exact. I've tried telling it to play a specific song--All Things Bright and Beautiful, and it told me it was playing music by Craig 'n Co. I asked it to play Rutter, and it played Wicked. I can't decide if it just thinks it has a better idea than I do for what I should be listening to, or if I have to figure out the proper way to phrase the command. It may take me awhile to get the hang of this. But as for the dialing thing, it's been accurate so far with the names I have tried.
I also tested the video capability, taking a test sample and uploading it to iPhoto. I got an 8 second 3.7 MB QuickTime movie that was slightly grainy due to low light conditions. My voice was clear, but not as loud as it was in the voice memo recording since the phone was farther away from me. I think this could be great for recording little snippets here and there without having to break out the video camera. The added benefit would be the ability to e-mail it right out to family members, and since mine live far away, this is actually a feature I'll be using.
In terms of physical differences, the phone is a little thicker, but still fits in the rubberized case that my flat back iPhone used. This is nice, since I only recently got this case, prompted to do so after I dropped it on concrete twice, putting dents and physical damage into my phone. My primary concern with this new phone is that the hard plastic will not be as forgiving, and will crack instead of dent. A friend told me that this is true, she's dropped hers and it cracked (although it is still useable).
The screen seems even slicker than the other glass screen, and hopefully proves to be just as durable and wear free. As to the speaker quality between my 8GB original iPhone and this new phone, I can't really tell any difference. Web browsing is quicker on this phone than the original, but so far I haven't done much other than Facebook updating.
So this is my experience so far, moving from the 8GB EDGE based iPhone to the 3G S 32 MB model. I plan to tighten up this review and add more input after I've used the phone for awhile, but I thought even my first day experiences might be useful to someone.
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