I’m going to be honest. I was not interested in the iPhone when it was released in the summer of ’07. I didn’t need a cell phone at the time and it just was not on my radar during those hectic release days.
But as my Motorola L6 slowly started to fade and I was suddenly in need of a phone, the iPhone slowly started to get my attention. I still wasn’t really convinced to get one until I finally got around to testing it out and seeing how it works up close.
The fact that my L6 was slowly dying, combined with the need for an iPod and the need to check e-mail throughout the day, made me choose Apple’s product.
I bought my iPhone locally a few months ago when Apple had yet to confirm the 3G model. I got it unlocked and for 1200 Antillian Guilders and while it may seem like a lot, it was a very good price for an iPhone at the time. And remember, I didn’t have to pay shipping, I didn’t have to wait to have it delivered and it was Jailbroken in a few minutes right in front of me.
– Obviously, the phone is very nice to look at. The screen is big (but not too big for a cell phone), it responds very well to touch, , the colors are nice, the icons can be moved around and the various skins that are available for download make for nice customization.
– Wi-Fi. You can search for Wi-Fi signals just like with a laptop and if there is a signal available, the phone will connect within a matter of seconds. Should the signal be secured, it will ask for a password and should you know the password, it will remember the settings and connect automatically the next time you are close to that signal again.
– Mail. You can set-up your Gmail, Yahoo or other mail accounts to connect via IMAP and you have your mailbox right at the tip of your finger, but keep in mind that you need to be connected to the internet to check your mail (duh). And even though it’s a “phone”, the reading and answering of e-mails is a pretty pleasant experience.
– Browsing. The browsing experience was better than what I expected it to be. I put some of my favorite sites in the bookmarks so that saves the time of constantly having to type in the URL’s. Scrolling with the fingers and making the pages bigger and smaller by using pinching motions does take some getting used to, but nothing beats sitting at a cafe and opening your favorite site while waiting to be served.
-Sync with iTunes. Adding songs to your iPhone is as easy as adding songs to your iPod. Anytime you connect the iPhone to your pc, it will automatically back-up the phone and sync your music play list. (if you have chooses that particular setting)
– Applications. If you have a Jailbroken phone,you’ll have a nice collection of applications to choose from. There are games, multimedia apps, networking apps, development apps, utilities, feed readers, tweaks and plenty of skins and wallpaper to customize the look of the phone. Installation is very simple. You just choose your app and it downloads and installs automatically. For some apps you’ll need to manually enter the url to download it, but even that is a fairly simple process.
– Pictures. I was used to the picture quality of my Motorola L6, so seeing how pictures looked on the iPhone was a definite step up. Importing the pictures are also a breeze as the Windows Scanner/Camera wizard automatically pops up when you connect the phone to your pc with the USB cable. It won’t replace your regular camera, but it’s nice to have along with the phone.
– Battery Life. The battery life was also a pleasant surprise. If you’re making calls, playing some music and browsing the web throughout the day, you’ll need to charge the phone again at night, but if you’re taking it easy, the battery will last you about two days.
– Capacity. I have the 8GB version and I still have plenty of space left. I put about 2.5 Gig worth of music on it (enough for when you’re on the road), have about 300 Mb worth of pictures on it (the rest has been put on my pc) and I still have about 4.5 Gig left. Not bad.
– Finger only. The touch screen only responds to your fingers, which is nice until you consider how dirty and sticky the screen can get from that index finger that you have just used while eating. And while we don’t have to deal with cold here in Curacao, someone in the States or Europe who’s out in the cold will have to take of his or her gloves to use the phone. I can’t imagine that that will be very pleasant.
– Zoom. For some reason, you can’t zoom in while taking a picture. You can zoom into a picture after that it has been taken, but you can’t zoom in closer while trying to make the shot. I’ve found an application in the installer that allows you to zoom when taking pics, but why this was not included originally I do not understand
– Video Recording. Another odd thing is that the iPhone does not come with a built in video recorder. Considering that my L6 could record video (albeit grainy), I was somewhat disappointed. Now, you can download video recorders from the installer application, but the one I found was a trial version that only gave you 30 recordings. Yawn…
– Phone crashes. The phone has crashed 3 or 4 times with me so far, which is pretty ok when compared to Windows, but it’s still annoying. After the crash, you will have to do a hard reset to get it back on and while it has only happened a few times, I have to add it as a negative point.
– Having to be extremely careful. You’re obviously going to be careful with your gadgets and with your cell phones but the iPhone requires and extra kind of careful. While another phone could survive a drop to the floor/pavement, your iPhone will not. So, if you’re somewhat clumsy and have a tendency to drop things, I would not advise you to buy this.
Every iPhone user will have his/her own list of good and bad things but these were the ones that stood out for me.
Even thoug there are some minor annoyances some times, I have to say that the good really outweighs the bad. My satisfaction with this phone can probably best be summed up when I was sitting at the airport last month and my flight got delayed.
Usually this would have ment boredom and frustration, but I took out the phone, searched for a Wi-Fi signal (luckily the airport has free Wi-Fi) and started browsing some of my favorite sites. In the meantime I plugged in the headphones, started playing some music, all while catching up on some news and checking my e-mail. I checked the weather forecast for the weekend, watched some movie trailers and put in some important work related notes.
It are moments like that when you realize the value of the phone, but then again, I can only recommend it if you have those uses for it. Someone that just uses his or her phone to call and send SMS will not need an iPhone. But if you have a need for these features, I can definitely recommend this phone.