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Apple iPhone 3G Review

Apple iPhone 3G

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Interface:

The UI is relatively unchanged on the iPhone 3G's 2.0 software, and it remains nearly perfect. The first time around the UI was as smooth as can be, but we (and others) are experiencing more issues this time around. Generally it’s excellent, but every now and again we will get some lag, or a lockup. It has even restarted on us a few times, never doing the same thing twice. The iPhone 3G definitely has some bugs, and we’d expect a software update from Apple pretty soon.

If you are not familiar with the iPhone OS, please check out our (first-generation) iPhone review.

Apple iPhone 3G Review
Apple iPhone 3G Review
Problems with iPhone 3G bugs:



There are two additional menu options this time around: Contacts and App Store. Contacts seems to be a response to user feedback, though it’s a redundant item as it is the same exact contacts accessed via the tab in the phone app. We appreciate one-click access, but adding another icon to avoid two-click access seems pointless to us. It is a perfect example of why we wish we could hide icons.

The App Store means that there is the possibility to add many, many, many more icons to the menu, which in turn means it will swell to several pages. Owners of Jailbroken iPhones are used to this, but we would have preferred the ability to create folders to group applications and keep the interface a bit cleaner. Our theory has always been the less cluttering at the top level the better, and since the iPhone only has one level it’s bound to get pretty crowded.


Search - Apple iPhone 3G Review
Search - Apple iPhone 3G Review

Search


Phonebook:

The big change here is the search functionality. Users can now pull up the keyboard to search through their contacts, and along the side is an alphabetical slider similar to the one found on the Instinct and Windows Mobile devices. We prefer its implementation in the latter devices though, where finger scrolling brings up a large letter on the display so we know where we are at in the list.

Other than that the interface remains unchanged. Adding and editing a contact is as easy as ever and the in-call screens are still simple to understand and use. We had no issues syncing with our Outlook contacts. Basically, it’s pretty much perfect.

Visual Voicemail remains unchanged. Apple and AT&T may have been the first to market with this, and it’s still pretty great, but the Instinct has better implementation due to more options such as sending a text or replying via voicemail.

Organizer:

Apple iPhone 3G Review
The calendar remains unchanged, as does the notepad. When we first set up the iPhone 3G we were asked if we wanted to sync calendar and contacts with Outlook. Like our contacts, our calendar synced without issue, though notes do not transfer as they do with Windows Mobile. The calendar is very easy to use, and highly functional. With the iPhone’s new Exchange support, as well as Apple’s new MobileMe product, customers have the ability to sync their calendar and contacts over the air in real time.

Apple iPhone 3G Review


The calculator is the one functionality that has been updated. In portrait mode it is the same basic one found on the original iPhone, but now rotating the phone brings up a scientific calculator. It’s a handy feature, though we would have rather seen more useful items such as a tip calculator or currency and unit converters.


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PhoneArena rating:
8Good
Display3.5 inches, 320 x 480 pixels (165 ppi) LCD
Camera2 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 412 MHz
0.1 GB RAM
Size4.50 x 2.40 x 0.48 inches
(115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm)
4.70 oz  (133 g)
Battery1150 mAh, 10 hours talk time

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