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Apple iPhone 3G Review

Apple iPhone 3G

Posted: , by PhoneArena Team



Reception is a concern on the iPhone 3G. During our battery testing it took a few attempts to complete the call, and it did drop once. Its bars jump frequently from 1-4, and while we realize bars don’t always accurately reflect signal strength, there were other times when calls took longer to connect than they should. Callers on the other end said we sounded “good” and volume was not an issue, but that we were somewhat “digital and tinny.” Bluetooth performance was even worse, with voice quality degrading further and echoes becoming a problem. It was much better on our end, however, and callers sounded very natural and clear even over Bluetooth.

Apple iPhone 3G Review
The battery is rated at 10 hours of 2G talk time, but we were only able to achieve 8 hours and 40 minutes. It is rated for 5 hours or 3G talk time, but since we couldn’t get a 3G signal at home we were unable to test it. From other reports battery life is a concern all around, with many users falling short on talk time and media playback. Overall we were fairly disappointed with the iPhone’s phone performance.


The iPhone 3G is a multimedia powerhouse, with a gorgeous design and an interface that remains the standard. If you don’t already own one, the iPhone 3G is well worth the $200-300 it will set you back, but what about if you do already have one? Honestly, we’d have a hard time recommending it, unless you really needed 3G or GPS. Apple’s fundamental business mistake here is that the iPhone 2.0 software is available to current iPhone owners, meaning they get just about every benefit of the new device without having to shell out a few hundred dollars. Coupled with AT&T’s poor 3G coverage and the issues users have been running into, the 3G just isn’t a compelling upgrade. Furthermore, manufacturers have had a year to catch up to Apple and some are doing a pretty good job.

The original iPhone is still an amazing phone, and can utilize the benefits of the new 2.0 software. When it comes down to it, the new iPhone simply plays catch-up with other devices that have been running 3G and GPS for years. This was an opportunity for Apple to once again raise the bar, but instead they dropped the ball.


  • The design remains iconic
  • It’s UI still sets the mobile standard
  • The multimedia capabilities can’t be beat


  • The new software can be buggy, and lacks the normal Apple refinement
  • There is a lack of wow this time around, Apple simply brought the features up to par with other offerings rather than giving the customer something completely new
PhoneArena rating:
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. (unregistered)

huh... so that's an overall rating of 8 for the I-Phone 3g and a 9 overall rating for the Dare well, i guess apple managed to rock the world again...... or not so much

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 10:08

2. (unregistered)

as was brought up in the dare comments, as well as the vu, the ratings for each phone are individual. here, they were probably rating the 3g in light of the original. with the dare they said they were rating it compared to the other phones vzw offers. i dont think anyone in their right mind would think the dare is a better phone than the iphone

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 12:26

7. (unregistered)

LOL wow the most ignorant comment ever. i happen to like the dare better, but i guess i must be crazy.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 12:49

9. (unregistered)

hey, is the contacts tab a standard tab now in the home screen or is it an app you can delete. cause i have seen mutliple pictures of the iphone 3g and never before have i seen the contacts tab

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 13:15

10. (unregistered)

its permanent

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 16:11

16. (unregistered)

Ok, so lemme get this right. It's compared to the original iPhone. Well, the original iPhone got an 8.8, while this new and fabulous 3G recieved an 8.0. Also, read the last sentence in the conclusion. Apple dropped the ball. BTW...The dare actually holds signals and makes calls fast. Under signal reception only rated a 3. Sorry, I'll keep my dare. Might be a little less in the UI department (according to the fanboys). But I know I can trust Verizon to make my calls with my PHONE, and I can trust the Dare to give me the rest of the capabilities I like to have for entertainment.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 22:37

22. (unregistered)

The Dare is better! End of discussion.

posted on 15 Jul 2008, 17:39

32. (unregistered)

So true fellas! 3G is close to epic fail :-) So much hype for nothing. I kind of feel bad for all the idiots in those lines to grab this POS and get raped by ATT and APPLE for mediocre device. DARE just destroys iphone no matter what fan boys say. I have Dare and I used iphone before and there is no comparison! And don;t tell me ... well it wasn't 3G ... big deal same brick with just a little more hype. No thanks :-)

posted on 19 Jul 2008, 09:52

60. (unregistered)

I actually went into the store to test the Dare out. It is horrible. The review must be written by Verizon fanboys, just like most of the articles written on website. I've been a Verizon customer since '98, spend over $100 month, and would gladly pay my termination fee to get the new iphone. There really isn't a comparision at Verizon... Tired of waiting.

posted on 29 Jul 2008, 17:46

80. (unregistered)

Best phone, hey come on now. If just going for basic phone features, iPhone is not that rich in features and I doubt that it has best reception and sound quality among all other phones. It's a fine product but when somebody is claiming something to be the best when there is hundreds of choices... I am sure you know also what is the best car!

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 10:20

3. xev (unregistered)

maybe not necessarily better, but why go through the hassle of switching carriers if you can get a somewhat similar experience and phone on ur current network, be it Verizon or at&t. both Dare and iphone 3G are good on their own grounds. but i agree that the new iphone wasnt worth switching for so many people that already had the original. besides there were ways to get gps on it anyways.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 10:40

4. tgijosh (unregistered)

Still this phone has something the dare and vu dont have. The ipod on this phone is amazing and thats what seperates from the pack for me. As a train commuter it cant be beat, not having to carry 2 devices.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 12:35

8. (unregistered)

I'm in Boston, and taking the train means going underground, so I always turn off my phone because I can lose about one bar of battery in 20-30 minutes underground due to the continuous "searching for signal" (I currently use Verizon). I've heard the battery on this isn't great, combine that with playing music and searching for a signal for the trip there and back... I doubt I'd be able to use this to replace my phone + iPod (which plays for 10 hours on a charge) combo, no matter how convenient it is to have it in one package.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 14:55

12. (unregistered)

battery is quite good on the iphone..... But when you turn on 3G it's another story... But still beats everyone else in terms of battery life.. http://www.pcworld.com/article/148348/3g_iphones_mediocre_battery_life_still_beats_rivals.html

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 15:20

14. (unregistered)

If you're currently with Verizon you might want to check out the Pearl. You can turn the phone aspect off and just use it as a music player.

posted on 15 Jul 2008, 16:14

28. (unregistered)

up to 8 gig of memory on the dare and you don't have to be stuck with DRM music. you can also now do the Rapsody subscription ans even if you buy from VZW peice by piece it's still 3 million songs at .99 ea or 1.99 over the air direct to the phone... yeah, i-pod on your phone is so much better

posted on 21 Jul 2008, 11:09

74. JAS39 (unregistered)

Why don't You use flight-mode then???

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 11:12

5. ri0t (unregistered)

Not for nothing, I think the wow factor is still there overall for the iphone. The UI on this device alone puts all other touchscreen UI phones from LG, Samsung etc. to shame. The app store itself has some awesome apps that take advantage of the iphones accelerometer and fast processor. Overall I still think this device is ahead of it's time in many facets. Lastly, if you are that stuck on verizon being the better company over at&t well all well and good for you go with the Dare or Voyager then.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 11:40

6. high hoe ontario (unregistered)

I waited for the iPhone 3g and now that I am using it to post this comment I have to say it is the best phone I have had so far. I love it

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 13:57

11. chunnertyme (unregistered)

I have Verizon...checked out the Dare. Didn't really like it (the UI). Walked over to the Apple Store and picked up the 3G in white. So far, I love the phone. Yes, there are some issues but, the UI is so slick and it's still the best out there.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 14:57

13. (unregistered)

I agree... The Dare might have some things that the iphone lacks, but overall quality of the iphone beats it straight down!

posted on 15 Jul 2008, 17:33

31. (unregistered)

I disagree Dare kills iphone with no questions asked. Try dropping your iphone! Ever seen cracked screens before? I have and more than a handful from my buddies. Without a question Dare is a much better choice not to mention Verizon too.

posted on 29 Jul 2008, 09:31

79. (unregistered)

That's a pretty dumb argument to make... It's sad verizon fans close their eyes for so many things just to look "kewl".

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 15:23

15. (unregistered)

I checked out the iPhone and the UI is unmatched. Features suck for a high end device IMO and this is why I have the Dare. Features on the Dare are better and it is not a smartphone.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 17:04

17. XxTNTxX (Posts: 12; Member since: 12 May 2008)

Do you not realize the full potential of the iPhone in conjunction w/ the AppStore??? Because of the popularity of the iPhone, developers are going to focus time and $ on making apps that utilize the features of the iPhone (eg accelerometer, gps, superb multi touch screen). I can guarantee you that these apps will blow away the few features the LG Dare has to offer. Look at what's already offered by the AppStore: Remote for iTunes .. simply sick. Super Monkey Ball .. havent played w/ that yet but im sure is hella fun some song identifier (comparable to VZ Song ID) but allows u to even hum the tune of a song Stuff like this is keeping the iPhone at the top of technology

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 17:14

18. (unregistered)

Yes I agree... Developers are hard at work making TERRIFIC apps for the iphone! I bought Super Monkey Ball. Despite the control function (It kinda hard, hopefully there will be a software update that will fix it) the 3D graphics are by far the best I have seen on a cell phone... Very fun and addicting!

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 18:44

19. (unregistered)

It all depends on what's important to you. If a slick UI and a few fun apps means more to you than solid coverage, exceptional reception, great voice quality and a hearty battery (which is the case for a lot of people apparently), then the iphone is a good choice. But again, as the review says, the original had the same slick UI and can run the new software, so why upgrade? If you're looking for a phone first and a toy second, then the Dare beats the iphone handily in all the important categories. What's saddest about the 3G iphone is that it isn't much of an upgrade (which is something Steve Jobs just can't get enough of apparently: convincing millions of people that the same product is an upgrade and making billions off of selling them).

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 21:25

20. (unregistered)

Sorry folks I am not defending any specific brands but I do know that iphone is kind of cool but Dare kills it in my opinion for my needs. I am careless about iphone or ATT for that matter. I have been with Verizon for a very long time and never had any issues. I could go on and list a ton of things that Dare does much better than iphone and in that light I could say Dare puts the other ones to shame! I have tried both and I really really love my Dare :D Best phone I have ever used or seen to date!

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 21:30

21. (unregistered)

I totally don't care about any of those lame apps. I want a nice solid and functional phone that features a great camera as well also I am not crazy about the glass screen and dinged up metal case. And I don't care about super expensive smartphone plans either.

posted on 14 Jul 2008, 23:08

23. (unregistered)

LAME APPS??? Why don't you check the app store (on itunes) and see for yourself how innovative these apps are! The developers are making terrific apps that take advantage of the processing power or the accelerometer of the iphone like Super Monkey Ball. It's the best graphics you will see on a cell phone... Or multi-touch features apps... Some apps use the GPS for location services... This is a BIG selling point of the iphone.... Major developers are aboard making terrific apps like AIM, Facebook, MySpace, and Pandora! LAME apps... HA!

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PhoneArena rating:
Display3.5 inches, 320 x 480 pixels (165 ppi) LCD
Camera2 megapixels
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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