Apple iPhone 3G: First Look
First Look: Apple iPhone 3G4:49 /
The iPhone 3G delivers on its promises by adding critical features and sharper performance. We still have some gripes, and we feel the new design wasn't entirely necessary, but it's a tremendous improvement over the original model.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi, I'm Kent German, Senior editor here at CNET.com. Today we'll take a first look at the iPhone 3G. This is the new version of the iPhone, and of course, it's for AT&T. I wanna first talk about the design. From the front, you'll see the 2 phones are actually just about the same. This is the iPhone 3G right here, this is the old version. You could see they have the same display. They have the same icons, same sort of menu structure, so really a lot to not much change from the front. But, if you turn the phone on its side, you'll see it does look a lot different. That's come in white and black. The white version is only available in the 16 gig model. One thing that I wasn't crazy about is that you did replace this aluminum silver back with a plastic back. The black isn't bad, it is you know, it looks--shows up well, but the phone just feels a tiny bit less dirty in the hand. Also, you'll find that the edges are a little more tapered, kind of come to a rounder point at the front here. Oddly enough that does mean the phone is just a little bit thicker here in the middle. You'll never notice it though. Otherwise, the dimensions are about the same. The tapered head just have another effect actually. When you have the phone on a table and you're punching at it, let's say you're typing an email. The phone does wobble around just a little bit. It didn't happen on the previous model. You can see the buttons are pretty much the same. They are coated in silver instead of black. You have the volume rocker here on the side. You have the handset locking switch. Here on the top, that's the power control. So, that's all the same, and the SIM card slot. The thing that's great about the new iPhone is it doesn't have that recessed headset jack. You can't plug any headset here, great improvement. Apple must really have listened to all the complaints that people had about that, so really glad to see that. On the bottom, we'll also find 2 tiny screws that weren't there before. A lot of people speculated that makes--means the iPhone 3G's batteries is user replaceable. Really not the case, you're still gonna need to send it in Apple to get it replaced. We have seen online and some blogs that the battery isn't actually soldered, but still it's really not designed to be user replaceable. Otherwise, you have the same speaker and the microphone here at the bottom. Also on the bottom, you can see there is the charger jack. That is the same as well. The new features of the iPhone 3G adds some course of 3G access, that means a wireless broadband service. It's much faster than the edge that the original iPhone is on so we're able to download web pages quicker, get the large file downloads, so it's nice. Of course they have the Wi-Fi as usual, so you don't need to be on the--you don't need to be on 3G if you don't have to. Other things that have been added is you do have exchange emails. That means you can go on and get your work email. Set up was pretty easy. You just had to enter certain information you can get from your IT department, install a security certificate, at least in CNET's case. But otherwise, it wasn't bad, easy to use. The new iPhone also has assisted GPS which means it uses satellites as well, cell phone towers and Wi-Fi hotspots. The original iPhone only use the towers and the Wi-Fi hotspots to find where you are. It has live tracking, so you can see you can follow yourself along. Try it out a little bit when you're walking, it works a lot better. When you're in a car, it's a little jerkier. Of course you can get directions through your Google maps, but you can't get turn by turn sort of voice audible directions in real time. So, it's important thing to remember about the GPS. Almost like real GPS, but just not quite. Other things that the new phone will add that you can also get on the current iPhone to the iPhone2.0 software update is a scientific calculator, you can get contacts search, you can get parental controls, and of course, you get the iPhone App Store. This is really one of the most exciting things about the new iPhone. It really goes a long way in making the internet in your pocket as Apple has always promised for the iPhone. You can download apps to the phone pretty quick and easy. You can do it over Wi-Fi or you can do it over 3G. You still cannot buy iTunes songs without using Wi-Fi. If you cannot get the apps, of course you can also connect the iPhone 3G with your computer and then download iTunes apps or any songs that way as well. Besides the 3G, besides the enhanced GPS, the new iPhone doesn't offer a whole lot more features that you can't get on the current iPhone with the iPhone 2.0 software update. But, really the addition of 3G is a great thing, really good for it as [unintelligible] out on Wi-Fi. We've noticed already that it is quicker. Call quality, seems a bit improved on initial calls I've made on the current iPhone. It was a little quiet at times [unintelligible] as well. A lot of people complained about that. You also have a lot of GSM buzz that they call it. It's a little background noise. I didn't hear as much of that on the new iPhone. One thing that I'm gonna be concerned about on the iPhone which you've seen in other reviews is that the 3G and the new features do eat up into the battery quite a lot. I haven't seen that yet. I've only had the phone about an hour, so we will go into a lot more battery testing soon. If you're interested in the iPhone 3G and you haven't bought an iPhone yet and you've been waiting, this is probably the best one for you. The addition of the 3G and the enhanced features really make it a good model to get, if you haven't bought one already. If you have the current iPhone and you don't think you need 3G, remember you can get a lot of the features including the Microsoft Exchange email. You can't get that assisted GPS, but you can get most of the other features I talked about using the software update. Of course the new iPhone is a little cheaper 199 or 299 or 399 or 499 depending on your upgrade eligibility. That does mean it's cheaper than what the original iPhone cost when it first came out. Of course you will make that up in terms of the more power priced plans. [Background music] I'm Kent German, Senior Editor at CNET.com, and this is the iPhone 3G. [ Music ] ^M00:04:46