Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Downsides Of iPhone 3G

I realize I have been hyping the iPhone 3G on this blog ad nauseum. But, that doesn't mean I'm in the dark in my expectations of this new device.
I have done considerable research on this phone and many other comparable phones. I have talked with iPhone 1.0 users to see what they didn't like about their phones. I read as many articles as I could about the new 3G phone.
I found out that there is NO perfect mobile phone and every phone has its downsides. The question is: Can you live with its shortcomings?
I'll address each downside of the iPhone 3G and how it will affect (or not affect) me.

Substandard Camera/No Video Recording - The iPhone 3G sports the same 2.0 MP camera that 1.0 offered. This is about average for mobile phones. But, some higher end camera phones offer 5.0-8.0 MP with zoom, flash, autofocus and even video recording - none of which the iPhone 3G has. If I had kids, I probably would like to have those features. But, as it stands I hardly use the 0.3 MP camera on my current phone. And, when I do I'm satisfied with the results. If I need better quality, I'll go to my 4.0 MP Canon. I think dedicated cameras are a lot better than the best camera phones, anyway. Although videoconferencing with the iPhone would have been nice, I don't think it's a dealbreaker at this point. Plus, I'll have seen people hack their phones to allow for video recording. So, it's possible to fix this with software alone.

No Stereo Bluetooth Capability/Bluetooth File Transfer/Wi-Fi Syncing - The iPhone does not support Stereo Bluetooth devices. It's a nice convenience for those who want to go wireless with their headphones. For me, this is not a neccessity. And evidently, Apple didn't think so either. There's also no application on the iPhone that allows file transfer between the iPhone and other Bluetooth devices. To me, that's not a big deal either. That's what the dock is for. Being wireless is more or less another convenience. And Wi-Fi Syncing (wireless syncing) also falls into that "convenience" category. While these are nice to have, no one NEEDS it and Apple felt it wasn't a good idea to rush those features.

Physical QWERTY keyboards, as opposed to virtual keyboards, are easier to use - While that may be true, the iPhone wants a virtual keyboard so that it can be used in many different languages. Plus, a physcial keyboard only adds weight and dimensions to an already large device that doesn't need to be bigger, thicker or heavier. I have to admit, though, the virtual keyboard does take time to get used to. I periodically makes trips to AT&T/Apple Stores just to brush up on my skills. I find that using one finger so far is the best way to text.

Even though the iPhone is cheaper, when you consider the higher monthly rate over the course of the 2-year contract it will be more expensive to go with the iPhone 3G - Duh. Did you ACTUALLY think you could get something that's better for LESS money? The phone plans are now $10 more a month. Over the course of 2 years that's $240 more you will be paying. Now, when you figure in that the phones are now $200 cheaper, you're spending over the course of 2 years a grand total of... $40 extra when compared with the first iPhone. $40!!! I say that's not a bad price hike when you consider you get a faster internet connection (3G is available pretty much all over Oahu), GPS, the new iPhone 2.0 software, a better headphone jack, and everything else that was good about the first iPhone.

Well, I hope I covered everything. For me, I'm using the iPhone mainly as a wireless internet device and everyone across the board says the iPhone is the GOLD standard in that arena. And after using the new Samsung Instinct, I'd have to agree.


Albini said...

you cant be serious can you? you are talking about a function that has been standard in mobile phones for years (file transfer using bluetooth), and apple doesn't want to rush the technology? Please. Also another thing that annoys me about this post is the fact you continue to refer to things as a "convenience."

Hello, we are talking about something that is meant to integrate your business and personal life into one small device. THAT IS THE WHOLE IDEA! TO BE CONVENIENT! Steve Jobs has really done a good 'job' with the apple marketing(brainwashing) machine on this one.

You should go back and read your post.

Clay said...

After having the iPhone 3G for 2.5 months, I still don't need Bluetooth file tranfers. The docking cable works fine for syncing music, video, applications, photos, contacts, and calendar. I'm not too lazy to connect a cable.
I can also WIRELESSLY tranfer any other kind of document via a 3rd party app like Air Sharing.
I don't use my iPhone for business, but I do have EVERYTHING I need for my personal life in my cell phone.
BTW, I'm not an Apple guy. I'm a PC guy with an iPhone. Steve Jobs has NOTHING on me.

Clay said...

Also, it is actually MORE convenient for me to connect a syncing cable than it is to keep plugging in my USB Bluetooth dongle and hoping the connection works.

Albini said...

Obviously if you want to upload one of your own files from your PC or MAC to the iPhone, the docking cable is the way to go. But what about when your friend has that funny video or song that you want off their phone? I still think your comment about "convenience" was ridiculous considering the subject matter.

Clay said...

Fair enough. I'm not above being ridiculous. :)
Anyway, a future Apple patent may solve the problem of no Bluetooth file sharing. The patent says that the Bluetooth devices would be paired up and "possibly exchange data." Now, I'm not sure if this means file sharing or simply pairing Bluetooth headsets, but it could be a step into the right direction.
By the way, I do realize that the iPhone is a work-in-progress and not quite the polished product that everyone thinks it is. For me, it works to my liking but I do realize it doesn't do a lot of things that people actually need. I think sometime soon I might want to do an iPhone rant about its downsides again after having extensive experience with the device.