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iLove Apple!

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14.09.2010

Advantages:
Superb touch screen, great calling/texting quality, huge memory capacity, built in iPod

Disadvantages:
oor battery life, no huge differences from the 3G

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Look & Feel

Durability & Robustness

Battery standby time

Value for money

Range of features

Battery talktimePoor

Camera Quality

33 Ciao members have rated this review on average: exceptional See ratings
exceptional by (51%):
  1. BazzaBoyT
  2. KathEv
  3. anonymili
and 15 other members
very helpful by (49%):
  1. lora44
  2. shoppingpenguin
  3. Brooke3
and 14 other members

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Introduction

When it comes to technology, itís safe to say that the smartphone is well and truly taking over the market; whether itís a Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung or a BlackBerry, they all claim to out-do the others in their own individual way. However, whatís strange is, all the aforementioned brands seem to be Ďborrowingí aspects of another phone and including them in their own models - that phone is of course, the big Daddy of them all, the iPhone.

Love it or hate it, itís become nigh on impossible to avoid it, the iPhone has well and truly penetrated the market with their range of elegant, functional and stylish mobile phones and whether itís the 3G, 3GS or the brand new iPhone 4 itís impossible to deny this phones brilliance. Apple - I salute you.

Itís safe to say that I have a decent amount of experience with Appleís iPhone range. After owning a 3G 8GB for many months before upgrading to a 3GS, I have become entangled in Appleís excellent marketing process and I now wonder how on earth I managed before this black shiny gadget landed in the palm of my welcoming hand.

Availability

Apple are renowned for many things, one of those things being price. Ok, so itís not exactly going to break the bank, but it will make a rather considerable dent in your wallet. For the 3GS 16GB youíre looking forking out (on 02) around £389 for a pay as you go model. However, if youíre looking to really make the most out of this supreme piece of technology, youíll be better off taking out a monthly contract. For this you can expect to be paying anything from £35 - £60 a month.

Setting Up

Given its huge mass of elements and features that the iPhone 3GS provides you with, youíd expect it to be only for the techno geeks among us. I, for one am definitely not a techno geek and managed to get the hang of this phone within minutes. Having said that, there are a few little quirks that need completing before youíre able to roam free with your new favourite gadget. Firstly youíll need a computer or laptop with iTunes and if not this can easily be downloaded freely from the Apple website. The back of the phone isnít removable like most other handsets, therefore Apple have come up with a clever way of storing the sim card. In the box youíll receive a tiny stick like object which youíll probably be looking at with utter confusion for about 20 minutes after opening the box (I did first time around!). This is infact your key to inserting your sim card. The key inserts into a tiny hole at the top of the iPhone and when it comes out it reveals the sim card slot - in the words of the TV Meercat Ďsimples!í.

Apple arenít just the creators of some of the greatest gadgets of the last century, no no, they also like to do their bit for the planet. Therefore Apple have incorporated only a very basic manual into the miniscule box. The manual covers things like making a phone call, inserting the sim, sending a text etc. All the other information is stored on the Apple website, where youíre able to view a full manual on your computer screen. A consciences way of saving paper, as the manual,
Pictures of Apple iPhone 3GS 16GB
Apple iPhone 3GS 16GB Iphone-3Gs - Apple iPhone 3GS 16GB
Apple iPhone 3GS 16GB
as you can expect is *very* detailed.

Generic Features

First up is possibly the most important feature - the touch screen. Unlike other touch screens Iíve used in the past (namely Samsungs), the iPhone touch screen works like a dream and within minutes youíll be navigating the phone like a pro. The screen is extremely sensitive and every movement of your fingers will have an impact. This is in no way a bad thing though, it means that you have to put in minimal effort to get maximum results from the screen. I thought the Samsung Tocco/Jet and the HTC HD touch screens were all very good, however, the iPhone is simply in a different league to those. The touch screen is a joy to use and Iíve never experienced any glitches whatsoever with this phone regarding the touch screen.

Making a phone call is a doddle and can be done with three touches. Using the green phone icon at the bottom of your screen youíre able to navigate to your recent contacts, favourite contacts, your entire contact list, keypad or your voicemails. Whilst on a call, your iPhone will aim to do you favours along the way, turning off the backlight when the phone is on your ear, to save battery and turning the light on when the phone is moved to enable you to use the onscreen options. When it comes to calling quality this phone is simply unbeatable. Iíve used a vast array of mobile phones over my time and nothing even comes close to the clarity of the iPhone. Itís crisp and clear at all times and more often than not I find myself turning the volume down whilst on a call as the quality is just that good. As for signal problems that are prevalent with the iPhone 4 (apparently) Iíve never experienced any call cut outs at all and unless Iím in the middle of nowhere I can always get a signal on 02. The inbuilt speaker phone is just as good and with an array of volume settings youíre sure to find a volume to suit you. Speaker phone, just as normal calls are always clean and crisp at all times and unlike some other phones whilst on speaker, the voice on the other end never becomes muffled or distorted.

Texting is, yep, you guessed it - excellent (hmm, I see a pattern emerging here!). A lot of people have spoken out about texting being the Achilles heel of the iPhone, the only thing I have to say about that is - are you kidding? Ok, so the buttons are a little small on the QWERTY keyboard, but with the pre-installed auto correction feature, even if you do press numerous incorrect keys the iPhone will always correct you. For people who occasionally struggle with their grammar, the iPhone also has you covered. If you enter, for example, Ďyoullí into the phone, much like a computer, the iPhone will automatically correct it to Ďyouíllí. Unfortunately it doesnít rescue you from the cardinal sin of the incorrect spelling of the word Ďdefinitelyí and it wonít teach you the differences between Ďyourí and Ďyouíreí, but come on, itís doing itís best isnít it? If the keys are a tad too small for your fingers, you always have the option of tilting the phone into a landscape position, which stretches out the keypad somewhat. There isnít a huge difference, but it helps. Although I personally prefer texting in portrait mode.

The iPhone has not only revolutionised the way we text with the inclusion of the grammar checker, it lso includes an ingenious copy and paste feature. Yes, I know computers have been utilising this for years, but this is a mobile phone for Godís sake! Sending video and audio clips pose a bit of an issue, however. Utilising the MMS feature is very easy to use, however, if you wish to send either of the aforementioned files youíre severely limited by the iPhones capabilities. The iPhone will only allow you to send a 30 second clip, therefore if you want to send anything longer youíll have to utilise email.

Speaking of email, itís very easy to sync your email account with your iPhone, meaning that you can check and send emails wherever you are with the press of a button. You can sync any email account, whether it be hotmail, gmail or the many other incarnations of the noble email system. Simply enter your email address and password and the phone will take a few seconds to gather all your email information, including previously sent and received emails. Unfortunately the email feature is unable to be password protecting, however, if you utilise the security feature then this shouldnít be a problem.

Say Cheese

The camera quality is one of the noticeable differences from the 3G to the 3GS. The 3G utilised a 2MP camera, whereas the 3GS uses a 3MP camera. To be honest both specs are below par, considering that some mobile phones now incorporate anything up to 12MP camera. However, donít let the low specs deceive you as Iíve always found the 3G and 3GS cameras to be of surprisingly excellent quality. The 3GS steps things up a notch with the brand new inclusion of the video camera. The video camera is of superb quality, crisp and clear video shots as well as excellent sound quality. Not only that, but thereís also a video editor and an option to upload your videos to YouTube if you so wish. Picture quality isnít all that different in comparison to the 3G, however, there is a slight difference when it comes to contrast. Yet again, though thereís no flash which is the biggest disappointment here, masked by the auto-focus feature which is largely superfluous.

Home Sweet Home

Youíll no doubt already be familiar with Appleís trademark home screen and although it may have changed slightly since the first iPhone was released, the core features have remained the same. The home screen features: messages, calendar, photos, camera, YouTube, contacts, maps, weather, voice memos, calculator, notes, settings, stocks, iTunes and the App Store. The home screen is aesthetically pleasing and completely customisable. By holding your finger on a certain app for a few seconds, it will, along with every app, begin to shake and youíll be free to drag and drop apps to whichever place you wish. This can sometimes be something of a hit and miss process as some apps can be very stubborn to move, however, this can easily be avoided by moving apps around on iTunes and then syncing your computer to your phone.

iOS 4.1

Those of you unfamiliar with the iPhone will no doubt be scratching your heads at this heading. iOS 4.1 is the operating system that the iPhone currently utilises, recently updated from iOS 3.0. It claims to be the worldís most advanced operating system and there have been an admirable amount of changes from the last software update. Most notably youíre now able to change your background of the home screen to a picture of your choice, which, although very nice isnít anything groundbreaking. The most useful change thatís come is that youíre now able to group your apps together instead of having page after page. Multitasking is also a big improvement from the last update, giving you the option to surf the internet, play on an app and send a text message all through tabs, much like on Safari.

Thereís An App For That

A phrase youíll no doubt be familiar with, given Appleís tireless marketing strategies. There are literally hundreds of thousands of apps (applications) to choose from, from ones that enrich your daily lives, to ones that simply help you pass a few minutes of your day. With a 16GB memory, the iPhone 3GS is equip to hold an awful lot of apps. Put in perspective, 16GB will hold roughly 8000 songs and with a lot of apps even smaller in memory capacity than most songs, there really is an endless amount of apps/videos/songs you can add to this phone and youíll be very hard pressed to fill up the memory completely.

Itís A Safari Out There

Personally, Iím not a fan of Mac computers or their equally irritating Safari internet browser (Appleís equivalent to Internet Explorer), however the iPhone version is as simple as they come. Think of it as a baby Internet Explorer. The iPhone 3GS boasted about how much faster it is in comparison with its predecessor the 3G, however, personally I donít find it to be *that* much quicker. Ok, so there is a notable difference, however, if youíre pondering buying the 3GS just because of the enhanced internet speeds Iíd say itís really not worth it.

Safari is very easily navigated and it wonít take you long at all until youíre surfing like a pro. Youíre able to have numerous tabs open at once too, meaning essentially you can be completing a number of different tasks all at once.

iPod

The iPhone of course includes a fully functional iPod which works in exactly the same way as any iPod (namely iPod Touch), however, I personally prefer to use my iPod Nano for my music given the poor battery life this phone has. The iPod is of superb quality though, with the sound quality second to none itís hard to find fault with this little device.

Stamina

As aforementioned, the battery life is, well, poor - I wonít lie. My old 3G allowed for only a days battery life before it needed charging (maybe a day and a half with minimal usage) and although there are claims that the 3GS is better, it really isnít all that better. I still find myself charging the phone every night and the same as the 3G, a day and a half if I limit usage. Itís the only real downfall with this phone, however, itís bearable given all the superb features youíre getting and really, if the battery life is the only thing to moan about you know youíve got a great phone.

Overview

With a vast array of absolutely superb features that not only entertain you, but enrich your life in several ways, the iPhone really is hard to beat. Itís style *and* substance in a nut shell and I have no qualms whatsoever about recommending this gem of a handset to you.

So go on, what are you waiting for?

Highly recommended

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Comments about this review »

BazzaBoyT 14.11.2010 21:26

E from me :) excellent review... I love apple too :)

KathEv 27.09.2010 15:27

Have still not caved and got one yet!

anonymili 21.09.2010 16:08

An E from me...!

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Product Information Ľ

Manufacturer's product description

The first thing you'll notice about iPhone 3GS is how quickly you can launch applications. Web pages render in a fr...

General

MPN MB715LL/A, MC131, K2718B/A, K2758B/A, K2757B/A, K2717B/A, MC132T/A
Product Type Smartphone
Form Factor Touch

Cellular

Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
Band WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900
Mobile Broadband Generation 3G

Show all Product Information

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This review of Apple iPhone 3GS 16GB has been rated:

"exceptional" by (51%):

  1. BazzaBoyT
  2. KathEv
  3. anonymili

and 15 other members

"very helpful" by (49%):

  1. lora44
  2. shoppingpenguin
  3. Brooke3

and 14 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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