Apple iPhone 3G 16GB

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Apple iPhone 3G 16GB

Cut, copy, and paste with a tap. Send text, photos, locations, and more. Search across your iPhone. Phone, iPod, and Internet device in one, iPhone 3...

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90% positive

210 reviews from the community

Review of "Apple iPhone 3G 16GB"

published 09/09/2008 | Ottavia
Member since : 08/08/2008
Reviews : 58
Members who trust : 7
About me :
Pro Ease of use, style, fantastic applications, camera, text format, all of it!
Cons Can't send photo messages and have to pay for extra ringtones
Look & Feel
Durability & Robustness
Battery standby time
Battery talktime
Value for money

"iLove My iPhone!"

iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G

I'm absolutely head over heels with the Apple iPhone 3G. I've become far too proud and a bit too obsessed, but that's because it really is an excellent phone. For what it offers personally, I am happy to forgo the few traditional phone features that are not available on the iPhone 3G. It's looks brilliant, is easy to navigate and get used to. It has useful and fun applications installed. With the touch of a button (or screen in this case), you can add any number of the thousands of applications that have been created for this phone from iTunes. It's certainly the best phone I've ever used - not that that's saying too much, as compared this I've been carting about one of those 80's breeze-block sized 'mobiles'.

As the previous owner of what were fairly up to date Samsung, Nokia and Motorola mobiles and as a user of Microsoft at work and (until recently) at home as well, I'd never really had all that much experience with Mac products. I'd had an iPod back when you could only get them in white (look at me doing a flashback for something that's only about 5 years ago!) and have since updated it about 2 or so years ago to a nice shiny black one. As I mentioned, I was only used to Microsoft computers until about a year and a bit ago when I spent a lot of time at my fiancé's flat - where his Mac lived too. When we moved in together I began to use it more often and now I'd say that I'm fairly competent on it. The great thing that I've found with Mac products, now that I'm used to them, is that they're so accessible and a lot more logical that any other electronic equipment that I've used.

The Apple iPhone 3G is no different. What Mac are offering us is an ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing bit of kit.

So, lets talk about the product.

Appearance and Form

The iPhone is slim at one centimeter in depth, (>>>) in width and 11 in length. It's available in black or white - personally I opted for the black one. The finish is a shiny smooth surface.

On the face of the phone is one round button, which is the main menu button. This is to be used when you want to do something on your phone, as it basically unlocks it. When you want to lock it you'll need to press the button on the top of the phone, right hand side. These are the main external buttons that you'll use, but there is also a volume button on the side, to turn it up or down.

The microphone and speaker are on the bottom of the phone, they're small but pretty powerful. On the top is the socket for the headphones.

The sim card is also inserted into the top of the phone which means that the back doesn't come off - so it's really sturdy - no chance of dropping it and the back flying across the room! To insert the sim card you will need to get something really thin (maybe Apple provided something but I didn't find it?), I used a screw tip, and pull out a little tray. You place the sim on it and push it back in. So it's not going anywhere.

The design is neat and tidy so you won't really notice any of the external features until you need to use them.

The screen is really large which is fantastic for photos and videos, which I'll come to later. Operating on the screen alone improves using a mobile tenfold in my opinion, once you're used to it - which I will also get to later on in this review. It makes using it much more fun because you're not just pressing buttons and seeing the effect - you're touching it and making things happen. Yes, a little sad I may be, but I like the magic.

One of my main concerns was scratching this pretty new gadget! I went into a local Apple franchise, Farpoint in Bath, and spoke to one of their members of staff about it. He said that he'd had so many people in the store asking about covers and being worried about the same thing. Then he told me that the iPod was covered in plastic but that iPhone (and the new iPod touch) is glass (I hadn't noticed the difference!) and that he owns one himself, has had it for a while and hasn't got any scratches on the front. Apparently he keeps his keys and iPhone in the same pocket and doesn't have any problems! So I bought a cover for the back, because the backs do tend to get scratched a lot and it's been absolutely fine. No problem at all. I've kept it in a handbag full of rubbish (as is the norm with handbags) and not a mark on it... I haven't actively tried to test this, so I don't know just how durable it is but all I can say is that for everyday use it's been absolutely fine.

It's very easy to hold and use, the proportions are great. It fits snugly into my hand and doesn't stretch it or feel unnatural at all. In fact this really helps considering I can't put it down!

The iPhone just looks really good - sleek, shiny and gaget-y! It also feels quite subtle due to the minimalist style and in the case of my phone, being black. I don't think I'd want to carry a white one around really, but I do think they look nice. I'm just slightly paranoid about it getting nicked that's all!


So what does it do, other than sit there and look good? Lots.
  • It comes as standard, with the iPhone 2.0.2 software.
  • 3G technology which allows you to:

    * Use the internet on the Safari browser
    * Access emails
    * Get directions with GPS maps
    * Watch video on YouTube

You can use all of these features whilst taking a call as put it on speaker and tune out!

* Applications - which is the option to download any of the features available
Standard applications include:

* Calendar
* Stocks
* Weather
* News
* Notes
* Clock
* Facebook
* i Pod
* Camera
* And of course phone/text people

Using the PhoneOn the main menu, on the bottom of the screen is bar that you will be able to see from any of the main menu screens (you get more when you add more things, you just scroll the the left to get them on the screen). On this bar is the Phone option. From the Phone menu you have:
  • Favourites: here you can add a list of contacts that you will use often and just touch this option when you want to ring them.
  • Recent: shows you the people you've recently called, funnily enough.
  • Contacts: list of contacts, alphabetical order. Can be changed to be ordered by last name or first. Just scroll up or down to continue the list.
  • Keypad: turns the screen into a phone on a normal landline phone. Tap the numbers and press 'call' which is also on this screen.
  • Voicemail: to stop you scrambling around trying to find what number you need to call. On initial set up press it, you then type in a pin and confirm it. Then the next screen gives you the choice to have a default voicemail or record your own. Tap which one. Press 'Record' and then 'Stop' to finish if that's your choice and then it saves it. I really love how all these options are on screen - no annoying woman asking you to do things, no hash or star buttons to press until your blue in the face.

There's a separate option for text messaging, on the main menu under 'Text'. This really has been very well thought out - it makes texting and reading texts so simple. Immediately you're taken to the list of received text messages, which are listed by the names of the person that you contacted or that contacted you, as normal. Then after pressing the name of the person, you get taken to a scroll of all the texts you've sent or received with them. They appear in speech bubbles in different colours to indicate who's who. Having it in this format is fantastic because you don't have to flick back and forth between what they sent you in order for you to think what you're going to send them! Also, it's just so much easier and texting takes less time because of this.

The iPhone uses the Safari browser, which all Mac products come with as standard. So the 'official' word is that it's the best...It's not far off to be honest - it's certainly not the best in terms of using it on a computer, but when it comes to the phone it's actually really good. Personally I've never had any luck operating the internet from a phone, until now. I'd previously been kept waiting (usually for nothing) or the phone just didn't want to find the website. With this phone all I have to press the Safari option (which is always at the bottom of the page, on every main menu screen) and wait about half a second until it's loaded. It will automatically go to your last page and when you want to go to a new one you tap the address bar at the top. Then this expands and you key the address in and press enter. Done. It does take a little longer though. I've experienced a great signal with my iPhone. I live at the top of a four story building which can't seem to get a signal better than GPRS on the dongle thing for the the internet on the computer is frustratingly slow (I can't stress just how much). But the iPhone has no problems. So except for writing reviews on Ciao (I like writing my drafts on Pages, Mac's version of Word) I've abandoned the computer.

To add a bookmark (favourite) to the internet, jut press the '+' option on the toolbar at the bottom. Also here is the Bookmark menu, press it and get access to History and a list of pre-bookmarked sites - including Apple, Yahoo, Google, O2, User Guide and Applications list. Also the button showing a square overlapping another square takes you from one open page to another. I think you can have up to 6. And that's it. Pretty simple eh?

The techy bit of the Apple website says 3G uses "a technology protocol called HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) to download data fast over UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) networks." Doesn't mean much to me, other than it makes it fast. Also the site boasts that the internet and email pages load "twice as fast" as anything on 2G EDGE networks.

In order to access the ITunes store you have to be in a WIFI zone though, which is a little annoying considering you can download other things to the phone really quickly without having WIFI. But those be the rules.

I've taken it to a few places and used the internet; my parents house, work, the street and all have been fine. Not had any signal problems yet. Slight slowing down in places, but not often. Your phone shop or network service provider should be able to tell you how strong the 3G signal is where you live.

Scrolling in so you can see all the wee writing is just done by moving your fingers apart, as if creating an upside-down peace sign or swearing at your self! Or you might find the finger-thumb combo more comfortable.

The screen rotates too. Just turn the iPhone to the side you want to view it from.


In my opinion one of the best bits about this phone is all the applications that you can download and store. The option for anything you download goes on your main menu, so you press it and you're there. You can download anything from prayer texts or reminders to games, language lessons, reminders, calorie and BMI checkers, accounting related things...literally just about anything. That is as long as someone actually invents it and puts it on the site. The applications are created by independent programmers rather than Apple, so you need to read the reviews because as hard as they try, some of these people haven't made the perfect program. Apparently some people have experienced their phones slowing down or freezing on the application. I've avoided the ones with these reviews, you can generally tell though from the quality of whatever it is you're downloading. I've had no problems so far, but I've been on the look out.

To download an application go to Apps Menu on the main menu and press it. Then chose from the categories. Here's the list:
  • Books
  • Business
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Finance
  • Games
  • He alth and Fitness
    Social Networking

Long list eh! There are literally thousands of things to download.
Same as with the internet, you get a main toolbar on this that gives you options to see the Featured applications, Categories, Top 25, Search and Updates (which is just newer versions of things you've got that you get alerted to).

You can get plenty of free applications but you do have to pay for a great deal - so watch out, but it does make it very clear on the menu - so I just look out for the freebies. Some examples which I've downloaded are Whack-a-Gopher (!!!), Stanza (which means you can read books on there and download hundreds for free - this is a fantastic application that I can't recommend highly enough) and even more advanced games like Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart racing, which is almost to the standard of the Nintendo DS and at 5.99, much cheaper.

Basically they make things fun when you're hanging about and got nothing to do...say a lunch break when you don't want to go back to work yet, or if the internet's playing up at home.

All the applications that come with the phone, such as the calendar, calculator, weather and clock work really quickly and are easy and reliable to get to grips with. You will automatically get one for Facebook too, which is fantastic for if you use the website.

All applications are removable by connecting to iTunes and un-ticking them on the 'Applications' page. So you can clean up the menu if you download too many games involving Gophers. Ahem...


YouTube appears as an option on the main menu and once clicked you're directed to the site. The tool bar on the bottom of the screen gives you the options of seeing Featured, Most Viewed, Bookmarks and Search. It works quicker than it does online - it's superspeed. You wait seconds for a video to load, no matter how long it is, and then it's playing...all the way through. No gaps. This is one of the best applications for the iPhone and great when you have no telly!


The emailing function is found on the bar in the main menu. It's usable with the Mail Me function as well, which is where you can synchronise your computer (so calendar, emails, to do lists etc) with your iPhone and have all the info you need, but on the go. I've not sent anything by email yet, so I'm not really the best person to judge it. But I have looked at how you do it and it's with the same format you get with the text function. Nice 'n easy by the look of things.

Camera and Photos

I think the camera function is really good. As with a digital camera it allows you the whole screen with which to look at and take the picture through. The picture quality is really impressive and the camera as a whole is useful and looks excellent. Also you can sync photos with your PC or Mac really easily. Once you've taken them they go straight to the Photos menu (main menu) which saves a lot of fuss over storing them then finding them and all that lark. However, you cannot send picture messages, which is a little annoying at first, but personally I never sent more than 5 in the couple of years that I had my old phone, so I don't really mind all that much. You can email them instead. This is one of the disadvantages to the phone, but maybe they'll include it in the next version they make.


Another disadvantage is that you can't just make anything your ringtone, it has to be one of the preselected ones (musical things that you usually get on a mobile, just a bit nicer) or one that you buy from iTunes. I've just selected one of the preprogrammed ringtones, but I think I will look into getting one from iTunes eventually.

Using the Keyboard!

At first I did think 'oh my god, I'm never going to get this right'. Then I actually tried it and within a few hours I was typing away, perfectly used to it. I've had no problems with typing wrong letters or finding it difficult to type what I want. There is a predictive text which seems to operate when your words are nonsensical which is pretty good. You just press the space to continue with the suggestion and the 'back' button to ignore it. Again, I've found this absolutely fine.

Setting It Up

This literally took minutes when I did it. I just plugged my iPhone into the computer, opened iTunes and waited until it showed the device. Then I asked it to sync my music and applications (as my fiance already had a few for his iPod touch), then I registered it. Done in about 10 minutes and it was free to play with again! Really easy, minimal fuss. I really hate it when you get something good and the extras or the set up doesn't go to plan and puts a dampener on the whole thing. So I was really chuffed with the iPhone for making life that little bit easier.


I don't really know in all honesty, as mine was a free upgrade from my last phone. After a nightmare dealing with O2 and their collective level of incompetency, I ended up paying roughly the same amount per month anyway.


Quite frankly I think this is marvelous, I love this phone to bits. It allows me to be really organised, with functions such as Notes, Calendar and Clock. I can keep in touch with friends and family via email, text or a phone call, all of which are incredibly easy to use. I can play as many games as I like, for free so far, when I'm bored or passing time. I can listen to my iPod, which has plenty of capacity. I can visit Facebook, YouTube and other internet sites at the drop of a hat. I can take good quality pictures and send them out on email and last but not least I can stare at it in all it's iPhone glory and say that I've got one fantastic phone.

I know I've gone on about how to use the iPhone quite a bit, but I really hope this demonstrates just how easy it is to use and get used to. I that this goes someway to showing that you don't have to be really up on Mac products or be a techy wizz in order to get the most out of this phone. Apple have made this product accessible to all. I've always had to spend months getting used to new phones, even getting other people to work out how to do things for me, when I lost patience! But with the iPhone it all makes so much sense, how it works, what to press, how to use it. It's as if I've had it for years, when in actual fact it's only been about two or three weeks maximum.

An excellent product which allows you to do so much more than you can on an ordinary mobile phone. A great design too, making this the both the easiest thing to look at and to operate.

iLove My iPhone!

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Comments on this review

  • 1st2thebar published 11/11/2009
    Helpful - Enjoyed the read
  • flyingllamas published 31/07/2009
    Great review.
  • davedave135 published 27/06/2009
    great review, very detailed :) excellent
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Product Information : Apple iPhone 3G 16GB

Manufacturer's product description

Cut, copy, and paste with a tap. Send text, photos, locations, and more. Search across your iPhone. Phone, iPod, and Internet device in one, iPhone 3G offers desktop-class email, an amazing maps application, and Safari - mobile web browser. With fast 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and the App Store, iPhone 3G puts even more features at your fingertips. And like the original iPhone, it combines three products in one - a revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod, and a breakthrough Internet device with rich HTML email and a desktop-class web browser. iPhone 3G. It redefines what a mobile phone can do - again. Find your location, get directions, and see traffic - all from your phone. Maps on iPhone 3G combines GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell tower location technology with the Multi-Touch interface to create the best mobile map application ever. Get directions to wherever from wherever. View a list of turn-by-turn directions or follow a highlighted map route and track your progress with live GPS tracking. Just like Google Maps on your computer, Maps on iPhone lets you switch between views of Google Map data, satellite images, and a hybrid of both. Multi-Touch makes the difference. Tap to Zoom, pan, and change your view on the move. Maps on iPhone shows you live traffic information, indicating traffic speed along your route in easy-to-read green, red, and yellow highlights.

Product Details

Product Description: Apple iPhone 3G - black - 3G 16 GB - GSM - smartphone, Apple iPhone 3G - white - 3G 16 GB - GSM - smartphone

Product Type: Smartphone

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Smartphone Memory: 16 GB

Service Provider: O2, Not specified

Form Factor: Touch

Dimensions (WxDxH): 62 mm x 12 mm x 116 mm

Weight: 133 g

Colour: Black, White

Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Integrated Components: Digital camera, digital player, GPS receiver, voice recorder

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 2 Megapixel

Wireless Interface: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Display: LCD display - colour - 3.5" - TFT

Input Device(s): Touch sensitive screen (multi-touch)

Operating System: OS X

Playback Digital Standards: WAV, AAC, AIFF, MP3, Apple Lossless

Talk Time: Up to 600 minutes

Standby Time: Up to 300 hours

Cellular / Operating System: iOS

Long Name: iPhone 3G

Cellular / Phone Design: Candybar

Display Type: TFT; 16M colours; 320 x 480 pixels

Communications / Wireless Interface: Wifi; Bluetooth

Cellular / Technology: UMTS; HSDPA; GSM; EDGE

Cellular / Band: Quad Band

Phone Design: Classic

Cellular / Combined with: 2 MP digital camera; digital player

Battery / Standby Time: 300

Cellular / Integrated Components: Digital camera; Digital player

Length: 114 mm

Width: 61 mm

Height: 12 mm

Cellular / Phone Form Factor: Classic

Cellular / Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Cellular / Type: Smartphone

Manufacturer: Apple


MPN: MB496B/A, MB500B/A, MB496T/A

Product Type: Smartphone

Form Factor: Touch

Integrated Components: Digital camera, digital player, GPS receiver, voice recorder

Aerial: Internal

Width: 62 mm

Depth: 12 mm

Height: 116 mm

Weight: 133 g

Body Colour: Black, White


Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Service Provider: O2, Not specified

Operating System: OS X

SIM Card Type: Mini SIM

Input Device(s): Multi-touch

Messaging & Internet

Cellular Messaging Services: MMS, SMS

Supported Email Protocols: POP3, IMAP4

Messaging & Data Features: PDF support, Microsoft Word support, Microsoft Excel support


Data Transmission: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA

Wireless Interface: IEEE 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR

Communication Features: Mobile Email client, Internet browser

Phone Features

Phone Functions: Speakerphone, call timer, conference call

Polyphonic Ringer: Yes


Personal Information Management: Calculator

Media Player

Supported Digital Audio Standards: WAV, AAC, AIFF, MP3, Apple Lossless


User Memory: 16 GB

Digital Camera

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 2 Megapixel

Navigation System

Navigation: A-GPS receiver


Type: LCD display - colour

Technology: TFT

Diagonal Size: 3.5"

Display Resolution: 320 x 480 pixels

Display Illumination Colour: White


Connector Type: 1 x headset jack - mini-phone 3.5mm ¦ 1 x dock connector - 30 pin dock connector


Run Time Details: Talk - up to 600 min ¦ Standby - up to 300 hrs


Included Accessories: Hands-free headset, cleaning cloth, USB cable, power adapter


Listed on Ciao since: 08/06/2010