Apple iPhone 3G 16GB

Community images

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...

> Show product information

90% positive

210 reviews from the community

Review of "Apple iPhone 3G 16GB"

published 07/03/2010 | yackers1
Member since : 07/03/2007
Reviews : 312
Members who trust : 56
About me :
Pro The ultimate in mobile communication - read the review
Cons Battery life is not the best. It is expensive
Look & Feel
Durability & Robustness
Battery standby time
Battery talktime
Value for money

"Berries? I'm more of an Apple man myself"

Apple iPhone 3G

Apple iPhone 3G

Reviewing an i-phone, of any model, is a difficult task. All phones in the range contains so many features and functions I would be able to write thousands and thousands of words, well I could if I had the patience and inclination and thought all the users of this review would actually read it. Scouring the internet there are hundreds of reviews about the i-phone that range from the very detailed and “techy/geeky” to those of a few lines saying “it’s great”, along with everything in between. During my research I never found a review that covered the “stupid” questions that I daren’t ask the sales staff in the O2 shop or any i-phone owners, so hopefully I have covered most of these “stupid” points that potential consumers may have, within my review. This review is to give a ‘taster’ of living with the i-phone, broadly describing advantages, benefits, key features and problems I have experienced to date. The only way to definitely know if the i-phone is for you is to take the plunge and get one. I admit that I was skeptical at first however I wouldn’t be without mine, even though it is ‘only’ the entry level model of the current range.

The model of choice

There are a few models of i-phone currently available including the 8gb 3G, 16gb 3GS and the 32gb 3GS. Whilst the higher level models have more features than the more ‘basic’ models they are all pretty much the same core product.

After weighing up my needs, finances and information I gathered from the internet I decided the best option for me was the 8gb 3G. In my opinion 16gb, let alone 32gb, is just too much and whilst these 3GS models had additional features of which some, like the video camera (although like most things “There is an app for that”), would be nice there was no way I could justify the additional cost, so I plumped for the 8gb 3G model.

In the box

When I was presented with my i-phone box I must admit that I was quite disappointed. The box is very small and contains the i-phone, a plug with a USB slot for wall charging, a USB lead, headphones, the sim card removal tool (ensure you keep this safe), a quick start “finger tips” guide and two Apple stickers.

Everything to get you started is included but given the value and status of the i-phone I was expecting more. Maybe a bigger box? Maybe a few more user guides? Who knows, I just thought there would be something a bit extra. The small box is good for the environment though so as few trees as possible were harmed in the manufacture of these phones.


I have to admit that I am a fan of small phones and I always have been. The Motorola Startac, the Samsung GSH600, the Razr were all small phones and I loved them all. They may not have had all the features of other phones during their time but I simply loved the fact that they could be chucked in a pocket of the tightest fitting jeans and they wouldn’t be obtrusive.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the i-phone and at around 12cm x 6cm x just under 1cm it is a bit of a beast. Compared to my previous phone, a Blackberry Pearl, it is huge and I did (and still do) notice the difference in size. That said, I think the i-phone is the perfect size for the features it has to offer. Any smaller and many of the features and applications just wouldn’t work.

Size v features and functionality is a trade off and compromises have to be made, therefore I am more than happy to have a slightly bulkier phone that is packed with features so I am more than happy with my i-phone.

Battery life

Whilst in the O2 shop I was treated to a demonstration of the basic features of the i-phone and how to use it. During the demonstration the salesman commented on how poor the battery life of the i-phone was compared to other mobile phones on the market. When he said his friend (being a heavy user) had to charge his phone on a daily basis and the battery went dead twice in a 24 hour period I thought he was exaggerating.

Watching podcasts or movies, surfing the net and listening to music all depletes the life quickly, which is to be expected really. In addition, if you leave the phone in 3G mode in an area where there is no signal the battery life will also be used up quickly as the phone is constantly looking for a signal (and using its power) that just isn’t there. In order to preserve the battery life it is best to leave the 3G off unless you are actually in a 3G area.

After owning the i-phone I can confirm that this mobile devours its battery very, very quickly. If the phone is left alone with no use then the battery will last around a day and a half to two days. Compared to my previous phone (a Blackberry Pearl) the battery life is diabolical and I find that I have to charge my i-phone daily.

Personally, I have no problem with this since the i-phone can be charged via USB, a wall charger, car charger or one of those instant chargers so there are no excuses for not being able to top up the battery. I should also point out that you can even buy a solar charger that plugs in to the bottom of the i-phone so you can even charge it on the beach, by the pool, trekking through the Himalayas or wherever else your travels may take you.

Instructions and user guides

Where to start with the instructions and user guide? I can only really describe this as minimalist. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for saving trees, reducing my carbon footprint as far as possible (within reason) etc but I do like to have some form of written instructions when I buy any product, let alone something like the i-phone, which is technologically advanced and requires a bit of getting used to the ‘controls’.

When I was handed the box I instantly knew there wasn’t going to be a (hard) paper copy as the box was just so small. There is, however, enough room for a CD so I thought there would be a user guide disc lurking somewhere at the bottom, however I was very mistaken. There was a tiny ‘scrap’ of paper, which Apple refers to as a quick user guide, although it is pretty useless and contains information about features that can be worked out within 30 seconds of getting the phone out of the box. Now this user guide, was a total waste of paper.

The full user guide can be downloaded free of charge from the internet. Just do a Google search and you’ll soon find it for download. Even though the i-phone is easy to use I would highly recommend reading the user guide to get started.

The home screen and included features

The i-phone comes preloaded with features including messages, phone, mail, contacts, calendar, camera, youtube, maps, weather, calculator, settings, iTunes, Safari, ipod, stocks, photos, voice memos, clock, App store and notes.

The above is a good selection to get any i-phone user started, however, I doubt most people are going to use all of the features above. Personally, I will never use the stocks, notes or voice memos and these are icons that are just sat there. One thing that surprises me is the fact that the above features can’t be deleted. It is possible to “get rid of them” by moving them to an additional ‘home screen’ so you can keep all the features and apps you’re going to use together, so all is not lost.

One thing that surprised me about the i-phone is the limited number of ringtones and message stones that are bundled on it from the factory. I would have thought there would have been much more variety and a greater number of sounds than is actually included, especially given the emphasis that is place on ringtones. This is more of an annoyance than a disadvantage as it is exceptionally quick and easy to seek out tones that say something about you and a five minute internet search will give you access to thousands of ringtones and sounds that can be downloaded for free and uploaded on to your i-phone. I can remember the days when you had to pay a fortune for ringtones and the only way of getting them was to receive them by text, so there was no way of getting them for free, so the modern day MP3 tones (which are limitless and free from most places) are an absolute god send.

Navigation and general overview

The i-phone uses touch screen technology. Having had touch screen appliances before, including and Archos MP4 player amongst other things, I was a bit skeptical of how responsive it would be. Not only do I have fat finger syndrome but I also suffer from dry finger tips and rough skin and these are not a good combination for other touch screen products I own as it does affect the responsiveness somewhat. I have to confess that there are no issues over the responsiveness of the touch screen of my i-phone and is both fast and accurate, which makes for an excellent experience.

Texting and emailing is a pleasure. The i-phone has a full qwerty keyboard that instantly ‘pops up’ when you want to write an email, text, web address etc. Because of the issues I have above I did have some concerns and thought there would be many instances of the i-phone recognising incorrect characters when I typed, however I do have few problems. There are accuracy issues at times, there is with all phones, whether touch screen of the traditional button style, but I have to admit that the touch screen is far more accurate and far more responsive than the qwerty keyboard of my Pearl and my texting speeds, now I am used to the i-phone, are much quicker and contain far fewer errors than ever before.

Music/video and podcasts

Even the 8gb i-phone, which is the one with the smallest amount of memory, has enough room to store a few thousand songs, many small video files (or nearly two full length feature DVDs) and podcasts, which is more than enough for several hours entertainment.

In a nut shell the i-phone has a video i-pod built in. It works in exactly the same way and has all the same features of an i-pod so any consumer who is au fait with an i-pod will have no problems operating this feature. All media is uploaded to the i-phone using iTunes, which is pretty much expected, and it is possible to upload all current movies, playlists, tracks etc.

Personally, I prefer Media Monkey to manage my MP3 library, although since I have had the i-phone I have reverted back to iTunes since it is so user friendly and easy to use.

Surfing the internet

The internet is accessed using wi-fi, 3G or GPRS depending on what is available. A wi-fi connection is best, which is to be expected. Using the internet on a wi-fi connection is very fast and pages load up very quickly. Despite the i-phones relatively small screen size surfing the internet is a pleasure and text on the screen can be enlarged by simply doing a “spreading of fingers” action on the touch screen. Navigating around web pages, via the touch screen is also easy and very responsive.

Compared to my friend’s Blackberry Storm the i-phone performs much faster on a wi-fi connection, which kind of annoyed him a little. That said, when connected to the internet via 3G or GPRS the i-phone is no faster than the Storm, which surprised me a little. Surfing the net using GPRS is slow, and this appears to be the case regardless of what appliance you use, and it is something that I avoid unless I really need to find something (such as addresses or contact details from a website) whilst out and about.

Applications (“Apps”)

There are thousands and thousands of apps available for the i-phone. The Apple store claims there are over 85,000 where as some websites claim there is in excess of 100,000.

There are applications across a whole range of ‘genres’ and health and fitness, books, entertainment, games, business, finance, sport, travel, utilities, navigation, themes, wallpapers and ringtones provide a flavour of the types of things out there.

With so many apps to choose from there is something, in fact there are many things, for everyone so finding something for you will not create any problems. I should point out that many apps are a total waste of time and are nonsensical juvenile rubbish that some people may find offensive. That said, there are many fantastic apps that not only provide hours of entertainment but are also useful in day to day life.

One thing I have noticed about many of the free game apps is that they provide a quick taster or demonstration of the game only and after a very short time of game play you are directed to the site where you can download the full version for a fee.

More than just a phone

The i-phone is far more than a just a phone and this is largely down to the apps that are available for it. I am constantly finding my i-phone is starting to replace other gadgets I have bought over the years and I am finding that I am using it;
  • For satellite navigation (replacing my Tom Tom)
  • As an MP3 player (replacing my Ipod and various other MP3 players I have bought)
  • For internet browsing on the move (replacing my Archos)
  • For watching films/TV series on the go (replacing my Archos and portable DVD player)
  • As an E-book reader (I no longer have to ‘borrow’ my other half’s Sony Ebook reader)
  • As a GPS map reader for hiking (replacing my Garmin Etrex)
  • As a GPS training tool (replacing my Garmin Edge 705)

Whilst the i-phone may be an expensive outlay initially once you start using it to its full potential and realise exactly what you can do with the device it can start saving you money. Look at my gadgets it has replaced. Over the years I have spent hundreds of pounds and the i-phone now replaces them. I know for a fact I will never buy another MP3 player or an E Book reader or an MP4 player ever again and it is only a matter of time before the i-phone has paid for itself and actually starts saving me money.

The thing that really makes the i-phone stand out for me is the fact that most of the useful apps I have found are totally free which is great for the consumer. There seems to be loads of people worldwide that not only has the capability of developing these apps, but also the want and desire to produce them and then let i-phone users benefit from their creations for nothing, which is great for the consumer as it keeps a steady flow of new and useful apps that just keep getting better and better.

I have to admit that I have had to pay for some apps, although the cost of these has been a couple of pounds at the most. In my experience it appears that the apps that cost the money are for games, most of which don’t really excite me that much. Whilst the cost of games is low, usually around 99 cents per game, if games interest you then it can be quite easy to get sucked in and spend a fortune on games. I have witnessed this in a friend who had the “oh, it’s only 99 cents” mentality and proceeded to buy several games a day which amounted to a lot of money over the space of a few short months. Quite sad given most of the games kept him entertained for five minutes before they were deleted from not only his i-phone but his i-tunes directory as well.


As you’d expect the i-phone is not cheap. This 8gb 3G version is available on a PAYG tariff for £350, which is a lot of cash to part with. I should point out that a year’s unlimited internet browsing/ data transfer is included in this price so all you have to do is put in a sim (the O2 simplicity scheme is £15 per month) and away you go.

This 8gb 3G version can be bought for around £100 on the cheapest 18 month contract or free on the cheapest 24 month contract. The exact price you can expect to pay will obviously depend on whether you opt for a PAYG or contract, and if you have a contract the type of contract you sign up for.


I hate to jump on the bandwagon and follow the heard but in this instance I just have to. The i-phone truly is an amazing phone and whilst you may not fully believe the hype and hysteria it has caused (I was very, very skeptical) I have to admit that it does live up to it and rise to the challenge. I cannot recommend this product highly enough.

The i-phone oozes class and style and looks awesome like many phones but unlike a lot of the competition the i-phone also performs. This phone is the real deal, the ultimate package. Hey, I would even go as far to say it is the “Dogs danglies” (an expression I haven’t used for years) and I now see why the Gadget Show is so obsessed with it. The full features of this excellent product cannot be written down and the only way to find out what it is capable of is to get one and play with it.

(This review will appear on other sites under the name of yackers1)

Community evaluation

This review was read 2788 times and was rated at
57% :
> How to understand evaluation of this review

Comments on this review

  • MonsoonBaby88 published 07/02/2011
    A very informative review, which goes into great detail about all the features. It definitely is worth an exceptional rating!
  • jonathanb published 24/03/2010
    By way of contrast, my phone can make phone calls and send or even (gasp) receive text messages…and that’s about it. As a card-carrying technophobe when it comes to this kind of thing, I’ve always been cynical about them as I assumed they were just a good way for Apple to add yet more money to its bulging coffers. I hadn’t appreciated that so much stuff was available for free and you’ve just about convinced me that an iPhone may be financially viable too. I was also interested in your point about the phone’s size, as I often find it inconvenient carrying my stone-age phone around (which is coincidentally the size of a small brick) and assumed that these latest go-faster models would be small and light. An excellent and highly informative review.
  • ScotShelle published 17/03/2010
    Exceptional review! Contains lots of information and personal insight! Shelle xx
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

Most popular similar products

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