Now that I’ve been enjoying my iPhone 3G for a little over a week, here are a few observations.
1) My experience at the AT&T store in Burlingame was significantly better than my experience last year. The employees were surprisingly efficient, friendly and professional. I joined the line around 7:30 AM and walked out around 10:30 AM. Since Apple’s activation system was down, I walked out with a sealed box after simply renewing my contract and paying for my iPhone 3G – the way it’s supposed to be. Here are some pictures and videos from the iPhone 3G launch.
2) Yesterday I indulged in unboxing my iPhone 3G a second time. My original unboxing was so rushed that I never even unwrapped the accessories (I’ve been using the accessories from my original iPhone instead). What better excuse? Behold, 40 more pictures :)
3) 3G reception on my iPhone 3G is significantly worse than 3G reception on my Nokia N95-3 in the same location. This was also true with EDGE on my original iPhone vs. most other devices. Contrary to the N95-3 where the phone can be set to EDGE only, 3G only, or auto-select, the iPhone 3G can only be set to EDGE only, or auto-select. A 3G only option would prevent the re-buffering of streamed content while briefly crossing a 3G signal dead-zone (in a moving vehicle for example), a situation where switching from 3G to EDGE and back is more time consuming than loosing and re-acquiring the 3G signal.
4) My iPhone 3G’s battery life is pretty much identical to my original iPhone’s battery life, which is downright good for a 3G device. I get 2 days of light use from a full charge if I turn the phone off at night. If your iPhone 3G battery life is less than stellar, try a few full charge cycles (charge overnight, and use your iPhone 3G until it shuts down, rince & repeat).
5) I downloaded a few applications from the App Store and, in typical Apple fashion, the experience is über slick. However, Apple should allow some applications (such as Internet radio) to run in the background. On my Nokia N95-3, I can listen to Internet radio (a downloaded application) while surfing the web or using navigation. On my iPhone 3G, not so much, sadly :/
5) Speaking of Internet Radio, I tried both Pandora and Last.fm. Pandora works well except that all content plays in mono. Hello? 1948 called and wants its tech back! Last.fm looks nicer than Pandora but takes an insane amount of time buffering content over 3G. When I drive and listen to Last.fm, there’s about a minute of silence between songs, even with a strong 3G signal… Fail. I also installed Twitteriffic and Twinkle. Twitteriffic is nice, but Twinkle is a little gen. The UI is better (other than the font, which is too small for my eyes) and the location features rock.
Bonus: Here’s a video I made live in the original iPhone line at the Apple Store in downtwon San Francisco on June 29, 2007… Somehow, I never uploaded it until now!