Jul 30 2008

iPhone Act III – Return of the iPhone

After some AT&T account juggling I was finally able to secure a discounted iPhone. It arrived yesterday (8 day direct fullfillment order) and after waiting in line at the local AT&T store for 90 minutes last night, I got my paws on this marvelous little piece of technology.

24 hours later and I’m still pretty impressed with it. I had a bit of trouble getting it to authenticate with the 3G network but a SIM card swap-out this morning fixed whatever was causing the problem. I obviously haven’t had a chance to really dig into it but there are a few things I’ve noticed immediately:

  • Battery life
    Yea, 3G does kill the battery with any sort of prolonged ‘net usage. I’ve made a couple of setting changes that hopefully will extend it’s daily battery life: turned off real-time push (I’ve set my Exchange account to sync every 30 minutes instead), turned off my wireless card (no reason to have it on unless I’m sitting under an active AP that I want to connect to), and surprisingly enough, I’ve turned off 3G. Why you ask? Well the iPhone falls back on the EDGE network and for the routine email and application sync – the slower EDGE speeds are fine.

    If I want turbo mode I can always turn 3G back on while I’m actively web browsing, etc. It’ll be interesting to see how these changes affect my daily battery life. A lot of people are hoping the current issues are just faulty software/firmware due to an unpolished OS release by Apple trying to meet their release deadlines in time. I’ve heard rumor that a 2.1 update is coming soon so we’ll see if anything improves on the battery front when it goes live.

  • Coverage
    With such a slim hardware package, I’m not surprised the internal antenna isn’t as sensitive as the Blackjacks, etc. Remember – there’s [Bluetooth 2.0], [802.11b/g wireless], [UMTS/HSDPA], [GSM/EDGE], and an assisted GPS chip all stuffed in a case that’s only .48 inches deep. Compared to my Treo at .75 inches, it looks like I average 1-2 bars less in the same week signal locations (like my loft) but I haven’t noticed any phone call quality issues yet, even with reduced signal strength.
  • Case design
    So far, my only beef with the actual case design is due to my large hands – I feel like I’m about to drop it anytime I pick it up. I think a case cover will add some grip to it and will take care of my apparent clown hands. By-the-way, the fingerprint smudges might bug some users but it is a touch driven device so I expect it to get the occasional greasy, dirty, [Dorito] stained fingerprint on it. Nothing a quick rub-down with the included shammy won’t fix.

My friend David put his [intial review of the new 3G iPhone] up a couple weeks ago. David started off with the original iPhone so I can understand how the 2.0 version might have some quirks to it. But I’m fresh to the iPhone scene so we’re starting from different baselines.

Anyway, as of this afternoon I have my corporate Exchange 2003 emails syncing, my pop account syncing, some freeware 3rd party apps installed, a decent 3G/EDGE signal and more importantly – my wife thinks the voice quality on the iPhone is better than my old Treo and infinately better than my HP iPaq (the HP was horrible – every phone call sounded like my mouth was full of jello).

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