"Fantastic smartphone"5.0 starson by jtrath
Pros: Excellent, easy-to-use (intuitive) interface. Lots of free apps to download (TruPhone, Pandora, Yelp, AirSharing, PixUp and ArtGallery are faves). Fast 3G. Outlook/Exchange connectivity works well (though sometimes push is delayed). Safari is great.
Cons: 2 megapixel camera is blurry in daylight, unusable at night/low-light. No copy and paste feature (not a big problem, though).
Summary: Good video review of the iPhone 3G on CNET. This is a truly excellent smartphone--very well designed hardware and software (typical of Apple). Elegant and sophisticated, with many features made easy. I've owned the AT&T Tilt (HTC), Blackberry and Treo 650 and tried many 3rd party apps and tweaks and can honestly say that the iPhone 3G is far superior. The high-end Nokias are very slick and have lots of Symbian apps, but are unaffordable to most people. Android has good potential. But Apple's design is simply better--compare them side-by-side, doing the same tasks.
I was concerned that the touch-screen keyboard would be a problem, and it has not been. I find that using the same finger for all keys (my right thumb) works well for me. Touch-screens do smudge, so keeping the wipe cloth handy is a good idea.
Outlook/Exchange connectivity is a great feature. I don't miss the Blackberry and find I can type messages just as quickly. Also, I can read attachments of various file types without issue.
Too bad you can't currently tether the iPhone 3G to your laptop (i.e., use the phone as a 3G modem) without hacking (illegal).
3G is really good (mainly in bigger cities), with EDGE providing decent fall-back coverage. Free wi-fi is easy to find in the U.S. (much less easy to find in Europe). Get the AT&T Data Global Add-On (month-to-month, no contract) when traveling abroad--it will save you a lot of money and headaches. You can use TruPhone (similar to Skype) over wi-fi to call anywhere around the world, usually for 6 cents per minute. Eventually, we'll get 4G (Wi-Max and/or LTE) and have truly high-speed wireless data.
To preserve battery life, I turn off wi-fi and 3G (enabling EDGE) until I need them. I do charge my iPhone 3G nightly, but only because I depend on it for business use.
Most importantly (and often ignored in reviews, except CNET's), the call (sound) quality is good for the earphone and speakerphone. AT&T has been improving coverage (I've seen it improve significantly in areas previously very patchy/unreliable). GSM buzz is much less noticeable than in the past and sound quality is good (not quite as good as Verizon's CDMA, though). But having GSM allows for truly global coverage--big plus for travelers. Occasionally, the phone call connection will be dropped, even with 5 bar reception (and I have the iPhone OS 2.1 update). While not a huge problem, it should be resolved--hard to tell if it's AT&T's network or the iPhone's OS/hardware.
For cases, I like the DLO VideoShell for iPhone 3G, which is slender, clear, lightweight, good cut-out access to buttons/jacks, durable and includes a stand for vertical or horizontal viewing. A good buy at $20. No need for screen protectors--waste of money (the screen is pretty durable).
Assisted GPS is great. Geo-caching photos, using Maps, Yelp, Nearby, BlackBook Guide and Google Maps work really well--very powerful, useful and fun.
iPod and Genius are excellent.
Safari is the best smartphone browser available, bar none. Supposedly, Flash is coming soon--haven't missed it, though.
I would probably get the 16GB next time, but do just fine with managing storage with just 8GB.
Voice plan plus data plan total price is comparable to other cell phone service providers. I like the rollover minutes, too.
Long review, but hope to help others in deciding.