"Good: Games and Surfing, Bad: Business, Productivity"2.5 starson by thelawnetwork
Pros: It's pretty, plays music and video well, excellent web surfing capabilities and office tools, slick looking, 3G and AT&T coverage better than expected
Cons: Poor battery life, Apple's stifling of development, business applications limited, no drag and drop disk mode, everything revolves around buying services and things from Apple, no spam filter, no real utilities, cost of service versus other carries
Summary: On one hand, it's a lot of fun to use the phone. Media playing is excellent as is web surfing. Phone is very responsive. On the other hand, if you've ever used a Blackberry, Palm, Windows Mobile or other device, it will quickly become apparent how poor the iPhone compares in some areas. For example, no spam filter - really, no joke. Read all the articles trying to use Gmail to redirect email because Apple hasn't gotten around to that part yet and won't allow developers to touch their perfect invention.To add about poor business applications, the lack of disk more makes true document sync impossible and none of your business applications can browse the phone to open the documents. Each application must sync its own version of the document in order to be viewed. That's ridiculous. The iPhone lacks good business applications and many of the fill in gaps like utilities are also unavailable because Apple refuses to allow developers to improve the OS (for example, no way to set predefined alarm times for appointments. Current PIMS still don't work directly with Outlook and few good options.)
In some ways the phone is innovative and others it is 50 steps backwards. There is no disk mode - you can't drag and drop and synchronize files like you could with any PDA almost 15 years ago.
Apple closes off areas to send you towards revenue producing goods and services to the point where it's ridiculous. Document synch pushes you toward an Apple service. Registering the phone requires you to get into a financial relationship with Apple. Getting an application requires one click purchasing in the iTunes store. Everything revolves around going to iTunes and, of course, seeing what Apple has to sell. I'm all for revenue opportunities but to a point.
Battery life is noticeably poor. So far I haven't gone a day where battery life hasn't hit 50% - and that is with zero talk time. I'm guessing that by dinner I'll be at 30-40% battery life and there is no way that the phone will last through any part of a second day without a full charge.
I've put up a complete business review of the iPhone 3GS at thelawprofessor.com in case anyone is interested.
Updated on Jul 4, 2009