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A Weak Week Into The New iPhone

I’m a week in. I decided to early adopt because it’s my nature and I also figured I’d return it if it didn’t hold up, and I have to be honest…I might return it. It is a stunning device with amazing potential but I really don’t think it was ready to release. That would make this the second piece of hardware this year that Apple prematurely ejaculated all over the tech marketplace (the other being the Air*). I suppose I understand that they were under the gun and had to try to quell tech-hungry geeks like m’self but the reality is that despite all the glorious app-ing and superb design the 3G iPhone fails on the most basic levels and it’s mostly AT&T’s fault.

Here’s a rundown of my experiences so far:

1) Apps crash the phone 20% of the time. On the upside, this will improve with firmware updates…but when?
2) The drain on the battery from the 3G Network is unforgivably bad. Keep a charger close to you at all times.
3) My cell signal is actually WORSE on 3G, and it was pretty bad before—I drop at least half of my calls EVERYWHERE, and that is no exaggeration. When I can get onto 3G (which is not a lot of places) I have to turn it off because EDGE has an ironically better voice connection (the plastic casing and new antenna placement help). This is all due to AT&T’s weenie 3G Crapwork. In case you missed my previous post, AT&T is truly the erectile dysfunction of wireless and I swear I’ve never met one person who had anything good to say about them as a carrier. I only publicly hate on them because I secretly hope that one person will hear about it and actually take actions to improve, but I know that’s a teenage fantasy.
4) The phone performance is choppy and slow; even just going into my contacts I expericence a lag before I can actually search, but this, too, will improve with firmware updates. Folks with 1st gen iPhones who updated to 2.0 are having this problem as well.
5) On the up side, the phone is lighter, less slippery, feels better in my hand and has much improved Bluetooth. Plus, when I’m in a 3G hotspot the data is markedly faster.

All in all, if you are a patient person, STAY AWAY for now. Wait until the holidays when Apple will probably release some kind of minor hardware upgrade. Don’t get me wrong…I love Apple products but there is entirely too much “hot cheerleader syndrome” going on between them and AT&T. In other words, they’re chronically cocky and not really that concerned with listening to consumers or providing what people really need (e.g., copy & paste, MMS). I hope they remember that consumers are fickle and will turn on them sooner or later.

*why would you pay three grand for a 64G Solid State Drive that is going to lose a third of that to the OS?

Image: Chris Hardwick/Nerdist

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  1. Casi says:

    dont forget to mention the things the iphone 3g still cant do
    for example
    1.the bad speakers
    2.still cant copy and paste

    i agree with SailRacer
    wats the point of a phone with a bunch of this and that (too lazy to list everythin out) when it cant even function as a phone.

    Now to John Travis
    wat the hell is wrong with a white iphone
    i m pretty sure that black and white are both unisex colors
    and generally speaking
    with the iphone
    i think black is more popular cause of the fact that white attracts more fingeprints

  2. The Nerdist says:

    Sail: I think it’s a deal breaker for now…I don’t think it pays to be an early adopter on this one. If you have a first gen, the 2.0 firmware will still get you the great apps (though that, too is buggy at the moment). Also, keep in mind that for a 3G phone the battery is good, but from a practical standpoint you’ll still have to recharge it at some point during your day.

    Efren: I don’t think it makes you necessarily any more tied to work than the wide spectrum of smartphones out there. If you can wait it out a few months to see if they improve anything, that’d be the thing to do.

  3. Efren says:

    Hey, so do you recommend it to someone who already waited out the 1st gen, already with a computer, and tied to the internet through work?

    I think that’s too many wires to the computer/people, having an iPhone. Do you think it makes you too available to people, like say, work?

    Hmmm, still on the fence. But looking at how expensive monthly plans are and being a freelance so and so in LA, I have no idea if I can pay that much. /rant

  4. SailRacer says:

    Chris – You don’t think the poor connection is a deal breaker? Maybe not long term, but for this version of the phone I would say it is. When an device’s primary function sucks, but it’s pretty and shiny and kinda neat, the device as a whole sucks. If my truck didn’t run, but had a great stereo, in dash DVD player, GPS navigation, and heated cup holders it would still suck as a truck.

    I hope they get the basics ironed out so the rest of the device can shine unencumbered.

  5. John Travis says:

    It’s because you bought a white one, Chris. That’s for girls– hello??

  6. The Nerdist says:

    Ultimately I don’t think it’s a deal breaker, I just think it’s going to be a little while for 3G to catch up. There’s no question, though, that Apple is changing the face of mobile computing with open app development.

  7. SailRacer says:

    It’s a shame that some of the basics of this phone are such problems. It’s such a promissing platform… I know of a few universities who have people developing iPhone/iPod Touch apps for use in the classroom. It would be a shame to see things like that dropped because the phone loses traction due to crap reception.

  8. qeldrom says:

    Thanks for the real-world heads-up. Despite the lack of built-in voice dial, I was close to giving in and letting go of my old RAZR. Looks like I’ve got several more months to save those shiny pennies…

  9. The Nerdist says:

    Bluetooth was pretty useless for me before. My car has it and the 1st gen iPhone was the only phone I used on it that had intermittent success (so I know it wasn’t the car). So far, I haven’t had any problems linking my car, a headset and a bluetooth speaker phone.

    Sorry to hear about all that other crap! I feel ya brother.

  10. JET says:

    Just a clarification: the downloaded apps all crashed on startup until the Facebook update.

  11. JET says:

    Improved Bluetooth? How bad was it before?

    I’ve turned it on and it’s not discoverable from any of my 4-5 bluetooth devices, nor does it discover any of them. I figured my bluetooth was broken, actually – until I read somewhere that it’s somehow “limited”. I haven’t bothered figuring out what that means – “Apple only”, I suspect. Gah.

    I had ALL my downloaded apps crash for a while, even with a restore. It wasn’t until I downloaded a prompted update for the Facebook app that all of them went back to normal. Go figure.

    The most unforgivable aspect has been the Safari crashes, though.

    Also, on this side of the pond, they really need to fix the Swedish keyboard fast, because the current system involves a lot of stupid guesswork when you never know if it’s going to let you write a nonsense word or correct it for you.