Behold, the iPhone 3G: Unboxing and first impressions
At last, I have the new iPhone in my hot little hands—and yes, it's plenty fast,
feels relatively thin and light, and does a solid job of pinpointing your
location. But is the iPhone 3G blowing me away like its predecessor did? Check
out my first impressions.
Out of the box, the iPhone 3G looks almost exactly the same as its
predecessor, although turn it around and you'll find the black, glossy backing.
As expected, the new back panel smudges like crazy. No scratches yet, but I've
only had the new iPhone in my possession for an hour or so—give me time.
Thanks to its clever tapered design, the iPhone 3G actually feels a little
thinner than the original—although as I've written before, the new iPhone is
actually about 0.02 inches thicker at its thickest point. Still, the iPhone 3G
is about 0.1 ounces lighter than the iPhone 2.5G, and holding both of them in my
hands, I definitely prefer the feel of the 3G model.
Turn the iPhone 3G on and, well, it looks just like the iPhone of old, save the
changes in the 2.0 firmware. Up in the left-hand corner of the screen, though,
is the telltale "3G" icon (which you'll see anytime you're in an AT&T 3G service
area), and boy, it makes a difference.
I ran a few quick tests with the iPhone 3G and my 2.5G iPhone side-by-side, and
the new iPhone blows away the old when it comes to surfing. The giant New York
Times home page takes almost a minute and a half to load on my old EDGE iPhone;
on the iPhone 3G, it took just 25 seconds. Running some speed tests, I got
420Kbps download speeds on average; the iPhone 2.5G only managed about 160Kbps.
In terms of GPS, I'm getting decent results, but nothing mind-blowing so far.
The iPhone 3G managed to pinpoint my location to within a third of a city
block—not bad, but my old iPhone could do that too. I'll conduct more testing
today and report back. Update: I just took a walk around my block using GPS. I
got a good signal, which turns the "current location" crosshairs icon into a
solid, pulsating blue dot, which managed to trail me by about 10-15 seconds as I
strolled down the sidewalk (with occassional phantom detours into the odd
backyard). Now that's a trick the old iPhone can't do; make no mistake, though,
it's no substitute for a dashboard GPS system, or at least not so far.
So, overall, how am I feeling after spending barely an hour with the new iPhone?
I love the speedy surfing, but other than that, it still feels like the same old
iPhone in a slightly sexier case. Will my impression will change in the next day
or so, especially once I get GPS fully up and running? We'll see.
I'll be posting a full review tomorrow, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, feel
free to post your questions below, and I'll cover as many as I can in a