iPhone 3G: Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted Sat 12 July 2008 16:25 under category tech


I've posted a few pictures of the unboxing of my iPhone 3G. As usual for an Apple product, the packaging was excellently done. The box was surprisingly small, but contained everything necessary:

  • Docking Connector -> USB cable
  • Tiny, tiny power adapter
  • Iconic white headphones (with microphone... somewhere...)
  • SIM-Removal Tool SIM Card Removal Tool
  • Cleaning cloth

Once I got done with my activation mess (see previous post), the iPhone was a dream. The first thing I noticed was call quality: it was excellent. I don't have 3G reception indoors (curse you, foot-thick concrete walls), but even over 2.5G, it was an amazing upgrade from my Motorola L2, and significantly improved over first-gen iPhones I've used. People on the other end of the call also reported excellent sound quality.

The OS and bundled software is much the same as in the original iPhone. I haven't really had a chance to try the App Store yet (waiting for CIS to turn on 802.11b for this MAC ID, and GSM is a bit too slow for that sort of thing), but it looks like the real game-changer in this 2.0 software. I'm thinking Twitterific and Exposure will be my first stops, but we'll see.

GPS, another of the touted features, also doesn't work indoors. However, Skyhook managed to get my location pretty much straight away, so whatever. I'll post again on GPS when I get out of the dungeon and into the real world some time, I suppose.

All of my PIM stuff transferred straight away. This is far and away the best contact management on a cell phone, say, ever. This is blasphemy coming from me, but I think it's even better than Palm's. Yes, the guy who used to run a Palm OS blog before the word blog existed and who has had every generation of Palm OS device ever released says that this PIM is better than Palm's. Put it down in the record books. Multiple phone numbers are handled sanel, personal ringtones and pictures just work, and calendaring is excellent. I'm a happy man.

E-mail is also good. Gmail just worked. Woot IMAP. I haven't tried to set up any other accounts yet, but I'll probably put something at roguelazer.com, also over IMAP. Mail management is quick, and I think I'm already getting used to the keyboard.


I went ahead and got the 200 SMS plan, even though I'd be surprised if I used 50 a month. It's cheaper to spend $5/mo and get 200 than to spend $10/mo on 50. The interface is pretty straightforward. I'm a little disappointed with speed (why does it still take 5 seconds to send an SMS? I can send an e-mail in less time than that!), but whatever. Incidentally, the new screenshot feature? Pure genius.

I also played with the iPod features a bit. CoverFlow is embarrassingly cool on this screen. So much so that I actually reimported a bunch of my CDs into iTunes (yes, I could have just ripped the FLAC files into AAC or MP3 files, but I had the originals, so what the hell) and copied them on. Sound quality is pretty good. Next up will be video, I suppose. Hopefully, NBC and Apple will clear up their little spat, and I'll be able to watch all the good Sci-Fi channel shows from my iPhone. *crosses fingers*.

Well, that's it for now. I'll get back to y'all once I've got some more time with the thing, and can report on 3G, GPS, and App Store performance.