The iPhone 3G is hardly the first phone to run on 3G networks, and it still costs more than some of its competitors. But overall, I found it to be a more capable version of an already excellent device. That’s a little slice of what Walt Mossberg – of The Wall Street Journal, All  Things […]
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First Heavyweight iPhone 3G Reviews Are Out – From NYT, WSJ, USA Today

The iPhone 3G is hardly the first phone to run on 3G networks, and it still costs more than some of its competitors. But overall, I found it to be a more capable version of an already excellent device.

That’s a little slice of what Walt Mossberg – of The Wall Street Journal, All  Things Digital, and general tech pundit fame – has to say about the iPhone 3G.  He’s been using the new 3G model for a couple of weeks, and tonight, along with David Pogue of the New York Time and Edward Baig of USA Today, he’s released one of the first major reviews of it.

WSJ3GSpeedTest

The overall feeling in these early reviews for the iPhone 3G is that it’s good, but not great – and that the whole ‘Half the price’ hype is really not very fair or accurate, when taking into account the more expensive rate plans tied to the 3G model.  That point is not news, but gets emphasized a fair bit by both Mossberg and Pogue.

A few of the things that caught my attention in these first reviews:

  • Mossberg’s speed tests look allright, but not very impressive (see the screenshot above)
  • The battery life sounds OK – not terrible, not great.  Mossberg says:

More important, in daily use, I found the battery indicator on the new 3G model slipping below 20% by early afternoon or midafternoon on some days, and it entirely ran out of juice on one day. I overcame this problem by learning to use Wi-Fi instead of 3G whenever possible, turning down the screen brightness and even turning off 3G altogether, which the phone permits.

  • Pogue says the audio quality improvement is huge – hurrah!

The third improvement is audio quality, which has taken a gigantic step forward. You sound crystal clear to your callers, and they sound crystal clear to you. In fact, few cellphones sound this good.

  • Pogue does not seem very impressed with the GPS, but he is very excited about the iPhone 2.0 software and App Store

Indeed, the really big deal is the iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store, neither of which requires buying a new iPhone.

So … overall, not rave reviews, but solid ones – very much what you’d expect if you’ve been following the specs and reports on the iPhone 3G closely.  One surprising but very welcome piece was the praise for the audio quality improvement.

All three reviews are well worth a look if you’re still debating about getting the iPhone 3G or if, like me, you’re just pumping up your enthusiasm level in the last few days.  Check them out at:

Walt Mossberg at All Things Digital

David Pogue at The New York Times

Edward C Baig at USA Today

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