The iPhone 3GS is an improvement over the 3G and a massive improvement over the iPhone 1st generation. I’m filing this article under geek, so please feel free to move on.

Value for money

After a weekend playing with the iPhone 3GS, I have to say I feel it was, in general terms, money extremely well spent.  I paid €229 for the phone, availing of a €65 per month contract. Upon entering into the contract, I was informed that my insurance would rise to €9 per month, a 50% increase.  So let’s look at the cost of ownership and what I’m getting for that:

Cost of handset: €229

Cost of contract over 18 months: €1170

Cost of insurance: € 162

Total cost of ownership and usebefore apps: €1561

That’s a lot of money for a phone.  My package includes: 350 minutes anytime any network calls, 150 SMS messages, 15 MMS messages and 1GB data.m   In short, this is an expensive piece of kit just to have, and it has a noticeable financial footprint.

For me right now, there is no single device whihc performs all the functions of the iPhone 3GS at a comparable price, and so it’s tough to show any comparisons, much though I tried.  i’m drawn to the new Zune, which I think looks beautiful, the Sony NWZ – X1060 and I do like the Blackberry Bold.  One of these is a tombstone that does email, and one of thse is an iPod Touch without an app store.  The Zune looks best to me, but isn’t available anywhere just yet.

Okay, so I didn’t buy the alternatives, i got an iPhone 3GS.  Am I a big-ass fanboy who won’t admit shortfalls?

WiFi Fail

Nope, I’m not.  the WiFi is atrocious and shows a clear software or hardware mismatch which Apple does need to fix in an update very soon.  WiFi cuts out and drops out after sleep mode or extended idling. It falls out completely, appears to be connected but hangs dreadfully.   This is more than bad, it’s terrible and deeply irritating.  I can replicate it on multiple routers and APs and it is an intermittent but replicable fault.  I am aware of a growing number of people experiencing similar deep joy.

Timidity has a name: Compass.

The improvements, other than in speed, are timid in extremis. I think the compass is going to be useful to some people, but to me is just a way to verify that there’s a magnetometer in there somewhere. Estate agents will ove being able to show south facing gardens etc, and I’m waiting for the first Mecca compass application.

The playlist that dare not speak its name, lest it ring the gorgeous Melissa in Geneva

Voice recognition is patchy, too slow to start and too prone to errors to be useful at this point.  It doesn’t ask for confirmation, and so far I have dialed three long lost friends while trying to listen to some music by the Rolling Stones.  My previous enthusiasm for the technology was misplaced, but there is no reason why this can’t be tightened up by software release.  The only reason to use the function at the moment is to make it clear one is using the 3GS.  I am as yet, alas, not that sad.

Smoothness in the handling of applications has become practically frictionless in this device.  I have not (hand on heart) experienced one single crash of this phone, though that could be the absence of Cydia.