On Earth would you want Digital Zoom? It's absolutely dreadful
Everyone knew that Apple was planning to unveil version 3.0 of the iPhone OS at its Worldwide Developer Conference this month. As expected, the new OS adds some long awaited features such as ‘copy and paste’, multimedia messaging (MMS) and the ability to ‘tether’ your iPhone to a laptop computer so that the notebook can share …
But seriously, HOW MUCH !!!
granted, iPhone has the best 3rd party apps (both hard and software), and looks the smartest, but the HTC magic does everything the iPhone does (arguably more) for a fraction of that price.
Apple: it costs twice as much, but you buy it because it's in a shiny white box.
So I have unlimited internet, but not if the http request comes from IE on a PC, rather than Safari on the iPhone. Isn't this anti-competitive?
What next, if you text in English it must be US English or you have to buy another bolt-on?
Anyone who pays for tethering really has more money than sense when any Nokia or SonyEricsson offer it as standard and O2 don't charge more for that.....or is that surprise waiting in the wings?
I would be laughing my tits off at the thought of iPhone chumps paying £15pm to tether their devices, that is if I didn't have one myself.
You can do it for free on any other 3G mobile, so O2's attitude of "we can charge you, so we will" is more than a little disappointing.
What is laudable though is how exceptionally easy it is to circumvent, don't even need to jailbreak your device as it appears that the only thing preventing you from tethering is missing APN settings that are hidden on devices.
And hey ... A quick google shows more than a few places to install these missing settings for you:
"the sweet spot seems to be the £34.26 per month tariff, which allows you to buy the 16GB phone for £185, or the 32GB model for £274"
£35 quid a month and £185 (or £274!!) for the phone is what you call a sweet spot? The word "expensive" springs to my mind, personally.
Yes, it's a beautiful machine. But it won't wear down my resistance until it's a reasonable price.
The 3GS sports an ARM Cortex-A8 core, compared to the ARM11 in the 3G. This is even more significant that the MHz bump, and puts it on par with the Pre, which to my knowledge was the only phone around using ARM's new architecture. It's suprising that Nokia are still using 400MHz ARM11s for their flagship phones, such as the N97... At least regarding this, Apple is on the bleeding edge...
First thing ive found is the gps is off, i think its just my location, but its gps that shouldnt be an issue. when i select directions and from here i get about a 500m overshoot of my physical location. Havent tested it to destruction yet, and my pc plays havoc with my compass, so much so it tells me theres "interference"
The video zoom is a pain, but for the price well, its early days but still.
I love the small print - exceed your 3Gb limit and you pay 19.6p per Mb - or £196 per extra Gb of data. Someone within O2 seriously sat down and signed this off as a reasonable price, rather than an insult to their customers.
The obvious answer would have just been a nice simple reasonable per Mb price for those of us who need to occasionally tether - I'll be giving up my 3G modem at the end of it's contract because I get nowhere near 3Gb or £15 of usage out of it a month - more like 500 Mb. I'd easily pay £7 or so for that, but not £2 (daily rate) each time I need to do 30 mins of mobile usage without access to WiFi.
It sounded like a great idea to me, but the additional charge means that no-one is going to use it unless their company is paying. Especially on top of a premium contract that already includes unlimited* data. It'd be nice if the 3gig a month at least was free.
If i was prepared to pay £15 a month on top of my phone contract, i'd get a dedicated mobile broadband dongle.
*within limits, of course
"...a bit of a gimmick for showing off to your friends..." - The entire phone comes across as that to me.
I've had a play about with one, the original one, and thought that it doesn't really do too much more (useful) than my good old Nokia N70 with Opera Mini on it.
There are some genuinely interesting apps you can get for it, I admit, but it doesn't seem like it's worth the extra money to me. Also, the apps they advertise on telly seem to do the most simple basic stuff, all stuff you can either do with Opera Mini or a calculator (like dividing a restaurant bill by 5 - come on now!). I'm in no rush to go back to O2 either.
Nice toy though, I'd have one if it was given to me.
> Even more disappointing is the discovery that O2 charges extra if you want to use the tethering. [...] That strikes us as disgraceful given that the existing monthly tariffs are supposed to include ‘unlimited’ internet access. It shouldn't matter whether the content's being viewed on the handset or a laptop
Your "unlimited" internet access isn't really unlimited. There's a natural limit, because you're not going to be watching streaming video on your phone at 7Mbit for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You're also not going to be running BitTorrent to download ISOs etc. Instead, you'll just use it for the occasional web browsing, maybe some YouTube streaming video at a relatively low bitrate. O2 know this, so they can figure out how many GB an average person is going to use and set their prices accordingly. The number of GB a month you use _does_ have implications on O2's costs - they need to pay for sufficient radio bandwidth, sufficient backhaul capacity, and sufficiently large upstream connections to the Internet. Obviously some people will use more and some less, but so long as it averages out then O2 are happy.
As soon as you connect the phone to a laptop, some people are going to be pegging their connection at 100% capacity, downloading from BitTorrent. Even normal users are going to use much more bandwidth - it's reasonable to download high quality movies, DVDs, big software updates, etc. This will cost O2 more money, so they make you pay for it and they cap usage.
Seems reasonable to me.
(Now you could argue that the specific costs are too expensive, and I would agree - they're a lot more than ADSL with a similar cap. But I think it's reasonable to have the charge in the first place).
"Given how much the 3G S costs, Apple really should have gone to 5Mp" - But you do know that the iPhone HD is due in 9 months complete with the upgrade fee...
"We were disappointed to see that the photos we transferred onto our Mac were shot in 4:3 aspect ratio" did I mention the iPhoneHD ?
"Alas, there’s still one glaring weakness here, as the new camera still doesn’t include even a simple digital zoom option" - umm are you saying you cant crop a picture? did I mention the iPhoneHD?
"It’s also possible to buy the iPhone without a contract on O2’s ‘pay as you go’ plan" Oh Damn! I dont like handcuffs and if this is true.. I'm sorely tempted.... maybe I'll wait for the iPhoneHD or the one after that it's only 16 months away..
I mean really... O2 have gone too far this time with their concept of "unlimited". Why can't they just say you have X00 MB per month and if you want more than that, then pay an additional fee and get XGB. Likewise to all those rogue ISPs out there.
I wouldn't mind so much, but if it says "unlimited" on the box, I don't expect it to be an outright lie when I open it. Isn't that what the ASA is supposed to protect us from?
The STOP sign, because this madness has GOT to end!
Nice enough update , but whilst I have to buy out my existing o2 contract and contend with coughing up lots for the new phone and pay extra for tethering, I fail to see a financially compelling reason to upgrade from the existing 3G on v3.0.
Its a welcome update, but hardly exciting. I can happily wait until the next one.
I was surprised at how few of the rumours that had been circulating prior to the WWDC actually made it into the revised iPhone, and conversely how features noone had even thought of did.
A compass? I really don't know how relevant this is. If you're somewhere remote enough where you would actually need a compass to find where you're going then arguably an iPhone is probably not the most robust nor long-lasting life-saving device to have on your person. You could just have, I dunno, an actual £5 compass.
Most of the improvements are - as stated - in the software. We finally get copy/paste, native MMS, video recording and even voice control.... unless you own one of the obsolete models like the 2G and the 3G. 2G can't do MMS, 3G can't do video recording. Neither can do voice control despite the conspicuous lack of the "necessary DSP chip" in the 3GS.
It will be interesting over the coming months to see how the competitors respond. Apple still reign supreme in the UI department and their fanbase is partisan enough to provide a certain amount of momentum. As for the enterprise crowd though, this new revision is another dose of "meh".
Whether or not Apple will be able to keep the competition at bay for another ~12 months until the next WWDC where the real iPhone upgrade (OLED, different form factor, etc) is announced remains to be seen....
I can understand the networks charging *something* extra for data tethering. Clearly, "unlimited" internet via a phone interface isn't the same as "unlimited" via my computer, otherwise people would just cancel their broadband at home and do everything via the mobile phone. Paying a minimum of £15 a month extra is quite outrageous however.
I'd probably only use a feature like that once a month or so when I'm on the train with my laptop and I'm certainly not going to pay 15 quid for the slight convenience it offers. If O2 offered 1GB for £5 I'd be much more interested however.
Got one on Friday - my first iPhone.... got to say it really is brilliant. By far the best handset I've ever had, and it's range of capabilities is astonishing.
Yes it may be £170 etc etc, but if you get the £60 quidco cashback deal then it's only £110 really. And considering that it's a phone, decent browser, mail client, games machines, 32GB iPod Touch and so much more I think that's actually pretty decent.
Tethering don't bother me cos I don't use it.
"A compass? I really don't know how relevant this is. If you're somewhere remote enough where you would actually need a compass to find where you're going then arguably an iPhone is probably not the most robust nor long-lasting life-saving device to have on your person. You could just have, I dunno, an actual £5 compass."
Please take a look at the screenshots or videos to see how the compass is useful while using google maps to know what direction you're facing, very useful when you walk off a subway station and know where you're going, but don't know what direction to take since you have no idea where you're facing in the map.
Actually the compass when out in the middle of nowhere could be very handy. I've used the GPS and maps on the iPhone while hiking in the past as a guide to how far I've travelled and it's been invaluable. It is however hard to work out which direction the map is facing compared to yourself, so having a compass to orient the map would be very useful IMHO.
As for robustness, the boss rolled his car and caravan last month and his iPhone took a tumble out the window along the motorway. It came out with just a few scuffs on the casing! Obviously it wouldn't have survived a lorry going over it but few phones would.
I notice there was nothing about connection speeds in the review. It's been my experience that O2's network is very shit, with 3G browsing no faster than on EDGE. However, YouTube over 3G is very quick, suggesting that O2's proxy that reduces image quality in pages is to blame for sluggishness on the web.
I would have upgraded by now but buying out my contract, then paying full whack for a 32GB phone is just too much. Here's hoping sales are dismal and O2 drop the prices and offer better upgrade options.
T-Mobile do a SIM only deal, no contract, £20 a month for unlimited text, internet and 600 minutes. T-Mobile don't mind (or notice?) me tethering at all. O2 offer a similar SIM only deal for £20.
Having to pay £35-40 a month (for 2 years!) just to get the phone under £200 is a joke, and the tethering tax is the awful punchline. Anyone with a new iphone is a real muppet IMHO I'm afraid.
If you are showing the photo to other people it is so trivially easy to zoom in on anything in your image on the iPhone, there truly is no need at all for you to do it beforehand when taking the actual picture. So why waste energy with a digital zoom, that is destructive and loses content, on a quick snapping device when you can take a full shot and just edit it later if you absolutely must? I just don't see the point of that comment in the review at all other than as an opportunity for you to include something that is (stupidly) negative.
As it is Wimbledon time, I feel the above title to be indicated. Fine, it is true that optical zoom would be a welcome feature, but it is still quite an unusual one in smart-phones. For the author to opine that he'd like to see digital zoom included as a feature is quite ridiculous, especially arising from someone whom I assume has an interest in tech. Such a zoom can be achieved in post, or even within the Photos App itself if you like. I can hardly believe he would prefer this redundant and pretty useless feature at the expense of the magnetometer which is of genuine utility if use Maps often - if I were not in contract I would upgrade from the 3G to 3G S for this alone (and perhaps the overall speed boost).
The compass is necessary to tell your orientation, as has been mentioned. I have an O2 XDA and in walking mode the GPS is absolutely awful - as soon as you slow down or stop it cannot tell which way you are heading which means it either takes a guess (wrongly) or defaults to North = up. So unless you can see all the street names you have to start walking sharpish before it orientates itself and you find you have gone completely the wrong way and need to turn round....again.
I may be mistaking your post but quick maths shows 2048 * 1536 is near as damn it 3 million which is what I would expect from a 3 megapixel camera. You must have it in "crappyresolution" mode or something.
In Yankville, the "we know what is best for everybody" liberals have decreed that hands-free cell phone use be the law in many states, so the voice command (catching up with Windows Mobile) becomes almost a necessity, since even the Favorites list speed-dial method can be inconvenient while driving...
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"If you don’t already own an iPhone then the iPhone 3G S might well be the model that finally wears down your resistance."
I can't even be bothered to write what I was going to, again, because I get numpties telling me I'm wrong to need it.
But some form of multitasking would be what wears down my resistance. I just want it to do more than one thing at a time. Even doing two things at once would just about be enough. But this artificial limit on what I can do, well, it's the deal breaker.
As previously stated, digital zoom does nothing useful, except perhaps act as a cropping tool when you take the picture. Otherwise, just zoom in on the photo (same difference) or increase it off-device with any editing software. I always disable digital zoom- it is utterly useless.
And I doubt 5mp would do much better- there are just physical limitations as to what you get with a pinhole and plastic optics. Even Nokia's Zeiss optics-based 5mp are so-so, especially since they don't let you change the quality setting (Nokia's idea of quality is to change the image size, not the JPEG compression). And Samsung is an absolute joke with its 10mp and 12mp models.
I agree with the above posts about "digital zoom" -- I use quotes because it's physically impossible.
As for the compass -- it's certainly something my E71 is lacking. Some of the mapping software and camera plugins for compasses look like good fun and some even seem useful.
Unfortunately, lack of hardware keyboard makes it a no go for me -- and that's before the price and Apple's arrogant, restrictive attitude to it's customers. Which remninds me, time to look for a C64 emulator.
Rogers here in Canada makes O2 look like a bargain...
$299 for a 32Gb Iphone on a 3 year contract plus at least $55 a month (150 weekday minutes, unlimited evenings (after 9pm) and weekends, 1000 txt messages, 6Gb of data) plus all the little extras they charge you that isnt included in the plan price......
...did you manage to record the video "on its side"?
It looks as though the phone was tipped horizontally but the phone thought it was still vertical... Shouldn't the accelerometer automatically take care of that like it does the screen flipping? My WinMob respects the orientation I choose (albeit manually) when shooting still images or video.
Finally... How the hell anybody found their way around using just a map before the inclusion of a compass on the iPhone is a complete and utter mystery! Yet another example of iPhone users not being able to use the most powerful processor they are ever likely to have!
I have to wonder how many people for whom a virtual keyboard is a no-go have ever tried the iPhone. I ask because a friend of mine was dead against touch screens, having tried them before, but after a few minutes changed her mind completely and is now a convert. Resistive screens, as fitted to a great many devices, are very poor in comparison to capacitive ones like that fitted to the iPhone (and the Pre, I think).
Also: The compass is great, orienting the maps automatically is the finishing touch to that functionality.
Digital zoom is, as has been said already, utter rubbish.
O2 Tethering is a rip-off and calling a limitied service unlimited should be a crime. Instead, the crime is that no-one official is doing anything about it.
Fido is owned by Rogers but have a different idea of what you want.
Also $299 with a 3 year contract. But the monthly cost starts at $60 (£31.79)
250 minutes, Evenings (from 7pm) and weekends, unlimited texts, and ...
500 MB of DATA... such a deal! Add $.03 / MB if you go over.
I like the iphone but I'm not going to buy any mobile internet device with the rip-off data rates in Canada!
For anyone confused by my earlier post - it seems that if you email a photo from the 3GS, it helpfully resizes it to 800x600, but transferring it to iPhoto keeps the full resolution.
The quality is still laughably bad though, I think your test shots show best-case scenarios.
To everyone whining about price - if there are people gullible enough to pay for it (like me) then Apple have got their strategy right. Snorting that it's too expensive for it's feature set for your particular taste won't stop it being painfully successful.
@Si 1 said
"The boss rolled his car and caravan last month and his iPhone took a tumble out the window along the motorway"
I think you have that wrong - iPhone = cool, car + caravan = anti-cool so I think the iPhone was trying to escape and the energy realeased by bringing cool and anti-cool sufficiently close together was sufficient to roll the vehicles.
... what might happen were Apple to say something along lines of:
Okay, luv ur iPhone luv ur telco!
Meaning use any telco.
Would O2 and others bandwagon into similar pricing or would one above the rest stick out its neck and make offers that iPhone users might not wish to avoid (in the future, when present contracts expire that is).
To all the people who say that you are allowed to tether with other phones on O2- have you actually read the terms of your contract?
With O2, unless you have paid for the Web Max bolt on which I believe is 30 quid a month then the terms of the Web bolt on states the following:
"Data Bolt On Terms
The Web Bolt On allows you unlimited use of Telefónica O2 UK Limited's Edge/GPRS/ 3G networks (as applicable to your handset), for personal internet use via your mobile phone. All usage must be for your private, personal and non-commercial purposes. You may not use your SIM Card:
in, or connected to, any other device including modems;
to allow the continuous streaming of any audio / video content, enable Voice over Internet (Voip), P2P or file sharing; or
in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other O2 customers.
If O2 reasonably suspects you are not acting in accordance with this policy O2 reserves the right to impose further charges, impose network protection controls which may reduce your speed of transmission, remove the Web Bolt On from your account or disconnect your tariff at any time, having attempted to contact you first."
Notice the bit about "in, or connected to, any other device including modems", that's yer tethering out the window.
Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world where you can buy the iPhone contract free and SIM unlocked straight from the online Apple store (no official Apple retail store in HK yet). An original iPhone 3G is currently going for HK$4488 (£355). There are no prices yet for the new iPhone 3GS models, but if they're the same as the original iPhone 3G prices, then they will be HK$5200 and HK$6400 I think (£410 and £500).
So there's the excuse you need for a holiday, but I wonder if you'd need a credit card for a local bank?
Flames because it's a bit hot here at the moment (32-38 degrees, 65-90%+ humidity)
LIke many readers I used to used teathering on various phones in the past, but now netwokrs are writing in "anti-teather" contracts and on my N95 on t-mob it was unreliable anyway.
I have a 3G dongle on a £15 package as I work away a lot and its good also as I work form home and my rural broadband is iffy its my DR solution, to be honest id rather be able to make calls AND use the web etc and thats a pain if teathered.
so I guess im saying that teathering is a dead thing, for both good (usability) and Bad (evil contracts) reasons.
O2 has confirmed that its Simplicity sims do work with the PAYG models - the £20pm one-month contract has a free unlimited web usage bolt-one, gives you far more texts and minutes but exclude the free Wi-fi and visual voicemail. It terms of the overall cost (contract and cost of the phone), it's roughly the same price as a £35 contract but for most better value.
The bluetooth is still crap which is a big drawback. I hate having to use a wired headset. I think I'll be waiting for the next one. There's a rumour that there'll be a surprise new iPhone for Christmas with HD OLED screen. In any case, I think I'll wait until there's an OLED screen before deciding to plump for one. That's one pricey mo fo pho. You never know, the surprise for Christmas might be scrapping the O2 deal If that happens it's bye bye O2 for me.
"It looks as though the phone was tipped horizontally but the phone thought it was still vertical... Shouldn't the accelerometer automatically take care of that like it does the screen flipping? My WinMob respects the orientation I choose (albeit manually) when shooting still images or video."
I think you'll find the accelerometer did exactly that... otherwise you'd need to tilt your head in order to view the video, wouldn't you. Seems to me this (video in correct portrait orientation) is exactly what the user intended. I'm curious on how your WinMob would improve on that... really, do elaborate.
"Finally... How the hell anybody found their way around using just a map before the inclusion of a compass on the iPhone is a complete and utter mystery!"
Yes, God forbid we make incremental improvements to a function that is already perfectly useable. What are you trying to say here? It's not a matter of not being able to find your way without the map automatically orienting, it's about being able to do so more quickly with that compass function. Why the silly comments?
"The bluetooth is still crap which is a big drawback. I hate having to use a wired headset."
You assume too much Jim. Why all the anger when you can take a quick look at the specs.
Both the new phones and the 3G have A2DP now - the former through the free 3.0 software update and the latter out of the box.
Not bug free, unfortunately (atm you're out of luck with a Philips headset, AVRCP doesn't really work) but what is.
lol, sounds like everyone is getting screwed over on the amount of money they have to pay to have this phone. Let alone that its made by a company who feels they must restrict any freedom of using your phone the way you want to! I think i'll laugh at the next person I see with an iphone 3g s because now I know how much they pay per month!
I thought I had and saw no mention of it anywhere on Apple's site nor in any of the pages and pages of reviews. I now see a few mentions on a website or too so I take it back. I think I'll still wait now though and see what the next revision is like. Contract not up until November and then I'll just wait either a month until the rumoured surprise device shows up or seven months until the next WWMC. Roll on a 800x480 OLED iPhone with 64GB;). Erm, I'll take one;).
I think people are getting hung up on the Mp for a camera. You can have all the megapixels in the world, but if the lens is crap, then it won't help. My wife's (first-gen) iPhone takes pretty decent pictures, good enough for most things. When we went to the Indianapolis 500, she took crowd shots, kid pictures, etc, with it, and it was fine. For the cars and close-ups, I had my trusty formerly-high-end Kodak which did well. (Not pro-grade, obviously, but still.)
@ AC 16:44 GMT
The iPhone and iPod touch DO multitask.
Phone, Mail, Safari, iPod continue running in the background, in some fashion, memory permitting. And how else could you continue listening to music while using another app?
What the iPhone doesn’t allow is background processing for third-party apps.