A year ago, I was comparing mobile phones, I bought a Touch Diamond and regretted it and then I bought an iPhone 3G which I used for a year and now I even upgraded to the 3GS. Now that I just got yet another comment to my post about the Touch Diamond, I thought I should recycle that comparison table from a year ago, but this time I’ll compare my assumptions about the iPhone back then with how it actually turned out.
So, here’s the table:
|Quick dialing of arbitrary numbers||actually, using the favorites list, and even using the touch keypad with its very large buttons, I never had a problem dialing a number.|
|Acceptable battery life (more than two days)||?||meh – two to three days, but as I’m syncing podcasts every day, I get to charge the phone every day as well, so this doesn’t matter as much|
|usable as modem||probably not||it is now (using a little help for my Swisscom contract). As I was bound to my old contract with sunrise until may, I would have been able to use my old phone in an emergency, but that thankfully didn’t happen.|
|usable while not looking at the device||I got really dependent upon the small button on my headset plus the volume hardware buttons on the side of the device, both allowing me to do 90% of the stuff I was able to do on the old phone without looking at it.|
|quick writing of SMS messages||actually, I’m nearly as fast as with the T9 – having all keys at my disposal eliminates the need to select the right word in the menus, but not having the physical keys lets me wrestle with typos or auto correction which removes a bit of the advantage. It’s not nearly as bad as I have imagined though.|
|Sending and receiving of MMS messages||works now. I missed the feature about once or twice in the 2.0 days, but usually sending a picture via email worked just as well (and was cheaper).|
|synchronizes with google calendar/contacts||maybe||yes. Since the beginning of the year, this works really well because Google just pretends to be Exchange|
|synchronizes with Outlook||maybe||yes, directly via ActiveSync – but since February, our company went the Google Apps route, so this has become irrelevant.|
|usable todo list|
|media player usage|
|integrates into current iTunes based podcast workflow||yes||yes|
|straight forward audio playing interface||yes||yes (see my note about the button on the headset above)|
|straight forward video playing interface||actually, the interface is perfectly fine|
|acceptable video player||limited||kinda yes. Using my 8 core Mac Pro, it’s quick and easy to convert a video, but lately I’m using my home cinema equipment for the real movies/tv series and the iPhone for video podcasts which already come in the native format. Still, it’s no generic video player capable of playing video in the most common formats and it doesn’t really support playing from any server in my home network.|
|ssh client||maybe||yes. TouchTerm works very well – much better than any of the mobile Putty variants (Symbian an Winmob)|
|skype client||maybe||note quite. Actually usable with the speakerphone or headset, but not as useful in general use due to the inability to run in the background|
|OperaMini (browser usable on GSM)||not needed any more due to UMTS and near-flat rates.|
Nearly all my gripes about the iPhone have either become irrelevant or turned out not to be a problem after all.
Combine the very acceptable performance as a phone with the perfect performance as a podcast player, music player, acceptable gaming platform and perfect mobile internet device, then it becomes clear that the iPhone has become the perfect phone for me.
I upgraded to the 3GS mainly because of the larger capacity, but now that I have it, the speed improvement actually matters much more than the capacity increase as 32 GB still is not enough to fit all my audio books, so I’m still limited to all my music, all unlistened podcasts and a selection of audio books.
But the speed improvement from the 3G to the 3GS is so incredible, that I’m still very happy I made the purchase. All the other features are either not quite ready for prime time (voice control) or not really interesting to me (video recording, compass).
Still. After looking for the perfect phone for 8 years now, I finally found the hardware in the iPhone.