Thursday, March 8, 2012

Phone Review: iPhone 3GS Unlocked (Apple Direct) on T-Mobile USA

Sorry I have not updated in a bit. Had some personal stuff w/friends & family go on lately that just kinda had me down and not in the mood to blog or anything of that nature.

I'm back with a different kind of review.

As the title says it's a phone. Yes it's not the newest iPhone model and that is for a reason. I didn't want to purchase an iPhone and have to unlock it/pay to unlock it myself, or have it jail broken, I have wanted one for some time. To be honest I have waited this long to get one because of my carrier....I have used T-Mobile USA since it was under Voicestream wireless where I live and my sidek!ck didn't have a colored screen (yes THAT long).. I get pretty much the same quality service as Verizon,Sprint, and AT&T customers do coverage wise, and sometimes better with T-Mobile so I didn't want to switch...That and I'd ahve to pay to switch 3 lines...That is neither here nor there so let's jump into the review :)

Quick Pic:


As the title specifies I have the iPhone 3GS 8GB in Black.

I do love it thus far. For me personally I love many Apple products...and yes unfortunatly I am one of those people who tends to turn around and upgrade it everytime Apple "improves" it.....

As far as functionality goes it's great! There wasn't much to get used to as I've always had an iPod touch as my mp3 player, and used them all the time. The battery life is decent. I can go a whole day without charging it until I get home. The sound during calls is clear. Actually the clearest of any phone I've had to date to be honest. I also like the resolution of the screen (tbh though I do think imho even the 3rd generation iPod Touch had a better screen resolution reguardless of specs). I also like the ease of the itunes store and the app market. It has simplified my life as I no longer have to bring my iPod AND my phone...They're the same device. (Personallly reguardless of what phone I've previously had, if it had an mp3 player, it was not the best...and I won't even go into the video player....)

This feels like a ramble so I'll go into some like's and dislikes of it:

Ease of use>If you have an iPod Touch or have had one in the past, you'll be able to use it out the box.

Background Applications:Unlike many phones you don't have to go back to the home screen or jump menu,, you can click the navigation button and your most recently used apps show up at the bottom so you can easily go from one application to another.

Lock Screen:The lock screen is great. Even with your phone locked you can navigate through your music you're currently playing. You can also select your camera from your lock screen. Thsi is great if you want/need to take a picture quickly. You don't have to unlock your phone, go to the home screen/sort through screens/menus, locate your camera and wait for it to load. Just click your home screen while your phone is locked, and select the camera.

Navigation Bar: This is imho similar to the notification bar on most/all android phones. However it is a little different. At the top it does display the weather(in a week view and current). It also gives you the option to clear certain notifications. You can remove 1,2, or a few and keep others, versus deleting them all at once.

Messages: I LOVE the messaging on the iPhone. Personally I like the keypad layout. I have big hands and I find on a touch screen the spacing of the letters is perfect for me. I also like the fact that it DOESN'T have swipe.....Nothing more annoying than trying to type on a screen and it starts creating words for you. Another great feature is the fact that even when the screen is locked, if you have a message (or facebook update, etc.) you can slide across the screen while the phone is locked, and it will open up to the message. Very convenient.

Freezing/Locking Up: A great thing is I haven't experienced any freezing/locking up of this phone. With my 3 previous phones (My Touch 3G, Samsung Galaxy S 3G, Samsung Sidekick 4G) ALL of them REPEATEDLY froze. At least once a day I would have to manually remove my battery and restart my phone. That is a huge inconvenience I have YET to experience with my iPhone 3GS.

Wireless Syncing: I LOVE the fact that as long as itunes is open on my laptop my iPhone will sync. It's so much easier than grabbing a usb cord, hooking my phone up to my laptop, mounting my phone, opening the memory card/phone, and manually adding, removing, and switching/saving things around.


Screen: When I say screen I don't mean the resolution of the screen, rather, the movement. I will say 1 thing Android phones have is the layout. The icon's aren't as easy to move around on the phone itself. (You can move them around when your phone is synced with itunes, but that can be bothersome). This may seem trivial but I also don't like the fact that the wallpaper is so...stationary. On Android phones when you change screens, you see more of the wallpaper. This is particularly good when you've taken a picture in portrait. As you change screens you can see more of the wallpaper.

Voice: The Voice function is a good idea, but imho it doesn't work as good as Google Talk on the Android. I am a fast talker and have a nasalated accent, so OFTEN it completly mis interprets what I say. **This IS biased as it's functionality is complelty dependant on how well you enunciate (sp??) and clearly speak your words, and may work well for most others**

Material/Finish: I will be honest, I have NO IDEA what this phone is made of. It looks sleek and shiny. That being stated I don't like the feel of the finish. It is very smooth and I feel that without a protective case it could be very easily damaged/scratched.

Ambiant Sensor:I do feel that the ambiant sensor is not as good as it could be. I often use my bluetooth and reguardless of what settings I use, after a quick moment my screen goes completly black. While using the phone in a standard handset fashion that's fine. If it's not near my face it's for a reason and should remain lit. While I'm sure it serves some purpose such as battery preservation it's a setting I wish could be changed, or easily adjusted by the user.

MMS: While I can SEND mms messages to ANY phone, I seem to only be able to receive mms messages from other iPhones. Even this is a hit/miss.

RINGDROID: While the APP market offers many great apps/games/etc for free, reguardless of what I have tried (Free and Paid) I can't seem to find an app that allows me to use a song in my library and make it a ringtone/notification tone. Android phones do have a leg up on that as not only is it an option, it seems to come standard on EVERY Android phone nowadays reguardless of the wireless carrier, and the manufacturer of the phone. RINGDROID I will miss you dearly :(

There is a hit and miss with me on this and that is the WEB functionality. While I did purchase it unlocked from Apple I can use it fine with no need to tweak or maniuplate the phones hardware/firmware/os simply by inserting my sim card it is disappointing that it only works on my carriers EDGE frequency. that being said, on the rare occasion it's on EDGE I personally don't notice a drastic difference in speed/download when comparing it to friends/co workers of mine who have iPhones on other networks and get 3G service. TBH I have wifi at my house, and my job. Most places have it no adays, and even public transportation where I live has it. While it would be nice it's not a deal breaker for me.

Overall I am satisfied with the phone. I enjoy using it and am glad I purchased it. If I had one complaint with Apple it would be the price. Yes I did buy it unlocked directly from Apple because my carrier doesn't sell/distribute/carry the phone at this time. Let's be realistic though, while it is an iPhone, it's not the newest or most current. There have been 2 iPhones since it's release, and it costs $375.00 BEFORE taxes and shipping. (They do ship for free standard due to the cost of the iPhone, but I personally paid $10.00 extra for 2 day express shipping). I also don't like the fact that simply because it's unlocked and not manufactured for any specific carrier I couldn't get it locally. While they iPhones they sell through Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T are available at MANY Apple retail stores, any unlocked/non carrier specific iPhones reguardless of make/model are ONLY available for purchase directly through the Apple website. If you don't mind the cost and are looking for a more cost effective version of the iPhone, or are a T-Mobile USA customer I do highly recommend it.

Hopefully this ramble of a review will be of help to some of you guys out there! I'm gonna finish updating my itunes and finish my Taco Bell. It's early as hell in the morning here and I have to be up for work in less than an hour!

(And if anyone has the iPhone 4S would you recommend it? I am debating getting one in white later in the spring with a higher GB capacity but want to know if it's significatnly better than the 3GS or the 4 for that matter)

I am not affiliated with Apple inc, or any of it's subsidiaries. This blog post is in no way sponsored or compensated by Apple inc. I am in no way affiliated with Apple in any shape or form. All products mentioned in this review are purchased with my money. All thoughts, opinions, and views in this blog post are mine and mine alone. Any and all images in this post are my sole property.