Call me iShmael [iPhone 3GS review]

Posted on June 22nd, 2009 @ 00:27 in Uncategorized

That’s what my new iPhone said to me, and that’s exactly what I did.

I was super-excited to finally get a new iPhone (you may know that I skipped the 3G so was still stuck with the 1st gen), which is why I went and queued outside the o2 store from 7.30 on Friday morning. I must say I’m glad I did – not because I wouldn’t have got one otherwise, as it turned out they had plenty enough stock for everyone – but because it was an amazingly geeky experience (as those who follow me on Twitter already largely know). I got chatting to the geeks behind me in the queue, and it was just so cool, we were all gushing about the same thing (and other geeky things), one guy already had OS 3.0 on his current one so demonstrated it to us (I hadn’t upgraded as I figured I could wait the extra 2 days). Of course we were also all online (speedily, as the o2 store has a TheCloud Wifi point) and were tweeting and facebooking and whatnot else.

Searching for #o2 I found a photo of our very own queue and replied to the guy, and we ended up finding each other in the queue and saying hi “in real life” too. :)) (and later added each other on Twitter) I also exchanged some tweets with random people in iPhone queues in other UK cities, and also added one of them (well, he added me first). He noticed earlier that we’re both at exactly 116 followers right now so I think we’re in some unofficial follower contest now. The first of us who gets to one million will donate 1000 mosquito nets. =))

Generally I have to say the launch was extremely well handled by o2 – they were feeding us muffins and water and were pretty nice & all. The only slight downer was that the o2 Twitter channel said at some point “stores open at 8:02” but failed to mention this only applied to some stores. But it was fun waving my iPhone at the Brighton staff going “look! your official channel says you should open now!” *lol* And also in their defence, when I tweeted them “hey, your Brighton staff don’t agree!” they took the time to DM me and apologized for the confusion. (they must have had hundreds, if not thousands of @replies around that time so that was a nice gestures). Oh and btw I didn’t have to buy myself out of my contract (I am unsure if I was eligible for early upgrade or if he just thought “oh whatever” as it was only one month).

I must sound like one of those unbearable social media hipsters, uh? Oh well. :)) Anyway, that was my buying experience. I made it to work just in time for my meeting at 10, and got to gush about my new toy to everyone. :)) Mhm. Couldn’t activate the thing until after work of course, and then got a shock – I couldn’t open the SIM slot on the old one!! I was sooo stressed out already cuz Alisdair was arriving a few hours later and my flat was a complete tip. But still, I had to have my toy up & working, so raced back into town (on my bike, hehe), where the store was just closing! I pleaded with the guy so he helpfully pointed out that the one inside the shopping centre was open till 7pm. So in I went, pretty much ready to beg them to give me an emergency SIM card while the old one was retrieved… the first girl also didn’t manage to open it, but the next guy did!!! 😀 I actually said “I love you!” to him. =))

Okay. Now to the actual product, yes? I won’t write a full review or anything, you can read Stephen Fry‘s if you’re into that kinda stuff. :)) Just my few points of gushiness. Okay, to start with I did a speed comparison [youtube] with Alisdair’s old one and you will see that the difference is quite remarkable.

The camera quality was obviously one of the main selling points for me, and it doesn’t disappoint. (example at full resolution). Obviously it’s still miles from my beloved Sony k800i, but that was pretty much a camera with added phone function. *lol* I’m also reasonably pleased with the video quality, tho I’ve had trouble getting them onto the PC – Explorer seems to hang when trying to access the folder, so I’ve had to resort to emailing them to myself, which means they get compressed. But it may just be a problem with my particular PC. Might try with the Mac.

What else. Ah yes, the voice control so far has only been a source of amusement. :))
Clarissa: “call squiZZ”
iPhone: “calling Twitter”
Clarissa: “play Placebo”
iPhone: “now playing songs by Nena” :))
It did get “call Jimmy” and “next track” right. Admittedly tho I don’t really get the point, esp. with the iPod part, because while you activate voice control (by pressing the home button for a longer time) it pauses the song, so then I might as well just double-click the home button (which I have set to launch iPod) and change it that way. :)) Quicker and less dispruptive. But it’s amusing anyway. :))

I am not yet ready to make a judgment about battery life. It drains pretty quickly but I have been using it an awful lot. Also no opinion yet on 3G speed as I’ve not used it outside yet. What else is there… ah yes, the sideways keyboard, I dunno, I still can’t get used to typing with two thumbs, but I will persevere cuz that would really improve typing speed and my overall usage of the thing for emailing and blogging etc. Copy/paste is pretty cool & well implemented, tho I do find the “select/paste” options popping up whenever I want to zoom in on text kinda irritating. I’m sure I’ll get used to it tho.

I’ve not been able to use or test GPS much yet since we barely left the flat all week-end, but I have bought Navigon – my most expensive app by far at £55. So far the only thing I’ve done with it was holding it out the window and testing it by putting in Alisdair’s address. :)) We shall see. It will be interesting to see how that drains the battery, may wanna get a car charger even if I only drive very rarely. Have also downloaded Runkeeper as recommended by Tobias, to use for cycling. Again, battery life will be interesting on that one. Esp. as there are no bike chargers for iPhone. :)) (at least I think so lol)

There’s tons of other apps I’ve downloaded in the past few days (you know how it goes….), mainly games. Oh and I’ve finally given in and bought Brushes (only tried once so far, I am shit. but I am planning to persevere). And Tube Deluxe for my upcoming London trips. Was only 59p.

One last thing: iTunes 8.2 slows down my PC (esp. Firefox) so fucking much it’s not funny. I think it may be largely due to my use of FoxyTunes which obviously links the two, but it’s so goddamn useful. I might actually try with “iTunes miniplayer on top of other windows” and see if that is a satisfactory alternative, and a perfomance improvement.

Oh, and in unrelated news, Brandy’s latest album is fun! 😀 (sounds exactly like the two previous ones but since I liked those…. :)) who needs variety? 😛 ) Having Alisdair was also very fun. I shall see him again on Friday. 😀

Okay I think I’m done. Goodnight!!

PS Oh & btw I’ve decided to keep my old iPhone and jailbreak it so no you can’t buy it off me. And isn’t it hilarious that the iPhone dictionary knows the word jailbreak when surely Apple can’t be too fond of it? :))
Ah yes the dictionary is also something I find has improved.


jimmy said on Jun 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm

How entertaining! I look forward to seeing it up close. I’m still too scared to get one so I can live through you:)

Clarissa said on Jun 22, 2009 at 11:13 pm

:)) Whimp! The new ones have an even better coating so are even more scratch-proof. And OMG they are so cool. Once you’ve tried it you are SO going to get one! =P~


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