Review: 3G iPhone

After a few days of playing around with the new iPhone 3G, I'm convinced that Apple's iconic piece of gadgetry is a misnomer.

The "mobile phone" is clearly the most unimpressive and probably the most unimportant part of the second generation iPhone.

It's is a great computer; to be more specific, a great mobile Internet device -- probably the best ever made -- and it's a pity that it's debuted in the country before 3G networks are up and running.

The other pity of course is that the two Indian operators whom Apple has chosen -- Airtel and Vodafone, have both decided not to subsidise the handset as AT&T for instance does in the US, where it retails at $200 (approx Rs 8,600) with a compulsory extra charge by the operator for a 2-year usage plan.

At a whopping Rs 36,100 for the 16GB (which comes in black and white rear panels) and 31,000 for the 8GB model, the iPhone is destined to border on being a luxury product, rather than a mass appeal phenomenon.

There are some cosmetic exterior changes from the earlier version, which in India, was widely available in the grey market. The rear panel has been changed from metal to plastic while the external buttons have gone from plastic to metal.

There's a thin metal ring around the camera lens which is actually the new GPS antenna. The smoother rounding off on the sides means that the phone's dimensions have undergone a tiny change -- too small to notice, but small enough to prevent it from fitting into speaker docks that were made for the original iPhone - Aaargh!

To be fair to Apple though, they've taken consumer frustration over the headset jack seriously and replaced the old design that only allowed only the bundled headphones, with a "flush" port which means that you can use any standard 3.5 mm earpiece you wish.Next >>>

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