as GSM that bad?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jrock2004, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. jrock2004 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    A friend is going to give me her iPhone 2G which of course uses GSM over the 3G. Tell me is it going to take 5 minute for pages to come up? Is the GPS going to be slow that I miss my turn because my connection was not fast enough? Thanks for any info you can provide.
     
  2. fishkorp macrumors 68020

    fishkorp

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    #2
    I think you're a bit confused. The 3G is also GSM. The first gen iPhone uses EDGE for data, and yes, it is slow. You also cannot use voice and data at the same time over EDGE. That phone also does not have a GPS, so I wouldn't use it for directions. It approximates location based on cell tower triangulation.
     
  3. actorkid macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #3
    you're a little confused as to the features of the original iPhone. GSM is just the technology AT&T uses to offer cellular service. All phones on the AT&T network are GSM phones. What you are thinking of is EDGE vs. 3G, which are just different ways to send data over the network.

    Yes EDGE is slower than 3g. I dealt with EDGE for 2 years, and honestly it isnt THAT bad. Think of it this way. At least you have the whole freaking internet in the palm of your hands. So dont take it for granted or be picky.

    As for GPS, the original iPhone doesn't have a GPS chip, so you will not be able to rely on the GPS for navigation. The phone will only use wifi hotspots and cell tower triangulation to find your approximate location. Turn by turn directions will not work on the original iphone...sorry

    edit: another FYI: GPS doesn't run over data, it retrieves your location via satellites. This connection doesn't depend on whether or not you have service. It only depends on having a clear view of the sky....not like it matters though, since the original iphone doesnt have GPS at all
     
  4. billchase2 macrumors 68000

    billchase2

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    #4
    The 2G doesn't have GPS, so you'll have to go the map route.

    EDGE varies from location to location. It was typically good enough for me though, especially with Wi-Fi available all over the place.
     
  5. jrock2004 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Please do not get me wrong I am going to be happy with it not matter what. I was curious. Oh so if I use maps and get directions I can look to see where I am on the map but it will not say turn left in 30ft. I gotcha.
     
  6. actorkid macrumors 6502

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    #6
    you won't even actually know where you are. What you will have to do, is put a starting and ending address into maps. It'll just give you step by step directions to where you want to go. just like printing out the directions from a home computer. The phone doesn't actually know where you are.
     
  7. fehhkk macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

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    Chicago, IL
    #7
    The original iPhone data technology is called EDGE (Enhanced Datarate for GSM Evolution). The 3G iPhone's technology is called HSPA. People just call it 3G because it's easier to call it that way. :)
     
  8. jrock2004 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Ah ok. Well like I said I will be happy with what I get. Its my first iPhone. I will not pay for it except the data usage. Turn by turn is not important to me would just be a cool benefit. I use the 1st Gen iPod Touch so I will like getting email anywhere and to be able to carry 1 device instead of 2.
     
  9. actorkid macrumors 6502

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    #9
    well then congrats and enjoy your first iPhone, you'll love it

    i'm not sure they'll let you only put a data plan on it though. I'm 99.9% sure they make you put SOME sort of call plan on it too.
     
  10. jrock2004 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Oh I want phone service on it. I want phone and data
     
  11. actorkid macrumors 6502

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  12. za9ra22 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Like a lot of people, I still use a 2G iPhone every day, and while the lack of such things as GPS and compass make later models attractive, the 2G model still does just about everything I want so I'm not in a hurry to move on from it.

    EDGE isn't particularly fast for data use, but it's somewhat faster than dialup, and for my use (including weather radar lookups when I'm out) it's certainly acceptable. It's also what all the 3G and 3GS users have to content with when not in a 3G coverage area.

    I can't say I'd ever really thought about using it to actually navigate because the accuracy and speed of the location service is really not suited to that, but it's perfectly good for creating route plans and showing approximate (sometimes very approximate, sometimes remarkably accurate) locations.

    It may be 2 years old, but the original iPhone is a remarkable and very usable device.
     
  13. jrock2004 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Ok thanks for your guys input. I am not sure when this person is going to give it to me so for now I just wait and pray for when it gets here.
     
  14. TLewis macrumors 65816

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    left coast, US
    #14
    The 2G can be surprisingly accurate at times, with just triangulation and wifi. Triangulation can often get a location within a block or so, and wifi locating can often peg your location within a house or two. Of course, that assumes that triangulation can be done, and that the nearby wifi access points are in the wifi database.

    (I was really surprised to find that my home's wifi is in their database, as I live at the far edge of the suburbs -- I wonder if they have more cars driving around neighborhoods than google's street mappers.)

    Of course, triangulation can be amazingly inaccurate, too, especially if the phone can see far away cell towers.
     
  15. actorkid macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #15
    cell triangulation and wifi locating serves a decent purpose, don't get me wrong. But it is HARDLY a substitute for GPS as it can't follow your exact location. I've never had great accuracy with cell triangulation and wifi with my 2g. a 2-5 block radius just doesn't cut it for me. Helpful when I'm on a road trip and want to see how close I am to certain landmarks/see what state I'm in? Sure. Getting around a city I'm unfamiliar with? Not so much...I'd rather look at the street signs
     
  16. TLewis macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Well, no, it can't follow your exact location. :D

    I basically agree with what you said, but you originally wrote, "you won't even actually know where you are", and that's not quite true. You can know, roughly, where you are. Is it as accurate as a GPS? No. Can you get turn-by-turn instructions from it? No. However, for many people, it can be good enough. It's certainly often good enough to locate your position in Google maps if you look at the nearest intersection's street signs, and look in the error circle for those streets. :D

    GPS can also have trouble in urban areas with tall buildings. Some GPSes can be usable around tall buildings, and others not so much. I haven't seen any reports of how good the iPhone's GPS is around tall buildings, though (anyone here have any experience?).

    Perhaps it's just me, but I prefer to use a real automotive GPS than something on the iPhone. :cool:
     
  17. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #17
    I'd have to take issue with this. Unless I am located through Skyhook's wi-fi location system in Google the location through EDGE using cell is horribly inaccurate. Normally it places me at the location of one cell tower or another which is regularly a couple of miles away. Based on cell-location alone I've never had an experience where it was remotely usable at all on my original 2G.
     
  18. TLewis macrumors 65816

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    left coast, US
    #18
    Heh, that's why I used the word, "often". Not everyone's experiences will agree.

    In the San Francisco bay area, and the Los Angeles area, the triangulation can often get you to within 0.25-1 mile of your correct location. Depending on the street density, that can be good enough to manually locate yourself in Google maps.

    Of course, "often" is not "always". My friend's location was once pegged in the ocean near Ghana (near Africa!). He was in the SF bay area at the time. I still have no idea how the iPhone (2G) could have gotten its location so wildly incorrect. It was pretty funny, though.

    While my old 2G's triangulation often worked decently well enough for me, there was one spot near the top of a hill that it often got wrong. That spot can probably see multiple cell towers, maybe miles away across a valley, and the iPhone was often off by a few miles.
     

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