Final buying advice

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sanford, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. sanford macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, USA
    #1
    I've been pretty critical of the way the iPhone is sold -- contracts and such -- but not the device itself. So I've still been considering one even though I've talked myself out of it several times.

    I've decided that none of the missing features is key for me. The 8GB is enough for some photos, couple TV shows, a movie, and about 60 music albums; plus I'll still have my small, light 30GB video iPod when I absolutely must take everything with me. My big, final issue is: How bad is EDGE data service? A couple of footnotes to that question: one, I've checked and our whole area is in a top AT&T coverage area -- I think it's because Cingular was *huge* in this region -- with best available EDGE service. And my Internet usage will be about 70% WiFi to 30% EDGE. Given these two things, strong EDGE and WiFi most of the time for data, still, how bad is EDGE? How long does it take to, say, run a Google search or load a newspaper page. Use the Wikipedia. Download or send e-mail, with maybe a photo or two enclosed. Things like that on EDGE. Is it just obviously slower than WiFi or is it so unbearably slow you don't even want to use it for those functions?
     
  2. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #2
    EDGE for me is fine, especially as I spend most of my time within range of free WiFi. Its noticeably slower than WiFi obviously, but the convience of having internet wherever you go is worth it IMHO. Email and Google Maps work great over EDGE BTW. I was surfing the web whilst waiting at the DMV the other day and it was a working great on some fairly complex web pages.

    I'm sure it would be faster if it was 3G, but I don't get 3G where I live, so its either EDGE or nothing for me!
     
  3. ukneeq macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    Lewisville, TX
    #3
    I'm also usually within range of free WiFi, but when I'm on EDGE it isn't bad at all. I'm in the Dallas area. You can definitely tell when you are on EDGE. It isn't like it is unbearable or anything. If you expect super fast speeds though you will be disappointed. On some websites you just have to be a little patient. I don't mind the speeds at all though.
     
  4. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Location:
    Wash DC suburbs
    #4
    I think a lot of it depends on where you use EDGE.

    I've noticed that at home and around town my EDGE is more than acceptable -- not wifi fast by any means but far faster than dialup. Basically it's fast enough to do the job for me.

    I have noticed, however, that certain areas are dead zones, even locally.

    For example if I go into the barnes and noble which has an AT&T hotspot my EDGE dies...I mean nothing.

    Conspiracy theorists may have some fun with that, but there it is.

    Is it noticeably slower than Wifi? Yes, it definitely is.

    Is it a terrible experience? no, it is not. And if your area is a really good coverage area you might even have a pretty good experience with it.

    EDGE gets slammed a lot because the people you tend to hear from about it are generally techno-snobs who demand the bleeding ..ahem...edge if you will.

    EDGE is not a jaw dropping experience, and if you are used to wifi speeds it will seem a little slow, but it works and it works pretty well.

    Sure faster non-wifi speeds would be fantastic but that's a false choice. Your choice is to wait some undetermined amount of time for something like a 3G+ 2nd gen iPhone, get a different phone, or get an iPhone with wifi and EDGE.

    Wifi works really well on the iPhone, so you should be ok with it using EDGE 30% of the time.
     
  5. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, USA
    #5
    Thanks. So EDGE is serviceable enough. This is just the worst quandary that I've had with an Apple product I like. I mean because of what I do it was easy enough to know I don't have any use for a Mac Pro. And when I went to buy a new MacBook Pro and saw how capable the MacBook was (with appropriate memory and hard drive upgrades) -- it was mainly the keyboard; I just much prefer the MacBook keyboard -- it was easy to pay $1,000 less for the MacBook. But the iPhone. Problem is I'm a writer and I work from home. And I'm not a freelance reporter; I'm not on the go all the time. In fact, most work days dawn to dusk, I'm home, in immediate reach of a phone and my MacBook, and I already have a video iPod for carrying around the house or if I'm out. And when I'm out, it's an off day and I don't really even want to use the Internet or be in constant contact. Compounding the situation is since I work at home I take care of our two toddler sons during the day to save daycare costs, meaning it's a huge ordeal to just jump on the train to run out somewhere, so we rarely do it. It'll be three more years before they're both in kindergarten and I'll have the latitude to just up and leave when I wish, when mobile communications will really matter. I'm just stuck on the decision. I want one sure, but I'm still half-convinced that as nice as it is, the iPhone is just not designed for my lifestyle, or at least my lifestyle as it will be for the next few years. Right now I keep coming back to thinking I'm just a cheap phone on a cheap plan that just makes convenience calls kind of person.

    The other thing is that if I've thought about it for almost a month and still haven't bought one, it might actually be it's not for me. Because if I could have justified it, believe me, I would have.
     
  6. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Location:
    Wash DC suburbs
    #6
    Everything is a cost-benefit analysis, and in there is room for "want" as well as "need"

    If you cannot afford the roughly $83 a month over two years of total distributed ownership cost (with cheapest plan), then it really doesn't matter what your wants are.

    Let's be blunt..you didn't need to become a writer you could be driving a bus, you didn't need to have children but I am sure you love and treasure them, you didn't need to buy a macbook (I'm sure a used Dell desktop would have allowed you to write just fine)....ad finitum.

    My point isn't to question the choices you make but rather merely to point out that you've made them.

    The iPhone is not really very different. It has some want and some need...and if you can afford it you will probably be very happy with it.

    If you can't, get whatever you can afford and don't worry about it.
     
  7. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #7
    iPhone right now is a luxury item, you don't need it. If you did you'd probably already have a Blackberry or Treo. Its one of those things however that when you get it, you can't imagine not having it, much like a when you got your first Cell Phone or DVR/TiVo.

    If you can't justify one now, just wait a while. I'm sure in a year or so a better/cheaper/quicker iPhone will be out that will push you over the EDGE from want to NEED.
     
  8. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #8
    I have found EDGE exceeding my expectations after reading so much about how bad it is. The speed is more than adequate for occassional browsing when I'm either on the road or at work. At home, I have Wifi.
     
  9. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, USA
    #9
    Yep. Indeed as the previous poster mentioned about want/need and affording it, I actually *wish* I couldn't afford it, but it wouldn't make an appreciable difference either way. We can't afford a the mortgage on a half million dollar townhouse -- I don't even know if we could qualify for that size mortgage; but it would break us to pay it either way -- so although I might want one, I don't ponder whether or I'm going to go make an offer on one, because I can't reasonably afford to pay for it. It doesn't bug me because it's currently tantamount to an impossibility.

    The iPhone on the other hand is indeed a luxury, but one I can easily afford. Although not to the exclusion of all else; I could use that money for other luxuries for which I might have more use or enjoy more. Your analogy about cell phones and DVRs is a good, but the problem is I have both and I *can* imagine living without them. For people who buy an iPhone and then can't imagine living without one, it's a good proposition. But I don't use my cell phone much, and as for DVRs, I watch a lot of movies, but I don't watch TV -- I mean, I'm not anti-TV-I-only-watch-public-television annoying; I'll watch TV and enjoy it while I watch, but I don't care if I start watching a great program for a few weeks, get interested and then miss the rest of the season. Just doesn't bother me. So in that respect, I can imagine living without a DVR. A long time ago, a live-in girlfriend and I split up and because of the difference in our incomes it would have been burdensome for her to buy a microwave oven, so I gave her mine that had become ours, figuring I'd just buy another one. Although I cooked my own meals, etc., I didn't replace that microwave for almost ten years. I love to play video games and have a couple of the new console systems -- I had three but a certain beige one from a certain vendor broke, I refuse on principle to pay to repair their defects. But at one point a few years ago I just quit playing games for years. I have no idea why; I just quit and didn't miss it.

    I wouldn't give up my Mac. It absolutely benefits my work. I wouldn't give up music or books. That's it, pretty much. (My wife and children are not expendable; that goes without saying.)

    Anyway, this is just so much philosophizing and I'm wasting everyone's time with it. I always think talking -- or typing -- things out with others will help me confirm a decision one way or another, but it never does, as it always comes down to me -- as I suppose it should. What should I probably do? Since I can afford it and I don't *need* a cell phone but find them useful for emergencies and occasional convenience, I should buy it and be done with. I mean come on, I bought a $250 Lego Mindstorms NXT robot kit on total impulse without regret so I could learn it so I can start my sons learning how to program it -- I think that sort of thing helps teach branching logic, which applies to much more than mere computer programming; and it mostly just sits there because I still have quite a bit of time to get into it before even the older boy will have the attention span to get an early start at it.

    Thanks everyone, for all the advice, though. I think the bottom line is that for what it does, it does it well enough at a reasonable enough price and although it might revolutionize the mobile phone industry but likely won't revolutionize my life I will hardly regret owning one.
     
  10. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Location:
    Wash DC suburbs
    #10
    I don't think it's a waste of time at all.

    In fact I think this is what message boards are all about.

    Good luck to you and let us know how it all turns out.
     
  11. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #11
    You might be better off asking the question in the "Dallas" thread of the iPhone Purchaser Meetups forum. Whether EDGE works for you depends to a huge degree on your location. I must live a ways from the nearest tower. EDGE works just fine on my front porch, but not at all once I walk inside my house.
     
  12. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #12
    Is there an Apple or ATT store near you? If so go in and play with the demo unit. Turn off wifi and then you can be the judge of whether EDGE is fast enough.
     
  13. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #13
    Do you have a DVR out of interest? My main point with the DVR is not that you have to be a hardcore TV addict to want one, but it actually works for you if you're not that into TV. I like to watch TV occassionally, and by having a DVR I always have someone of decent quality to watch when I do. Without the DVR I just have to watch what's on, which 99% of the time is crap. It truly is one of those devices that is a "game change", that you can't fully understand until you have one.

    For the iPhone the game change is not quite as big I'll admit, but I've already found myself looking stuff up on the web while I'm out and about like its a perfectly natural thing to do and I have to stop myself to realise how excellent that is.

    Just to qualify, the iPhone isn't the first device I've owned that can do web on the go (far from it), its just the first device that does it in a way that doesn't feel like torture to use, so I actually want to use it.
     

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