How's iPhone 3G as a phone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by lyew, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. lyew macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2008
    I posted this question in the middle of another thread, but I thought I'd repost this here.

    Now obviously Apple lacks the same experience as the established cellphone companies like Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola. Many of these depend on call-related innovations like background noise filtration, increased signal strength, better receptivity, and have proprietary technology to compete with each other. Apple might have the expertise as a computer and media player company, but I'm somewhat skeptical about its cellphone technology.

    Can anyone comment? I've read some reviews saying that as a phone, iPhone 3G is a much improved product over its predecessor, but that doesn't help. Does it provide anywhere near the same telephone features as its more established competitors?
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Both iPhones are awesome as phones and all the other things are just extras on top of it.

  3. GreyFoxXXI macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2008
    Personally for me its way better than my older nokia. Reception has been great and everyone said the clarity on their end is fantastic even through the earbuds that come with it. This is easily my favorite gadget to date and I will never buy any other type of phone after having this.
  4. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    Call clarity and the phone function is great on both the iPhone and iPhone 3G. It is really surprising coming from a computer company and not a cell phone company.
  5. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Honestly, I love the iPhone as a phone. It does exactly what I would expect it to do and performs phenomenally.
  6. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    I have absolutely no complaints on the phone. It sounds great (on both sides), and I've been pleasantly surprised at how good my reception has been.
  7. milani macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2008
    It works really well, and makes calls and stuff... :D

    Seriously though, no complaints here. It's a great device for storing all of your contacts (as well as information about them), the touch screen is great for dialing, and visual voice mail is genius!
  8. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    The iPhone is great. I cant think of anything it doesn't have phone wise, except that it wont record calls.
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    This skepticism is misguided. In the current cell phone market, there are a number of manufacturers (including Nokia, Motorola and SonyEricsson) who have farmed out their technologies, and are not manufacturing their own phones. Your current cell phone may be designed by a big name and it may display a big name brand on the handset's faceplate, but in the end, lesser known companies like Foxconn, Pantech, Solectron and HTC are doing the actual manufacture of these devices. In-house manufacture is often reserved for high-dollar, top of the line models (though even that is less common now, and some companies have no in-house manufacturing at all anymore).

    Furthermore, these devices have chipsets within them made by the likes of Qualcomm, Broadcomm, Texas Instruments, Marvell and Infineon, and these are the companies that designed the noise cancellation circuitry, the RF chipsets, the codecs and baseband firmware that makes a modern cell phone what it is.

    The same is true of Apple. They designed the device and wrote the software the integrates the user interface and multimedia/data/application capabilities, but that design uses mostly off-the-shelf or mildly reconfigured components made by Infineon, Broadcomm, Toshiba, Samsung and Marvell Semiconductor... mostly the same players that make the internals for most other phones on the market. And the factory that builds iPhones is run by Foxconn, not Apple.

    The bill of goods and what the guts of a 3G iPhonelook like are right here:


    Such is modern electronics. Much of the same design-here, build-there method applies to laptops, desktops, PDAs, digital cameras and televisions. It's even common these days for HP and Dell computers to come from the same factory... just configured differently and with a different exterior shell.

    So, I doubt you have anything to be concerned about. Apple may be inexperienced in designing the vocoders and other cell phones guts, but they don't have to. They do the same thing the heavy hitters do: outsource to companies who do know what they're doing.

    Ultimately, you can try the device yourself for 30 days if you're skeptical. If you don't like it, return it.
  10. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2007
    Personally the phone parts has its bad days, but that is mainly due to my area. Other than that it isn't a bad phone for storing contacts, it is amazing for text messaging, and it does a great job making it easy to dial out phone calls with a keypad or by using a contact. The speakerphone on a 3G is very loud and with apple earbuds or other headphones it is excellent!
  11. TomP80 macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2008
    I had to re-read this post a couple of times before I realised you have typed "area" and not "aura".

    I was a bit worried that your aura was interfering with your iphone!
  12. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    WTF was the question? I was so into "SP's" diagram that I forgot I was on MR...:eek:

    Best phone I've ever owned and had replaced for free...:p
  13. 01jamcon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2006
    I'm pretty much in the same boat, the phone call quality is decent on Edge, and if only I could get decent 3G coverage in London, it would be much better. The few times the 3G signal has been strong enough, the calls did sound better, however it is disappointing how badly it picks up the 3G. The included headphones with mic are brilliant though.

    Texting is good, and the correction works really well, when you write in proper English, however, it doesn't cope so well with text language, but that's just my bad habits that I need to get rid of.
  14. mugwump macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2004
    It is horrible, horrible at dialing contacts. Many phones make it fairly immediate to pick a name out of a list of a thousand within seconds. The iPhone has no idea. You scroll the screen, or you scroll the letters trying to land on the right letter, and then scroll through the numerous contacts within the letter. Or you search, trying to hit the microscopic search option. And then the entire contacts system is so slow that it still takes a few seconds even to begin a search, and longer to complete one.

    The Palm treo is the best. From the opening home screen just tap a few letters and any first or last name immediately pops up. Three letters is often all it takes to find the name. Call someone out of a list of 1000? About 4 seconds from a dark screen. The iPhone? Much longer and quite aggravating.

    The iPhone needs a system wide spotlight search to immediately find a phone contact. Apple needs to solve or improve contact calling.
  15. stillill macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2008
    Yeah it's not that good as a phone. Drops calls. Fiddly to find contacts, multiple keypresses just to get to the dialing screen.

    It's an iPod with a bit of phone functionality bolted on. Looking forward to going back to Sony Ericsson when the contract's done...
  16. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    For me the iPhone is utterly terrible as a phone. It gives me no service in places where even the cheapest phones get reception. If you need a phone that is reliable and you do lots of calling on the go do not get an iPhone. I am happy with it in everyother aspect but God forbid you try to use it is a phone.

    i am only criticising the phone's reception and ability to make calls not any of it's features such as contacts SMS etc.
  17. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Whether the iphone is a good phone seems to depend entirely on where you live. Prior to the 2.1 update my iphone's reception was absolutely terrible and I almost returned it. My 4 year old Sprint phone beat it hands down if that tells you anything. Since 2.1 its greatly improved but it still drops calls regularly. It's usable now--luckily the rest of the awesome features kinda make up for it but I can't say I don't have my eye on the competition over the next few months. *If* something good comes out AT&T's $175 ETF doesn't seem so bad. . .
  18. cellocello macrumors 68000


    Jul 31, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I love using my iPhone as my primary phone.

    The reception is fine, the volume is loud and clear and the ease of use is unmatched.

    HOWEVER, if at&t sucks in your area - be aware that at&t sucks in your area. My provider is pretty decent (Fido in Toronto) and I've never had a problem with my phone, other than the occasional delayed SMS or voicemail.
  19. iphonecode macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
  20. Aurial macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2008

    I agree entirely with the above. It's infuriating if you have to dial a contact in a hurry/emergency.

    It's good as a media player, web browser and email system, but its pure pants as a phone, media creator, camera, etc. (My assessment of it as a phone is due to usability, not clarity/reception, etc, which I find to be on a par with my previous N95).
  21. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    My 3G with the 2.1 update works very well as a phone. Sound is clear on both ends, unless I'm in a poor coverage area (Verizon still has AT&T beat on that, so it really depends on where you live). I wish the speakerphone were louder, but I can live with it as it is given all the other benefits of this phone.

    The Apple earbuds work great for hands free. Obviously the cord can get in the way, but having sound in both ears really helps me hear the caller and the microphone works great.

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