iPhone 3g or old iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by shuffles, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. shuffles macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2007
    dublin, ireland
    jet a quick question. I'm gonna get an unlocked iPhone and was wondering which one to get. The 3g one is pretty expensive on ebay whereas I cud prob pick up the old one for pretty cheap. Which one will I get? Is there really that much difference between the 2 models? Personally, I'm not a fan of the new plastic back. Any suggestions? Will the old version still be able to get all the updates that the 3g version gets?
  2. DiamondMac macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    Do you want more space? Go with the 3G
    Want 3G? Get it
    Want GPS? Get 3G

    If you don't care about any of those, get the original

    I have the original and love it
  3. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
    Want a nice shiny back? Get the 3G :D
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I don't know how to address the unlocking thing, but straight up if you're getting one, I'd get the 3G (although you give me $500 and I'll mail you this EDGE model!!! :)). I am personally worried about the problems I hear about (cracks in case, dust under glass, people literally getting burned) which is one reason I'm in no hurry to upgrade. The white phone looks butt ugly to me (because it's only the back half), but to each his (or her) own. The fact is 3G is faster and you get true GPS. You can't simulate the tracking features (like with Google Maps) with just cell triangulation. You can get by on stuff that just needs your location, but not on the rest.

    So pretty much get a 3G. As of now, there isn't any update that you won't be able to get on the EDGE phone. That won't happen for years because this is a product people are paying monthly for. Apple wouldn't render it sufficiently outdated within a year. People would cry bloody murder.
  5. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68030


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    Want more space? 16 GB on the iPhone I will still be a lot less $ than 8GB on the 3G.

    Want a black plastic back that cracks within a week of purchase? Go with the 3G.

    Want GPS that cant do turn-by-turn directions, and still needs at least a cell tower connection to work? Get the 3G. ...or the iPhone I. Pretty much the same there.

    Want a more expensive plan, with less coverage? Go with the 3G.

    Want to get roped into AT&T's overpriced, underperforming service for the next two years? Go with the 3G. ...only the iPhone I is unlockable as of yet.

    Most bang for the buck, iPhone I. Cheaper, more durable, works everywhere, nationwide network, and comparably useless GPS functionality.

    Then again, the 3G comes in white.
  6. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    I like the look of the original iPhone better. And although 3G is faster, it's not THAT much faster. All depends where you live. I'd have been pretty happy with the old iPhone, too.
  7. crazyitalian198 macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2006
    What would you say if I told you I've owned both and have some advice? Is that something you might be interested in?

    iPhone Interface
    When I got my iPhone 2G a year ago, it was buggy as hell. There were little ticks and annoyances that caused my phone to not respond well or need a restart. Fortunately, it became much more stable through firmware updates. 2.0 will eventually become more stable on both devices. The software itself is identical and will get better with time.

    The coverage is far too limited right now. If you live somewhere without 3G and you don't travel often, then this is completely unnecessary for you. If you do have 3G coverage, the internet is blazing compared the EDGE. I have used it far more often now than ever on my old 2G. Coverage is only worse for a small minority. My 3G coverage is wonderful as is my EDGE (when I'm out of 3G range).


    People often mistake about this GPS in this phone. The GPS will work anywhere as it has an actual GPS in the phone. Now, it works better when you have network coverage. This coverage can be EDGE or 3G, doesn't matter. The problem currently is the lack of software (which is confirmed to be in development). If you use google maps with the GPS on edge, the phone has to keep loading the map over a slower connection. However, the GPS is only pulling the coordinates. Therefore, all that needs to be done is a software application that installs the maps to the phone itself. Then, all you do is pull the coordinates from the satellite. As for now, 3G GPS in Google Maps works fine; however, it isn't quite a full turn by turn substitute.


    This is probably just a problem at the time of manufacturing. I have no cracks on my phone nor do a large majority of users. There are much more showing up on the white versions which leads me to believe that something very small was off during their production. If this happens to you, Apple will replace it ASAP. That's a big IF.

    Service Charge

    I'm not sure where you live / who your carrier is, but the prices ARE higher for AT&T users. If you can utilize 3G and the GPS, then it is definitely worth it. I think for the price they should have included at least 200 messages and included tethering, but that is the state of the US wireless industry. If you want a smart phone with 3G you have to pay the big bucks. While you will pay a couple hundred more after two years, you are getting an initial discount. I sold my 2G for over $400. I could have gotten the same phone but better for $199 (I got the 16gig one though). Therefore, you get an initial $200 price break. It is up to you. I loved my 2G. My biggest complaints about it were the slow internet, lack of any GPS, and the recessed headphone jack. Now all those problems are fixed.

    I hate when someone asks a question, only to get an entirely one sided argument. It is even worse when they mention it ignorantly. 3G coverage is limited, but overall reception is fine for all but a tiny percentage. You'd pay more for the 2G, and faster internet comes at a price. GPS WILL WORK ANYWHERE in a matter of a couple months. You can always get the 3G, dislike it and ebay the 2G....you can't do that in reverse...

    Good Luck!
  8. shuffles thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2007
    dublin, ireland
    Cheers for all the replies. Still not sure what I'll do yet. I'm from Ireland so we've had 3g here for years, to be honest I usually only use the Internet on my iPod touch when I'm in a wifi spot, plus only a 1gb data plan is offered with the iPhone here compared to the limited plans that r offered in most countries which is pretty crap. I suppose the gps is not bad but once again I doubt I'll use that much if even at all. I'd say I'll get a cheap old iPhone and wait till apple eventually pull their finger out of their ass and offer a phone with a decent camera, not the measly 2 megapixels they currently offer. 2 megs have been in phones for at least 5 years over here. I might change my mind about the 3g one if an unlocked version shows up for a reasonable price though.
  9. shuffles thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2007
    dublin, ireland
    Oops, I meant unlimited plans offered in other countries not limited plans
  10. ivtecDOu macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2008
  11. View macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2007
    I disagree with you there, bud.
    You're right, it doens't have turn-by-turn directions. But there should (hopefully) by one soon. As of now, google map is the only map application on there, and yes you need a cell connection to be able to load the map on the fly. But when the turn-by-turn application comes out, I'm pretty sure that the maps are going to be pre-loaded.

    Even with just google map, GPS is so helpful! I was thinking the same thing you did, but now that I got one, it's so much better. I get GPS signal even when I'm indoor. Why is it useful? It knows exactly where you are, so when you are really lost, you know where to start to get back on track. Where the cell triangular method gives you a huge a$$ circle, and you still have to zoom in and try to find where exactly you are. It won't be really useful until you really got lost somewhere.

    Oh and 3G is so much better than I expected :D
    It actually feels better than my old iPhone, it's curvy and smooth. It feels like holding a bar of soap :D

    So, to answer the topic, if you are going to unlock and use it on T-Mobile or some other provider that doesn't have 3G or is not supported by the new iPhone, I'd suggest you go with the old one. Since it's a lot cheaper and you wouldn't be able to use 3G anyway. (unless GPS really worth the extra $ to you)

    However, if you are going to use it on ATT or other provider that the UMTS frequency is supported by the iPhone, then I'd say wait a little for the price on ebay to come down and then buy it. It makes almost no sense to rush out and grab one on ebay for $$$$$$$$$$too much$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ right now (unless, you need it right now and is worth the extra $$)..
  12. Quincy9219 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2008
    Look, for all the shiny new features of the 3G, it still can't top the iPhone 2G, IMHO. Just for looks the 3G looks terrible, feeling it in your hand, it feels more breakable, and less substantial to me. I prefer my current, (2G iPhone) and would recommend it over all other phones. With it, you get everything important about the iPhone 3G, and none of the battery hogging, minimal useage stuff the whiners demanded in the new iPhone. With the old iPhone, you can use the App Store, get the upgrade to 2.0, now 2.0.1, everything worth having. But you don't have the battery hogs of 3G (I'm always near a wifi hot spot, so I rarely have to use EDGE), and that useless GPS, sure you can spot your location to a few feet or yards, but can it do turn-by-turn now? No, it cannot. So, if you haven't guessed already, go with the old model iPhone, it's better, by far.
  13. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    If you don't already have an iphone, buy a new 3G. You get the full warranty, the battery hasn't already been used for 6 months to a year, and you get the new 3G and GPS features. With original iphones going for up to $400, there is no point in paying almost the same price (factoring lower subsidized price (-) and increased service price (+)) for a used, discontinued model.

    If you currently have an original iphone, like I do, just stick with it. The 3G and GPS aren't dealbreakers and the raised service fee doesn't look so attractive. Next year's iphone will likely have a new generation of features. After upgrading to 2.0 firmware, you won't miss much by skipping this round.
  14. ubersalad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2008
    I am assuming you are planning on using non-AT&T network, and therefore 3G will likely not work.

    Therefore you are only missing out on GPS, which is really not that big of deal...

    First gen phone has been much more stable for me than my 3G, I would go for the first gen or wait months for price to come down on the 3G (eBay of course).
  15. jaycrew macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2005
    i recently purchased the original iPhone instead of the 3G after determining what was most important to me.

    essentially the phones are the same except for, obviously, the 3G speeds and GPS. personally, i don't have the need for 3G at the moment since i usually browse in a wi-fi spot or am willing to wait a bit for a page to load on EDGE. also, google maps loads fairly quickly even on EDGE. as for GPS, although the idea of having turn by turn directions on my phone was appealing, i didnt think i'd actually use it.

    cosmetically, i prefer the look of the original iPhone although the 3G iPhone looks great as well and felt better in hand because of the curved back.

    ultimately, i didn't feel like the 3G iPhone had enough new features and i will wait to see what's in the next model.
  16. Quincy9219 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2008
    I agree completely, in my mind the only reason Apple is seeing large sales with the iPhone 3G is because of the "Newness factor". In reality it's a worse phone, but Steve Jobs says it's better so, all bow before our liege.

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