Is an iphone 2g a good fit for my needs? (16gb)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mmmangoes, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. mmmangoes, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

    mmmangoes macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011
    I'm a clumsy student (and tech novice) with simple needs, attempting to replace my Nokia e71 that I have had (and loved) forever- and am considering a 16gb iphone 2g. Do you all think it is a good fit for my usage?

    -use 30min-1hr a day on calls max
    -I rarely browse on my phone (I hate reading on small screens)- but use wifi to connect if I ever need to check email
    -send maybe 2-3 texts per week (nearly all international)
    -have garmin map software that I use for navigation (rarely- but comes in handy).
    -use skype via wifi (messaging - rarely) and skype to go to call overseas fairly regularly
    -use my phone as an mp3 player w/ headphones when I run

    I also travel internationally often enough that the ability to unlock + switch sims is critical. I am currently on an att family plan w/ unlimited texting and data blocked- but the contract expires soon so we may move to t-mobile by early next year.

    I have hung on to my e71 because it did what I needed it to do and b/c I really love the all metal build- I have dropped it numerous times (w/o a case) and it has held up extremely well. I;m hoping iphone 2g will work b/c I will be able to keep my data block w/o issue, I like the metal back/durability, 16gb will be more than enough storage, and I can buy one outright for very little. I know that it is considered ancient tech- but it will certainly feel like an upgrade for me- i think?

    any thoughts, or other recs?

    thanks so much
  2. Small White Car, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

    Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    My only concern is that the "first iPhone" is kind of seen as a collector's item by many, which may keep the prices higher on them. I'm willing to bet you'll be able to find better deals on iPhone 3Gs than on 2Gs.

    That's just a hunch, though. I'm not saying not to do it, just to keep your eyes open. Using old tech is fine. Paying a premium for it probably isn't what you want, though.

    Whatever you get should work, though. People complain about old Apple devices not getting updates, but what they ignore is that Apple is pretty amazing at supporting old technology 'as is.' Sure, my iPod Mini didn't gain new features since it came out, but it's almost 8 years old and it still works just fine with the brand new iTunes. This is a good sign for you.
  3. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    It sounds like a good plan. And if you pick it up cheap then it if doesn't work out then you're not out an arm and leg.

    One caution I would make is the original iPhone does not have a GPS radio. It uses wifi and cellular triangulation to approximate position, so depending on your navigation needs it will be fine or you might miss a turn. :)
  4. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    I'd say go for a 3gs, for a few reasons:

    - 2g phones are old, meaning the battery will be old. Battery life wasn't great to begin with, so now it might not last a day even with light use.

    - No GPS. Your navigation software (which probably isn't for iOS anyway?) won't work well at all,because the phone will only have a very rough idea of where you are *at best*.

    - No GPS for running. Seriously, there are some great running apps for iOS that track your performance pretty accurately with GPS. They'll play your music, and also give you voice guidance on your pace,distance etc. If you're into running they're worth getting a better phone for.

    - I reckon you're over-estimating how tough the 2g is. The weak point is the screen, not the case - anything bad enough to crack the plastic case is very likely to crack the screen too. I'd say get a decent protective case instead of a metal-backed, glass-fronted phone :)
  5. mmmangoes, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

    mmmangoes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011
    Thanks so much for the comments everyone!

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to keep my data blocked with the 3gs :( But I will double check to make sure that is the case.

    Battery- Is the battery in the phone user replaceable? I saw one phone on ebay with a new battery, but It was replaced by a repair service

    Garmin- There is a version of the software I mentioned for iphone- i have to double check about 3.1.3 compatibility

    Durability- I have decided on an incase slider as a case for the phone- I simply meant that I liked the metal backing vs. the plastic on the 3gs- seemed more durable to me? If you have any recommendations for cases, please let me know

    so far it seems that the 2g will work well for me, as long as I can find one in good condition that is not overpriced- I have noticed that the ebay bids can go overboard sometimes!
  6. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    The battery isn't "normal user" replaceable. BUt with a little bit of skill they can be easily replaceable. The battery in all models is very easy to get to.

    A good bit of the Apps out there will not run on the original iPhone.

    I also would recommend at least the 3G. Ideally the 3GS to get the faster Processor and more RAM.

    The original didn't support 3G.

    The original did not have an assisted GPS or a Gyro in it.

    What do you mean keep your "data block"?

    All iPhones require a data plan, and I believe they all have the same options.
  7. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    What about support from Apple for a 2G? If you break it I doubt apple will replace it since they probably don't have any refurbs in stock. You would have to upgrade to a 3GS or i4/4S. This is just a guess, just a hunch.
  8. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    You can still buy parts for them, so if you can change a battery you can replace the screen. The 3GS and back are very easy to replace the screen.

    The 4 and 4S are more involved, but still doable with some patience.

    My daughter uses my old 1st Gen as an iPod and for the Apps. It is much slower and a good bit of apps won't run on it. I think mainly because you can't put the latest iOS on them... She likes it though. :)
  9. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I guess this is a risk, but up until a few days ago I was running an iPhone 2G 16 GB. I upgraded to a shiny new iPhone 4S, and I'm a bit surprised to say that the battery life isn't all that different between the two. (To be fair, I was very good about shutting off wifi and Bluetooth on the 2G when I didn't need them, whereas I leave them on with the 4S. As far as I can tell, my 4S is not affected by the battery issues plaguing some users.)

    I suppose it depends on how well the previous owner cared for the phone.

    It's anecdotal, but the weakest point seemed to be the silence switch. It failed on my phone, and got pretty spotty on another iPhone 2G that I bought for a family member. I got around it by jailbreaking and using the Boss control panel (or what ever it was called) with the Silence button added in; not as convenient as the switch, but pretty quick to turn on or off.

    If you buy it used and unlock it yourself, I don't see why it would make a difference. AT&T wouldn't be adjusting your plan. Or did they do something weird, such that regular data is blocked but data over 3G isn't? I don't even know if that's something that they can do.

    Nope. Of all the iPhone models out there, the 2G's battery is the most difficult to replace because in addition to getting inside of the case, it requires soldering. From what I understand, with the other iPhone models the battery can simply be popped out and a new one popped in once you're inside.

    I don't know about the GPS stuff, but the iPhone 2G is still a very competent phone. I'm not sure that it's the absolute best choice for your intended usage, but it should be able to handle the majority of what you want to do.
  10. mmmangoes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011
    I have all carrier data blocked on my line by att b/c I have a smartphone purchased before 2009 (rule changed in 2009 sometime). The iphone 2g is the only iphone with which they will not force me to subscribe to carrier data after inserting my sim- allowing me to use wifi only.

    Unfortunately, I was not aware of the gps limitations of the 2g- that is my main concern right now.

    I may either have to get an unlocked android phone w/ gps (that att wont recognize via imei) or get an iphone 3g or newer and move to tmobile (?) to avoid forced data charges. Either way, I was planning to purchase a squaretrade warranty to protect myself.

    Ill have to decide if I can live without gps for a while- thanks so much for all of the help!

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