My Original iPhone vs. iPhone 3G Hardware Comparison

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TheSpaz, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    Here are all the things I've noticed from owning 4 original iPhones and 4 iPhone 3G's. Also, I've seen a lot of iPhones as most of my friends have them, so I've grown pretty familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. Here are my findings. Enjoy.

    I've made my post color-coordinated to label the positives and negatives of each phone.

    Green = Positive
    Red = Negative
    Black = Neutral

    Original iPhone:

    The Back:
    - Doesn't crack but, it will dent if hit hard enough.
    - Feels great in your hand
    - No smudges or fingerprints
    - Heavy duty feeling
    - Headphone jack is recessed (only works with a limited amount of headphones without the use of an adaptor)
    - Plastic antenna cover feels flimsy or cheesy (also looks like it doesn't belong)
    - You can feel where the plastic antenna cover and the aluminum meet.
    - The body of the iPhone is slightly narrower than the 3G.
    - The matte finish on the back makes it slip around in your hand easier (easier to drop)

    The Screen:
    - The glass actually feels different (this is hard to explain)
    - Virtually no light leak
    - Dust cannot get under the glass because the digitizer is glued to the glass
    - Harder to replace if you smash it (also more expensive)
    - The screen is calibrated to a whiter (cooler) profile
    - The black areas are a little too deep (negative black... blacks kinda shine at you)

    The Buttons:
    - The home button has a deeper click feel
    - The volume, silence and power buttons won't scratch
    - The silence switch won't break off because it's made of one piece of plastic

    - Gets worse reception than the iPhone 3G (usually by only 1 bar I've seen)
    - Can only pick up EDGE data

    - Call volume and ringtone volume aren't as loud
    - Dust can build up in the speaker holes
    - Much harder to take the iPhone apart for self repairs
    - Compatible with FireWire for charging
    - 3.0 Users won't get MMS or A2DP
    - Comes in only Silver color
    - Longer battery life

    10 Positives
    14 Negatives
    3 Neutrals

    iPhone 3G:

    The Back:
    - The plastic cracks and scratches easily
    - Feels great in your hand
    - Easy to smudge or get fingerprints on it
    - Not as solid feeling as the metal
    - Headphone jack is NOT recessed (works with any headphones)
    - Unibody back is a lot better than the 2-tone back of the original.
    - Glossy finish on the back lets it stick to your hand better (less likely to slip out and drop)

    The Screen:
    - A little wider than the original iPhone
    - Gaps between the metal bezel and screen can cause light leaks
    - Almost all the iPhone 3Gs I've seen have the glass raised on at least one side
    - Generally brighter and the blacks look a lot better
    - A slight yellow tint (I actually prefer the yellow over the blue tint)
    - A lot of 3Gs have scan lines (some people will know what I'm talking about here)
    - Glass feels a little different (again, hard to explain)
    - Dust can easily get under the screen

    The Buttons:
    - Being all chrome, they can scratch easily
    - The silence switch has been known to fall off some iPhones (it's only glued onto a pice of plastic.)
    - Home button feels squishier (doesn't click as hard)

    - Great reception!
    - Gets 3G and GPS signals

    - Call volume and speaker volumes are louder
    - Dust won't likely clog up your speakers because they've got a metal mesh on them
    - Much easier to disassemble and repair screen issues (even get dust out!)
    - Won't charge on a FireWire cable
    - 3.0 will enable MMS and A2DP (Apple says that this is due to hardware differences between the 2 models)
    - Comes in Black or White colors
    - Worse battery life (mainly due to 3G and GPS)

    12 Positives
    11 Negatives
    4 Neutrals

    And there you have it. The pros and cons of both devices. The original beats the 3G in some areas but, the 3G beats the original in other areas. I guess it depends on what you're willing to live with with (features vs. build quality). I have a hard time deciding which iPhone I like better.... Hehe, I'm always switching back and forth (but I can because I have both... heh).

    I hope this is educational for everyone. The reason I made this list is because I've experienced both iPhones a heck of a lot and I picked up on things I've noticed.
  2. shabbado macrumors member


    Apr 10, 2009
    Las Vegas
  3. steve10172 macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2009
    London UK
    Excellent post.
    I didn`t know that the glass was glued to the digitizer in the original iPhone.
    I`m going to have a good look at both my iPhones now..
  4. JavaWizKid macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2008
    I've seen the 1st gen iPhone and it doesn't look half as nice as the iPhone 3g and the 3g has more features. If you have a case on the 3g you probably wont get dust or notice the light leaks.
  5. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    And still, I prefer my 1st Gen look and feel than the 3G.
  6. Chris Bangle macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2006
    I never upgraded to a 3G for the sole reason that the Back is Plastic, And, surely the old iphone is more inline with Apple's present product range, in regards to Aluminum and Glass ala Macbook's!
  7. cellocello macrumors 68000


    Jul 31, 2008
    Toronto, ON
  8. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    Until I looked today, I didn't have any of the faults listed on my 3G. But I noticed a 1/4" crack today on my 5 month old white iPhone.

    Glass on mine seems level. No scratches, even though I don't use a cover.

    Had some connection issues at home when I first got it. Seems to have gone away, either with 2.2.1 or ATT did some updates. Still have issues where I always have issues with ATT on a nearby interstate.
  9. randomusername macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2008
    ...thanks for telling us what most of us had known for a very, very long time...
  10. vinay427 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2008
    Yea, very informative post! Keep up the good work! :)
  11. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Anyhoo, I much prefer the 3G to the original iPhone. The original just looks "old" to me, clunky, less sleek than the 3G.

    The 3G speed is nice, the size is good though a damn sight bigger than my last phone but who cares, this thing's a computer and a phone and an iPod so I've got less in my pockets.

    Looking forward to what they do with the next one.
  12. chstr macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    I would also list that the 3g's battery life is terrible compared to the 2G
  13. machacker macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2008
    I love my 2g. These are mostly the reasons that I moved down to the 2g. The features that the 3g had just didn't out way the costs for me. Seeing as they were things I don't use. The main ones being the headphone jack (all my headphones work, I have yet to own a pair of headphones that don't fit), the GPS (I have an actual GPS unit, so this is moot), and the AD2P (when I am listening to my iPhone walking around campus, I have hte stock earbuds in since I like to call people while I am walking. And if I am in my room, I have my Skullcrushers in. There isn't any bluetooth that would beat those imo).

    So, 2g is built better. Matches my macbook. Gets fine reception, and just works well. The 3g was a FAR step down physically imo, and I think that the newest one should go back to what the original iPhone looked like, with new hardware. And if Apple does do that, I will buy one. But if the new iPhone this summer is just a souped up 3g, I probably won't even consider it.
  14. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Alright, Spaz, we get it. You like making pointless lists of information we already know.
  15. steve10172 macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2009
    London UK
    After having looked at both of my iPhones, I have to agree the screen quality on original phone is higher compared to the 3G.
    Battery life is terrible in 3G too.
    But I find the grip is better on 3G as the flat back of original phone tends to slip from the hand, anyone else noticed this?
  16. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise

    You use to carry a computer in your pocket!? The iPhone may have saved you from some very painful cancer. Haha
  17. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    And flaunting the fact he has two iPhones. He did practically the same when he got an original iPhone and compared it to his old iPod touch. Bragger much?

    We get it :rolleyes:
  18. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 603

    Knowlege Bomb

    Feb 14, 2008
    Madison, WI
    You guys really need to get the sand out of your ________.

    You should be thanking Spaz. I'd rather read his well thought out and well written posts than some dumb noob coming in asking which phone to buy and why without doing any searching.
  19. Stiss macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2009
    I'd love a 2G iPhone just for the sake of having one!

    I think they look nicer and the build quality is a million times better!
  20. uiop. macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Although it was a nicely written and informative post, it would have been useful ~8 months ago when the 3G came out. :p

    The help is appreciated though. I've experienced almost all the issues listed with the iPhone 3G.
  21. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    I agree. I forgot about this. The glossy plastic sticks to your hand better. Good point! I'll add this to my first post.

    Very nice. I like how you mentioned that it looks more like the Aluminum MacBook and it's more inline with the current Apple computer hardware.

    Noted. Good point.

    The "old" and "less sleek" is "strong" and "well built" and it matches Apple's pro machines and even the new Aluminum MacBooks.

    Look around on eBay. I've "hacktivated" my original iPhone so that I can easily swap sim cards between the 2 iPhones... depending on what kind of mood I'm in. Sometimes I wish my original iPhone had my 3G screen and sometimes I wish my iPhone 3G had an aluminum back. :-(
  22. Aaleck macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2007
    Michigan, USA
    I think I would've preferred the original iPhone back compared to the plastic 3G back...
  23. renewed macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2009
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    Exactly. This thread was actually rather refreshing. Maybe they are jealous of his well thought out comparison.

    I have actually wanted to look at something like this just to get a good feel of what Apple has changed.

    P.S. He said he has both iPhones to make the point that he is doing a 1st person analysis and not relying on 2nd or 3rd party information.
  24. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Thank you! My thoughts also! Also, like a poster said before me... the old iPhone looks is more inline with Apple's current line of Desktops and Notebooks.

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