Thursday, February 4, 2010

Upgrading my iPhone

Today I decided that I needed to look into what the new iphone coming out this summer will look like/feature. I want to upgrade to at least the 3GS (as I only have the 3G currently) and before I did, I figured I would check to see if the 4G was worth putting it off a few months.  I originally bought an iphone because it didn't have keys or parts where dirt can get in and cause issues. My stint in Jordan with all the sand (and mud) was a deciding factor in going with the iphone's sleek design and minimal moving parts. The man at the phone store really tried to push a blackberry on me, but I was really digging the touch screen and button-less keypad of the iphone so his opinion was thrown to the wayside. The design itself was just what I needed. In addition, I loved the big screen. I have never liked using my thumbs to text, so the keyboard was perfect for my "tapping" preferences. The apps were just a bonus at the time- but this was before so many cool ones were developed. Now the apps alone have me hooked.

My issue now with my 3G is that a couple of apps I want/need are not compatible, and I need the GS. I also REALLY want the video camera. I think making a few mini video would be fun, and there are times when impromptu events could be recorded. I don't like to drag a lot of things around with me when I go places, so having the camera on the iphone is really nice. I use it as my primary source for images, mainly because it is what I have on hand when those unexpected moments occur. Another thing I use my iphone for is music. I don't listen to the radio, and I hate having to change CD's in the car, so I just plug in the iphone to a device that feeds through the radio for my music during car rides. I am coming close to having used up the 16GB memory my current iphone has, and deleted a substantial amount of my albums to provide more room for apps. Thus, the 32 GB offered will be nice.
But do I need the 3GS or should I wait for the 4G to be released? I did a quick search on the 4G and found a couple of pages, but you can see one of the main sources of my information I found here.

As I was reading about the new 4g, I was aghast that a removable battery was rumoured to be part of the design. BAD move apple! This would just mean that a seam would be in the design, and hence a chance for dirt to get into it. Not to mention that when you drop it, there is a chance of the part getting loosened and no longer fitting as smoothly into the slot. I just don't like the idea. Granted, if I am listening to music AND running a tracking app, the battery can die fairly quickly. However, if I am planning on a track, I either bring a car charger, or don't run both music and app together. I would rather do the latter than have a removable part in a phone that I bang around a lot. It just will not work for me. I'm fairly abusive to my iphone, and it has held up very well- but if a removable part is introduced I think I will run into a lot of problems.

While the 4g is said to have a front facing camera for ichat/video conferencing, I would never utilize this option. If I was going to video conference, I would use my computer. It may be a nice option if I were traveling a lot and had no access to a computer- but if that were the case, I seriously doubt 4g coverage would be available.

Then there is the OLED screen. What the heck is OLED anyway? Alright, here is what I found out about OLED. Sounds impressive enough, although I didn't have any issues with the original iphone, so this doesn't really bear any weight on my decision to go or not to go with the 4G. However, to be thorough, I did a search to see what the difference between the two screens were (LCD vs OLCD). Low and behold, I found a site talking about the selling point of the OLCD.  The side-by-side image of the two screens is admittedly striking, but when I am out in the field the sun always glares off the screen- so when it really comes down to it, the OLED screen is nice but not a selling factor for me personally. Having said that, the aspect that the OLED takes up less battery life does catch my interest. Therefore, I cannot discount this new screen entirely as part of a weighing factor in my decision.

I have been an AT&T customer for quite some time, and when I first purchased an iphone it was without any discounts (full price). The second iphone was also at the full purchase price because I was not a new user, but rather a returning user. I was upgrading my phone and giving the old one to Husband, but being as it was only 1 year apart and I had renewed our AT&T contract with the first purchase only a year prior, I wasn't eligible for any discounts (contract renewal etc). It was about a year and a half ago that I purchased my 3G, so I don't know if I am eligible for the 299.00 version, or if they will charge me 599.00. I refuse to pay full price again, as it really annoys me to be a loyal customer and yet treated like crap by a company. We had to pay 1000.00 last year for over limit fees due to Grim talking during prime time (he now knows the value of a lan line since he no longer has a cell phone), so that company has taken enough of our money. Don't get me wrong, I like AT&T- it isn't their fault we had a teen talking over limit, although it would have been nice to have recieved some kind of warning regarding our over limit. They send alerts via text for all other reasons- and we had the plan for 3 years prior with no over limits...  heck, even my bank calls me when I have weird and excessive/unusual transactions. But I digress. For the sake of argument, I will just assume we can get the phone at the 299.00 price.

My deciding factor on the new iphone 4G is the design. Granted, all the images on the web to date are "rumors" and none are confirmed, but for the most part the specs on these rumors are generally accurate. This is why I have to say NO to the 4G. That replaceable battery just kills it for me. The image(s) I found leave for a more boxy design, and I prefer the design of the current iphone. It is much better than the 1rst generation in that it fits in my hand much better with its gentle slope/curvature, and while a tab thicker than the first generation the 3G/GS is much more comfortable in my hand. A couple of the images for the 4G portray it to be more like an enlarged ipod with flat edges, losing its sleek design.

There are a few that are a bit more like the 1rst generation in regards to shape (i.e. less boxy than the titanium concept), as shown left, which is a bit more like the 3G/GS (detailed review here), however it does seem to resemble the 1rst generation quite a bit more. As with anytime you upgrade with an iphone, you never know what the summer will bring. (Each summer has a phone upgrade, or at least that is the current trend). Presently, my research regarding the new iphone 4G has really only garnered me a large amount of rumor and a list of specs. Looks like I am apparently in another crap shoot with yet another iphone purchase, as the last time I upgraded it was only a design and memory upgrade - and a few months later the GS came out. Grrr.. Sometime this weekend or next week I'll head out to a AT&T store and see what they offer me. It would be nice to know more about the video capabilities of the iphone- how long, ease of use, etc etc. I suppose I will check into that later on. I would be happy with any type of video ability at this point.

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