Apple’s design sense has always been splendid; the iPhone 3G doesn’t break that rule. The first time you look at it; you’ll think iPod Touch on a high-fat diet. Thankfully the rear resists normal smudging and scratches. It’s not a very thick device but feels large to hold; although with a 3.5-inch screen this isn’t exactly a design flaw. Build quality is excellent. Quality of buttons and switches on the device are top-class. The buttons on the sides, top and the headphone jack are chromed and along with the black bezel and chrome trim this adds further visual appeal. Apple’s menu system is excellent with the single Home button being perfectly functional; most phones with extra keys look Jurassic in comparison.
The iPhone menus work well, but the on-screen keypad is a little small and you will make a few incorrect key taps for the first month or so, which won’t please SMS junkies. The phone’s number pad is huge though; and you’ll have to be a clod to goof up typing out numbers. There is no way to delete or select multiple messages. You also cannot save a typed out SMS as a draft. Given the problem with the cramped keypad we’d have thought a Bluetooth keyboard would help but Apple chose to cut us short; the iPhone’s Bluetooth only works with headsets and not with other devices. File transfer over Bluetooth is also missed.
In terms of signal quality we found the iPhone to be lacking when we put it through its paces in comparison to other phones. It’s way behind some of the Nokias and behind some of the other phones too. The loudspeaker also distorts a lot. Thankfully the handsfree unit is as excellent as we’ve seen and really gets one through many calls where the signal quality is not as good thanks to its high volume level and exceptional clarity. Music quality on headphones is also superb.