Before I get down to the comparison of between my one and a half year old imate K-JAM and the shiny new iPhone 3G, I really have to say some thing about the literally blind fan following that the iPhone has been able to develop, and this is not India specific. Not having had first hand usage experience with the iPhone 3G, my views are basically formed from published sources and friends who have the iPhone.
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 3G to the world, the features/upgrades that he harped upon were, I found, laughable to say the least. The applause that these feature/upgrades garnered from the people present was even more so.
Couple of the things that stuck with me,
Jobs happily said “the ear phone jack is now flush with the body of the device.” Thundering applause! I mean c’mon… really? You call that an upgrade?Transcript below:
11:33 a.m.: “We’ve learned so much with the first iPhone.” Jobs shows off the pictures; it’s thinner at the edges, a black plastic back, and metal buttons on the side. It’s the same screen, with a camera, a flush-headphone jack (which gets wild applause), and improved audio.
11:44 a.m.: On to the price. The first iPhone was $599 and now sells for $399. The new, 3G iPhone will sell for $199 for 8GB of storage.
11:45 a.m.: The 16GB model will cost $299, and that model will also be available in white. (ooooh!!! White)
Jobs introduced the new shell as being made of plastic instead of metal as in the original iPhone. Ecstatic applause! I would call that a downgrade! If you see any of the newer phones coming out from various stables, metal/composite metals are the material of choice for obvious reasons. Even if the shell is not metal the underlying structure is supported by a “space age” composite metal.
Apple is a little late with the 3G and the GPS transceiver built into the new iPhone. When the original iPhone was being developed, these were already available in devices being sold then. Besides, the 3G network will be up and running in India only by the second half of 2009.
More old news “E-mail messages can be deleted in bulk, and you can save e-mailed photos to your photo library. The calculator now works in landscape mode, adding scientific calculator buttons. Parental controls and language support have also been added, including two forms of Japanese and Chinese entry. The Chinese language characters can be drawn with your finger.”
The iPhone SDK. Not being a developer myself I can’t comment too much on this. But the general idea on the internet is that the iPhone developers are pretty pissed.
.Mac sounded so much better. MobileMe sounds like something I would make up. Thoroughly unoriginal and boring. So I read up on the reviews and customer rants from around the world. No surprise, MobileMe currently sucks.
By now everyone knows what the iPhone 3G doesn’t have. Heres a list anyway.
- You can’t change the battery yourself
- No voice dialing.
- No video recording.
- No phone-to-phone photo sending
- Sucky camera with no zoom or flash
- No memory expansion slot
- No resending or forwarding messages
- No cut and paste (Oh my God!!!!)
- No MMS
- Can’t use as modem
- Screen and body gets scratched easily. (User reported)
- Frequent browser crashes
- Very spotty 3G (User reported)
To be fair… What I really like about the iPhone 3G.
- It looks nice and sits well in the hand
- Multi-touch. Though you only seem to use it when working with photos or in the browser.
- Accelerometer and Proximity sensor. Nice. Very Nice.
- The display. Truly cool!
COMPARISON OF MY I-MATE K-JAM AND THE IPHONE 3G
|Feature||i-mate K-JAM||iPhone 3G|
|Network||GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, Infrared
|UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, GPS
|Physical||108 x 58 x 23.7 mm, Weight: 160gColour: Silver, Black||115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm, Weight: 133gColour: White (16GB Only), Black|
|Display||2.8 inch, 240 x 320||3.5 inch, 480 x 320|
|Input/Output||Handsfree, Mini USB, SD Card, Infrared,Stereo Speakers||30-pin dock connector, 3.5mm headphone,Single speaker, SIM Card tray|
|Processor||TI OMAP 200mhz||620mhz ARM|
|External Controls||Voice functions, Volume, Comm ManagerPower, Camera, Call pickup/end, 2 Soft Keys
Messaging, Browser, 5 way rocker key
|Power, Volume, Home Button|
|Audio||Full Stereo, All major formats supported||Mono, All major formats supported|
|Camera||1.3mp with flash and zoom, Video recording||2.0mp, No Flash, No video recording|
|Battery||Li-Po, Talk time: Upto 5hStandby: Upto 200h||Li-Ion, Talk time: Upto 10hStandby: Upto 300h|
|Keyboard||On-screen keyboard for stylus,Slide-out full QWERTY also||On screen finger friendly|
So what does this all mean for me?
My K-JAM loses sorely when it comes to hardware. Wins on the camera, basic and advanced messaging functions and on ease of access of functions. Add to that the plethora of free software available for WM5 and I need to spend nothing on that front. Changing the look and feel of the K-JAM is also really easy and is only limited by imagination.
GPS is something that I would really like but 3G is something that does not take me over to the iPhones side as in India, we don’t have 3G. By the time we get it, I am sure I will be able to buy a much more feature and function rich mobile device than what the iPhone has on offer now. It might even be the next gen iPhone.
With a price tag of 32000 (US$760) for the 8GB and 36500 (US$870) for the 16GB version (my Kjam costs 28000 (US$650)), there isn’t enough on offer in the iPhone except eyecandy and the novelty factor.
So that’s it! I will not be running after the iPhone any time soon.