Sunday, August 10, 2008

Itching to get Globe's iPhone 3G? Hold your horses.

Since Globe announced that it would be accepting reservations for the! people have been scrambling to their nearest Globe service center to make sure they will have the new phone in their hands by August 22. Just to give you an idea of how ridiculously overpriced the thing is, a prepaid kit costs Php 41,899 for the 8GB model, and Php 48,899 for the 16GB. Well alright, that's the extreme. To see a matrix of Globe's iphone plans, go here.

It's really nice and sleek and sosyal, with a lot of bells and whistles, but do you really need all that? Internet access, iPod, youtube, GPS, tons of applications and I don't know what else. What, is it so crucial to have youtube access in your pocket? The only thing that might tip me over is if one can buy music from iTunes (can somebody please tell me?). And then again, it's easy to talk myself out of it. There are other ways to get iTunes-available music after all (I'm talking about iTunes gift cards, lower your eyebrows). It's a 3G phone, nifty. It will allow you to make video calls. But a lot of other phones have 3G already, minus the hefty price tag. How advanced is 3G technology here in the Philippines anyway? (My K800i is 3G capable but I've never bothered to use it. And poo, turning it on uses up the battery faster.) GPS? Sure is handy, but how practical is it to use in the Philippines? It can't read the MMDA's myriad of u-turns, can it?

If you want to get the iPhone for a lower price you can opt to buy it from *cough* other places, but be aware that you will most probably have to have it unlocked to be able to use it. The software might have been hacked already and you can't use all the other services apart from making calls and texting. And you have to go back to those *cough* other places if you want your firmware upgraded (assuming they can do that), and then be charged with a ridiculous fee for something you should have gotten for free. And oh, for all those hi-tech features, last I heard iPhone doesn't have MMS support. What's worse, you can't even forward or copy-and-paste text messages. You have to get a third-party application (like this or this workaround). Gee, what a cute quirk. (Oh lookee, I found this just now: 10 Things the 3G iPhone is Still Missing.)

If that's not enough to make you think twice, you ought to know that there are alternatives out there that might turn out to be better choices. It always pays to check out the competition - other brands might actually offer more value for money. (For me that's actually my basic assumption: that I can get better for a more reasonable price. In the end I almost always go for the competitor of the perceived leading brand.) You might like to check the Samsung Omnia, for instance. If, after watching a load of Samsung commercials during RPN's Olympics Opening Ceremony you already felt like wanting to buy the Samsung F480, hold on, the Omnia is actually a newer model. (Check out more pics here, and the specs, here.)

I haven't actually studied all the specs or read the reviews to be able to make a comparison and conclude that the Omnia (or something else) is indeed a better choice. I think I'll do that when Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1 comes out. Because heh, check out how sleek it is. Oh dear. (Check out the full specs here.)

It won't be available til late this year, so if you can wait, why don't cha? Me, I don't really need a new phone right now, no. In a couple of years perhaps, when prices are more stable and glitches in the technology have improved. In the meantime I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised if I ride the tricycle and the driver makes a quick stop to take a call on his iphone. Last time that happened it was a Nokia N-series phone. Sheesh.


mac.n.tux said...

Have you actually TRIED using an iPhone?

I was skeptical of the iPhone as well - until I got one. Yes, it is not an end-all solution to your mobile device needs but believe me, you should try it before you dismiss it.

It has its flaws but it can hold its own against the others. Yes, it does not have [1] SMS forwarding or VCard support, [2] no video calling or even video capture, [3] no cut-and-paste, [4] no MMS and [5] ONLY 2MP camera.

For its flaws, I only miss [1] and [3] - how often do you do video calling? Tell me - do you do it often? How often do you send MMS? Heck, I have had several mobile phones with all the bells-and-whistles but I never use MMS nor video calling!

2MP camera? Yes but it is enough to capture those snap shots. Serious about photography? Cmon! Get a real camera, right? I know you'd rather bring a DSLR than use your 5 or even 8MP camera! :P

Now, have you actually tried browsing the internet using the iPhone and compare it with your mobile phone's web browser. Believe me, this is the killer feature of the iPhone.

Music? Not that much - you can use your iPod with that. However try viewing a video on it and you'll be blown away by the quality.

Third-party apps. I know that there are lots of third party apps available for Symbian, etc. BUT have you seen how the iPhone apps look like? Have you seen the games available? Tools?

As for price of the iPhone from Globe - it is RIDICULOUSLY PRICED!

imogen_ph said...

mac.n.tux, if you read carefully through what i said again, you'll find that i did NOT dismiss the iPhone. did i say "Forget it"? did i say "Don't buy it?". no, i said "Wait". wait and check out the other phones out there. i did NOT write a review, i only wrote down some thoughts. i'm only saying people should check out what's available before buying an iPhone on impulse.

as for those questions you have, i won't go into detail anymore, but i'm all for choosing a model that answers one's preferences. that's EXACTLY how i make my choices when buying electronics. i ask myself those questions. like i said, i want value for money. in case you didn't notice, i did say i have NOT studied the specs and reviews and made a conclusion yet which of the 3 phones i mentioned is the best for me because i don't have to - i am NOT buying one yet. heck i might even end up not buying any one of these. *quips*