I had been using a Motorola Razor which I really liked. I never used the internet side of the cell so I really can't comment on that but the camera had nice zoom and effects to use and it took movies, played mp3s and handled MMS but I didn't have the service. The biggest draw back was the sound output with headphone adaptor was horrible. The phone sounded good if you played it through its speaker however, and held it in hand. So never used the audio player much even though I upgraded memory to 512mb for mp3 storage and had a few CDs loaded on to it. This phone served its purpose well over last couple of years and I liked the compact and sleek flip phone design for portability. It was time however, to move on to bigger, smarter and cooler phones... like the iPhone.
I ended up traveling to the Apple store in Cincinnati, Ohio to grab one of the new 3GS iPhones the first week in July. I was going to switch to AT&T simply because it got good reception in my home and because iPhone was only offered for AT&T... I couldn't help lusting after one. The idea of being able to sync music, contacts, calendar events, and other info from my home Mac G5 would be the proverbial "cats meow" for me. No more relying on several miscellaneous web apps to keep organized and consolidating my iPod and cell into one device was also a nice side benefit.
So, after a couple of weeks of ownership, I can honestly say I am hooked on my iPhone. I have already downloaded apps galore and filled several pages of icons for new apps. I love that I was able to find an app "FTP On the Go" which gives me the ability to use FTP almost anywhere and setup the iPhone as a FTP server. It also comes with a text editor and viewer to allow website and document changes on the spot. I have an app "Remote" which controls my iTunes app on the Mac via wireless connection from all over the house. I have another app that called "Mocha" that hooks up to my Mac via VPN and allows me to control the mac remotely. I have apps for keeping socially connected like "Facebook", "Tweetdeck", "Fring", "Linkedin" and "PixelPipe".
A couple of my favorite apps have been free surprisingly. I have an app called "Pandora Radio" that allows me to stream music from my just about any favorite band I come up with. It creates stations with music you suggest and you can fast forward through a song should you find one that isn't so great. I also just downloaded a great free app for finding live FM streams called "iHeart Radio" and will even locate stations near your area based on coordinates from your 3GS phone. I also found a app called "Shazam" that identified a song playing on my car stereo when I held iPhone up for a few seconds. Very cool technology.
I even got a GPS tracking app called "MotionX GPS" that works pretty good. It works like google maps showing hybrid view or even topographical view and route tracking with waypoints which could be very useful on future camera hiking trips. I just recently added another free GPS app called Navigon Lite. Its a variation of the same software used in my Navigon GPS unit. I think its one of the top 5 for GPS navigation and interface design but that is just my opinion and not fact. The full Europe version of the app sells for $139. Considering you can get the actual Navigon GPS unit for near this price, I will probably not pay for the full version should it become available in the US. The lite version seems to do well for now. It even scrolls the map and updates just as quick as the real thing. Reads current speed and will notify you with the word "caution" should you speed too much for the limits in your area.
So far, the phone itself has been great. Cons, the battery doesn't last long if you keep the display on and use it lot. That's kinda expected considering size especially of the display. If you are just using it as a phone... it could easily go a day or two on one charge. I am using it constantly however. I listen to it at work most of the day in place of my iPod mini 4gb I had for a few years. Also, no "true" zoom for the camera or other built-in camera features without app help.
So, am I disappointed? Nah... with all the options and apps available makes up for some of the drawbacks. The headphone sound is great unlike the Razor. Also, some of the subtle things make it more enjoyable as well. The simple interface allows easy navigation around most applications and app settings. The voice command function recognizes my voice much better than the previous Razor ever did and is actually quite useful. The keyboard in landscape or portrait mode works well with my fingers. The cut, copy and paste is really nice and should standard on every data phone. I just added a few accessories and a few more apps and continue to enjoy my first iPhone. More reviews on recent additions coming including a stereo blue-tooth headset I have been using for a few days. Stay tuned...