Using the 3G iPhone as a Phone

Now that I got my 3G iPhone juiced up with location awareness (I’m assuming this is a background thing) off by default, the batter life is actually not so bad.  The thing about the iPhone is that it’s a surprisingly good phone.  For some reason, I was under the impression that phone functionality was more a bonus but not so.

 

First, the bad.  In Japan, lots of reviewers are complaining about the lack of caller blocking options of which there are many available on all phones (i.e. block specific callers, connect them directly to answering service, don’t accept calls from phone booths, only accept calls from contacts, etc.).  Not sure if it’s because Japan has more creepy phone stalkers that the rest of the world but this functionality is sorely lacking.

Other than that I can’t think of much else faulting it.  I’ve only used the phone function with headphones since they’re always plugged in.  Plus, I’m a sweaty dude so putting that thing to my ear would likely cause water and salt damage in the sweltering summer of Japan.

Calling is a snap, nothing special here.  The magic happens in between.  For example, today I made a call to customer support about transferring ownership of my previous iPod Touch.  In order to do so I needed a variety of information: contact details, phone number, etc.  I sent myself the relevant info via email for quick reference but was missing the transferee’s phone number, so I supplemented that with a trip to the address book.  While I was being put on hold, I cruised Twitter and posted an update and also read up on current news.

After I gave all the info, I took notes on the next steps such as fax number, confirmation number, etc.  I jumped back and forth between email, notes, address book and diversions in between all without breaking the phone call.

The headphone’s mic reception is good.  You can let it dangle and use a low speaking voice without any difficulty being heard by the receiver.  You can hold the mic closer for really whispering.  All the while, the earphones ensure reception is crisp.  Also, the volume goes a bit higher than any other phone I’ve owned so that’s good too.  The only gripe is that the earphones are like any other Apple earphones, bad fit lots of sound escaping (can’t hear movie dialogue in crowded trains full blast) and no switch.

Other than that it’s a really good business cell phone that can boost your productivity if you have to juggle all kinds of things on the go.