Returning The iPhone After Two Weeks Of Daily Use


imageThe iPhone 3G is not for me. I


iPhone Ringtone maker

There is an objective source that has proven that the iPhone actually has some of the best battery life available for 3G phones. The reason people mistakenly believe the iPhone has such a short battery life is because they can’t put the thing down! It’s a phone,


I bought the original iPhone within a week of it's introduction. Then I upgraded to the 3G version about 3 days after it was released.

The biggest difference that I see is that where the old phone would have a good signal strength the new one invariably has a weak signal or no signal at all. I am extremely disappointed about that aspect of the 3G version.

Liam Rose

Sorry I'm a bit late to the game on this one, but I have had my iPhone for about a week now. First of all, we had a very positive experience with regard to purchasing the phone. We were able to walk into the store in Union Square (downtown SF) and easily get a number around lunch to purchase the phone later in the day. We went back right around 5pm and had a nice sales associate get our two phones up and running within about a half hour. The only issue we had was actually with AT&T;themselves. I have to admit I was very nervous switching from Verizon, as I had never had any problems with phone service or customer service for that matter. The verdict is still out on phone service – I did drop two calls in the last week which I can't say ever happened with Verizon.

The phone itself is pretty useful. I'm not a heavy email user and this is my first mobile device that I have used for email. I don't use the push feature as I too heard that it drained the device and I am usually at my computer for the majority of the day. I can say that the power cord is so tiny that you could easily put it in your work bag or even your pocket if you thought you were going to lose power before the end of the day. That being said, I am slightly disappointed in the battery life but it's a small price to pay for the overall functionality of the phone.

My advice to AT&T;though is so better the network. These devices are only going to grow in popularity and if the network can't support high traffic we are all going to have a poor user experience and given the cost of the call plans, that is not acceptable.

James Woodford

I live in the UK and have been waiting for the iPhone 3g since the first iPhone was released. I waited well over a year, hoping that Apple would get the 'Basics' right… Unfortunately, I am sorry to say they have not. This is not a comment to 'Bash' the iPhone, it is merely my experience and I offer it as some way of guidance for anyone who is thinking of buying one. I write this coming from a Mac background. I have used Macintosh since the very start and always supported their products regardless of what other platform users have said or thought. That is why I am really disappointed with Apple's 2nd attempt at the iPhone. Remember, this has always been sold as and promoted as a phone and it just does not do that job very well.

The BAD;

You cannot set user profiles and timed profiles like most phones have been able to do since the mid 90's. At night I like to set my phone to a pleasant low ring which returns to my normal ringtone at 6am.
Battery life is very poor considering my type of usage… Occasional emails, minimal web browsing, 4-5 sms messages mainly phone calls. I have location services off, screen brightness very low, I always remember to put the phone into stand-by and barely get a day's use.
Random freezes which require a full restart, these are very annoying and becoming more common.
The ring volume is not loud enough in today's noisy city environments.
The hands free speaker is not loud enough to conduct a conversation, unless you are in a room on your own.
Email should mirror the SMS notification system and display a message on the blank stand-by screen when new mail arrives just like when a new SMS is received. At the moment I have to keep waking the phone, unlocking the device, and checking the email icon on the dock. This is very annoying when you are in a meeting, for me and other people around me. I know you are all going to say it vibrates but even that is not very strong and can easily be missed. Even when the phone is not in Silent mode the 'New Mail' is not obvious enough, why can't I choose the sound that suits me?
Also, if you have more than One email account you cannot view them all as 'One' inbox as you can within Mail on OS X. You have to keep going into each inbox and then returning to the main email menu and doing it all over again. A real pain in the backside if you have Six email accounts you have to check!
There is no way to attach attachments in Mail? You can only send photos from Photos and then you can only do it One at a time! Come on, how time consuming is that when you have a lot of pictures to share.
I cannot find a way to set the time before diverting calls to answerphone. At the moment it only rings for about 20 seconds and then diverts. I live in a 3 storey house, by the time I have run downstairs I have missed the call! (don't tell me I should have the phone on me)
The ability to hang on to a signal is a basic premises of any phone and my iPhone fails terribly. On a test this morning heading into London on the train I pitted the iPhone against a colleagues Blackberry. The Blackberry won hands down. For almost all of the journey the iPhone could not connect to the network and Safari kept telling me there was no signal… The Blackberry was on the same O2 network as my iPhone and did not miss a single opportunity to access email or the web.
Have you tried to customize the home screen? If you hold down the screen for more than 2 secs all the icons start to wobble and you can drag them to your desired position which is cool… Except you can't, because every time you move one all the others all reposition themselves in what I can only describe as 'Random' I am sure there is a knack to this but I cannot figure it out.
You cannot change the bottom Four keys. Why should Apple decide what I want there. How hard could it be to allow users the choice.
The camera is rubbish… My old Nokia has a better quality camera and it's Two years old.
There is more but I don't want to sound negative and I am tired.


SMS is great – I love the threaded conversations.
Movies look great but really zap the power.
iPod is nicely laid out but mine always seems to start up at maximum volume which does annoy me… a lot.
iPlayer works well, when you can get a strong 3g signal or on Wi-Fi.
Set-up is really easy and great if you are a technophobe.


If you want a device that does it all in one, then I guess the iPhone is for you but you must be prepared for the shortcomings I have listed above. Don't get me wrong, it is a marvel of modern technology, but so was the the first Motorola's which came with their own built in car battery! It was great at the time but we have all moved on so why has the iPhone in today's modern and demanding World not addressed all the basic's? I think that Apple will address some of these issues through Firmware Updates, but most should have been corrected with the launch of the iPhone 3g. I loved the UI and the feel of the phone and I really wanted it to work for me but is just falls way to short. Having said that I will be buying an iPod Touch so that I can have the vast majority of what I loved about the iPhone without the stuff I hated. In my opinion, buy the iPod Touch and get a Blackberry or other device to check your email and hunker down for the iPhone War which is about to kick off. Google are very close to launching 'Android' and all the major phone companies are preparing to square up to Apple with their devices. Remember, the mobile phone market is enormous and the 'Big Boy's' are not going to role over and play dead for Apple. If you do buy the iPhone and you are happy… Great! If like me you are not stick with you old phone and sit back… There is always something round the corner!

Jamie Poitra

Wow, this one got a reaction. Use what is best for your own purposes. Goodness people.

I'm a current original iPhone user sitting on the fence about whether to upgrade or not. The battery issue is the one mostly holding me back. I currently get through a day on one charge. Any less than that and I would have problems. I'm curious to see how many of the battery issues are software based and how many are hardware based.

My original iPhone with the 2.0 software is actually having some battery life issues of late as well which makes me think some of the problems at least will be solved in a bug release from Apple.


I was having severe battery problems at first, too. I'd be barely using the thing, and have it go totally dead in about 5 hours. Well, I found that there are 2 things that had a major impact on my battery life:

First, I called the support line. They had me disable push, which I hated since I prefer to have real time access to email. This immediately stopped the rapid drain on the battery. In truth, it's rare that I REALLY need real time push, and while I'm not HAPPY about it, it's tolerable.

Second, I read somewhere that you should not restore a previous iPhone/iTouch backup to the iPhone when initially activating it. When I went back and restored it to factory settings, the battery life improved even more, and I have even seen my battery life at least double, even with push enabled.

I'm sure there is a bug in the push email function that keeps the battery warm and draining in such rapid fashion. I'm hoping to see some improvements in upcoming software releases.


So turn off all the cool features of the iphone so the battery lasts long enough to be able to use it as a phone. Hmmm.

Derrick Gardner

I could have wrote this article myself and why I will be returning my iPhone and going back to Verizon for their Blackberry Curve. I switched from Verizon a couple of weeks ago after waiting patiently for my contract to expire to get the iPhone. I thought that having one device to rule them all would end up being its biggest asset. I unfortunately was wrong. The points from above that I totally concur with, not to mention the unwieldy touch keypad.

-I can’t deny how remarkable it is to browse the internet and use those cool applications, but as a phone and communications device the iPhone leaves me wanting more.

-I used the applications and played some games every now and then (they lose their initial draw after a couple days), but never played music on the iPhone 3G and rarely played video.

-The dropped calls due to a still seemingly weak cellular radio that also affected the first iPhone. Low-end 3G feature phones would hold a strong signal while the iPhone sat on the edge between a low signal and “no service.” Hand-off between 3G and 2G seemed to strain the device unrelentingly. ***THE BIGGEST REASON***

-I may have returned the iPhone 3G because it doesn’t meet my needs as a phone and email device, but I can’t say goodbye to everything the platform does best. I’ll be getting an iPod Touch for that very reason soon.


I went for the ipod touch, and I enjoy it. It's smaller form factor is awesome. But it's lack of external speaker or bluetooth is a real drawback.


PS – Other power saving tips are: turn push email off (it basically requires an always-on internet connection, and it's acceptable for many to only check email every 15 minutes or whatever), switch to 2G only (at which point the battery should be a lot better than the v1 iPhone) and, as the others described, tweak settings with things like GPS.

Colin McGraw

Return my iPhone?!? Nooooo!!!

After years of working with Windows Mobile phones, i just couldn't take it anymore! I'm not the type of person who casually uses a phone's features. I browse the internet to find phone numbers of restaurants, pair with my car's Bluetooth system, intall lots of extra programs, check email frequently, send text message, take notes, etc. I push the limits of the phones I own.

With my old Windows-based phones, I'd have to reboot the things at least twice a day and it was painful doing things like browsing the (awkwardly renderred, no-javascript) internet!

With the iPhone, it does everything I want to do so much better than Windows Mobile, plus I can use it to play games at home, watch video on the train to work or in my car as an iPod!

I also found it to last longer on a charge than my old HTC 8525.

The only gripe I have so far is that the iPhone 3G doesn't work with a lot of Bluetooth car systems (including mine!). That's a big deal to me, but I'm hoping it can be fixed with a software update soon.


I don't think the iphone is the best mobile gaming platform. The PSP is often overlooked and for sure is better for gaming. Especially if the battery sucks…

iphone is a phone. my psp is my gaming platform…

Jason Spero

Matt – Turn off email PUSH. I had exactly the same problem . Some of the heavier users at AdMob advised me to switch to "Fetch" for exchange. This did the trick. You have to do it in two places – in Settings and in Advanced within the settings.

Battery life still not perfect but it'll last the day now. Jason

Robert Vassar

Battery life is worse with 2.0 software but can be markedly improved by turning off 3G, push email and location services. I think we will see version 2.01 or 2.1 software soon which will address a lot of minor problems and issues.

Mike Gauba

I anticipated your experiences more than 16 months ago and called the iPhone "a confused mass of protoplasm" – the irony being it is not positioned on its strength – its PDA capability and it is positioned on its voice capability, which is not strong enough to differentiate. I would encourage you to read my blog

There was first a wild reaction from Steve's fan clubs but then they understood, where I was coming from. In fact some of them whole heartedly agreed with my position.


Hear, hear, Staci! It's sad that jp has to resort to name calling to make his point. It's worse when his point isn't even correct, as you pointed out. Every Windows Mobile phone is "real" computer, too — it has a CPU, memory, file storage, display, human interface controls and a programming API. I'm not sure what else jp thinks a computer needs.

Oh yeah, most real computers nowadays do cut and paste — except the iPhone (until release 2.1, at least).


To be frank the iPhone is a PoS.

The browser is cool, but since the majority of the market use a cell for voice, the iPhone fails.

Voice is 95% of all activities on a cell today still right?


I am uhmming and ahhing about this as I type. i still have my first gen iPhone – its on the NZ equivalent of eBay right now. And I like my new 16GB 3G iPhone … but not as much as my first gen. Maybe I'm just hanging out for the old days, when I was the only kid on the block with one. Maybe its the slight retro cool of the metal finish back that identifies me as an early adopter.

I dunno. I got a really, REALLY good retention deal and I didn't even have to sign up to one of the gruesome 24 month plans we have here in NZ. I'll probably stick with the new one in the hope that they'll release some better battery / location services management, and / or better use of the hardware difference between the 3G and the original iPhone. But still …. something just doesn't quite feel right.

gavin Blur



Matt Kapko

I realize that the iPhone's battery is pulled on more heavily than any device in its class. Call me a bozo if you think that gets your point across any better, but this is also a phone. It is the iPhone after all. And as I explained, it doesn't pass the test for me in that regard. I need my phone to handle phone calls and email first and foremost. That's why I've decided to use the Apple platform for what it's best at — a personal mobile computer that offers the best mobile browser and gaming experience I've seen. And I can get all that out of an iPod Touch. No harm, no foul. I own many Apple products and I'm not new to mobile devices. I've used dozens — all different form factors and platforms — over the past 12 or 13 years. I owned the first iPhone and gave it up for many of the same reasons. I can only speak from and compare to my own experiences while taking into account all the functions and capabilities of each device. To each his or her own — live and let live. I'm glad to see the response this is generating.

Staci D. Kramer

You know, it's really possible to write a comment without calling someone a bozo. For instance, I'm going to avoid doing just that and instead respond to the points you made. The iPhone is not the only mobile device that both makes voice calls and acts like a (slowish) computer. I use an HTC AT&T;Tilt that is 3G, does push email. browser web use (both through Windows Mobile and other browsers), Bluetooth, WiFi, location-based services, IM, etc. Granted, it's not as elegant as the white iPhone that just joined our household today but it has similar capabilities and the ability to swap out batteries. That last item makes the Tilt more practical even if the two have identical battery life. I took back an iPhone last summer because it wasn't reliable enough to be my primary phone/wireless/mobile device. Unlike me, the new iPhone owner in my house is not a heavy mobile user but we will try some tests along the way to compare the devices in real time with similar usage.

As for Matt's findings, just like mileage reports for cars, results will vary for different users. And, by the way, if he didn't have a clue what he was giving up, he wouldn't be planning an iTouch purchase.


I think that if you're a heavy e-mail user you should stick to your Blackberry. There's nothing wrong with the iPhone as an e-mail device but it takes some getting used to the virtual keyboard. If however, you need internet access, there's not comparison.

Thank heavens there is an objective source that has proven that the iPhone actually has some of the best battery life available for 3G phones. The reason people mistakenly believe the iPhone has such a short battery life is because they can't put the thing down! It's a phone, it's an iPod, it's an internet communicator, it's a game console and it runs my productivity applications. Of course my battery runs down. I never stop using the damn thing!

Jimbo Jones

If you turn off location services (GPS), you get very good battery life. Turn it on and it drains it like a Hummer consumes gasoline.

If you turn on the GPS (give an application permission to use your current location), you will have to remember to turn it off manually, otherwise it stays on.


"The iPhone battery doesn’t last as long as the comparable 3G devices running on Symbian, Windows Mobile and other platforms. I didn’t notice much improvement when I kept Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off either."
—That's because those horrible devices (Windows Mobile and other platforms) don't do anything that requires energy such as browsing the Web like on a freaking real computer. Don't you get it yet, this phone ISN'T a phone bozo, it's a computer. It's absolutely amazing what it accomplishes using the battery it has. And actually if you turn Wi-Fi off the battery will last for days, obviously you just wrote a lie and didn't actually try it. Here you are, using a device that is akin to when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, and you have no clue what you just gave up after two weeks. Ugh..

Isak B

I returned my iphone in 2 days. I am a heavy e-mail and phone user. The battery died in mid day and the phone got warm so much that it was bothering my hands while writing e-mails. Some applications such as messengers are not running unless you are logged in.
Make it short i am back to my Blackberry and very very happy with it. Do not buy an iphone if you are heavy e-mailing…..


I was under the impression that iPhone battery life was actually better than most other 3G phones? A PC World study shows that the iPhone did better than all other phones other than the Blackberries, and those only beat the iPhone by 4 minutes to 1/2 hour. Hardly a major advantage. (

I also haven't found problems with dropped calls with the 3G iPhone. Perhaps you had a defective model?

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