It’s been three years since we first saw the first and original iPhone. To be exact Apple launched the first generation iPhone on January 9, 2007 and it was marketed in the U.S in June 2007. Feature-wise, some smartphones available in the market back then already had the iPhone’s features. Let me see if I still remember, the first generation iPhone features - a camera, text messaging, visual voicemail, media player, internet connectivity, email, web browsing, and Wi-Fi connectivity. But what contributed to the iPhone’s success then was its efficient multi-touchscreen feature and the growth of the iOS applications ecosystem via the App Store which was launched in 2008.
To date, there are now four generations of iPhone - the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4. Each of these iPhone generations offer something new and revolutionary in the iPhone’s book of history and each model has been hailed in iPhone reviews as amongst the best smartphones available.
Before we take a look at Apple’s next generation iPhone or the iPhone 5, let’s take a look back at each of the four generations of iPhones with some iPhone reviews.
Original iPhone Review
Given that the smartphone market was still not saturated with high-end handsets with highly advanced features, the first generation iPhone came in right in time to sort of revolutionize the market. Back then, the iPhone’s features such as its 3.5-inch liquid crystal display made of scratch-resistant glass with a resolution of 320x480 was already above par. Of course, the multi-touch feature via multiple gesture was already present and has gained the love of many first generation iPhone users.
Another unique feature of the iPhone which got the interest of many users was the clean design, with the only physical key present upfront being the home button. Unlike many other smartphones back in 2007, what you see on the front of the iPhone is just its huge screen display.
When it comes to multimedia functionality, the original iPhone featured a 3.5mm headphone connector located on the top left corner of the handset. This has been the location of this button in all models of the iPhone. But what’s unusual with the first generation iPhone is the fact that it was predominantly incompatible with other headsets. It’s a good thing that Apple came up with its own headphones. But still, many iPhone users who wanted to use other third-party headsets were a bit frustrated.
One issue that came up with the original iPhone and even in the succeeding generations was battery life, specifically the iPhone being a power hog. The original iPhone offered 8 hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby time. However, when doing other tasks, the iPhone’s battery could last only around 5 or less hours.
iPhone 3G Review
Announced in June 2008 and released a month after on July 11, 2008 in 22 countries, the iPhone 3G improved on the shortcomings of the original iPhone both inside and out. Whereas the iPhone was made of aluminum for its back part, the iPhone 3G sported a full plastic back panel. According to Apple this was done to improve GSM signal. Three models of the iPhone 3G came out, the 8GB black model and the 16GB black and white models.
One major difference of the iPhone 3G from the original iPhone was the deployment of A-GPS. This made the iPhone a useful device for location mapping.
It’s also important to note that the second generation of iPhone supported the 3G network. The iPhone 3G set the stage for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 when it comes to network speed and performance. The iPhone 3G’s battery life was also improved to 10 hours talk time on 2G and 300 hours of standby time.
The iPhone 3G and the first generation iPhone both sport a 2.0 megapixel camera with no optical zoom, flash or autofocus. Both iPhone’s failed to support video recording.
Read our Complete Guide to iPhone 3G and our review of the iPhone 3G for more details.
iPhone 3GS Review
Apple released the iPhone 3GS in June 2009. Back then, the iPhone has already established a cult following and had already become one of the major players in the smartphone market. Thanks to the growth of the App Store, Apple manage to successfully carve out a niche of iPhone users in the smartphone industry.
So what has Apple brought to the table through the release of the iPhone 3GS? Almost the same body design and form factor, although the iPhone 3GS is slimmer as compared to the iPhone 3G. Aside from this, the iPhone 3GS was made available in 16GB and 32GB models. Its camera was also improved to 3MP with autofocus and video recording. It captures 640x480 pixel still photos. The iPhone 3GS was also way faster than the original iPhone. All because of a faster processor and higher-capacity RAM. It also had a longer battery life than the iPhone 3G and iPhone.
For more information about the iPhone 3GS, read our review of iPhone 3GS features.
iPhone 4 Review
I’ll be brave and bold in saying that iPhone 4 is the best iPhone released to date. Even more, it’s one of the best if not the best phone ever to hit the smartphone market. The iPhone 4 has got everything you could ask for - design, features and functions. Since it would probably take too long to review the iPhone 4 here, allow me to give just some of its major features to prove that it’s the best smartphone you could possibly have.
First, is the highly publicized Retina display. Believe it when they say the iPhone 4 can display images in ultra-clear, crisp, bright and clean resolution. Playing high-definition games, viewing high-resolution photos, watching high-definition videos and possibly everything that entails the use of the iPhone 4’s display screen - is excellent.
Feature-wise, what more can you ask for? You can make video calls, play excellent iPhone games, create presentations and movies, work and play using your iPhone 4. If the default features of the iPhone 4 are not enough for you, you can always extend its functionality by installing various applications from the App Store’s catalog of around 300,000 plus apps.
When it comes to design, the iPhone 4 is one of the best-looking smartphones ever created. Whereas previous iPhone models are a bit feminine-looking, this time around the design is more neutral - fits both male and female users.
In short, the iPhone 4 would not be a top-selling and widely used smartphone if it was not one of the best around.
There you have it. The four generations of Apple’s most successful product - the iPhone. As early as now, many are speculating about the iPhone 5 with so many advanced features. The question is, are we all ready for the iPhone 5 now?