Saturday, June 30, 2007

iPhone and EDGE

A lot has been written lately about the iPhone supporting EDGE only, and not UMTS/HSDPA. If I could chose between a 3G or EDGE version of the iPhone, I would get the EDGE-only iPhone.

Why? I have been using UMTS phones for over two years now. I used the Sony Ericsson Z1010, the Samsung Z300 and Z500 most of that time, but also played around with most other 3G capable phones for at least a day or so. Most of these mobiles weren't bad, but none of them were great. Hardly any of them support HSDPA, and the ones that do lack a fast enough CPU to really notice a dramatic difference.

One problem they all have in common is: short battery life. Also, the 3G coverage generally isn't that great (compared to GSM). A lot of times when you are in an area with good 3G coverage, you share the bandwidth with many other users - so you hardly ever get the maximum advertised speed anyway. In other places there may not be 3G coverage at all, and your phone falls back to GSM/EDGE anyway (still looking for a 3G network in the background, draining the batteries).

Solution: get a decent phone which supports EDGE (of course, the carrier network must provide EDGE). You will enjoy longer talk/standby times, and an average of 300 kbps or so is definitely fast enough for browsing or emailing. Since you cannot use the iPhone as a modem for your computer anyway (as far as I know), EDGE is definitely fast enough for daily use.

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