Having only just gotten into the talkie stick world of "I"sm by ending up with a sort of multi-tasking jail broken 3G (not the 3GS) iPhone that was handed down to me I wasn't really in any position to complain since it was seemingly pretty much given to me for free to use. But having gone through the long and at some points tricky haul of trying to get iPhone 4 like features on the phone which kind of left it in a state where it sort of worked.  

What do I mean by it sort of worked?  Well I'd managed to muddle through an unofficial update procedure to get iPhone  4 like software running on this 3G that was given to me to use. This also included multi-tasking  features that allowed me to selectively shut down multiple apps that had been left open with a double click of the home button.  This might seem like a great feature to have for something that was never originally destined or even intended for the iPhone 3G. However in actual practice its not as good as it sounds or rather as in this case; looks since you're reading this. Mainly for the reason that VoIP and video communication applications tended to crash with any attempt at trying to multi task on the iPhone 3G as well as the fact that the push notifications just didn't work at all; say if I was browsing the web whilst leaving Skype or fring open in the background, It would basically just tell the caller I wasn't online or just not inform me of any massages that might have been sent to me. That's if it didn't actually just reset itself to give me some notice to the effect of it letting me know that it didn't actually crash but it had just reset itself to protected it from the device crash, after which another reboot is then required to get it back to a fully functional state. Riiiight-well that kind of looks to be a lot like a crash but I guess the definition of a device crash must have changed or something.  However having just dumped on it I would have to say that if I were to have used the device within the official limitations of a regular 3G iPhone software it wouldn't really crash at all, so I don't really have any room to complain as it wasn't designed to run in such a way given its hardware limitations which is why I guess Apple generally don't advocate such unofficial alterations since people might still potentially screw over it and pin it down to a fault caused by Apple themselves. 

 Anyway back to the point. There wasn't really any truly fully competent native video calling features for the 3G iPhone when using the various apps that would normally allow for it on an iPhone 4 for the obvious reasons of lacking the hardware. Having also had the fortune of being able to try out an iPhone 4 for a couple of weeks the contrast of how it should actually function was stark. Straight out of the blocks the interface experience on the 4 was fast, smooth and completely lag free. Then maybe a half hour or so into testing it out I thought I'd better shut some apps down just in case it crashed out of habit from using the iPhone 3G that I had previously used. I was even more surprised to find there were well over 35 applications that had been left open and it barely impacted on performance in anyway shape or form, where as previously with the iPhone 3G if I had more the 5 apps open I'd be walking a fine line between a potential "protecting from a device crash" and a slightly laggy but just about keeping it together continuity in its use.  

Video calling on the iPhone 4 worked perfectly with no problems at all and I would still be notified of any  
Incoming calls from any number of VoIP/video calling apps that might have been left running in the background on the iPhone 4.  The convenience of having instant video calling through popular applications such as Skype and fring made all the more reason for me to temporarily ditch the  laptop/desktop for the pocket sized computer that could turn over a maximum potential of 1000Mhz. Convenient and fully competent for purpose as a communications device it certainly was.  Two weeks was definitely enough time to get used to a better way of doing things to then feel a little weird without having it to hand. 

But then I got to thinking with my current budget constraints would I really need to actually buy an iPhone 4 to be able to do the things I wanted to do with such a device? I already had a cell phone that I could make and receive regular calls on as well as listen to music on without any problems at all. Lets see the only other things I wanted to competently be able to do was... 

- Make and receive voice and video calls with popular VoIP and video calling applications such as fring and Skype via a none bulky device that’s easily portable with true push notification whilst multi-tasking.  Meaning it would obviously also need to have full front and rear facing camera support with mic and Wi-Fi capabilities.

- Instant message via all the most popular instant messaging programs available on iOS. 

- Email features whether that be via a web browser or local application. 

Whoa there, hold on a minute if I recall correctly the 4th gen iPod touch has all these things at a fraction of the price of the iPhone 4. It also has the same A4 processor found in the iPhone 4 and iPad all be it limited to 800MHz which is still significantly faster then the 3G. I could obviously even go for the lower priced 8GB model since I didn't really need the storage space in relation to what I personally wanted to primarily use it for.  Plus with its extremely slim chrome clad exterior it was certainly easy on the old retinal receptors to say the least which makes me wonder why you would want to buy a protective case for it that hid its beauty as far as its external design was concerned. Just a simple crystal clear hard plastic back cover (or possibly even a clear gel back cover for its slightly more shock absorbent properties) and a screen protector for the front would probably be the ideal to help retain its slim profile and keep it protected whilst leaving it as close as possible to how it was intended to appear as piece of design with a functional purpose beyond just a music player.  But that might just be me being a little over the top about it. Although granted that wouldn't in fact protect the screen from other more potentially serious miss-haps that might result in a cracked screen as other more protective solutions might be better equipped to do.

Plus with the use of a £50 pocket sized lithium ion battery powered 3G Wi-Fi router you could easily give it 3G data capabilities for wireless data calling and messaging away from land sourced Wi-Fi connections for up to five Wi-Fi devices I might add with an appropriate device such as the Mi-Fi.