iPhone 3GS review

The definitive verdict on the new 3G S iPhone

TODO alt text

Have you heard of the App Store? It's pretty important to the iPhone apparently, and has turned what might be a normally decent smartphone into a conduit of expandability.

Let's focus first on what's already on the phone, as it's already pretty impressive. As well as the usual suspects in the iPhone version of Google Maps, YouTube and Yahoo! weather, we're now joined by an upgraded calculator, a compass function and Voice Memos to boot.

The iphone 3g s

The compass is probably the most pivotal new application, as well as video recording as well, as it gives developers a couple of new tools for some interesting new Apps. We've already seen the likes of the Seer Applications for Android from IBM, which gives Wimbledon fans the chance to link the compass, GPS and video stream together to learn about aspects of the tournament just by holding the phone up to a certain landmark.

Google Maps now makes use of the compass, but it's a little bit confusing. Not only does the compass constantly need rebooting as it gets 'interference' from other devices, it's also erratic functionally. When trying to find your own location in Google Maps, you can find out which way you're facing, which is really helpful should you be lost.

The iphone 3g s

Finding your location was super speedy, much better than the likes of the HTC Touch Diamond2, with around 15 seconds the average time to locate. However some people may struggle to know how to use the compass properly, as you'd assume there would be some kind of 'compass on / off' toggle in the settings, when actually it's activated by a double, rather than a single, tap when finding 'My Location'.

We're excited to see how developers use this new bit of functionality, as the HTC Magic and G1 both use it to show off Streetview so well, so when the Apple crowd get their hands on it we can only imagine what might appear.

The iphone 3g s

The iTunes store has also been given something of a refresh as well, albeit minor, as you can now download audiobooks and movies to the device, as well as being able to enter redeem codes for iTunes vouchers from loved ones at Christmas. It might not seem like much, but it certainly adds to the holistic iPhone experience.

On the App Store side, we're not only being treated to micro-payments (ie being able to subscribe to your favourite magazine or newspaper and pay for certain parts or periods) but a general expansion of applications available. The panorama is set to expand as well, as more applications with greater functionality and add-ons come to fruition. For instance, we're very excited by turn by turn directions and a TomTom dock and speaker, and LifeScan, allowing diabetic users the chance to monitor their blood level, is just the next level of cool.

Here are a few applications currently available that we think every discerning iPhone owner should have:

TweetDeck - Great for bringing order to your Twitter account, it organises your friends for you, has separate columns to keep your information in check, and allows you to shake and refresh.

Google App - There is literally everything Google here and even more than on the Android OS bizarrely. We're talking Voice Search (scarily accurate) Google Earth, Mail and Talk, a YouTube portal that syncs with the iPhone's YouTube client and loads more. Worth getting for the cool factor of Voice Search alone.

Need for Speed Underground - a great showcase of the iPhone 3GS's abilities graphically, and the frame rate and in-depth game play, along with the sumptuous cut scene videos, will have you whipping this out on practically every bus ride.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashNo
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA
SAR Value0.45 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyiPhone 3GS
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemiOS
Brand NameApple
Battery Talk Time12 Hour
Product ModelMC637BA
Screen Size8.9 cm (3.5")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersioniOS 4
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email
Height115.5 mm
Width62.1 mm
Depth12.3 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time300 Hour
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product NameiPhone 3GS 8GB Smartphone
Processor Speed600 MHz
Processor TypeCortex
Product LineiPhone 3GS
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberMC637BA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

iPhone 3GS. More to love. Less to pay.

Keep applications open in the background. Organise your apps with folders. Shop for books in the iBookstore. The 8GB iPhone 3GS takes advantage of all the great features of iOS 4.


Now you can run your favourite third-party apps - and switch between them instantly - without slowing down the performance of the foreground app or draining the battery unnecessarily. So you can listen to a football game while emailing. Or receive a VoIP call while playing a game.


Drag and drop to organise apps into folders on your Home screens and get fast access to your favourites.

Package Contents
  • iPhone 3GS 8GB Smartphone
  • Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic
  • Dock Connector to USB Cable
  • USB Power Adapter
  • Documentation