iPhone 3GS review

The definitive verdict on the new 3G S iPhone

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The iphone 3g s

We liked

Well, there's just so much to like about this all rounder, isn't there? We could choose the excellent internet, the new camera that's almost is good enough to make us stop moaning about the iPhone always having a rubbish snapper (but not quite, though we do love the autofocus).

We could talk about the increase in speed or the great graphical processing power of the iPhone 3GS. We could even chat about the fact voice control is good, but a little bit pointless 90 per cent of time.

However, we think it's best to say that the best thing about the iPhone is it's an all rounder, the phone for every demographic. While it does some things wrong (see below) it more than makes up for it in what it does right.

If you're looking for an internet phone (they should shorten that name, perhaps something like the iPhon... oh, wait, we just got that) then this is beyond par, and if you're looking for the most complete multimedia experience on a handset, then look no further than the iPhone 3GS.

We disliked

But the iPhone 3GS isn't perfect, which is either a clever ploy by Apple or something that it likes to do to make sure the fans stay irritated. The price alone (nearly £300 on contract for the top model?) is enough to make you do a double take, and for that cost it makes us feel the need to be critical.

The camera is still not up to scratch, the battery life isn't great and call quality was patchy to say the least. While the screen is ultra responsive, we still had problems at the edges in terms of accuracy, and we really were hoping for an OLED effort from the latest iPhone.

But there's far more to love than to hate on the iPhone 3GS, and it must be remembered that Apple devices are designed in such a way that they are slick and well-formed, so it's easy to want to take cheap pot-shots at them for that very fact when in fact it's still a brilliant handset.

Verdict

The iPhone 3GS is a tip top mobile phone. Its improved functionality is good, but it's certainly not worth upgrading for. However, if you're new to the iPhone market, then choosing between the two should also be a no-brainer - go for the iPhone 3GS. The faster speeds, better camera and a whole host of other extras will please many, and for that reason it's worth it (although we suggest you think long and hard over whether you need 32GB or just 16GB of internal memory, as there's a bit of a price hike between the two.)

We can't help feel like the public is being played by Apple a little bit with the slow release of features like a better camera, a compass and voice memos, with each being dripped into the new handset to make it seem more current and gives Apple lovers something they have to upgrade to.

But the point is Apple makes a device for everyone. People that don't give two hoots about mobile phones want an iPhone. Sure, we could go on and on about how the Touch Diamond2 is better at this, the i8910HD is better at that, but the truth is none package it up as well as the iPhone 3GS.

So if you're in the market for a phone (and haven't been crippled by the credit crunch) check out the new iPhone 3GS. If you've got an iPhone 3G already, don't bother with the upgrade. The near-£1,000 some will have to shell out to get the latest model will leave you feeling sorely disappointed for the money after you realise it's not a lot different from the 3G model with 3.0 software.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBNo
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
ColourBlack
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.

Multitasking

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.

Folders

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