iPhone 3GS review

The definitive verdict on the new 3G S iPhone

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As we mentioned earlier, there's very little different between the current iPhone 3GS and the previous 3G model, a little disappointing given we were expecting anything from a new iPhone nano to a matte black model with anti-slip coating and no bezel.

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The one major upgrade is the new smear free screen, which we're pleased to see works very well. It's properly dubbed an oleophobic coating, with oleo being the Greek for oil/ grease/ the remnants of an XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger meal with Supersize fries.

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One aesthetic criticism of the old iPhone was the fact that this grease stuck to it within seconds, meaning the device everyone loves to touch was a CSI's best friend in minutes.

The iphone 3g s

But the new coating lives up to its billing, with a swift wipe on the jeans clearing the screen of all residue.

While most of you may be familiar with the layout and feel of the iPhone chassis, we'll just run through it for those that have never set foot in an Apple store or been tempted to fiddle with a workmate's device.

The iphone 3g s

The screen is a 3.5-inch HVGA widescreen effort, using a capacitive touch display. This essentially means that you can't use a stylus (as it uses electricity conducted from the fingertip) but gives a more responsive screen.

The screen resolution can be firmly categorised as a question of taste. On the one hand images look sharp and clear, on the other, we're being told by more and more manufacturers of rival phones (for instance the newly announced Samsung Jet) that this resolution simply isn't good enough for our media needs.

The iphone 3g s

We'll cover video performance in greater depth, but to us the screen seems fine and certainly fit for purpose.

There's a switch for placing the phone in silent above the rocker volume controls, as well as two speakers at the bottom near the port. Power on and off at the top also acts as a 'hold' switch to lock down the screen, and we're also treated to a 3.5mm headphone jack for funsies.

The layout of the phone is nicely structured (given the immense size to accommodate the screen) although you will have to move your fingers around as all the buttons aren't in easy reach.

The iphone 3g s

It ranks well alongside the likes of the Palm Pre and the HTC Magic. Since the first iPhone was released Apple hasn't been bettered in the touchscreen stakes, which is a marvellous accolade. It showed the mass public just how simple touch technology can be.

The iphone 3g s

Thankfully, the rivals are finally catching up, with both the Pre and the Magic sporting great touchscreen examples as well, but Apple deserves top spot simply for coming in and showing an industry how it's done.


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