Apple iPhone 3GS Review
By Ricky Mauch
- June 28, 2009
Pros: The Apple iPhone 3GS is the latest iOS device from the brand that finally adds the usual cell phone features like the MMS, video recording, & voice dialing. It also performs faster, and comes with a longer battery life.
Cons: The Apple iPhone 3GS seems to be just a minor upgrade to its predecessor, the iPhone 3G and its call quality shows no improvements according to many. There’s still no Flash Lite, USB transfer & storage.
The Apple iPhone 3GS is now here though many are saying that it is yet another marketing ploy by Apple since it is just a redefined version of its predecessor, the iPhone 3G. Well.. let us see, because I have a feeling that it is not, but it is a whole new device that offers better performance and user experience. Here in my review of the device, I will talk about the Apple iPhone 3GS’ features, design, build, software and performance. So if you want to know more about the 3GS, read on. It is said that the new iPhone 3GS is faster, and offers a better network connection. It also offers extended battery life, more memory, and lots of new features. In my preliminary tests, the battery lasted a day which is quite impressive and I noticed that the phone's software ran faster as well. However,t, I noticed some concerns, call quality has not been improved, though it is OK it still remains far from perfect. Now the question is, “So should you buy it?” I guess it will depend on how much you'll have to pay for the device, but if it is just your first time to own an iPhone, then go for it. If you are an iPhone 3G owner, I am not sure really not unless you are eligible to upgrade for $199 for the 16GB model & $299 for the 32GB model with a new two-year contract. If you are not eligible for the upgrade, I’d suggest that you wait for the next model, and just upgrade your iPhone 3G to the new iPhone OS 3.0 operating system. Let us talk about its design and interface. The Apple iPhone 3GS looks like the previous model. It still has the same shape & external controls, though there are some differences. Its memory sizes are available in white or black, and its display now sports a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, which makes it more resistant to fingerprints and smudges. The Apple iPhone 3GS still has the same dimensions as with the iPhone 3G though it is slightly heavier weighing 4.76 ounces VS 4.7 ounces. The external design is very similar to the previous model, along with its menu interface. Feature wise, the 3GS offers more compared to the 3G version. Aside from the clock, iPod player, calculator, YouTube, weather, and e-mail it now offers MMS, video recording, & voice dialing. It now has a 3MP camera but to our dismay – it still has no editing features. There’s no options to adjust white balance, digital zoom, and there’s also no self-timer that comes with other brands with VGA cameras. The iPhone 3GS' camera still lacks a flash. But then again, this phone now allows you to record videos making it the first iPhone to offer video recording. It’s video recorder is easy to use and comes with a simple interface that allows you to edit clips right on the display. Cool huh? It also offers voice dialing with the new Voice Control feature that goes far beyond just making calls. With this new Voice Control feature, users can make calls & control the iPod player. There’s also this digital compass that can be accessed directly on the Home screen. The compass interacts with Google Maps, and point users in the right direction. Other salient features include accessibility features, support for Nike + iPod, iPhone OS 3.0, Multimedia messaging, “Cut, copy, and paste” feature, landscape keyboard, spotlight, tethering, text messaging, stereo Bluetooth, and turn by turn directions. The turn-by-turn directions feature makes the iPhone 3GS a fully functional GPS device. The iPhone OS 3.0 is indeed a significant update that promises lots of new which include the long awaited a voice recorder, multimedia messaging, stereo Bluetooth, and cut, copy, and paste. Finally, the MMS feature is here and I am glad about it. Now, you can send videos, audio files, and map locations using the new Apple iPhone 3GS. One more thing, the cut, copy, and paste feature is now available on the 3GS version. What’s more is that the interface is very simple and easy to use, & it works across all app. The landscape keyboard which used to work only in Safari now works in e-mail, text messaging, and notes. Another new feature is the Spotlight, which will allow to you search a variety of files on your iPhone 3GS. Tethering is another addition though it is carrier-dependent. What I like most is that the Bluetooth profile arrives with iPhone OS 3.0. I tested it with my LG HBS-250 stereo Bluetooth headset and it works like charm. It comes with an updated iTune that allows you to rent and purchase movies, download TV programs & audiobooks, and gives you access to iTunes U. I did test the Apple 3GS version in our area using AT&T network and I encountered mixed results. Yup, there are improvements in some areas, but there are trouble in some areas, while there are no change in others. The audio clarity and the call quality is OK on both ends. Speaker phone quality is OK as well. Network speeds is OK, but this could have been improved. I expected a much faster connection compared to the previous ones, but to no avail – it’s almost the same experience with my iPhone 3G. But then again, the performance is superb! No lags, sudden shutdowns, and launching application is almost instantaneous. The battery lasted longer as well, and I must say that Apple did a great job in the battery category. I give this device a rating of 4/5, as it is almost like the previous iPhones with a few new additional features.