Should you choose iPhone 3G or 3GS?

We compare both handsets now they're on Orange as well as O2

Apple iPhone

Now the iPhone 3G and 3GS have landed on Orange as well as O2, it's time to look at which of Apple's handsets you should plump for.

After all, you do pay a fair price premium for the extra functionality of the 3GS.

So we'll look at the features you can't get on the 3G, but that you do get on the 3GS first, before looking at the firmware upgrades to the 3G that mean you get at least some of the functionality that was originally marketed with the 3GS.

In terms of pure hardware the 3GS is essentially an improved processor (apparently up to 600MHz), a better 3MP camera with video recording and an upgrade to 32GB of memory.

At the announcement of the iPhone 3GS, a packed crowd hung on every word, lapping up every new feature Apple had deigned to bestow upon us. The thing is it didn't take long, as Apple released a new phone bearing a significant resemblance to the original version.

Indeed, the only palpable difference in the chassis is the iPhone lettering is now mirrored in the same way as the Apple logo was on the last iteration.

What you don't get on the 3G

Although the 3G has the same software version as the 3GS, the older hardware means you do miss out on a few things. You don't get autofocus on the camera – the hardware doesn't support it – and there's no Compass app because the 3G doesn't have a compass.

This means that the Maps app doesn't rotate to your current orientation, but it doesn't hamper things if you want to use the iPhone as a sat-nav. It uses the GPS chip only and that's in both models.

You can't shoot or edit video either, so your MMS messages are limited to photos, and of course you don't get the speed boost from the 3GS's faster processor or the battery life improvements.

Finally, you don't get the voice control features of the iPhone 3GS on the 3G: Apple says the 3GS has digital signal processing technology that the 3G doesn't.