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iPhone 3GS review

The definitive verdict on the new 3G S iPhone

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 3 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 12 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 320

View full specification

For

  • Great touchscreen
  • Faster processor
  • iPhone 3.0 software
  • Camera with autofocus

Against

  • Poor coverage at times
  • Expensive to upgrade to
  • Internet tethering costs extra
  • Battery life doesn't seem to have been improved

Battery life, despite being tipped as much longer on the new iPhone, seemed to be pretty similar to the iPhone 3G.

When browsing the web, calling and uploading over 3G intensively, we hit around 5-6 hours of functionality, which is pretty much the same as the last iPhone. Over 2G we managed to make the phone last for a day under heavy use, but that's mostly because we got too irritated with the web to really use it hard.

In normal use, with the phone searching for a 3G signal, it works pretty well for around a day, with some video watching and song playback thrown in as well. We haven't tested it solely as a media player, because if that's all you're buying the iPhone 3GS for, then you're better off with a standard iPod touch really.

One thing that did irritate us was the fact that while tethering to a PC or Mac the battery didn't seem to charge at all, despite claims to the contrary. It's only a little niggle, but we hoped that it would be able to survive some data transfer and top up the juice at the same time.

The iphone 3g s

The calendar function of the iPhone is a bit simplistic too - the normal version is somewhat akin to any basic mobile phone. Out of the box it seems there's not a lot you can do, as the calendar doesn't prompt you to sync up with anything.

However, Google has kindly put together some instructions on syncing your calendar (and contacts and Gmail, of course) so if you've got the time you can get all settings-ified and use push to sync with your calendar. There's also the option for syncing with Mobile Me should you want to be all integrated with your Mac, although neither of these options is particulalry well publicised in the Calendar application itself.The iphone 3g s

We're also seeing the entrance of Voice Memos with the new iPhone 3GS, with the ability to record sound and watch the meter at the bottom twitch in time with your voice. Yes, it looks nice; yes it adds a bit more functionality, but Apple, really? It took you this long to work out how to put it in the iPhone? Shame on you.

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
Operating System VersioniOS 4
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Height115.5 mm
Width62.1 mm
Depth12.3 mm
Radio TunerNo
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