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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

A lot of those reading this will be familiar with the iPhone interface, with the standard 'all icons together' layout making it easy to search for applications without having to trudge through a gallery of menus.

There isn't a great amount of depth in the sub-menus either, with the likes of the iPod, Safari and Photos all managed from one central Setting icon rather than a great degree of control from within each application.

The iphone 3g s

The new iPhone 3.0 software brings a few new things to the interface, namely the addition of Spotlight, which allows you to search comprehensively through the phone, meaning typing in the first two or three letters of a name will bring them up from your contacts, as well as any email messages you have from them in your linked mailbox and any Apps with the same letters in the title.

The iphone 3g s

Accessed by pressing the home key once on the home screen, swiping left from the same place or being set as the function for double tapping the home screen, the search is good, but doesn't let you perform any actions from the search list such as actually replying to a message, instead asking you to enter the contact / message before you can interact with it.

As anyone with an older iPhone will know, the screens can get pretty filled up with applications, to this new feature certainly helps you find Ultra Tetris faster than if you had to scroll through loads of screens.

The iphone 3g s

Where the iPhone interface is slipping behind its high powered rivals is the inability to multi task. Nokia (and other's) Symbian system, Google's Android and Palm's webOS all allow multi-tasking, and in the Pre's case, the 'cards' system fully allows you to see which applications you have open at any one time, and simply throw them off the screen.

What is strange is that the webOS' cards feel very much akin to the way we navigated through multiple tabs in the Safari internet browser, so Apple has the functionality and system in place, just not the OS power to actually execute multi-tasking, meaning any third party Apps that use music cannot be shut down should you wish to keep listening, making the iPhone 3GS very one dimensional in these instances.

That said, it's surely only a matter of time before it does appear on an iPhone, with Apple's excuse that it 'drains the battery too badly' a poor reason in the face of the power-friendly Palm Pre.

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