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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

The internet experience on the iPhone is without par. End of story. Until the likes of Mozilla brings a decent experience with the Fennec mobile browser, we're all going to have to sit back and marvel at how well Apple managed to bring browsing to a mobile phone.

The quandary is obvious: how do you put internet sites designed for a larger screen on a tiny one? Mobile sites are, quite frankly, rubbish, and larger sites take a long time to load and are too expansive to view in one go.

Many people will be outraged that we call Apple's Safari browser the best when it doesn't bring Flash compatibility, but that is its blessing and its curse in one. While some sites might lose out on functionality, the vast majority of web browsing on the mobile will benefit. Flash-heavy sites very rarely bring something of great worth to the mobile experience, and thus its absence (until a decent solution can be found) should be applauded.

The iphone 3g s

The improved processing speed is very much apparent when browsing the internet, with Apple claiming some sites load over twice as quickly, especially when combined with new 7.2Mbps download speeds.

While some sites did indeed feel a lot more snappy (not that they were particularly slow in previous iPhones) the main difference was felt when multiple pages were opened.

We managed to pull out eight separate tabs on the iPhone 3GS before things started to fall apart and judder, which is clearly enough for anyone on the go - we always could find three or four that we weren't using any more and forgot to close down.

The iphone 3g s

This is probably a problem Apple needs to fix, as unless you want to open up all your tabs, there's no way to simply shut down a window, so the open tabs simply mount up until you notice there's a problem.

It's hard to even think of a browser that comes close to the Safari experience, with Opera Mini / Mobile probably the pick of the bunch, mostly because it employs similar functionality to Safari Mobile with features such as double-tapping to reformat the text to fit a mobile screen, so if Apple has any mobile internet laurels, it will surely be tempted to have a quick lie down on them.

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