My Initial Impressions of iPhone 3GS

Posted by Minnaar Pieters 06 Aug 2009
I have had the iPhone 3GS for a week now, so I thought i might just tell you my first impressions. This is not meant to be a review, so I will just give a quick once-over on what is new on the 3GS:

This is the major change. And, oh boy, does it make a difference. I was never particularly bothered by the speed of the older 3G model. In fact, if I never used the 3GS I would have been blissfully unaware of the 3G's slower processor and lower capacity RAM. Applications start much faster, things react quicker below you fingers, graphically rich apps have much higher framerates as well. Playing a game like Hero of Sparta is significantly better on the new 3GS. Here is a video (please excuse the poor focus, but you get the idea):

The 3GS of course also has increased network speeds - 7.2 Mbps to be exact. I did not notice significantly faster internet speeds, but browsing is indeed faster, but I think that is down to the processor and memory. Data transfer and backups in iTunes is also a lot faster (and the 32GB of storage does not hurt either!)

New Camera:
The camera has been upgraded to a less mediocre 3.2 megapixel, up from the old 2MP. But the major difference is the addition of the autofocus lens, which does make photos a lot better. But the coolest part is the new "click to focus" feature, which enables you to focus on specific parts of the screen. While new Nokia's can set the aperture in photos, this comes close, and is much more intuitive. Video recording is now also a feature, and it is very good. While it is not HD video, the framerate is excellent. Videos can be trimmed on the device, and then it can be compressed and sent to Youtube without any fuss. It works a treat.

Voice Control:

This is seriously cool. Yes, I know your Nokia had it since 2002, but this is a different breed. This actually works, and is not some feature you try once and forget. You simply hold in the home button for a few seconds (even while locked) It recognizes number you want to dial (e.g.: "Dial Five Five FIve, One Two Three Four"), Names, Nicknames and perhaps the coolest, it controls the iPod. For example you say: "Play album Hail to the Thief" and it repeats you. You can also use Genius by simply saying "Play more songs like this" and it will then tell you *Playing Genius playlist based on There There by Radiohead". Very cool, and it works great while you are driving. Here is a video (once again sorry for the lack of proper focus):

Battery life:
Whatever Apple tells you, battery life has not improved. I use my iPhone quite extensively, with Push EMail and Find My iPhone activated. While browsing through wifi gets a little more battery life, the overall experience has not changed. You are still going to charge your iPhone every night.

I will still a post a full review later!
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I am a R&D Analyst in Stellenbosch South Africa who has a immense passion for all things tech related. I embrace technology, open source and web standards, and I participate and contribute to the social web.