The Apple iPhone entered the mobile phone market with huge fanfare, and surprisingly, the phone lived up to all the expectations that were set up beforehand. It is perhaps the most popular phone model to date and, considering the number of phones that currently flood the marketplace, that is quite the achievement.
The 3GS model packs in a number of new features, so consumers investing in the new model definitely feel that there is value for money. The latest release from the Apple stable is able to withstand hard scrutiny.
Look, Design, Feel (/10)
The Apple iPhone is iconic. The design is compared favourably to every touch screen phone that succeeds it. Therefore Apple is presented with a problem: do they stick to the original design that has proved so popular and just revamp the innards, or do they do a design overhaul as well? Considering the iPhone 3GS looks exactly like the 3G, they evidently decided to go for option 1.
However, that may not necessarily be a bad thing, because trumping the already sleek and masterful design is going to be a hard task, and not one to be considered lightly.
The iPhone 3GS is supposed to be a better version of the earlier models, and thankfully it accomplishes that thoroughly. In addition to the features packed into the iPhone 3G, there are a few more extras that maybe justify the price tag.
Apple has decided to upgrade their camera from 2 to 3 megapixels, adding autofocus functionality and the option for video recording in for good measure. The video camera module has editing capabilities as well.
The phone now has voice recognition capabilities, allowing the user to control the phone entirely through the sound of their voice. While the feature is a welcome addition, the technology has been available in iPhone contemporary phones for a sometime now and it is too little too late at this point.
Interestingly, there is a compass embedded in the phone. A fairly unique concept, considering that some phones come with GPS. Together with the GPS, it forms a powerful locator application. The Maps application will also orient the map to the actual direction in which the user is facing, making it a thoroughly cool app in all.
For the Apple aficionados, this particular iPhone model should satisfy most of their gadget cravings. The 3GS packs in an iPod into the phone, finally allowing the savvy user to relegate iPods to gyms only.
The storage capacity has increased too, with the option of a 16 GB or 32 GB phone. Considering that video is now an integral part of the iPhone experience, this a seriously welcome addition.
3G is the latest mobile Internet technology, and that is exactly what the iPhone packs in. With 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, there is no one complaining about speed. It has Bluetooth, EDGE, Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 ports.
Essentially, it is the last word in connectivity technology, barring one old school interface - infrared. But no one really uses that anymore, so again there are no complaints in this particular department.
An additional component, currently not supported on US networks, is Internet tethering. A user with an iPhone and a Mac, for instance, can use the 3G from their iPhone to browse on their computer. It is an interesting concept, and once there is support, it could potentially turn the market for portable Internet modems in Apple's favour.
One of the key features of the latest iPhone model is the speed at which webpages render in the browser. The new phone is able to load all data twice as fast as the earlier models.
In more mundane terms, the battery life during talk-time, video recording and standby has not been significantly improved upon from previous models. 300 hours is the best that the iPhone could offer, and that still remains the status quo.
Value for Money (/10)
New models of iPhone are available with larger storage capacities of 16 GB and 32 GB phones. This is a major leap, and even though the storage capacity has doubled and quadrupled, the steep increase in price is not altogether justified.
+ Classic iPhone design and interface
+ Video recording support, with autofocus and editing.
+ 3 megapixel camera
+ Increased speed for downloads and Internet surfing
+ Voice commands
+ Built-in compass to complement the GPS application
+ iPod-like functionality
+ Use of MobileMe to link all Apple devices
+ Multitouch user interface
+ Accelerometer sensor
+ Massive storage capacity with 16 GB or 32 GB options
- Quite expensive
- No Java support
- No Flash support
- No multi-threading support; only one application can run on the phone at a time