As compared to the hype surrounding the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS has been receiving quite a dull response. Even the long queues we had seen outside Apple Stores abroad during the iPhone launch are missing now. Simply put, the iPhone 3GS isn’t really attracting the crowd. Nevertheless, there is a new phone out there and before we can bring you a complete review of the handset that will arrive in India at the end of August, we managed to get our hands on one to give you a preview. Here is what we felt about the handset.
The iPhone 3GS looks identical to the iPhone 3G. Surprisingly, Apple hasn’t done anything to make it look any different; not even an iPhone 3GS label on it. The box is the only place where ‘3GS’ is mentioned. And this is one of the key reasons that make us believe that this should have or was to be the first 3G in the first place. The iPhone 3GS is nothing but a carbon copy of the iPhone 3G. The placement of the ports and the finish is all the same and you still have a grease addicted iPhone. Overall, I would say it’s going to be a bit disappointing for many who aspired to buy the handset just for its flaunt value.
The 3.0 OS brings along with it several goodies. We’ll briefly write about a few of them that we tried out on the iPhone 3GS.
The compass is a neat addition for the traveler. We didn’t get a chance to compare it with a standard compass, but we will when we get the 3GS for a longer time.
Voice Commands is something that we all wanted and finally it’s here in the iPhone 3GS. Just holding down the Home Screen button for a couple of seconds takes you to a screen where you can Call, Play and Dial, and the iPhone will do as you command. However, only after repeated attempts was the iPhone 3GS able to carry out my command correctly.
Voice Over :
Voice is a good feature for those who are visually impaired. For those who are not, well, it’s pretty irritating. Single touch just brings the focus to selection and double tapping selects.
There are more features seen in the 3GS, which go over. The Internet Tethering feature is something that is finally here and will now enable the phone to share its internet connection with other devices. One thing that bothered us was the missing APN profile. Now you can’t access your data, so basically no GPRS or EDGE. But there is a fix available as we searched online. But why is it missing in the first place is something.
The other features are more or less covered in the iPhone 3.0 OS article that we earlier carried.
3.2MP Camera- Touch-Focus :
The iPhone 3Gs has a 3.2MP camera, which is an auto-focus module. This is one of few hardware changes that come along now. The camera is simplistic and doesn’t provide with any options to adjust the brightness or contrast levels. Also, there is no Macro mode, but the touch-focus is pretty good. All you do is just touch the object in your screen that you wish to focus on and then the lens auto adjusts the focus.
Video Recording :
The iPhone 3GS is a powerful device as compared to the iPhone 3G and this in turn is demanding on the battery of the phone. We didn’t really get to test the battery but it sure seems that the battery won’t live up to the power demands. For the little time that we got to use the phone, the iPhone 3GS had to be charged for 10-15 min for every 30 min , and this was without Wi-Fi or connected to a network. However, the verdict will have to wait but I feel that the device is going to lose points because of its battery consumption.
Final Words :
So far, the iPhone 3GS has the same charm that the first-gen iPhone had when it was launched. The real downer here is the same looks. The hardware changes are all very much welcome but the question that was asked later by friends and colleagues was “is it worth it?” Well, for the expected pricing of around 30K for the 16GB and 35k for the 32GB, it seems quite fine.
As and when the iPhone 3GS releases, the price of the standard iPhone 3G should fall. Now the iPhone 3GS doesn’t leave the standard 3G far behind in overall performance and the price to value of the 3G will surely increase. But this is all speculative and we’ll know about that only when the iPhone 3GS releases and the pricing is fixed, till then we will have to wait.