iPhone 3GS – Few improved features

CellphonesOn April 14, 2010 at 4:41 am



This is the third generation of Apple’s iPhone and the ‘S’ in 3 GS stands for speed. Better speed is supposed to come in lots of ways on this latest iteration of iPhone. Firstly, I did notice the faster processor in the cell phone when I opened the applications. Apart from that, scrolling through the pages is also a lot faster. 3G speed however, will depend on AT&T’s network. The service provider says they are moving to its HSDPA network which is supposed to provide 7.2 MBPS speed but that is going to take a while. Till then you will be stuck with slower 3G speeds even though the phone has all the necessary hardware for better 3G.

Speaking of the design, it is almost the same as its predecessor. It comes in black and white versions. Storage options are 16 GB and 32 GB, the latter being latest addition. One new feature on iPhone 3GS is the inclusion of iPhone OS 3.0. Some of the things to watch out for are the new additions to multimedia messaging (when AT&T is ready), cut copy paste for text messages, landscape mode for keyboard.

iPhone 3GS’s camera has been improved to 3 MP and now it offers you video recording. The bigger resolution of the camera gives you better image quality as compared to the previous iPhone 3G. I noticed that outdoor shots looked much better than indoors. In fact, for the latter, the improvement was negligible. A new feature here is tap to focus. If you want the iPhone 3GS to focus on a particular object, just tap it on the screen and you will get a small square. I tried this feature and did notice some improvement. I put a piece of paper on my desk and tapped on the camera to focus on the writings of the paper. The words appeared much clear. However, when I tapped outside the paper, somewhere on the desk, the clarity was gone.

When you click a photo, a small thumbnail will appear on the bottom of the screen. This is a nice feature; you get to see what you have clicked. When you click on the thumbnail, the phone takes you directly to the gallery. Video recording is a big addition to the camera feature. I’d been dying for video recording on this camera. I don’t know why Apple didn’t put it in the first place, all big cell phone cameras come with one. Once you go in to the camera mode, you just slider the tiny button which relates to camcorder.

Interface for video recording is the same, you just press the button at the bottom and it starts recording clips. Apple tries to do something out of the box here by giving you an built in video editing tool. It is really easy to use. Just open the clip and move your finger on the top of the band. Select the part which you want and then press the Trim button. Editing is linear, you cannot cut two or more parts and then join them together. Also, once you edit a clip, it replaces the original file, you cannot keep both of them with you. You need to be careful with this, if you are trimming, you might be creating a whole new video.

Once you are done with the trimming, you can send it through Multimedia Message (it is not available yet). You can also email it and then upload it to YouTube. Video quality was good, at least on the phone, colors looked a bit muted but it is VGA camera so I won’t complain much about that. The camcorder could also handle movements a lot better as compared to other phones.

Apart from the camera, you get the compass which gives you true north and magnetic north and also the longitude/latitude of your location. This interacts with the maps too, you have to press the bulls eye function and the map will rotate as you rotate the phone.

The third big addition to the iPhone 3GS is Voice Control feature. You have to hold down the button and then say the contact’s name or number. The cell phone will then dial it for you. Battery life of this is improved, according to Apple. If you have used the iPhone 3G, you should know that the battery goes down in a day. iPhone 3GS has about twice the battery life. It includes nine hours of Wi-Fi, ten hours of video playback, thirty hours of audio playback, twelve hours of 2G talk time, and five hours of 3G talk time.

We welcome all these features on the iPhone but we still have a couple of gripes. The phone still doesn’t support multitasking, the interface’s feel and look cannot be changed, there is no file manger feature, etc. We would like to see all this in future iterations.

Proscn

Common features like voice dialing, video recording and multimedia messaging are finally added. Faster performance, better battery life, awesome multimedia quality

Cons

No improvements in call quality, no support for Flash Lite, multitasking. Internal memory cannot be used for storing data files

Outcome

I won’t this is a huge improvement over the previous iPhone but common features are now added. I won’t recommend an upgrade but if you haven’t got an iPhone yet, this is the time to do it.

Specifications
  • Apple iPhone 3GS
  • Technology – WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Band – WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • Wireless Interface – IEEE 802.11b, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, IEEE 802.11g
  • Integrated digital compass
  • Supported Email Protocols – POP3 , IMAP4
  • 3 megapixels camera, 640 x 480 (VGA) video recording resolution.
  • 3.5 inch touch screen display, 320 x 480 pixels resolution
  • Supported audio formats -  Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, MP3, AAC
  • 16 GB flash memory
  • Lithium ion battery
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