The performance of the iPhone 3G S is astounding compared to the 3G. If you are a person who notices how quick apps load, or if you just like things snappier, you will notice a big difference.
Before, the text app would load slowly, now it’s instant. When you would rotate an app, it would take some time to change. Now, it rotates instantly. Safari renders pages faster. There really are no complaints in this performance increase, and Apple has lived up to the “S”.
Most of the improvements in this model come from its new operating system, iPhone 3.0. This same OS has also been released as an upgrade for Apple’s earlier models. That’s why I’ve written a separate review that covers the new software features for all these devices:
Camera and Video Recording
There was one thing I always wanted in the iPhone — a better camera. We carry our phones everywhere, but people don’t usually carry a digital camera with them. The 3 MPx camera in the iPhone 3G S is a wish come true.
The picture quality is much better. The phone also has an auto-focus option with a blue box that pops up, or you can tap somewhere and it will focus in on the object.
The iPhone 3G S also offers video recording. This is something very cool. The quality is decent, and it’s extremely easy to shoot and edit video straight on the iPhone. My one main complaint is the fact you can only trim the video. You can’t cut out parts of the middle and such.
You can then send your video off via email, MobileMe, and even upload it straight to YouTube, right from the phone. When you upload the video to YouTube, you can enter all the video information, and see the uploading status.
The one thing that many people wanted, including myself, was a front face camera. Overrated option maybe? Who knows, we might see it in the next iPhone or never see it. I would think Apple would of added that in this iPhone due to them having a camera in all the Mac’s and Macbook’s.
Voice control is a nifty new feature. Once enabled by pressing and holding the home button you can speak a command. It picks up what you say all right. You can only say contact names, and a lot of iPod control commands, such as “Play so and so” or “Shuffle”. There is no way of telling it to open a specific app though.
This is one of those things people have long awaited for in the iPhone, and it will be a nice addition for some, but to be honest I don’t think many people will use that often, except to impress a friend or use it while you’re driving.
Both the iPhone and iPhone 3G had a built-in accelerometer, which could only work if you tilted the phone on an X Y axis. With the iPhone 3G S, it has a built in magnetometer, which can be used on an X-Y-Z axis. So before if you rotated the iPhone 3G flat on a table, it wouldn’t do anything — this is now changed.
You can expect a number of third-party apps to take advantage of this new feature in the future.
The biggest improvement in the Maps app is support for the new built-in compass I just mentioned. On previous devices, when you pressed the Locate button, it would just locate you. If you press it twice now, the iPhone will display a beam showing the direction you are headed. It now also orients the map to the way you are facing, making it much easier to find locations.
Other Various Improvements
The new iPhone features Nike+ integration. Also, you now have the option to show the battery percentage. I love this feature, as it’s a much more accurate way of telling how much power is left. I don’t understand why this option is only available on the iPhone 3G S and not the iPhone 3G or iPhone, it just doesn’t make sense.