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Apple iPhone 3G S review

Apple iPhone 3G S review
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Retail Price: RM 1,230
AP Price: RM 2,190 - 2,270
iPhone 3G S, featuring improved speed and performance-up to twice as fast as iPhone 3G-longer battery life, a high-quality 3 megapixel autofocus camera, easy to use video recording and hands free voice control. iPhone 3G S includes the new iPhone OS 3.0, with over 100 new features.
Review On : Apple iPhone 3G S
Review By Loh Ving Sung
At A Glance:

Local Distributor: : Maxis
Build quality: 9/10
Applications: 9/10
Interface: 9/10
Value-for-money: 7/10
Overall rating: 9/10
+ Attractive
+ Great UI
+ App Store
- Little hardware changes
- Battery life still too short
- No local iTunes support

In the box
- Apple iPhone 3GS
- Dock Connector
- USB Power Adaptor
- 3.5mm headphones
- Manual
- Sim Eject Tool
The iPhone has been everywhere since 2007, and after selling 20 million of these worldwide. Apple released the third generation iPhone-the 3GS. The S stands for speed. The phone also came equipped with a Software upgrade – the iPhone OS 3.0.
Let’s take a look at Apple’s latest.

The iPhone 3GS didn’t see many hardware changes this time around, the phone still retains that same look and size. One central/home button in the front, lock/unlock/reset button on top, the vibrate button is on the left spine and so is the volume rocker. At the top of the phone, there is the 3.5mm jack. Meanwhile, the bottom of the iPhone has the speaker on the right side and the microphone on the left. The dock connector remains in the centre.

The 3GS carries over the 3.5’ OLED capacitive touchscreen, but receives a minor upgrade. The screen is now coated with oleophobic material, which makes the phone easier to clean from fingerprints. The rear of the phone remains fragile and we highly recommend a cover of some sort to retain the phone in pristine condition.
Let’s move on the Speed part of the phone, Apple claims up to double the speeds for the phone. And the hardware changes is reportedly from, 412 MHz to the new 600 MHz processor and the 128 RAM is upgraded to 256MB RAM. We’ve noticed that web pages load faster and app launch faster as well.
The SIM tray remains in place, and will require the SIM eject tool should you opt to swap SIM cards. The 3GS has two memory variants, the 16GB and 32GB. Both variants come in black and white.
One of the upgrades received in the 3GS is the increased battery life, Apple claims increased lifespan. The 3GS' rated battery life is 9 hours of Wi-Fi battery life, 10 hours of video playback, 30 hours of audio playback, 12 hours of 2G talk time, and 5 hours of 3G talk time. While, we agree there is a noticeable increase of battery life, it is still a major limitation for the iPhone. Under heavy use, the phone’s battery will not make it past a day. Apple has included a new battery life indicator.
Another notable mention is the new headphones coming with the 3GS, it comes now with an exterior remote- the volume up/down buttons are self explanatory. However, the central button allows more options for your music or audio tracks, click it once- music pauses/plays, click it twice- fast forwards the track and three clicks for rewinding.
The Compass is new addition hardware wise, as there’s a new Magnetometer installed inside the iPhone. Tap the application and a compass with show the bearing, the longitude and the latitude of your position. You can opt for true or magnetic north. Tap the target button in the app and the phone will locate you on Google Maps, tap the target button again and Maps will rotate to show the direction you are facing.
iPhone 3.0 OS
We’ll cover some of the software upgrades available on the 3.0 OS, which sees several taken-for -granted additions to the iPhone. Let’s focus on the new features.
First off is Voice Control. By holding the central button, voice recognition software will allow you to make calls and access music by giving out specific functions. The OS also recognises several languages as well, as long as there is language support.
Copy and paste functionality is another new addition, double tap the available text in the screen. And a tab will come on allow you to copy, cut or paste. There are also grab points which you can extend the highlights to choose what text you want. The 3.0 also sees MMS being included, simply tap messages and paste the appropriate photo. The landscape QWERTY keyboard, which was previously only available on Safari now, extends to emails, text messaging, and notes.
Internet tethering is also available with the device, Maxis supports the data connections, and this essentially turns your iPhone into a modem. All you have to do is to activate the tethering from the settings menu. We highly recommend consulting your data plan before attempting tethering to your PC or laptop.
There’s also a new Spotlight function which act as an Internal search. At the home screen, pull to the left and tap in the search term and the phone will narrow down all files and display it here. For the disabled, there are addition options to tweak the phone to either help see or listen better.
Apple’s multitouch UI remains the most important aspect of the phone, pinch and double tapping remains highly intuitive when accessing the phone. The iPod option in the phone allows music and video functionality. The 3.0 OS still retains the applications of the previous iPhones, stocks, maps, weather, clock and notes and calculator.
And of course, the App Store can increase the amount of apps you need or just crave. On that note, iTunes is still officially unavailable in Malaysia, so we hope Apple will give us access to some of that content soon.
The 3GS finally see the bulk of the connectivity options, 3.6 Mbps HSDPA, quad band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1, although Apple is still locking down the Bluetooth for pairing with Apple headsets only.
Another upgrade from the 3G is 3.0 megapixel camera with a tap-to-focus function, the picture quality is decent. The tap to focus works very much like an autofocus camera, tap on the closer cup on your desk and the camera will focus into the cup and blur the surrounding objects. If nothing is tapped then the entire frame is focused.
The phone’s camera sees a video recorder option, recording at 30fps. The quality’s decent and allows video editing or trimming as Apple calls it. like copy and paste, there are grab points that can be pulled from one point to the other. However, you can’t cut the middle and paste front and back parts together. The other qualm is your original video capture will be overwritten by the edited video. It is a fun little video editing tool, and should keep video recorders busy.
The pricing of the 3GS is premium, using Maxis’ yardstick two-year contract you’ll be paying up to RM 2390 for the phone upfront (which includes a RM400 prepayment), then there’s monthly commitment of RM100 per month for the 32GB variant.
Bottom line, the 3GS didn’t make that technological leap of its predecessors. There are interesting new additions but many of the upgrades are available through the 3.0 OS. The hardware upgrades alone might not warrant an upgrade from the second generation 3G to the third generation 3GS. The lack of Flash remains our biggest qualm, as the Internet feels stifled without it. The pricing remains a huge hurdle and would deter newcomers and iPhone users alike.
However, if you are new to the iPhones then the 3GS is a worthy smartphone to put in your pocket. The iPhone’s UI retains its ease of use, and the phone remains a strong Multimedia device. Apple’s App store also gives you an additional option to tweak your software needs.

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