Unless you’ve been communicating via carrier pigeon for the past couple of years, you can’t fail to have clapped eyes on Apple’s iPhone. Originally launched in June 2007 to more fanfare than a trumpet convention, the iPhone 3G S marks the smartphone’s third incarnation, but it’s only just learning some of the most basic tricks in the mobile phone book.Video recording, a built-in compass to help with navigation, and voice control. All are new to the iPhone 3G S, but frequently found on smartphones and dumbphones from Nokia, HTC, and a host of other rivals. So what makes the iPhone 3G S so special?
It’s that S. It stands for speed, and is what really pushes the new iPhone ahead of the crowd. Opening apps on Apple’s new baby is lightening quick. In a couple of seconds you can zip between functions, search through e-mails, find your location on a map or just listen to music. The iPhone 3G S rarely struggles with whatever task you throw its way, thanks to a hefty bump in its processor speed, and a much needed memory boost. The new functions are smart too: Voice control extends beyond the basic call-making abilities of the iPhone 3G S, letting you bark commands at the iPod music player too. You can even ask the iPhone questions. “Who sings this song?” for instance. It’s astoundingly accurate, and rarely fluffs the instructions its given. Likewise, Apple has crammed in impressive camera improvements. The iPhone 3G S can record video at smooth DVD quality, and boasts an autofocus and automatic macro mode to produce better pictures than ever.
On the software side, the iPhone 3G S fails to delivery anything drastically different to its older (and identically designed) cousin, the iPhone 3G. That's not exactly a bad thing, considering the older software was already starting high up on the curve.
The bottom line
So is it worth the upgrade? If you already have an iPhone 3G, we wouldn’t recommend the outlay. However, if you’ve yet to hop onboard the iPhone bandwagon Apple’s tweaks and improvements should be enough to convince you.