Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New iPhone 3GS

The day finally arrived, the new 2009/2010 iPhone model is here:

the iPhone 3GS

Contrary to some rumours, this new iPhone is exactly like the previous 3G model. Down to the exact same size (no need to worry about buying new docks or adapters.).

One of the few difference you'll be able to notice is a new fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating which should help your screen from being smudged as much as before - let's see if that really works out as advertised.

If on the outside there's nothing new to be seen, things are quite different inside:
  • A new (still unspecified) CPU makes it twice as fast as the precioud model.
  • Twice the storage space 16/32GB (still need to find out if RAM duplicated as well.)
  • More efficient Hardware gives it even better battery life
  • New 3Mpixel, auto-focus, macro, low-light, video-capable camera.
  • UMTS/HSDPA 7.2Mbps
  • New 3D hardware accelerated hardware(OpenGL/ES 2.0)
  • Digital compass (magnetometer)
  • Nike+ support

Most of the remaining new stuff are actually due to the upcoming OS 3.0 firmware update (available on the 17th) : copy-paste, MMS, tethering, etc. etc.

Also, we'll finally have TomTom available (at last!) as well as many other turn-by-turn GPS navigation systems (we'll need to see how it works out during SMS/MMS/voice calls.)

There's also a new world os possibilities with 3rd party bluetooth and dock acessories - which might end up being something bigger than most people think. Try imagining using an iPod Touch or iPhone as an interface for... pretty much anything you can imagine: cars, scanners, you name it!

Now... for the annoying stuff:
Some of the new features like video reacording and editing and voice control options (you can now voice dial and control the iPod by talking to it: "What is it playing?", "Play more songs like this", etc.) are only available for the new iPhone 3GS.
There's no hardware limitation why this couldn't be done as well in the previous models.

Though I understand this is way for Apple to "push" customers into buying the new models, I think this will only serve to push them in the opposite direction: preferring to jailbreak their iPhones and unlock those features for free in their 3G and 1st gen iPhones.

By the way, the current 3G iPhone model will still be available for only $99 USD.

Conclusion: this is a good upgrade - nothing revolutionary - but still quite good.
Besides the improved camera (one of its weakest points) you get a much faster iPhone and still get a similar (or slightly better) battery life out of it. Compare that with so many computer upgrades that, although "faster", end up giving you the same "slow" user exeperience as you had with your previous computers.

Will I be trading in my current 3G iPhone for this 3GS one? It's still to soon to tell.
I wouldn't mind upgrading, if I can do so without spending a fortune - on the other hand, I wouldn't mind jailbreaking it to get the voice control and video; and waiting one more year for next year's model (4x times faster? OLED screen? iPhone GT model? :)

For now... all I want is to try the OS 3.0 version.

[iPhone 3G vs iPhone 3GS comparison chart]

[iPhone 3GS new stuff video]

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