Those who know me wont be surprised that I went out and bought the new iPhone 3GS straight away. From all the information that had been released at WWDC it was clear that the changes were not massive, but it was really only a small upgrade.
A lot of the new features are actually part of OS 3.0, and also available on the existing models:
- Landscape mode and keyboard in Notes. Mail and Messages
- Forward SMS and MMS messages
- Delete individual SMS or MMS messages
- Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)
- Spotlight search
- Search in Mail, IPod and Notes
- Push notifications
But some new features are limited to the new hardware:
- Voice recognition (call contacts, launch music,…)
- Video recording (including basic editing) and direct upload to mobile.me and YouTube
This brings me to the biggest noticeable change: The new camera. The image quality is clearly better and finally really usable. It is not going to replace my Canon G9 or even the 500D, but compared to the old camera it is a much needed improvement. Especially the “touch to focus” is impressive and really cool. In addition it can finally also take video. The quality is certainly acceptable and moved closer to the quality which is achievable with other mobile phones already.
But, is all of this really worth the upgrade? Probably not. But there is one more thing: The faster processor! And this is where it is becoming interesting. The experience with the existing models was certainly not bad at all, but sometimes the UI behaved slower then I would want it to have, and especially starting applications was a sometimes rather lengthy process.
This has changed a lot on the 3GS. Everything has become snappier and more usable! If you use your phone a lot, you will notice this straight away and won’t want to miss it anymore.
Have a look at the following video I took to make it more visible.
But not only the overall speed of the UI has changed. The 3G download/data speed has also improved a lot. I am not sure if this is true for every network, but my experience on the O2 network here in the UK is much better now. Download speeds have nearly doubled. I get speeds around 2Mbits/s on a regular basis now, which was a very rare situation before.
So, is it worth it? For me, the answer is a clear yes! I don’t regret it at all, although it was an expensive upgrade, and probably not worth it for everybody.