iPhone 3G S Reviewed My Way.

August 19, 2009 by Ryan Ray 

The iPhone 3G S has been out for awhile, I even went out and bought it the day it was released after selling my iPhone 3G on Ebay. If you can recall I was often debating it back and forth. Should I get the new iPhone or wait for another year until the next one comes out. Well I decided it depended on if my iPhone 3G sold well on Ebay. Obviously it did and I went out to get my iPhone 3G S. I’ve been using the heck out of it ever since.

I was on a 6 week mini tour at the time and didn’t have much internet connections or time to blog, so I kept doing my usual reviews. I did write up a few things about the iPhone 3G S, but just realized this week that I had never wrote about my own perspective on the iPhone 3G S. How crazy could I be?! Well we’re going to stop that today, and I want to give you a full blown, hands own, personalized review of what I think about the iPhone 3G S. It’s going to be fair and us unbiased as I can be. I’ve been using the phone for awhile now and I believe I can make a pretty good judgement. The “Ooohh it’s new” factor has worn off. So what do I think about it. Do I still love the iPhone, is it a worthy upgrade from the original iPhone, should you bother with upgrading from the iPhone 3G? Read below and let’s talk about this new piece of hardware.


Check out my previous post first that covers the basics of the iPhone 3G S, We don’t need to repeat that here. If you need more, well as they say…Google it. Tons of sites have recycled the same mumbo jumbo as others. I’m giving you something personal here.


The hardware is definitely beefed up. Apparently it’s got quite the processor and video chip in it, but of course it’s underclocked. The RAM was at least doubled as well. All in all this makes a huge difference in performance. It may not seem like much at first, but I’m welcoming these speed boosts with open arms. As they say everything is “snappier.”  Apps, especially games, load much quicker. If you get tired of waiting or sometimes see that your iPhone hangs, I’ve yet to experience this.

The 3.0 software also is great. It runs perfectly on the iPhone 3G S, as it may not have on certain iPhone 3G’s. I’ve covered the features that EVERYONE got HERE with this post, but some of the features that not everyone got were the compass, voice dialing, video recording, new camera features, MMS & tethering.

My Favorites:

Sadly I can’t tell you anything about MMS yet, curse you AT&T. When the iPhone opens to other carries you will be sorry, you will be sorry. I did some secret testing on tethering and that works beautifully. Hypothetically I was at a camp and the camp didn’t have Wifi, but we got 3G service. In order to send a few important emails, I did what I had to do and I can tell you it’s a beautiful feature. Hopefully AT&T makes a good move with their tethering options, I doubt it though. Screw you AT&T.

iPhone 3G S Internet Tethering

Voice dialing is fun, and I rarely use it for making calls. I should implement that more into my use of the phone. I do use it when listening to the iPod. I have the ear buds in and I tell it to make a genius playlist, or skip ahead, or pause, etc… It’s really quite useful. With that in mind, I’m going to try and use it to the fullest.

The next three features are what really sold me on buying the iPhone 3G S. Compass, video recording, & new improved camera.

Italicized because it’s that important to know. I am a HUGE fan of creating media. That includes photography and videos. The iPhone 3G S has finally brought both to me in a small package. Now I often carry around my dSLR and HD Camera, but often I find myself only with my iPhone. My favorite quote as of late I believe came from Chase Jarvis, or it’s just a photography quote in general,

“The best camera is the one you have with you.”

I’ve been harping this into my head, and it’s helped me fall back in love with my iPhone’s camera. The iPhone 3G S camera has a tap to autofocus feature that works great, it shoots at 1 megapixel higher than before, and in general it’s a great improvement to the camera functions. With the app store you’ll become addicted to shooting on the iPhone. I’ve recently heard that on Flickr the iPhone is the most used camera for picture uploads. It’s really blossomed into it’s own art form. Pictures from the iPhone. Myself along with others have even created their own sets for iPhone pictures. It’s turning into a fun community to be involved in. Check it out for yourself with your iPhone.

iPhone 3G S Camera Focus iPhone 3G S Camera Autofocus

To go along with the camera I use the compass a lot when I’m out and about. Two instances come to mind from the recent past. I’ve used it when out on the lake, just to track my way back through the coves and turns. It got us back to the dock and back here to write this. Secondly I used it when shooting with my dSLR, especially for sunsets. My tripod does have a tiny compass on it, but I often don’t have the tripod out. When the meteor shower was going on I used it to setup my tripod in the dark and aim it the right direction to catch them. I was unsuccessful but I was at least aimed in the right part of the sky.

iPhone 3G S Compass

Finally let’s talk about video recording. Honestly I love the video recording I just haven’t used it as much as I should. I feel like it’s coming though. All of the apps that will start coming out for video recording, especially if a service like Twitpic for video gets integrated into all of the Twitter apps. Maybe I should make that website? I used the iPhone’s video camera a lot out on tour, but haven’t that much since being back. It’s great to quickly capture something that you don’t need to break out the full gear for. With 3G around you can quickly edit and upload the video to YouTube. Nothing beats that quick system of publishing a video. You can see how the quality of the video looks by clicking HERE. It’s decent enough for me, and like I said earlier supposedly the camera could shoot in HD it’s just been limited not to.


So what else am I missing out on? It has the same price as the iPhone 3G last year at $199. The storage has been increased, and it can use the new, faster 3G network. Something like 7.2 Mbps instead of 3. Not really sure on that as I haven’t tested it side by side with a regular 3G iPhone. I believe we covered it all in previous posts and with this one. My verdict for upgrading from the original iPhone is DO IT NOW. For upgrading from the iPhone 3G, only if you compensate yourself by selling the other one on Ebay and if you really love the unique features I talked about. Then the iPhone 3G S will really be worth it for you. Otherwise hold out one more year to see what’s next from Apple. You know I will probably be upgrading as I like to have the latest and greatest, but we will see how that goes when the time comes.

If you’ve upgraded do tell and let us all know what you think about it. Was it worth it, and what’s your favorite part. As always I love you all for taking the time to read, and sorry my offiical review is so late. Thank you.

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