Apple IPhone 3Gs: Advancing the Mobile Technology

The demand and the long queues when the iPhone 3G was released last year was no different from the first one. To say that each release of a new iteration of the iPhone is crazy is an understatement. Last June, at the Worldwide Developers Conference, the company unleashed yet another version of the phone. Called the iPhone 3GS, the device is so named for the overall increase in speed. There’s now a 600MHz ARM processor powering the new models. The extra horsepower is further boosted by improvements to the graphic architecture with a PowerVR SGX graphics chip that now enables 30 frames-per-second video recording at VGA mode. RAM has also been doubled-from 1 28MB to 256MB-as has the 3G data throughput of 7.2 Mbps where available. Initial impressions? The iPhone 3GS is indeed twice as fast as the iPhone 3G, especially when rendering complex websites or when loading graphics-intensive games. The increased RAM and the graphics boost make things run a lot faster. Even negligible tasks like booting up or synching with iTunes are much faster because of the new components. Not to take anything away from the iPhone 3G (which is still an excellent device), but next to the 3GS it just seems slower. Shutterbugs will love the improved 3-megapixel camera that does stills and videos, offers geo-tagging, autofocus, white balance, and exposure. A neat add-on is the touch-to-focus feature that can help when separating an object from the foreground. The camera, even at 3MP, sealed the deal for me since I often need to take snapshots of events, products or people but don’t want to lug my digicams around. The addition of video is a big bonus, especially since videos can be edited in-camera and uploaded to MobileMe or YouTube straight from the iPhone. Another big plus for me-and a good enough reason to upgrade-is the availability of a 32GB model. Apple also kept the basic design of the iPhone 3G for the iPhone 3GS, so those of us who have already spent a mall fortune on cases, accessories, and battery extenders (like the amazing Mophie Juice Pack Air) can breathe a sigh of relief. Apple focused on squeezing even more features in the package, adding only one ounce more of weight while extending the battery life by 30%. The screen is very similar to the iPhone 3G; side-by-side there’s very little difference. The iPhone 3GS also features a new fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating that attracts fewer smudges. With its speedy processor, increased storage space, and multimedia and communications features, the iPhone 3G5 is a handheld computer as much as it is a phone. An evolutionary, rather than revolutionary leap, the iPhone 3GS is the definitive smartphone to beat today.

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