First Impressions: iPhone 3GS


apple-3gs-iphoneAfter a wait of 4 days, FedEx plopped my new iPhone 3GS on my doorstep yesterday. After hearing all the stories about how difficult it was to get one – Apple sold 1 million 3GS phones in the first 3 days alone – I went online and bought it from the AT&T store and figured that I would wait it out.

To my surprise and delight, I ordered it on Thursday and it arrived on Monday. Not bad at all, especially with the intervening weekend to slow things down. I received a black one, which is what I wanted, although I didn't have the option to order it in white. Word is that Apple will make the 3GS available in other colors once the buying frenzy subsides.

I bought my 2G with 8GB the day after Apple dropped the price on that model from $600 to $400. Although my 2-year contract had a few more months to run, I was able to upgrade for $18, so I jumped on board.

After lovingly unpacking the box, which in itself is an object d’art,  I plugged the phone in for about an hour to make sure I had a fully charged battery (it was already partially charged). Then, I fired up iTunes to activate the phone with Apple and transfer my existing apps and music to my new phone. The entire process took about an hour, which is less than I expected because I also had heard horror stories about Apple having problems handling activation requests.

Once that was done, I went online to activate the iPhone with AT&T, which took all of about 15 minutes, again a pleasant surprise.

The first thing I noticed was everything was speedier — apps loaded faster and I was able to move icons from one screen to the other with a zipadeedoodah. I launched Free Memory, after about an hour of toying around and saw that I had 81.77 MB room left to play with. With my 2G, if I had say, 22 MB, it was a big deal.

I fired up Speed Test-iNetwork to see what kind of download speeds and latency I was getting off 3G and EDGE networks. It was no contest, as you would expect. Now, I'm looking at getting downloads speeds that are almost twice as fast. "You can't beat that with a stick," as my friend Howie used to say.

This phone sounds better too. The familiar click, for example, was replaced by one that is “meatier,” which is about the only way I can describe it. The phone is louder for the same setting as my 2G and the ring tone seems more full. All this is purely subjective, I admit, but all I can say is that it rings with quality.

The headphone jack is no longer proprietary like it is on my 2G. Listening to music with a high-quality pair of Sennheiser headphones was a revelation compared to everyday earphones like the one Apple includes with the iPhone and iP touch.

It's still early, so please give me a little time to poke around with the hardware and report in.

Next up: I'll answer the question that everyone wants to know: Should I upgrade to the new iPhone 3GS?

Crave More Apps? Subscribe to the Newsletter or grab the RSS feed.

  • Aleksander

    I will upgrade to 3Gs, for sure. But only if i can jailbrake it.

  • iPhone Wonder

    First Impressions: iPhone 3GS - iPhone Apps | AppCraver

  • Michael Alexander

    The iPhone Dev team is holding back on releasing an new jailbreaking tools until the iPhone 3GS is widely available and Apple's iPhone OS 3.0.1 is rolled out.

    While you're waiting, you're missing out on a bunch of new goodies. I did the jailbreak thing for a while and decided it wasn't worth the bother or potential risk of bricking my phone. The current OS 3.0 pretty much makes jail breaking a waste of time, anyway.