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Apple iPhone 3GS
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Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 6,503 user reviews

87%

of customers recommend this product

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  • Ease of use
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Showing 5 star reviews

Created: 06/17/09

iPhone 3Gs - Improves on greatness/OS 3.0 makes a dream

Please see also read my reviews of the iPhone 1.0 & 3G

I've owned a cellphone since 1992. I've always had a "top of the line phone" (I've always had AT&T = formerly Cingular = formerly BellSouth Mobility)

In 17 years having cellphones, I've had over 100 (Yes 100+) different models & makes

The iPhone uses GSM - an international standard technology for cellphones. Verizon & Sprint use CDMA (& variants) - this technology is found in very few places widespread outside the USA & Europe.

One minor hardware complaint about the iPhone has been addressed by Apple - the new iPhone 3GS has an oil resistant coating - making it easier to clean and less "smudgeable"

The 3.0 iPhone OS is very stable. The addition of copy & paste, video, & tethering make "jailbreaking" completely unnecessary (Tethering is promised by AT&T in the US later)

I haven't had signal issues w/ many phones, it's always clumsy interfaces.

Every phone I've ever had, no matter how long I've had it - I've had a problem placing a call on hold & answering another call or joining a call into a 3-way. The iPhone interface is so well designed features are clearly labeled - I don't have that problem

I had an HP iPaq 6515 - I hated the keyboard. (Which is similar in design to Palm & Blackberry smartphones w/ physical keyboards) Physical keyboards on cellphones are hard to see, crowded w/ characters & difficult to use w/ my large fingers. iPhone users should try the pogo stylus if they have issues, but give it it time - you will become proficient within a few weeks

The camera on my iPhone 1.0 & 3G was great. The camera on the new iPhone is stunning though. I see myself taking even more pictures. I use the HP iPrint app to print my photos out. The side by side comparison is noticeable from the 1st gen iPhone camera. The viewfinder & capture buttons are crystal clear. It's easy to transfer photos from iPhone to computer for editing

Unlike most smartphones - that have Windows Mobile, the iPhone has an intuitive interface that's easy to understand & navigate. There's no need to read a manual; it's just simple to understand. A Blackberry makes me ask, "where do I go?" & "what do I do?""

The iPhone 3GS has a faster processor (600Mhz vs 433Mhz) & more RAM (256MB vs 128MB). This makes the iPhone 3GS feel significantly snappier.

Because an iPhone uses standard iPod sync & charge cables, accessories are easy to find.

Battery life is very good & improved from the previous generations of iPhones; even when utilizing power draining features like Wifi & Bluetooth.

I can actually use the calculator on an iPhone, unlike on other cell phones where you have to figure out corresponding keys

The Google Maps feature is amazing w/ the ability to use satellite data, the addition of the compass & GPS pinpoints your location w/ amazing accuracy & even better than dedicated GPS devices. The GPS integration w/ LocateMe is awesome

My complaints:

- Edge data network is acceptable & what I have to connect to the most often but I still have to pay for 3G data access = $10 more each month

- FM transmitters don't work well due to interference

- AT&T has limited some features (at least initially)

The new iPhone is definitely worth the upgrade. I now have enough room to back up the important parts of my hard drive to the iPhone, thanks to the 32GB capacity. I have right at 8GB of music & 6GB of pictures, text message, apps, etc - so the 32GB model will come in handy for me

123 of 132 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 06/17/09

iPhone 3Gs - Improves on greatness / Affordable iPhone

Please also read my reviews of the iPhone 1.0 & 3G.

I've owned a cellphone since 1992. I've always had a "top of the line phone" (I've always had AT&T = formerly Cingular = formerly BellSouth Mobility)

In 17 years having cellphones, I've had over 100 (Yes 100+) different models & makes

The iPhone uses GSM - an international standard technology for cellphones. Verizon & Sprint use CDMA (& variants) - this technology is found in very few places widespread outside the USA & Europe.

One minor hardware complaint about the iPhone has been addressed by Apple - the new iPhone 3GS has an oil resistant coating - making it easier to clean and less "smudgeable"

The 4.0 iPhone OS is very stable. The addition of copy & paste, video, & tethering make "jailbreaking" completely unnecessary

I haven't had signal issues w/ many phones, it's always clumsy interfaces.

Every phone I've ever had, no matter how long I've had it - I've had a problem placing a call on hold & answering another call or joining a call into a 3-way. The iPhone interface is so well designed features are clearly labeled - I don't have that problem

I had an HP iPaq 6515 - I hated the keyboard. (Which is similar in design to Palm & Blackberry smartphones w/ physical keyboards) Physical keyboards on cellphones are hard to see, crowded w/ characters & difficult to use w/ my large fingers. iPhone users should try the pogo stylus if they have issues, but give it it time - you will become proficient within a few weeks

The camera on my iPhone 1.0 & 3G was great. The camera on the new iPhone is stunning though. I see myself taking even more pictures. I use the HP iPrint app to print my photos out. The side by side comparison is noticeable from the 1st gen iPhone camera. The viewfinder & capture buttons are crystal clear. It's easy to transfer photos from iPhone to computer for editing

Unlike most smartphones - that have Windows Mobile, the iPhone has an intuitive interface that's easy to understand & navigate. There's no need to read a manual; it's just simple to understand. A Blackberry makes me ask, "where do I go?" & "what do I do?""

The iPhone 3GS has a faster processor (600Mhz vs 433Mhz) & more RAM (256MB vs 128MB). This makes the iPhone 3GS feel significantly snappier.

Because an iPhone uses standard iPod sync & charge cables - accessories are easy to find.

Battery life is very good & improved from the previous generations of iPhones; even when utilizing power draining features like Wifi & Bluetooth.

I can actually use the calculator on an iPhone, unlike on other cell phones where you have to figure out corresponding keys

The Google Maps feature is amazing w/ the ability to use satellite data, the addition of the compass & GPS pinpoints your location w/ amazing accuracy & even better than dedicated GPS devices. The GPS integration w/ LocateMe is awesome

My complaints:

- Edge data network is acceptable & what I connect to the most often, but I still have to pay for 3G data access = $10 more each month
- FM transmitters don't work well due to interference

The new iPhone is definitely worth the upgrade. I now have enough room to back up the important parts of my hard drive to the iPhone, thanks to the 32GB capacity. I have right at 8GB of music & 6GB of pictures, text message, apps, etc - so the 32GB model will come in handy for me

99 of 114 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 06/23/09

Upgrading? Here's what you need to know...

If you're upgrading from a Blackberry or even from an iPhone 3G (2008), here's what you need to know about the iPhone 3GS (2009).

THE GOOD:
- Battery life is excellent. I used the phone for over 8 hours yesterday and still had 20% battery left. Much improved over the 2008 model.
- The screen has an anti-smudge coating which works WONDERS! I have yet to see a smudge or fingerprint on the front of the phone.
- The camera is noticeably sharper when taking pictures. It's also a little bit "warmer". The auto-focus feature is very cool.
- VIDEO! You can take hours and hours of video, trim them as needed, and then upload them directly to YouTube. Very streamlined. Very easy.
- Copy & Paste works surprisingly well with the touchscreen. You can only copy one thing at a time though.
- The phone is fast. Applications open quickly. Contacts load immediately. Browsing the internet is a breeze with Safari.
- There is a "hard" switch to turn on Vibrate (located just above the volume rocker), which is great for when you are about to walk into a meeting and need to quickly ensure that your phone won't be ringing at the wrong time.
- When you talk on the phone, the screen itself turns off, which saves a ton on battery life.
- There is a built-in compass, so when you use Google Maps w/ GPS, you can actually see which direction you're headed.
- You can use the Apple iTunes Store on your phone to download not only songs, but also TV Shows & Movies. You can do this over the 3G network. Did I mention there are 50,000+ apps available to download as well?
- If you subscribe to MobileMe ($100/yr), all your contacts, bookmarks, calendars, & emails are synced automatically, which is great if you ever have to switch to another iPhone (via an upgrade/replacement, etc). You can also use a feature called "Find My iPhone" which shows exactly where your phone is located on a map (using GPS).
- If you don't subscribe to MobileMe, you can still have all your contacts, calendars, & emails pushed to your phone using Gmail, Google Calendar, as well as other options like Outlook/MS Exchange, Yahoo!, and AOL.
- Visual Voicemail is really cool, and comes standard (i.e. you see a listing of who called; click on their name and hear their voicemail without having to call your normal VM number).

THE BAD:
- Typing on this phone can be difficult. There is a predictive typing feature, which helps, but until you get used to the on-screen keyboard, don't expect to type as fast as you could on the Blackberry.
- There is no T9 option either, if that's what you're used to.
- Unless you install some sort of hack or mod, your carrier will properly charge you for Laptop Tethering (i.e. using your phone's internet connection on your laptop).
- Very little in way of customizing the phone's home-screen/desktop. You can set a background, but it only appears when the phone is locked. You can move icons around, but you can't change icons or put them into folders.
- The global "spotlight" search works great... except it won't search your text messages.
- You can't delete all your text messages as once if you're looking to free up some space.

THE UGLY:
- AT&T won't support MMS until later this year.
- Certain "sounds" the phone makes are followed by a high-pitch whine which is clearly noticeable & quite annoying.
- Both of the "UGLY" should be fixed in the coming months, so don't let that deter you from picking up this amazing phone.

78 of 87 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 12/12/10

ASTRONOMICAL BOOST from 3G! I'm in a whole NEW cosmos!

After suffering under the oppression of being a 3G owner for so long, I had an epiphany that I could get a not-too-expensive upgrade without having to renew my AT&T contract at this critical time in Apple's product line development here on eBay. However, I never suspected how much of an upgrade switching to the 3Gs would be. It's infinitely faster than I'd imagined--I still haven't quite gotten used to not having to wait. I opted for a white, 32GB model, and even this has thrilled me beyond measure. I love the stark white color because I never misplace my phone for very long anymore, and I love being able to load all of my (too many) apps onto this phone. I mean I can't gush enough--it was everything I was missing in being an iPhone owner: better camera, video recording, compass w/ dynamic maps, printing abilities, airplay abilities, game center, background applications, wallpaper, screen orientation locking, notes accounts, accessibility options, longer battery life, faster syncing, typing, texting and browser experience (in general, no longer just sitting there for the phone to load an app or to actually type the letters I pressed minutes before only to realize I made a mistake or it autocorrected wrong), less application crashing and I'm sure much, much more. I've only really started to realize how much different the 3Gs experience is than my 3G. It's like being a new iPhone owner all over again. I'm excited to use my phone again, and I curse much less. Needless to say, I'm quite satisfied with the 3Gs and don't see upgrading to any newer model iPhone/iOS device prematurely. If you are still a iPhone 3G owner, I can't express to you how much better your life will be on a 3Gs. W00T!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 09/30/10

Nokia N95 8GB Cellular Phone

I bought one of these phones two years ago when they first came out and I paid around $800.00 for it and after owning it for awhile I found that it was worth every penny I paid for it. My wife wanted a new cell phone recently and I found the price had come down on the N95 to only $350.00 or so new and I was able to purchase a fairly nice used one for her for only $150.00 on ebay. I will tell you that I don't even know how to use all of the features on this phone yet after two years of owning it but it is the best phone I have ever had. I bought it mainly for the camera. It has a 5 megapixel camera with a zoom function and a Carl Ziess Lens. It takes wonderful pictures and it is always there when I come across that Kodak moment. In comparison to the lousy pictures my previous camera phones would take the N95 is off the charts. Next to the camera I like the audio quality the best. The audio is super clear and is also one of my favorite features of the N95. I have had cell phones since 1993 when the first Motorola flip phone hit the street. Most of the audio on my previous phones had something to be desired as in "I can hardly you." The reception of signal on the N95 is also off the charts. It has reception when all other cell phones fail. No walking around going "can you hear me now?" with this cell phone. I have my N95 connected to the AT&T network (more bars in more places) and I have fun watching my friends trying to make phone calls on their cell phones and when they can't get a signal then I hand then mine and they can't believe the reception and clarity on the N95. The phone has a lot of functions that I never use like the GPS and also the music capability it has. It boasts 8GB of memory so you can keep a lot of tunes in it. I understand it has an FM transmitter so you can go to your friends house and play your tunes through their stereo or you can play them through your car radio. I wouldn't know because I never tried it. It also has an FM radio which I have tried but I don't really use that feature much either. The screen is very large and clear and easy to read. I just love how easy this phone is to use. The only problem I have ever had with my N95 is that because it is a computer it can lock up on you. I have had this happen maybe three or four times in two years so this is not an issue that bothers me a whole lot. I kind of freaked out the first time it happened (I thought the phone was broken) but I opened the battery compartment and removed and reinstalled the battery and then it was business as usual. Again my first one of these phones cost me around $800.00 and now that they have come down in price they are really a bargain. You will not be disappointed. The only other thing I might add is that when you are shopping for one of these you will come across the ones that are made in China and I will tell you that these have no internet and no GPS. I don't know anything about the quality of them compared to the ones made in Finland etc. Obviously if you don't need the internet and GPS function you can save yourself some money. The battery life is also fantastic on this phone as in 9 days without charging on standby. I love it on a trip because I just let it run night and day and I don't have to charge it in the motel at night. I have kept my N95 mint in a leather case since day one. I have seen some of the used ones for sale with scratches on the screen and even the lettering worn off the battery cover.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 06/25/10

Apple iPhone 3GS 32GB : a successful smartphone family!

The iPhone 3GS looks exactly like the previous model. It shares the shape and the same external controls, but the iPhone 3GS is unique in a handful of ways. You can get both memory sizes in white or black, and the iPhone 3GS display sports a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating that is supposed to attract fewer fingerprints and smudges. The new model shares the same dimensions as its predecessor, but it's slightly heavier (4.76 ounces versus 4.7 ounces), a virtually unnoticeable difference.

The menu interface is also the same, but in the past year, as we've added apps to the Home screen, something new has begun to bother us. As intuitive and simple as the interface is, it becomes unwieldy after you get above four menu pages. Swiping through multiple pages is tedious; and it's rather painful to drag applications from page to page if you're an organizational freak. We hate that there's no way to categorize related apps into folders, such as one for news, another for social networking, and so on. Not only would this cut down on menu pages, but you'd also be able to find your app faster.

The iPhone 3GS includes support for Nike + iPod, which integrates your iPod with a sensor that fits inside Nike running shoes. You use it as a pedometer to track your distance traveled and your pace. When you turn on the app in the settings menu, an icon will appear on the Home screen. The headphones included with the iPhone 3GS also show changes. You'll find controls for using the Voice Control feature, adjusting the volume, answering calls, and controlling music and video playback.

If you’ve been holding out on buying an iPhone, there’s no longer a reason to wait. What’s more, if you can afford the new 16GB or 32GB iPhone 3G S, be certain to snag it for all the additions and improvements over past models.

If cash is tight, however, pick up the 8GB iPhone 3G and be sure to download the new iPhone OS 3.0 (see sidebar), which adds a fraction of the options found in its big brother. It would be remiss, though, not to mention that the iPhone isn’t for everyone, be it someone who just wants to make phone calls or those who prefer typing on a button-based QWERTY keyboard rather than the iPhone’s “soft” (on-screen virtual) keyboard option. Make no bones about it: This is a premium, pocket-friendly multimedia device for those looking to split the difference between business and pleasure, or prefer their mobile phone loaded with bells and whistles.

Still, between fresh features such as video recording and speedier program loads; generally enhanced performance; and overall ease of use, the iPhone 3G S is now the smartphone to beat for everyday shoppers. The gauntlet has officially been thrown down. Let’s see if manufacturers such as Palm (Pre), RIM (BlackBerry Tour) and Nokia (N97) can keep up.

With all the hype around each iPhone release you might be lead to believe that the iPhone will change your life. One thing that's for sure is it will demand you change the way you use your phone. You'll need iTunes on your computer, you'll need to train yourself to use the on-screen keyboard and you'll need to charge the phone each night. If you're willing to make these concessions then the iPhone 3GS will definitely deliver.

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