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iPhones Reviews
15,670 Reviews PC Advisor Gold Award

Apple iPhone 3GS review

From free, depending on contract

Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

You will not find a better internet-connected smartphone than the Apple iPhone 3GS.

Our Apple iPhone 3GS review looks at the handset's new features, including faster performance, video camera, voice control, tweaked design and the 3D compass.

iPhone 3GS prices, options and upgrades

Until late 2009, in the UK, iPhone 3GS owners had to be O2 customers, and commit to being O2 customers for either 18 months or two years.

Today you can buy an iPhone with either an O2, Orange or Vodafone contract (from £30/month) or Pay As You Go (from £440). Click the links here to find the latest prices from each carrier.

When you’re considering an iPhone purchase you need to keep in mind the price you’ll actually pay and make your value judgments based on that price of phone and contract - or even the full unsubsidized Pay As You Go iPhone (PAYG) prices starting at £440.

iPhone 3GS prices

You’ll also need to consider that buying a phone for the lower prices commits you to your carrier for at least 18 months. Only new customers and those who are out of contract qualify for the new prices when the next version of iPhone is released.

If you’re convinced that Apple will unveil another snazzy next-generation iPhone again later this year (not a terrible bet, given the company’s track record), keep in mind that buying a subsidized iPhone 3GS today will likely hurt your eligibility for a new subsidized iPhone price as late as 2012 (if purchased on a 24-month contract).

iPhone 3GS internet tethering
If you want to use your laptop out and about, internet tethering lets you connect your iPhone 3G or 3GS to your computer and use it as a modem so you can get on the internet, much like mobile broadband.

You can buy iPhone Internet tethering from all three carriers.

Consider your current mobile phone bills and your potential new bills carefully when calculating the cost of an iPhone.

NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict >>

Jason Snell is Editor in Chief of Macworld.com

Michael deAgonia writes for Computerworld

Apple iPhone 3GS Expert Verdict »

Apple iPhone 3GS (16GB) Scores 8.6 out of 10 based on 1062 reviews

There are currently no technical specifications recorded for this product.

  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

The iPhone 3GS addresses most of the fundamental weaknesses of the previous models, adding raw speed, voice-activated phone and music navigation, an improved autofocus camera, and video-recording features.

With two major revisions in the past year, the iPhone platform has also progressed a long way. Beyond the wide variety of third-party apps, the base system has added copy-and-paste support; support for Microsoft Exchange calendars, contacts, and email; built-in voice recording; and search capabilities.

All of it works together to produce a more refined iPhone that first-time buyers will love and upgraders will appreciate.

If you’re upgrading from the iPhone 3G, you’ll appreciate the speed, although unless you qualify for a discount or have a friend or family member to give your iPhone 3G to, the upgrade price might make you consider waiting for what Apple’s 2010 iPhone might have to offer.

Users of the original iPhone will be floored by the speed of the phone and of the 3G wireless network, though they may find the phone’s shiny plastic back a step down from the original, elegant brushed-aluminium edition.

If you’ve never had an iPhone before, but are considering the purchase of a smartphone for the first time, you will not find a better internet-connected phone than the iPhone 3GS.

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