Sunday, August 9, 2009

iPhone 3GS, Apple solidifies its leadership position in a crowded smartphone landscape.
On the outside, the iPhone 3GS ($299 for 32GB, or $199 for 16GB, with a two-year AT&T contract, as of 6/22/09) looks and feels virtually identical to the existing iPhone 3G (now $99 for 8GB with a two-year AT&T contract). Yes, it's disappointing that Apple made no refinements in the external case (see our review of the iPhone 3G for more detail, but it's simply a minimalist design dominated by its display and the home button beneath that display). And yes, it's curious that the colors remain the same, black or white gloss (this from the company which made sure its audio players came in every color of the spectrum).
But inside, the iPhone 3GS has been fully redesigned, with new core components (CPU, memory, integrated compass, video recorder) in different locations, no less. And together with the iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade (which makes many compelling features available to existing iPhone customers), the iPhone 3GS stands tall. After pounding on it, I can say that at the full-subsidy prices, the 3GS is a surprisingly worthy upgrade for heavy users of the phone's Web and gaming capabilities, and for general-use apps--even if you're only jumping from the iPhone 3G.

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