The Independent Variable - Matt Haugland

Saturday, June 20, 2009

iPhone 3G S Review

I've been a long-time user and lover of the original iPhone. But there's always been one thing that bugged me about it: it's slow. All of the applications take at least a couple seconds to load. Some take more like 5 or 10 and/or are slow enough that I avoided using them. Maybe I'm impatient, or just spoiled by my Core i7 computer with SSD. I'm used to everything loading instantly and being blazing fast, so it really bugs me to have to wait 4 seconds for a simple app to load.

The iPhone 3G never interested me. While the internet connection was faster, it didn't address the main issue: the CPU. It doesn't matter how fast the internet connection is if it takes forever to render web pages. I did want the GPS, but it wasn't worth having to pay $15/month more for 3G internet that the phone couldn't take much advantage of anyway. When I heard the new iPhone 3G S (S stands for "speed") would have a faster CPU, I couldn't resist getting it the day it was released.

Compared to the original iPhone, it is MUCH faster. Applications, even the slower ones, load almost instantly. Finally the browser can take advantage of faster (3G) internet connections and thus is a lot more usable/useful. The annoyingly slow apps are now very fast. I find myself using some of them a lot more now that they're not so slow. And now I can finally use the Google Earth app, which used to be so slow that it was useless. [by the way, I'm referring to the WiFi speed, not talking about 3G vs. EDGE]

Though most people probably don't care much about the built-in compass, I loved the idea for a lot of reasons. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem all that accurate and I can usually guess the direction a little better than it can. If I'm far away from any kind of interference, it does a lot better but still isn't always consistent. Maybe there's a trick to it that I haven't yet figured out?

I was a little disappointed by the accuracy of the GPS, but very impressed by the speed. I'm used to my old Garmin that is more accurate but takes a while to get a lock. Still, the accuracy is good enough that I won't have to carry around my Garmin to get the lat/lon when I deploy my sensors. I also found a free app that can instantly bookmark the lat/lons, so I no longer have to write them down! VERY handy, and will save me a LOT of time!

Overall, I am very happy with the 3G S so far.


At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Dan Dawson said...

Nice review :)

I just ordered one of these bad boys earlier this week. I might get it as soon as tomorrow. I can't wait :)


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