Apple iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 3GS: side by side
iPhone 4's performance in calling quality was only marginally better than the one of the iPhone 3GS. However, our callers did say that our voices on their end sounded a bit better as they were sharper in tone in the beginning of our sentences – which could be attributed with the handset's noise cancellation microphone.
During the year long time we had with the iPhone 3GS, we never really questioned its ability to retain a signal to the network. But upon using the iPhone 4, we were somewhat a little envious of still seeing the iPhone 3GS manhandle the iPhone 4 in this category. At certain times when we glanced over the phones, the iPhone 4 would sometimes show less bars than what we see on the iPhone 3GS – and that's at the same location! Apple has touted that when holding the phone in the correct position, it should be able to provide owners an improved experience in signal strength. However, we still continue to see the iPhone 3GS outperform the newer iPhone 4 in this category.
Just as Steve Jobs commended the phone's ability to provide owners longer battery life with the iPhone 4, we were thoroughly impressed by its real world performance. The iPhone 4 easily beat out the iPhone 3GS as we were able to obtain 1 ½ days of normal usage on the smartphone. Not to be totally outdone by its newer successor, the iPhone 3GS managed to provide us at least a day of usage – which is something more than sufficient for most smartphone users.
If you look closely at what we've gone over, you'll soon realize a consistent theme going on. On the exterior, Apple has retooled the design and look of the iPhone as it continues to present consumers with a top notch product which exudes a high level of construction that's been consistent with previous generations. Yeah, the iPhone 4 is one slim looking smartphone, but we still feel strongly that the iPhone 3GS still retains that same aura of elegance. However, the internals are surely what separates the men from the boys as the iPhone 4 sports some faster, better, and stronger hardware under the hood. The experience of iOS 4 on either handsets is almost identical though – except for the slightly smoother and buttery feel of the platform on the iPhone 4. Nonetheless, the experience on the iPhone 3GS is equally as satisfying seeing that there is still very little to no lag whatsoever to diminish its performance. Media buffs will undoubtedly be surprised by the iPhone 4's camera as it takes some of the most visually stunning images. Throw in 720p video recording and a front facing camera, you've got yourself all the necessities for sharing your favorite content with a mix of people.
Unless you're really intent on taking some decent photos and videos, there is very little reason to upgrade from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4. When it comes down to functionality, both handsets perform equally thanks to iOS 4 – although there is a small, and we mean small, improvement in the speed department for the iPhone 4. Gamers will find the iPhone 4 more humbling seeing that its gyroscope will probably be heavily used in games down the road, but that doesn't mean that the iPhone 3GS can't excel in the graphics department. All in all, the iPhone 4 is a fantastic handset, but unless you're into games, videos, and photos, there really isn't a compelling argument to move up to the iPhone 4. Despite it being garnered as a last generation handset, the iPhone 3GS can still pack a decent punch as its performance and functionality can go toe-to-toe in most situations with the iPhone 4. However, if you still happen to sport either the first-gen iPhone or 3G model, it would be a wise investment in moving up to the iPhone 4 to experience all the new features that not only come along with newer hardware, but software as well with iOS 4 packing on some much wanted features.
Apple iPhone 4 vs. Apple iPhone 3GS Video Comparison: