Is it worth the upgrade from a iPhone 3GS to a 4?
Are you an iPhone 3GS user wondering if it’s worth it to upgrade to the iPhone 4? I was asking myself that same question about 3 months ago. I made the switch for only one good reason: I wanted my wife to have an iPhone. When I purchased an iPhone for the first time, it opened up an entire new world for me. It seems the iPhone 3GS was in my hands at all times. I use it for checking email, analyzing website stats, facebooking, twittering and other website social marketing. The applications – even the free ones, are truly remarkable. My iPhone 3GS was only 8 months old when I began reading the new iPhone 4 reviews. Knowing how much my wife would enjoy staying in touch with friends on Facebook and email with an iPhone, I thought it was a great opportunity to upgrade. So, I renewed my wife’s 2 year contract with AT&T; bought the iPhone 4 32GB Version and gave her my 3GS.It is not my intention to deploy a full iPhone 4 review, here: There are hundreds of those online that do it better than I can. What I really want to do is compare the two iPhones for those considering the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS. Also, I’ll give my impression of the iPhone 4 vs Droid.
If you just bought an iPhone 3GS in the past 12 months, don’t feel too pressured to upgrade to the iPhone 4 right away. With the new iPhone 4.2 OS my wife can do most of the same things on her iPhone 3GS that I can do on my iPhone 4. The icons and interface on the 3GS work the very same way. I’ve noticed absolutely no difference in network (regardless of the Wireless N WiFI) or speed of operation and despite claims of a longer battery life, my 3GS seemed to do better than the new iPhone 4. While the new iPhone is a little sleeker and thinner than the iPhone 3GS, by the time you put a jacket on it, it looks and feels roughly the same. The iPhone 4 seems more square in my hands, where-as the iPhone 3GS feels more rounded. But enough of the similarities. By now you’re thinking, why should I waste my money on an iPhone 4? Well, to me, there are four really huge advantages to the 4 over the 3GS. These aren’t the only advancements of the iPhone 4, but these are the ones that make the most difference to me. These are the four new things about the iPhone 4that I think most of us will notice, get the most use of and learn to love.
Four Things about the iPhone 4 you’ll Really Love
Worthwhile Differences of an iPhone 4 Upgrade
- High Resolution Retina Display
Before I saw the iPhone 4 for the first time, I thought the 3GS had gorgeous graphics. In reality, the iPhone 4 has double the resolution of the 3GS:
960 x 640 vs 480 x 320. Comparing them side by side, the difference is extremely noticeable. If you read a lot of text on your iPhone like I do, you will really appreciate the ultra tight, crisp Retina Display of the iPhone 4. The resolution also makes a huge difference on games which use high detailed graphics and text. I was amazed at how quickly I got used to the superior resolution of the iPhone 4. As I helped my wife setup some things on the old 3GS, I realized how quickly I had gotten spoiled by the crisp text, graphics and overall contrast.
- Camera and Flash
The iPhone 4 has 5 Megapixel resolution as opposed to the 3GS’s 3MP. I’ve noticed a big difference in the quality of my photos. Additionally, the iPhone 4 now has a very powerful LED flash, so you can take pictures inside or in other darkly lit surroundings and still get reasonable picture quality. There is also a front camera which can be activated for taking your own photo. I must say that with the 5MP resolution, the iPhone 4 is sometimes good enough to take the place of my Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera. Where the iPhone falls short as a camera is in its lack of an optical zoom lens. Even a 2X or 3X Optical would help bring subjects into better view when you take photos. Still, the iPhone 4 Camera may be good enough reason alone, for some users to do the upgrade from the 3GS.
- Video Recorder
Flip Cams and other mini video recording devices have revolutionized the way we record high definition video. I used to want one of these, but the iPhone 4 has eliminated that need for an ultra small HD Video Recorder. If you could get your phone to record HD Video, would you really need to pay $179.00 or whatever on a Flip Cam? With the iPhone 4 you can record high definition video right to your phone and import it to your iTunes Library where you can later view it on an Apple TV or convert it to DVD. In addition to recording in HD, the use of the iPhone 4 LED helps provide much brighter, higher quality recordings than the 3GS. The High Definition Video Recorder is another reason for many of us to upgrade to the iPhone 4 that stands on its own merit.
- FaceTime Video Calling
This is one feature that I ended up appreciating and using much more than I had imagined. FaceTime Calling allows you to visually chat and talk with another iPhone 4 user. This is a remarkable capability if you have friends and family around the country and world that you’d like to keep in touch with. Also, you can flip the camera view for showing your party what you are looking at instead of them always looking at you – tremendously useful if you want to demonstrate something to someone. For instance, my brother got a new car and was able to give me a full demonstration of the exterior and interior simply by walking around the car and pointing his iPhone at it while talking to me at the same time. FaceTime Calling is one more iPhone 4 feature that makes the upgrade worthwhile for many , if not most 3GS users. The only problem is that too many people are waiting for their friends and family to buy first. One other minor concern for some of you: You’ll need a new iPhone Screen Protector and iPhone Case.
Underwhelming Benefits of the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS
Some Not so Good reasons to Upgrade to the iPhone 4?
In my opinion, any of the four features above make the iPhone 4 a worthwhile upgrade. There are, however, some other technological advancements which I don’t notice enough to appreciate the difference of the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS.
- Apple A4 Chip
The Apple A4 Chip is an advanced, faster processor. I can’t say that I notice much of an improvement in performance of my apps. Maybe if I played more games, I could tell the difference.
- Wireless N Wi-Fi
The iPhone 4 supports N wireless in addition to B and G. Wireless N is a faster form of WIFI with greater range. I cannot say that I’ve noticed much of a performance increase in my download speeds and wifi network performance. Complicating and limiting WiFi performance even further is your router and number and types of wireless devices you have in your home. I had to adjust my router’s setting to a slower 65mbs as opposed to its full 150mbs N speed capability in order to get Apple TV, Laptops, iPhones, etc., to all behave properly. The Wireless N is little if any upgrade at all for me from the iPhone 3GS
- 3-Axis Gyro
What is this feature? Well, it has something to do with more realistic, detailed, precise movement for games and other apps which use motion. I do not play a lot of arcade or action type games, so I have not noticed the difference or improvement here. It could also have something to do with many games not yet supporting this feature.
iPhone 4 vs Droid
If you’re in the market for a Smart Phone, you probably know something about the Droid. My opinion is that anyone who’s had two weeks to get their hands on a Droid and Apple iPhone 4 will learn to love either one. I’m partial to Apple products for their intuitive, easy-to-use interface. The iPhone just feels right in practically every way imaginable. The Droid’s resolution is not as high as the new iPhone 4. Both phones will shoot high definition video and take pretty good photos, though the Droid has an 8MP camera as opposed to the iPhone 4’s 5MP. When my friend showed me his new Droid, I had a few minutes to mess around on the touch screen and navigate the menus and functions. It didn’t have the interface or wow factor that my iPhone 3GS did the first time I used it. Anti iPhone people love the Droid because it’s not an Apple product and they’ll tell you how much better and more powerful it is. For what it’s worth, PCWorld did a very full features review on both phones, and gave the edge to the iPhone 4. It is also worth noting that the iPhone has nearly 250,000 apps compared to just 75,000 for the Droid. On average, iPhone Applications cost less money because the phone has been around for developers to program so much longer. The iPhone 4 has been around much longer than the Droid and it looks the part as it is much more refined, in my humble opinion. For Apple users, the iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS is the most important question.