The new iPhone 3G S (and why you don’t want one)

Posted by NZgeek | Filed under , ,

The latest news in the tech world is that Apple have announced a new model of iPhone, the 3G S. The “S” supposedly stands for “Speed”, a moniker which is appropriate due to its faster CPU.

What most people won’t tell you is that this new phone is already outdated before it even hits the shops.

You see, the iPhone has never really been the ground-breaking device that most people see it as. Yes, it did bring the brilliant multi-touch user interface into the world, but not really a lot else. Email, web browsing, WiFi support… all of these were available before the first iPhone was even announced.

Since then, Apple have been making half-hearted attempts to keep up with the rest of the market. The first iPhone 3G added a camera and 3G network (UMTS) support, but very few other hardware changes. The new 3G S has a faster CPU, increases the size of the camera’s sensor and allows video recording, but that’s about as far as the changes go.

Even the iPhone OS is lagging behind. With the new OS 3.0, Apple are finally adding a clipboard so you can cut-and-paste between applications. They’re also adding support for MMS messages, so you can send picture and audio messages. But these features have been found on rival phones for years. My old Nokia N80, several months old when the first iPhone came out, was able to do these with ease.

Apple still haven’t got things right. The iPhone still lacks Flash support, which means that a lot of web content is inaccessible. It also lacks Java support, meaning that you can’t run any of the thousands of Java games and applications that are out there. My old N80 is able to do both of these.

If you want to see what the 3G S should be, take a look a the Samsung i8910 (sometimes called the Omnia HD). Here’s a quick comparison of features:

  iPhone 3G S Samsung i8910
Battery 300 hours standby 600 hours standby
Display 320 x 480 360 x 640
Memory card slot No Yes
Camera 3 megapixel 8 megapixel with flash
Video recording 640 x 480 @ 30 fps 1280 x 720 @ 24 fps (HD 720p)
Video calling No Yes
FM Radio No Yes
Java support No Yes
Flash support No Yes
Video playback MPEG4, MOV, H.264 MPEG4, RealVideo, WMV, DivX, XviD, H.263, H.264
Audio playback MP3, AAC, WAV MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, RA
FM Radio No Yes
Multi-Touch Yes No

Aside from the Multi-Touch, the Samsung is clearly a much better phone, with a similar size and price. I know which one I’d rather get!