June 9th 2009 2:52 am

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

84

A modest spec bump makes this less tempting for current iPhone owners

84

The mix of new features and an ever-growing App Store will be potent to new buyers -- but pricing schemes amounting to hundreds more for current owners might give existing iPhone owners reason for pause. Ultimately, it's a great time to jump ship, but we've come to expect a bit more from Apple.

Buy It:

$399.99

90-Day Price History

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high
$399
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$159

Critic reviews

8.1
18 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
    6.6
  • Display
    8.7
  • Battery life
    7.8
  • Camera
    7.4
  • Ease of use
    8.2
  • Design and form factor
    8.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.6
  • Media support
    8.7
  • Durability
    6.0
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    8.7

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User reviews

8.5
270 reviews
8.0
Engadget Jun 20, 2009

Ultimately we're not saying it's time to jump ship, but we've come to expect a bit more pedal to the floor from Apple -- you've raised the bar guys, now it's time to jump over it.

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9.0
Macworld Jun 22, 2009

The iPhone 3GS is, without a doubt, the finest iPhone Apple has made. It addresses most of the fundamental weaknesses of the previous models, adding raw speed, voice-activated phone and music navigation, an improved autofocus camera, and video-recording features.

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9.0
PC Mag Jun 22, 2009

If you like apps or the Internet, go buy the iPhone 3GS right now. The new model's improved processor and graphics chipset significantly boost the speed of everything from Web browsing to games, cementing the iPhone's role as the nation's most flexible handheld computer.

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8.0
Gizmodo Jul 17, 2009

As a whole, the iPhone 3GS is the best all-around smartphone available. If you're looking for a refined, augmented version of what you already know, a phone that, not for nothing, runs all the tens of thousands of apps on the App Store, choose the iPhone 3GS.

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8.0
CNET Jun 16, 2009

The iPhone 3GS doesn't make the same grand leap that the iPhone 3G made from the first-generation model. The iPhone 3GS is faster and we appreciate the new features and extended battery life, but call quality and 3G reception still need improvement.

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8.0
Wired Jun 17, 2009

The new phone introduces a long list of improvements, big and small. Taken together, they're enough to re-establish Apple's once-shrinking lead in a brutal technology competition that is making the chariot race in Ben Hur look like a stroll in the park.

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8.0
New York Times Jun 17, 2009

All of these changes make it much harder to resist the iPhone on intellectual, feature-counting grounds. The new iPhone doesn't just catch up to its rivals — it vaults a year ahead of them. At this point, the usual 10 rational objections to the iPhone have been whittled down to about three: no...

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8.0
Computerworld Jun 26, 2009

All of it works together to produce a more refined iPhone that first-time buyers will love and upgraders will appreciate. The design is classic iPhone, and the price for what you get still makes it a deal.

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7.0
Ars Technica Jun 22, 2009

The iPhone 3GS has launched and Apple claims that it's faster than ever. Ars Technica put the device through its paces and found that, while the camera could still use some work, its other new features are useful and the phone's speed definitely lives up to its name.

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7.0
AllThingsD Jun 17, 2009

Both the new iPhone and iPhone OS are packed with features that make a great product even better. But, for many users, the software may be enough of a boost to keep them from buying the new model.

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7.0
AnandTech Jul 7, 2009

A deep dive into the technicals behind what makes the iPhone 3GS one of the fastest, if not the fastest, smartphone on the market.

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9.0
WirelessInfo Jun 19, 2009

The latest iteration of the iPhone adds a much better camera, faster processor, more memory and a number of new software features that make it easier to use and more flexible. That's a considerable set of improvements that make the iPhone 3G S a very attractive package, but existing iPhone users...

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9.0
Pocket-Lint Jun 22, 2009

It may offer one of the best experiences that mobile telephony has to offer, but there is still room for improvement, meaning we can all look forward to future updates with that same palpable sense of excitement.

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9.0
Phone Scoop Jul 2, 2009

For the Mac faithful, there's simply no other phone to have. For anyone who wants a device that does nearly everything -- and does it all well -- then it's hard not to recommend the iPhone.

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8.0
iLounge Jun 22, 2009

If you’re an original iPhone owner looking for a major speed bump, capacity jump, better camera, superior mapping device, or more easily controlled iPhone, you’ll find all these things and many more pleasant benefits in the iPhone 3GS... First-time iPhone buyers will find the iPhone 3GS to be a...

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8.0
GSM Arena Jun 30, 2009

It's true that the iPhone 3GS brings over only incrementing changes, there's nothing ground breaking about it. But before everything else, the newly introduced changes on both software AND hardware level will make the new iPhone 3GS a more balanced smartphone most of all.

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9.0
USA Today Jun 16, 2009

The 3.0 software and 3G S phone may not check off everything on your iPhone wish list. But they give iPhone loyalists plenty of new reasons to celebrate.

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9.0
About Aug 15, 2009

There’s no arguing: the iPhone 3GS is the best iPhone ever. And it ought to be. Each successive iPhone has been better than the last. And the iPhone 3GS is a great phone. If you’re not an iPhone user, it’s the most compelling reason yet to switch. But not all of the phone’s promise is...

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9.0
sirjakelion sirjakelion

I upgraded from the 1st-Gen iPhone (4 GB). My 3GS adds everything that I have been complaining about. Quadrupled the storage for me to 16 GB, upgraded the camera, smoother game graphics, quicker in doing various tasks around the phone, etc. It's missing the excitement from when i bought the...

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9.0
keeganxt keeganxt

My reasons for switching: In no particular order: * Capacity - For the first time, the iPhone has reached a capacity that can hold my entire itunes music collection plus several movies and tons and tons of apps. * New camera with video - As a photographer and even more so, video editor,...

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10
timm timm

I was on Verizon... I had an LG Voyager and I was happy. I decided to take the plunge and get an iPhone, mostly because the 3GS had just been announced, and also because playing with them in the Apple store makes me want to take one home. I thought i'd never live without my hardware...

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9.0
Dave13man Dave13man

If you like the 3G, you'll like the 3GS. Having owned both, I notice a significant improvement in loading times of all my apps. In my non-scientific side by side tests (against a newly upgraded to 3.0 firmware 3G) the 3GS blew it out of the water in load times. No comparison. Despite...

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10
jeffclavier jeffclavier

I bought the iPhone the day it came out. I did the same with the iPhone 3G, but the crapiness of the AT&T network is not really making justice to the 3G. I upgraded to the 3GS the day it came out (yes, I am a fanboy) primarily because of the improved processor. As a heavy email user, with a large...

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9.0
applegod applegod

This was my first iPhone after having a 1st generation iPod touch for 2 years, and wow can you notice a massive speed increase. S is for speed, especially with graphically intense apps. Hero of Sparta in particular is amazing. The new 3.2 megapixel camera is quite clear, and once again makes...

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10
MacTexan MacTexan

It's easier to tell what's missing than what the 3GS has. From a purely business perspective, it's the best phone I've ever used by a W I D E margin and only leaves me wishing for one feature, tethering. MMS still isn't there, but will be by the end of September, so I...

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9.0
jdwusami jdwusami

I find that I can get real work done on the iPhone 3Gs browser without the fear that Safari will crash in the middle of getting work done. I bought the 3Gs the day it came out and to date I have never had Safari crash no matter what I am doing. That for me is worth the price. I also love the...

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9.0
zerock zerock

the 50% speed boost, voice control, screen and video recording are the icings in the cake for me :D People complain that it looks exactly like the previous version but i see it as advantage, since most of accesories will be compatible. thanks to this. i wanted to get a flip cam, but the camera...

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10
jfriedman jfriedman

"When Apple says this phone is fast, the really mean this phone is fast. Throughout the three days I’ve had the phone, it has not once lagged doing anything; whether that be simple actions like typing, swiping, zooming, pinching or launching applications or even playing graphics heavy...

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9.0
adebond adebond

The original iPhone passed me by but I was a 3G owner for an entire 12 months. In fact I was first in line (4 o'clock in the morning) at my local O2 store on the day of release. In that year I can honestly say the iPhone became not just a device for making calls or sending texts but an...

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10
RyanTV RyanTV

I upgraded to the 3GS from my 1st gen original iPhone and it is remarkable how much faster it is. Obviously the network speed going from Edge to 3G is much, much better, but the actual operating speed of the unit far exceeded my expectations. Navigating around the UI is much more fluid....

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10
RockhopperDad RockhopperDad

When the iPhone was first announced, we were only 6 months into a 2 year contract with Verizon... the wait was on. Glad we did wait too. I know that I would be clammoring for the new 3GS even if I had a 3G. It's the camera and video features that are the most desirable. We have our first...

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10
klydon35 klydon35

Now that the iPhone is capable of basic things like video recording, cut copy and paste, and voice commands, what is holding people back from buying the new iPhone 3GS? This phone is fantastic. It does everything because if its revolutionary App Store. If you want an e-Book reader, turn by...

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9.0
yooper1019 yooper1019

The hardware performance boost between the 3G and 3GS is great!! Almost zero lag and way quicker app loading times are the most surprising additions. The new 3.0MP autofocus camera, compass, and especially the video are all great! On the software side Apple is late to the table on most additions...

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