3GS vs 4: Any difference in eye strain? (which iPhone to buy?)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Danae, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Danae macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    I'm living up here in Canada, and right now I'm torn between grabbing one of the last few 32 GB 3GS iPhones available on contract for $149 or being patient and waiting for the 4 to come out for what I'm guessing will be $299. This will be my first iPhone.

    There is no doubt that I want the 4, but there are several things holding me back. I'm a student so price is a big one. Other factors include all of the reported problems people are having with their new 4s, and of course the fact that it has yet to be released in Canada so it may be difficult to get one for a while. Ideally I'd like to have a new phone by the end of August.

    My Big Question: I could probably live with a 3GS and be happy with my savings, but when I've used my fiancé's 3GS I noticed a fair amount of eye strain with even the smallest amount of reading text (browsing, app store, email, etc). With the new "retina display" have people noticed a difference in the amount of eye strain/eye fatigue they get? This is probably the deciding factor for me -- it doesn't make sense to save $150 if it's going to hurt my eyes more!

    I wish I could compare the phones myself, but with 3GSs disappearing rapidly and the iPhone 4 still awaiting release I need to rely on your opinions. So please... opinion away!

    Thanks so much!
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I've read one book on my iPhone 4 and am reading more on it. The display is amazing. Certainly I find it less of a strain than any other display I've ever used.
  3. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    The $150 is definitely worth it for the retina screen. It's like watching an old tube television set vs. a high definition flat screen.
  4. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Look over the first few pages of the sticky iPhone 4 pictures thread.

    You will see screenshot comparisons of both the 3Gs and 4 side by side.

    That should help you decide. Me personally I notice a huge difference in the displays.
  5. boshii macrumors 68040


    Jul 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    There is no eye strain with the retina screen.

    I remember on my 3GS i would always have to zoom in to read text. I can read text fine with no zoom on the i4.
  6. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    In terms of backlighting, I find LED back-lit displays like the iPhone 4 to be harder on my eyes than non-LED lit displays (3GS). However, because the text is so much more readable on the iPhone 4, this makes the iPhone 4 much easier on the eyes. The blurry/pixelated text on the 3GS was old 3 years ago when the original iPhone came out....
  7. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2009
    Texas, US
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    The iPhone 4's display is MUCH more readable with lower brightness levels too, BTW.

    If you haven't seen one yet, you may want to team up your reindeer, grab your Kevlar vest and come on down for a look.
  8. Danae thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    Thanks everyone! I thought that would be the case, but aside from reading a few off-hand comments here and there I was having a hard time confirming it.

    Now I just need to keep my fingers crossed that a) I'll be able to actually find an iPhone 4 by middle of August and b) the phones being sold Canada will have a few of the flaws already worked out of them (hey, a girl can dream!).

    Thanks again!
  9. tsmithisdrunk macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sorry for the thread bump, but I just tested both alongside each other and noticed a nice little reduction in eye strain while using the 4, definitely worth the extra $$/wait.
  10. miki66 macrumors 6502


    Nov 19, 2008
    iphone4 definitely, 3gs is amazing but you really really want to have your hands on the 4:p
  11. maddux2005 macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2010
    Go with the iPhone 4 and don't look back!!! Unless you've seen it........."you ain't seen it" :p
  12. randomerratum macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Santa Monica, CA
    I work in a very technical field and find that the retina display allows me to reference manuals and PDF documents FAR easier then I ever could on my 3G... With all the panning and zooming, it just tends to take it to that 'more hassle then it's worth' zone

    With my iPhone 4, I find myself utilizing it a lot more for reference. It IS like looking at a finely printed page. Easier on the eyes, it makes it faster to scan pages and zoom in on what's important.

    If you can, yeah. It's worth the wait and $$.
  13. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    I agree, the screen is incredible and it has definately reduced eyestrain. At night I generally surf the web in bed with my iPhone, before my eyes would start hurting after a half hour or so and it would que me to put the phone down and go to sleep. Now I find myself catching the clock and an hour or so has pasted by, no eye strain but less sleep.

    And really, until you see it a get used to it you won't understand how nice it really is, it makes my hi-res computer display look like crap.
  14. cwerdna macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    SF Bay Area, California
    don't bother w/the iPhone 3GS, wait until 4

    I can't speak to the eyestrain as I've only had my iPhone 4 since July 9th, but when compared to my iPhone 3G side by side, the 3G's screen looks like CRAP vs. the 4's amazing. I never thought iPhones (prior to 4) had lousy screens until I actually used the Retina Display for awhile. It's almost night and day.

    Text looks blurry and pixelated on the iPhones prior to iPhone 4. It's almost like the days of cheapo CRT VGA monitors that came out w/0.4x mm dot pitch stripe masks vs. 0.27 - 0.31 mm CRTs.

    Zoom out on web pages far enough (or at default zoom in many cases) and you'll get a lot of pixelated text on a 320x480 screen vs. lots of readable text on the iPhone 4's 640x960 screen.

    Also, since I never owned a 3GS, the perf improvment for me is HUGE. That's besides a bunch of a features the 3G never got...
  15. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    Wait and pay for the 4, you will find it worth it. The screen is absolutely amazing. You'll forget your looking at a screen.

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