Can the 3G operate like the 3GS?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by reoreilly, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. reoreilly macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2009
    So I am buying an iphone in the coming weeks, and like many before me I face the predicament of 3G vs. 3GS. I will be buying from the Apple AU store (assuming they come unlocked from Apple, which I assume they must do - will call them in the morning to confirm) where the 8GB 3G is $719 and the 16GB 3GS is $879. The price difference isn't that much I suppose, but being a student it seems like a lot. :p

    I'm wondering if, with updates, the 3G can run like a 3GS... I understand the 3GS has quicker browsing etc than the 3G, and video recording (but can the 3G record video with newer firmware/updates?). My previous phone was a hiptop (or a sidekick as it was called in the US), so as long as the 3G browses with equal or better speed, I will be happy. I am just wondering if anyone can shed light on this for me, because I am having a huge amount of trouble deciding.

    TIA for opinions/help. :)
  2. ingenious macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    The 3G won't record video unless you jailbreak it- and even then I don't think it's supported through the Camera app.
  3. yoman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2003
    In the Bowels of the Cosmos
    As far as I know the 3G will never "officially" support video recording (you can if you hack/jailbreak it though). Also the 3G does lacks an internal compass,has less ram, and has weaker video graphics capability(gaming and stuff)

    It is possible that future software updates will allow a more efficient and thus a quicker experience on the 3G, but these benefits will translate to the 3GS as well.

    No matter what the 3GS will be faster.
  4. iFerd macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2007
    I don't have direct experience with this, but I have talked to someone who compared a 3G and a 3Gs side by side for speed of loading a web page. The 3Gs was much faster. He also said that when the 3G was on Wi-Fi and the 3Gs was on the normal cell network only, the speed of loading was roughly the same on both devices. So if that is representative and browsing speed is your major concern, it would seem that you will want the 3Gs.

    Incidentally, I have a 3G and am not eligible for an upgrade. And I'm not anxious about that either - the 3G is great. But if I were getting a new iPhone now, I would get the 3Gs.
  5. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

    Apr 16, 2009
    If you recognize there are many before you, why dont you search for their threads, and gain insight from them, instead of creating a new thread on the matter? Im not trying to be a jerk, im really not. This just stood out as a blaring ommision as, "I know I should search, but I wont."

    Anyways, for the price difference, if the sidekick was good enough for your needs, the 3g should be fone for you, but then you come to the issue of "is 8GB enough for me?" for 160$ more you get double the memory, faster everything, video recording, compass, voice control, and a host of other nice things.

    If 8 is enough, the sidekick was fine, but you want a nicer phone, then the 8GB 3g should be fine. If you need video recording, jail breaking is always an option.
  6. hNicolas macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2008
    Ottawa, ON
  7. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    There is no comparison between the 3Gs and the 3G. Really. Just go and buy the Gs.

    You can thank me later!
  8. reoreilly thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2009
    I did do a search actually, and didn't find all the info I was after and I got the impression that generally most people on this board are very helpful and responsive.

    Thanks for your advice everyone - I guess the internet speed is one of the things I am mostly after, but I won't die if pages don't load instantaneously, I am pretty accepting of the iPhone being a phone and not a fully-fledged comptuer with broadband speeds. It does seem to me that, as a non-iPhone user at present, the logical thing to do would be buying the newest model available, however if I already owned the 3G I probably wouldn't think the upgrade was necessary. I guess now I'll just have to face the impulse battle - I'm going to want to buy the 3G just so I can have a new phone sooner, since my aeons-old RAZR since the demise of my hiptop/sidekick (even though that phone was the bane of my existence) is killing me.
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    People are helpful if it's not something extremely obvious, such as the info available on

    Sounds like either 3g or 3gs will be fine for you though. However most people now a days get the 3gs.
  10. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

    Aug 18, 2009
    As someone who's had a 3G and currently has a 3GS, I can tell you that you really do notice the difference in speed.

    If you are serious about video recording you'll need a 3GS too as even when the 3G is hacked it has a horrible frame rate.
  11. Cask Guest

    Jul 14, 2008
    Man get the 3GS. the difference between the two models will only get bigger in time, when developers start releasing 3GS only apps. Plus performance is REALLY much better. Why buy an expensive piece of hardware that is obsolete already? Buy the latest and greatest.
  12. WeegieMac Guest


    Jan 29, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    Because not everyone needs the latest or the greatest or has an insatiable urge to tell everyone they have the latest and greatest piece of kit.

    I am a great believer in buying what you need, not what makes you look better than everyone else.

    I had the 3G vs 3GS debate and was going to buy the 3GS until I took stock of what I really wanted from an iPhone, and that is primarily an iPod touch that can take phone calls and check my email anywhere. I don't need video recording/editing on the go, and that extra 8 seconds to load a webpage isn't going to hinder me too much while out and about.

    That's just me however, but the £100 I saved from buying the 3GS was put to far better use. 16GB over 8GB, video recording/editing, faster internet access, and a compass would have been nice ... but they're not essential, they're not deal breakers for me personally and I went with what was good enough for me.
  13. reoreilly thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2009
    Cask - you're right, I guess the financial sacrifice isn't that major for something that apparently operates more smoothly overall. I looked at the youtube video someone mentioned above as well, and the speeds were noticable even to me (and I've really only owned one phone with browsing capabilities, and thought the differences would probably be fairly minor, but the iPhone is leaps and bounds ahead of the sidekick, which I suppose is to be expected!)

    And I have already read everything in those links - as I said, I DID search the forums and obviously the first port of call is the Apple website. I understand that some might find my question frustrating, but many of the answers in this thread come from people who have had experience with both phones or know someone who has, and their answers are very helpful - if you think the thread is a violation of rules then report it to mods rather than more or less patronising me.
  14. lavinci macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2009
  15. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Thread is not a violations because you are asking form a financial stand point, which would be a smarter buy on a budget. At least you are implying such post. Therefor, it is our job to let you know that the 3GS 16GB is best for you. It has all the niceties of the 3GS and is relatively cheap (compared to the 32GB one) and you get more band for the buck.

    Consider on the 3G you get 8GB memory, 128MB Ram, and a 412MHz CPU, where as the 3GS gets you double the RAM, and Storage space (256MB and 16GB respectively) and a faster clocked 600MHz CPU, all of that for $100 USD more.

    I'd say, if you are trying to have something that you want to last for a while, the 3GS is the smartest choice. The 3G is old last year hardware that will get slower as time passes, its a given.
  16. Mr. Giver '94 macrumors 68000

    Mr. Giver '94

    Jun 2, 2008
    Go for a 3GS because the 3G is painfully slow because its processor is a lower speed compared to the newest model.
  17. lollicup macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2009
    to answer your question = No , 3gs has hardware and software changes
  18. reoreilly thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2009
    Great :) It is mainly a financial perspective I was after and I think I will opt for the 16GB 3GS, it costs $150 AUD more, but it seems that most people see a major difference. I'll be using it with Optus pre-paid, with the DataBlaster option. Not sure exactly how much my monthly spend will be. I had unlimited data on the SK, but there was no way of knowing how much data I went through, so at the moment I am hoping that 500MB will be enough for me ($50 a month with about $450 included talk and text).
  19. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Go with 3GS, the 3G is half as fast and thicker than the 3GS! (I'm kidding, it's the same size)
  20. bstpierre macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2008
    If the iPhones work the same way as the iMacs and PowerBooks, at some point there will be an OS released that will work on the Gs but will not on the G. Paying the little bit extra now for the Gs may get you an additional year of use out of your iPhone (assuming you (generically, not you specifically) are able to keep one funtioning that long without damage).
  21. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 603

    Knowlege Bomb

    Feb 14, 2008
    Madison, WI
    You'll regret buying the 3G and being stuck with it (if you're not an impulsive early-upgrader, that is) watching it become more and more obsolete and knowing all along you could have spent a little extra and got something that would have lasted you much longer.

    I've also made the switch from a 3GS to a 3G and the difference was night and day. Not only is the speed important to me, but if I follow a link from a website to view something else on another web page then come back and find my original page gone, I'm not happy. Especially if I'm reading a longer article and have to find my place again. With the 3GS I've had as many as five different windows open at once. With the 3G you're lucky to get two.

    And lastly (but certainly not that chrome lettering on the back is so much nicer than the faded dingy looking grey on the 3G.
  22. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    if the 3G could operate like the 3Gs, they wouldn't have mass produced another model.

    the hardware in the 3Gs is superior.

    you will be paying a lot for your iPhone over the next few years. just spend the extra 100$ and get the best one you can right now. it's a relatively inexpensive upgrade when you think about how much better the 3Gs is.
  23. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
  24. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    That's majorly dependent on the distance from the node as well as how crappy the wifi is. Simply put ill use my 16megabits/second Broadband modem hooked to my wireless N MIMO router over 3G if I had the choice....

    Is it worth it really? I'm about to purchase an iPhone with in the year and I'm debating whether I should just go with the 3G and use the rest of my $300 to pay for my first bill or suck it up and work harder to pay for future bills, I mean is it worth it? I have a job but you know not a million air...(I'm only 16)

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