New 3GS vs iPhone 4?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sedrick, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. Sedrick macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    Hey all, interested in some opinions. I bought a new iPhone 32gig 3GS a week before the new iPhone 4 ship date was announced. I missed a trade back by about 7 days!

    Anyway, I'm very happy with the 3GS and I'm disappointed the iPhone 4 didn't at lease have a slightly larger screen.

    Question, though, how much difference is there (other than the new display) between a late model 3GS and the iPhone 4? I'd have to pay nearly full price to go iP4 and I'm thinking it just wouldn't be worth it. I've read a lot of comments that seem to indicate that it's not all that much of an upgrade.

    Real world usage comments?
  2. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
    I have an iPhone 4 and I can honestly say that I cannot go back to a 3GS. My dad uses my old 3GS and I have looked at it a few times but can't go back. Other than the screen, i most enjoy the new camera with flash and five megapixel. Even though my dad lives with a 3GS he says he would rather upgrade but just doesn't want to spend the money (maybe because I always give him my old iPhones).
  3. PsstGreek macrumors 68040


    Oct 21, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    I'd would go with the iPhone 4, well, because I have one. The performance on the iPhone 4 is so much better than the 3GS. The high res. screen alone makes you want to use the iPhone 4 even more.

    Yeah, there might be a signal issue with iPhone 4 but when it's in a case it works like a charm.
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    There is no such thing as a late model 3GS: the first 3GS off the line is the same as the last. So stop kidding yourself that yours is in some way better to any other 3GS!

    I owned a 3GS and now have a 4. The differences are huge. Performance on the iPhone 4 is much better. Apps load faster, multitasking (app switching) is much better with more apps staying in memory. The camera is way better and obviously it has two cameras. And the screen is just in a different league. That said you're about half way into the iPhone 4 product lifecycle. If I was you I'd wait for next years refresh.
  5. Small White Car, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2010

    Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    The faster processor speed, extra RAM, higher screen resolution, and a better camera all make it worth the price.

    HOWEVER, since you have the 3GS (and not the 3G) then you're not quite as far behind and I'd kind of suggest waiting for the 5 next year.

    But then again, I'm a "every other year" upgrader. For me it would make no sense to buy a new iPhone in November knowing that I'll have it for 2 years.

    But if you're the type to upgrade every year anyway...then sure, go for it.

    So it depends on who you are.
  6. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
    The whole iPhone 4 antenna thing just got blow way out of proportion. Not that big of a deal. I don't use a case and I still use my iPhone 4 fine.
  7. zephxiii, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010

    zephxiii macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2010
    I own both, and I'll put it like this:

    1. Battery life is way better.
    2. Camera is way better.
    3. Cell Radio is way better, much faster on the network than 3gs (because the 4 has HSUPA which drops latency, raises upload (which helps DL)). Seriously the 4 is just faster in normal use on the network.
    4. GPS on the 3gs seems like garbage in comparison to the 4. This is coming from a geocacher, the 4 just has better accuracy on average.
    5. The screen is way nicer.
    6. The overall Design is much nicer. I like how the back is flat so i can easily install a Zagg Dry Invisible shield to keep the back perfect.

    On the antenna, i haven't really seen much of a difference between the two, except that RF performance on the 4 can be problematic without a rubber case. With the rubber case that I'm using, it is much better.

    One thing i didn't like about the flat back, his how setting the iphone down, also sets the camera lens down on whatever surface. This could lead to potential scratching of the lens. Good thing is that the case i'm using keeps the lens elevated from whatever surface the phone is resting on.
  8. M0bius1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2010
    I would also suggest the iPhone 4 over the 3GS. The screen, for me, is the biggest factor (it is just beautiful). The rest is icing on the cake... faster response time makes its less laggy, the 720p video which is surprisingly very decent quality and photos look great too. Overall the form factor of the iPhone 4 feels much better to hold in your hands, compared to the 3GS which wasn't a bad design but felt kind of awkward to hold to the ear at times due to its round back. Its also super solid and feels like a lot of mass compacted in a smaller form, making it feel even more quality. Also, the buttons are more clicky, and have a better feel IMO.

    As for the antenna issues people like to talk about, I am able to reproduce them quite easily if I cover about more than 50% of the right side of the phone. Like if you have all your fingers bunched together or have your palm covering it. The case does resolve this issue ,for whatever reason. It can also be resolved by being careful how you hold the phone and not covering to much of that side.

    Its definitely annoying but that just goes to show you how nice the phone is, through that issue people still love it. And I will confess, I love my new iPhone.
  9. i3igsmooth5769 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Screen on iphone 4 is much better....went back to my 3gs to see the difference and the screen looked so pixelated as opposed to the 4 which looked crisp and clear. No need for a bigger screen unless u want a mini tv in ur pocket.
  10. yourwiseguy macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2010
    The biggest thing for me would definitely have to be the retina display. Spend about 15 minutes on the iPhone 4 and when you return to your 3GS you will notice the huge difference in quality. Also, the iPhone 4 performs so much better. I say splurge a little and got for the 4 ;)
  11. lsvtecjohn3 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    When I had my 3GS I did a speed test with my iP4 opening up app, internet speeds over wifi, turning on the phone and the iP4 wasn't that much faster or smoother.

    The retina display is the first thing you'll see thats better. The battery a lot better too, the 720 video looks great, camera with flash. FaceTime is great and they even have an app Tango so you can FaceTime over 3G.

    Another thing too is you can sell your 3GS for around 300 plus and then you only have to pay the $199 or $299 and you won't be behind one year with the software updates.
  12. RonHC macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2010
    The only thing IMO that the iPhone 3GS is better compared to the iPhone 4 is the external design.

    To better explain it, i feel a lot more comfortable and have a better grip with the iPhone 3GS (because of the smooth curve) compared to my iPhone 4 which has like a uncomfortable feel on the sides :(
  13. MacDawg, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010

    MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Gonna do a little clean up and see if we can salvage this thread :)

    Edit: Will reopen, but let's try to stay on topic ;)
  14. APtalent macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
    Why are you attacking him for? He was just specifying the time period his 3GS was manufactured in. God, some people are just bitter.
  15. mKTank, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010

    mKTank macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2010
    He never said that his was better, and there are two 3GS phones with differing bootroms.

    Loving the censorship around the ideal that everyone's a sensitive little kid.
  16. aced411 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    I upgraded early to iphone 4 and I can honestly say I regret my purchase. Even with the bumper, my signal is consistently worst. Without the bumper half of my calls are dropped. The screen scratches really easy. I already have several imperfections. I used the 3GS bare for a year, dropped it a bunch of times and I only had a few hairline scratches.

    Yes the computing experience if fairly better and the screen is outstanding, but for me it's all about function over form. I know some folks don't suffer from the reception issue. I suppose it matters where you live and commute.
  17. Reefbone macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2008
    Battery Battery Battery <--- Biggest plus IMO

    Yes performance is improved, display is better, camera etc but I would only pay the subsidized price. IMO, the difference isn't signifigant enough to pay the full $699/$799 (or whatever). But If you have a sack of cash then go for it.
  18. Sedrick thread starter macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    Kind of my thinking. I may make the jump come bonus time though. :cool:
  19. itsmemuffins macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010

    Better display

    Better wifi

    Better GPS

    Better battery

    Better camera


    Front camera

    Double the ram

    Newer processor

    Facetime (yes I like it)

    Longer support via iOS
  20. rrandyy macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2009
    I went from an iPhone 2G to th iPhone 4. It is a big jump, yes. 3GS to 4 would be a jump as well. However, I dont think it would be worth paying full price for the iphone 4. It pretty much does all the same things as older iphones. Personally, I've never used facetime, rarely take pictures, etc. The biggest benefit to me has been the battery and the screen. If you're happy with your 3GS, then why change it? If your goal is to keep up with technology, you're going to lose. There's no two ways about it.
  21. aced411 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    I don't know what you guys are talking about. My iPhone 4 gets the same battery life I got with the 3GS and 3G. A day with heavy use, a day and a half with very light use. Again, 3GS is better if you want to make phone calls and use bluetooth.
  22. err404, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I have a 4 and my wife has a 3GS. Of coarse the 4 is better, but the 3GS is still very usable. The speed isn't that much better on the 4 since most of the extra power is consumed by the display.
    Unless you have money to blow, I'd recommend sticking with the 3GS for 6 more months and getting the IP5.

    I think your battery improvements can be largely attributed to your old phone being 3 years old. Batteries lose a lot of capacity over the years.
  23. ajarnfalang macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2010
    Next year's refresh will be less of a refresh than 3G to 3Gs.

    It may have the ability to be used as a credit card, or be used in a CDMA network. Other than that it will practically be the same phone.

    Big updates will be in the way of software. That's what next year will be about.

    By the time you see a new iPhone or any refresh it will be July 2011/end of June.

    The iPhone 4 is just 4 1/2 months old. Come on people.
  24. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    YES, they are different in one tiny detail... the later models had the updated bootrom which can't use the exploit by “24kpwn” since it was patched by Apple in fall 2009 and so any iPhone 3GS shipped after around November forward had the new bootrom which now needed a new exploit. So in this case, the older is the better.:p Now, performance wise of course they were the same. ;)

    TS the differences are NOT huge between the 3GS & 4, the iPhone 4 is great, but IMHO wait for the next version, it's not worth the extra cash if you got the 3GS right now...
  25. err404, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I always felt that the jump from the 3G to the 3GS was under appreciated. It was by far the biggest jump in the iPhone line, but even Apple seemed to down play it.
    The hardware for the 4 is certainly a step up, but it stands out more from the refinements in other areas (gps, cameras, screen etc).
    I think history will show the big jumps being 2g->3GS and 3GS->5 :p

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