Physical difference between 3g and 3gs?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rileyb76, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. rileyb76 macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Hey guys,
    Occassionally I'll see some iphones at pawn shops for sale. I currently have a non-jailbroken and non-unlocked 3G and would love to upgrade to the 3GS until the new iphone gets here this summer. My question is... is there any way to tell the difference physically between a 3G and 3GS? Sometimes, the iphones don't have any battery juice left so I can't tell.

    Also, say I did find a 3GS and bought it. Couldn't I just put my SIM from my 3G to a new 3GS and it work instantly, or is the SIM somehow tied to the iphone? And yes, I do pay AT&T for data.

    Thanks for the input.
  2. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    The only physical difference I could think of is the writing on the back of the iPhone. on the 3G its grey, and on the 3GS its chrome/metallic looking like the Apple logo. Also, the model no in the writing there should give it away too.

    As for the sim, just take your existing sim and pop it in the new phone.
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    If you can turn it on then just look for the 'Compass' app and you'll know you have a 3GS.

    If you can't turn it on, there's not many easy ways. A 32 GB phone HAS to be a 3GS, but if it's a 16 that doesn't help you. Someone may be able to tell you what the model numbers on the back mean, but I don't know them. With BOTH of those methods, be careful as it's possible to replace the back so someone could be lying to you if you only read the back.

    That's why the compass method is best.
  4. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2010
    Houston, TX
    in addition to the compass, check the camera to see if it records video or click the home button three times... if it switches to white on black it's a 3GS
  5. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    On the 3GS, the text that says "iPhone", "Designed by Apple in California etc..." is reflective, while on the 3G it's just a dull gray.
  6. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    Yeah. Shiny text versus gray is the easiest differentiator.
  7. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    this feature needs to be enabled.
  8. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    My 3GS doesn't do this. How do I turn it on?
  9. Lexoticstylez02 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    Settings, General, Accessibility, Triple Click Option
  10. punisher1-1 macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Now that is good to know I had no idea about that thanks :D

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