iPhone 3G S: The Early Returns Are In

On the grand launch day of the iPhone 3.0 software update (which is available to iPhone users around the word as I write), some of the tech hotshots have gotten their hands on the brand-new (and yet unreleased) iPhone 3G S.

David Pogue from the New York Times, Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal and USA Today's Edward C. Baig have now posted their advance reviews of the iPhone 3G S.

And while I'm installing the 3.0 software update on my iPhone 3G (my thoughts on that a bit later), here's a breakdown on what the big shots have to say about Apple's new phone.

David Pogue - New York Times

Pros:

  • quality video recording
  • beefier battery life (25% more life a charge)
  • oleophobic (fingerprint-resistant) screen does its job

Cons:

  • though better, camera still not great (upped from 2- to 3-megapixels)
  • no MMS and tethering yet (in the U.S.)

Walt Mossberg - Wall Street Journal

Pros:

  • much speedier day-to-day use
  • better battery life
  • great new 3.0 software

Cons:

  • camera without zoom, flash
  • compass irrelevant for most users
  • occasional crashes/freezes

Edward Baig - USA Today

Pros:

  • much faster indeed
  • improved camera
  • slim and stunning

Cons:

  • voice control feature needs more polishing
  • sealed battery (no surprise here)
  • no multitasking

There seems to be a general consensus from the iPhone 3G S reviews so far, and that is that the new hardware is indeed faster and the improved camera and battery life are two welcomed additions.

However, the most features added in the new iPhone iteration are brought by the 3.0 software update, which is a much cheaper upgrade alternative (actually free for iPhone users) to the new 3G S model.

Speaking of the 3.0 software update, it is now available around the world, free for iPhone and for $10 for iPod Touch users. The download comes at 230MB, and takes around 10 minutes to install.

After installing the 3.0 updates (literally minutes ago) my iPhone 3G does feel more responsive. The upgrade went without a hitch and delivers all the software goodies many were expecting for a long while now. More on that from my colleagues in just a little while, so stay tuned.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielionescu

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