Fortunately, nowadays, it is quite easy to get one, easy in the sense of availability in several shops and not necessarily the price. An iPhone shall still cost a lot for the average person.
In 2008, Apple released the second iPhone called the iPhone 3G and later in 2009 they did release the iPhone 3GS. Currently, the iPhone 4 released in 2010 is the reigning champ soon to be replaced with the rumoured iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S.
Many iPhone buyers that cannot afford the iPhone 4 but want the iPhone experience shall comfortably settle for the earlier versions including the 3G and 3GS. Problem though is that aesthetically there is virtually no difference between the two (take this literally) yet they drastically differ in performance and price. Just like my friend Joe, it is very common to find unsuspecting buyers paying for a 3GS but end up with a 3G.
So, how does one tell the difference? Apple says that the added ‘S’ stands for speed and the 3GS does seem to have a lot of speed improvements over the 3G. Basically Apple decided to retain the winning iPhone look while managing to squeeze the improvements in.
The 3GS comes equipped with a 600MHz ARM processor that is better than the 412Mhz processor of the 3G. This added processing power allows users to run applications without any noticeable lags or freezes. The 3G speeds are upgraded in the 3GS where the 3G can only achieve 3.6 Mbps, the 3GS can reach 7.2 Mbps. Of course for many users, these Internet speed differences do not mean a thing on a mobile phone. The camera on the 3GS is also an improvement with 3 mega pixels instead of a 2 on the 3G. Apple also added video recording support in the 3GS. The 3GS has voice control, a feature that lets you control your iPhone with the sound of your voice. There is also a compass application that is supported with an embedded magnetic compass.
If you are looking at buying a used iPhone or you just want to know how to tell the difference between an iPhone 3G and a 3GS, then this is how you do it.
First, there is no way to tell the difference just by looking at it. You have to either have the phone in your hand, or have to have the serial number.
If you have the phone in your hand, then check the following items:
liPhone 3GS is a lot faster than the 3G. Just try to open any lengthy games or application. iPhone 3GS will start up pretty quick then iPhone 3G. This is a bit tricky because you need a reference for speed comparison.
Go into the camera and see if there is a slider to toggle between photo and video in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Check and see if it has the compass application.
Hold down the home button (the round button on the front of the phone) and see if “Voice Control” comes up.
If the iPhone that you are checking has the above applications or features, then it is an iPhone 3GS. If it does not, then it is a 3G.
Source: Daily Monitor News