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Iphone 3 Or Iphone 4?
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The Apple Iphone revolutionized the smartphone. With features like a video camera, still camera, text messaging, visual voicemail, media player, web browsing, and email, the sleek little device opened up a whole new mobile world. There are two types of iPhones on the market today, and for anyone looking to get their first iPhone or anyone thinking about upgrading, it can be tough to determine which one is the right one.

Lets start off with the iPhone 3. There are three different models, 3, 3G, and 3GS. There are two major difference to consider between these models. The 3G and 3GS can connect to 3G cellular networks and the the 3 can only connect to GSM cellular networks. The 3G network is much faster, so communication over the internet, which is the iPhone's bread and butter, is much, much smoother on the 3G and 3GS. The big difference between the 3G and 3GS, besides the compass, better camera, and faster processor in the 3GS, is that the 3GS can run the latest version of the iPhone operating system. Apple updates the operating system, called IOS, every once in a while (all for free) with lots of neat features. This really sets the 3GS apart from the other two. So, in the iPhone 3 category, the 3GS is a stand out. It's a solid phone with lots of features, and these days, you can get a hold of one for just $49 through AT&T!

But we aren't here to just talk about the iPhone 3, are we? Lets have a look at the latest model, the iPhone 4. For the purpose of this comparison, I will compare the iPhone 4 to the 3GS. The 4 has a fresh new look that is less rounded than the 3GS. The 4 is a bit smaller and thinner and it has a slightly better battery life. The 3GS has about 5 hours of talk time vs the 4's 7 hours. Perhaps the biggest difference is the display. The 4 has a what Apple calls a retina display. I have to say, it truly is a beautiful screen. Of all the smartphones I've seen, including Blackberry and HTC, it is the clearest and sharpest by far.

The 4 also has a better camera. Actually, it has two cameras. One on the front and one on the back. The back camera is higher resolution than the 3GS (5 megapixels vs. 3 megapixels) and has a small flash. The 3GS does not have a flash. The 4's camera really does take nice shots, and the video is in high definition, which is great. The second camera on the 4 is for a feature called Facetime. Facetime lets two iPhone 4 users see and talk to each other, as long as they both have a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet. It's a neat feature and it seems to work well, but I'm not sure how practical it is for most people. We have all grown up holding the phone to our ears and imagining what the other person looks like at that moment. It will probably grow on us though.

The 4 had an issue with it's construction that the 3GS never had. The issue was that if there was no case on the phone and you let your fingers hold the phone in a way where your fingers or hand was touching the metal sides, the phone's reception would go down drastically. This was a really big deal when it first came out. Most folks get around that by simply buying a case for it though. With a case on, the reception issues go away. There is even a clear, thin coating that you can buy that goes on the outside of the phone to keep your skin from contacting the metal. So, while it is a flaw, there is a workaround.

Finally, the iPhone 4 will cost considerably more than the 3GS. Currently listed at $199, the 4 is pricey for someone on a budget.

So, have you figured out which one is for you? It seems that if you are interested in having a phone with a really nice camera in it (which means you always have a camera with you!), and aren't on too much of a budget, then the iPhone 4 is for you. On the other hand, if you are on a bit of a budget and want a great phone for a little money, the 3GS is for you. You'll still have a camera with you, it just wont be as high resolution as the 4 and it wont do well in the dark. You'll have to make the call on whether Facetime is for you. Personally, I wouldn't use it. But someday who knows. The battery is fair in both models, with the iPhone 4 edging out just a bit.


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