iPhone 3GS is here!

Finally! It's here! Bow down before iPhone 3GS, with improved camera, a compass, better battery life and even more storage

It's the moment we've all been waiting for: the Apple iPhone 3GS is here. A souped-up camera, a compass, improved battery life and even more storage make this the most exciting thing since, well, since the last one.

The outside looks pretty much exactly the same as the current iPhone 3G, so the front-facing camera and matte back are the first rumours to fall by the wayside. It seems all the improvements are under the bonnet: Apple reckons it's roughly three times faster.

It now supports 7.2Mbps HSDPA and has some expected camera improvements: there's a bump from 2-megapixels to 3-megapixels, with autofocus and auto macro. And yes, video capture is finally here -- 30 frames per second VGA with audio. In-camera editing and direct upload to the Web or MMS are also included. An API is forthcoming for developers to come up with cool stuff to do with your videos.

A digital compass has been added for souped-up location services. The new handset will be technically capable of tethering to your computer via USB or Bluetooth, turning it into a dongle that allows your computer to connect to the Internet via your phone network. Of course, O2 may not like that idea.

The new iPhone uses the iPhone 3.0 operating system, familiar from the beta launch. New features include voice control of your phone and even of your music, and VoiceOver as seen on the iPod shuffle.

Another much-anticpated feature is improved battery life. Apple claims up to nine hours of surfing, ten hours of video, 30 hours of music-playing and five hours of 3G talky-chat.

Also arriving is the expected memory bump to 32GB for $300 (£190), with the 16GB version costing $200 (£125). It's due to arrive in the UK on 19 June, where it will be exclusive once again to O2. You can pre-order it from the Carphone Warehouse on Wednesday. 

O2 hasn't yet updated its Web site, but it tweeted that he iPhone 3GS 16GB will cost up to £184.98, depending on which tariff you take, and the 32GB up to £274.23. The highest prices are on the 18-month £29.38 and £34.26 per month tariffs. Tethering will require a bolt-on, at 3GB for £14.68 per month, 10GB for £29.36. More as we get it.

Aaaand... relax.

The iPhone 3GS has a built-in compass. At least one guy is very excited about this.

The iPhone 3GS' camera is a hefty step up from the last generation, with an extra megapixel, autofocus, auto macro and video recording.

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Phones
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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