In the following review, I elaborate on some subjects not available in other reviews (e.g., that of Engadget, Gizmodo) etc. I also provide some updates to my previous, iPhone 3G-specific battery consumption benchmarks and stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)-specific bug reports. As you’ll see, there are a lot of other goodies the new model offers, not just the ones listed in the reviews published so far. And, unfortunately, there’s also a (deliberate?) downgrade: the quality of the screen. Nevertheless, in all other respects, it’s a big step ahead. Jailbreaking Fortunately, the current (3.0) firmware is very easy to jailbreak. (Note that 3.0.1 was released some hours ago. I haven’t upgraded my iPhone 3G / 3G S to it yet so the following tutorial only applies to 3.0. According to some sites, 3.0.1 is perfectly jailbreakable.) To do it, download purplera1n. It’s a single EXE file; just start it. (On Vista, it, according to the comments, may require you to start it in XP compatible mode; under Windows 7 RC, I didn’t need to do this). It’ll quickly hack and reboot your phone. After that, look for the newly-added “Freeze” icon and tap it; it’ll install the Cydia icon. That is, compared to the 3G jailbreaking process from iPhone Dev-team, 1. you don’t need to have the official firmware image to jailbreak 2. you don’t need to manually restart it (to press any button), which, along with the lack of need for any firmware file, makes the entire process MUCH easier for newbies, 3. and it installs an icon that you need to tap in order to install Cydia – the original I haven’t noticed any speed difference between the jailbroken and non-jailbroken phones (tested with the AppStore app “Benchmark”). T-Pot (the app to easily browse the iPhone file system from Total Commander on Windows) is working flawlessly. Backgrounder Backgrounder seriously enhances the iPhone, allowing you, say, to listen to some radio stations while doing something else in the foreground. As with the current, r249 version, the basic functionality of exiting / mimimizing depending on the current setting does work. However, if you try to keep the Home button depressed NOT to exit / minimize immediately, Voice Control pops up. (You can, then, safely release Home.) Nevertheless, this isn’t a problem – as soon as you exit Voice Control, the original app resumes; now, the default Home functionality switched. Thanks to the expanded RAM (now, it’s 256 Mbyte), I’ve never (!!!) encountered cases of radio players running in the background shut down, which was really a pain in the back with the iPhone 3G, even with the, in this respect, best clients the least prone for shutdown (for example, Pocket Tunes Radio.) Also, the much-much faster CPU results in your not noticing there’re running apps in the background. With the iPhone 3G, the phone (further) slowed down if you listened to a radio station in the background. No such problem with the 3G S. Also see the reports of other users HERE. Speed difference Well, it’s indeed true the 3G S is WAY faster. You might want to compare the comparison videos published so far; as there’re a lot of them, I didn’t bother making some myself. The AppStore app “Benchmark” measured about 4-5 times better performance. Some screenshots of this: 3G S: 1 2; 3G. I’ve also tried some games. In general, 3D games become in case much less stuttering (much higher frames per sec) and much better anti-aliasizing; all in all, WAY better visuals; for example, NFS Unlimited. 2G games not necessarily speed up; for example, in Skyforce Reloaded Lite and Orions, there was no visible difference during the play. Game / level / resource loading times, of course, are dramatically lower. Camera Mostly because of the autofocus, macroing capabilities and video, it’s considerably better than that of the 3G. Of course, it doesn’t really beat the camera of, say, the Nokia N95 – but is pretty much usable for many kinds of shots. As far as macroing is concerned, I’ve measured about 5-6 cm’s (2-3 inches) of minimum subject distance to get a good picture. The video is VGA only and, of course, there is only mono sound. Nevertheless, both the video and the audio are of high quality (when it comes to comparing it to the , so far, available solutions on jailbroken 3G’s) and the mike is pretty sensitive. Hopefully the next iteration will also support HD (720p at least) recording with stereo sound. I particularly liked the well though-out post-processing video handling interface; particularly the built-in, seamless video mailing / YouTube upload capabilities. Voice control To my great delight, I saw Finnish in the list of supported languages. No more suffering with my non-native English pronunciation and tying to mimick that of native Americans The hit rate of the Finnish voice control turned out to be pretty good. Bluetooth strereo (A2DP) I have both great and bad news. First, some great news: - it doesn’t seem to have any kind of problems with Wi-Fi streaming with any of my A2DP headphones – as opposed to the iPhone 3G. I’ve never encountered any skips or pauses in sound. I’ve tested them with almost all my A2DP headphones (Motorola HT 820, Plantronics Pulsar 590, Altec Lansing BackBeat 903/906, Gear4 BluPhones) with Wi-Fi streamed content. This means if you get a 3G S (and not a 3G), you can be pretty sure it’ll work with any A2DP headphones. This is certainly great news! (See THIS for more info on how A2DP behaves on the iPhone 3G.) - the CPU usage is almost impossible to measure and is far lower than that of the 3G. That is, you no more need to stay away from using A2DP in graphics- and CPU-intensive games where every CPU cycle counts – unlike on the 3G. - the additional power usage of A2DP is far lower than with the iPhone 3G. For example, playing back local MP3 files in the built-in QuickTime via A2DP only consumes 0.05…0.07% / minute, as opposed to the 3G, where the total power consumption with A2DP enabled is 0.25%/min. (See Section “2.2 Refrain from using direct A2DP – whenever possible, use dongles or wired headphones” HERE for more info on this issue.) And the bad news: the audio lag is equally, unacceptably bad when playing back video (see THIS for more info). That is, you may still need to stick with external, low-lag Bluetooth dongles with a 3.5 mm jack to deliver almost lag-free sound. Misc - I couldn’t hear any difference in the maximal audio volume. Some people state the new model is louder; I’m don’t think they’re right. - The ON/OFF (suspend / resume) switch operates with a far better discernable “click”, much easier to feel, than that of the 3G. This is of particular importance when you use a case like the SwitchEasy Capsule Rebel. With the 3G, you could be never sure whether the Power is depressed or not. With the 3GS, this isn’t an issue any more.