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Review: iPhone 3GS

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The iPhone's Safari browser is as powerful as ever. It still doesn't include Flash, but it's the closest thing you're going to get to a desktop experience on a mobile phone. The biggest update, of course, is that the iPhone can now access AT&T's 7.2Mbps HSPA 3G network...if you have coverage. Right now, only a small region in downtown Chicago actually has access to AT&T's network at these speeds. AT&T says that it will be rolling out the 7.2Mbps speeds across the country throughout 2009. It will likely announce those new markets as they are lit up. I performed a handful of speed tests of the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Both maxed out at about 1.233Mbps on the download and 275Mbps on the upload. These tests were performed from my home. Results will vary.

With the enhanced processor and RAM, the browser does load faster and react faster when you shuffle through web sites. Web page load times don't appear to be all that different compared to the iPhone 3G, but that should change when AT&T's faster network goes live. Once pages are loaded, you can pan around them faster than previously.

Otherwise the basic functionality of the Safari browser is about the same as before. Double tap to quickly zoom in, pinch to fine-tune zooming, press and move your finger around to pan around any web page.

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The iPhone lets you do some customization. You can set your own wallpapers, picture IDs, and settings for ringers and notifications. You can completely change up the menu location of all the applications to suit your needs.

As for ringtones, you can download some from the iTunes Music Store for a fee, or, if you use an Apple computer, import a non-protected song to GarageBand. Using a tool in GarageBand, you can select a 10-second clip from the song and create a ringtone with it. This doesn't cost you anything.

I am going to complain about the number of sounds that are available for SMS alerts, email alerts and so on. Apple has not changed or altered these alerts at all in the past two years. I, for one, and SICK of them. I want some other type of noise to let me know that I have a new text message. Seriously, Apple, is it going to kill you to give us a few more message alert tones for God's sake?! Unfortunately, users cannot add or create their own alert tones. This is weak.


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