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New iPhone 3Gs, first use impressions

There is a lot, a lot back in the new iPhone and even if at first glance it could look exactly the same as the previous one (all the photos of the past few days appeared on foreign and Italian sites have proven to be sensationally false) capable of changing the lives of many of the people who will use it. Here is what we can say after a session for the few accredited journalists (those of Macity were the only Italians present) during which we were able to get our hands on the new Apple mobile phone for a few moments.

More than anything they impressed us in the functionality of the new camera. Apple, we were told, has done a tremendous job around it. Not only was, in fact, created a new and sophisticated software, but also a completely different hardware. The truly exciting result in terms of quality; we were shown photos printed with a normal ink jet that were substantially indistinguishable from those made with a standard medium quality camera and widely superior to those that are obtained with most cell phones even with modules well beyond 3 megapixels (like that of the iPhone). The most interesting aspect both from a practical and functional point of view is the autofocus which also operates on macro mode. In practice, iPhone can switch very quickly from focus on an object in the foreground to one in the background. Apple managers showed us how iPhone simply by touching a point on the screen where the part we want to focus is on, change the focus. The camera also adjusts the brightness automatically according to the object you want to highlight. The macro function we have just mentioned also to excellence.

As we have mentioned, these are software functions which also have a hardware component that operates the focus. For this reason, the new photographic "system" does not work with old iPhones. Just the new hardware components have increased the weight of the new iPhone even if in an insignificant way (2 grams).


The component works very well in poor light conditions both as a camera and as a video camera. It was very dark in the closet where we were, but the shooting was of a passable quality, only with a few "swipes" where there was the greatest contrast. Note that the shooting operates in full frame VGA (30 frames per second) and produces in H.264 files but capable of intelligently adjusting the frames when the light goes down to capture the greatest possible detail even if it does not drop below 15 frames per second. The files can be edited but destructive editing; in practice you cut a frame and reduce it in duration and the part that is discarded lost forever, this obviously if you work directly on the phone. The best thing then to download the files produced with iPhone. The amount of images that can be stored "significantly exceeds the battery life" if you have a 32 GB iPhone, we were told, without speculating further … The videos can be downloaded with any camera software (on a PC) or with iPhoto.

An interesting aspect of the video function that when sent via email or via MMS, the movies are automatically resized: "without affecting the original", we were told.

As for the processor, the Apple managers did not give us any information: "we don't talk about the components we use for our products, but we can say that it is a very fast processor that significantly affects every aspect of the functionality". Macity, waiting for further information, thinks that it is the Samsung S5PC100, a better and updated version of the current iPhone and touch processor, based on the ARM Cortex A8 architecture with 64/32 bit architecture and speeds up to 833 MHz. of l of the version used by Apple what we can say that the impression we had of an exceptionally fast engine; in the few "touches" that we have given to the screen, the performances seemed decidedly above those of the current model: no hesitation in the "swipe", instant application launches. Even the speed of the graphic processing due, also this, probably to a new 3D core seemed to us much higher than that of the 3G model. The most concrete proof was when we were able to try the "Compass" application for a few seconds. At that moment Google maps passed under our fingers very quickly; the compass allows you to always keep the map oriented in the same direction even by turning the phone and this means the need to process images in real time because in practice the map that turns.

The vocal part is also interesting. iPhone can understand the orders that are given through a software that interprets the voice. This means: calling songs from iTunes, performing iTunes tasks (audio playback, stop, skip, shuffle) but also calling phone numbers from the phone book simply by calling the name of the person we are interested in. Of course, we can also say if we want the mobile or landline number. Note that iPhone "speaks" and then tells us the song we are hearing when asked. there is also the Voice Over function that was first introduced with iPod shuffle.

Apple told us that the software immediately supports 32 languages, including Italian. Other languages ​​will be added in later stages.

The hardware data encryption function allows you to instantly delete the contents of the phone with a simple push. This particularity is not present on the old model which does not have a chip that takes care of this task; in practice the previous generation iPhone erases the Flash memory and this takes several minutes.

Overall we came out of our first and exclusive "face to face" with the new iPhone convinced that Apple has hit the mark by proposing not a revolution but an evolution that addresses all the main criticisms that had been presented to the first 3G version and the it does in an extraordinarily valid way, operating both on the hardware and on the software front. This combined with a drop in the price of the old 8 GB model (which could cost between 199 and 249 euros if sold without a contract in our latitudes) could give a strong boost to the iPhone and help it to fight energetically the assault of the many enemies who besiege him.