You either love it or hate it.

Regardless of the above, it’s hard to deny that the iPhone has shaken up the mobile phone market like no other before. As the owner of numerous Nokia’s including their Communicator series, I never came across a phone that worked so effortlessly to perform tasks ranging from simply making calls and and listening to music to remotely administrating your web server. Perhaps the worst thing about iPhones these days is the fact that almost everyone has one!

So what of the new iPhone 3GS, is it really worth the upgrade? Having owned each incarnation of the iPhone since it’s intial release, my answer is a resounding yes!

The 3G was a step in the right direction but at the end of the day the internet connection wasn’t that much faster (as it failed to support the faster HSDPA protocol) and the processing power was essentially the same which left it annoyingly laggy at times. Now most of the features of the 3GS can be had on the 3G simply by ugprading to the 3.0 operating system (including the much needed copy and paste) however the thing that really changes the user experience is the speed. It turns the iPhone from a phone with a few extra capabilities to a real alternative to a phone and laptop.

The 3GS almost never lags. The keyboard is responsive as you type, applications load almost instantly, Safari (the web browser) handles complex websites with ease and if you’ve got good reception they’ll load within seconds thanks to finally including HSDPA support (this is what USB 3G mobile broadband sticks use).  Furthermore the internet tethering option allows you to use the iPhone as a modem for your laptop and if you have a Mac this could not be simpler to set up!

The other features the 3GS offers are, I believe, less important. The built in compass allows maps to orientate to the direction the iPhone is held – neat but not that essential. The voice control is poor (it may be better for American accents), and is barely usable. Being able to record videos is nice but not something I use all that often.

My only gripe with the 3GS is how o2 have made it so difficult for people to upgrade. Undoubtedly the majority of people wanting this phone will be users of a previous iPhone. Despite this o2 are insisting that people in a current iPhone contract (and if you bought a 3G phone you will be) see this out before they are able to upgrade. The other option they’re offering is to buy yourself out of your contract but paying the remaining months off but the thought of paying good money for nothing makes me wince!

I came to the conclusion that by far the best way of doing it was simply to buy the phone outright on pay as you go. Ok it’s a big hit initially but you can continue to use your current contract SIM in the new phone, get some money back by selling the phone it replaces (I achieved a wopping £290 on eBay for my old 3G) and a few months down the line you’ll be free to move to a contract that offers much better value eg. o2 Simplicity at £19.58/month with unlimited web browsing.

So what are you waiting for?

www.apple.com/uk/iphone

iPhone 3GS