iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 3GS: Worth the Upgrade?

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Apple says that the iPhone 4 is the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone. But does it live up to the hype? How much better is it than its predecessor? A lot better. It's much thinner (though slightly heavier), lasts longer on a charge (thanks to Apple's A4 chip), and will offer two-way FaceTime video chat. You also get HD video recording and an all-new three-axis gyroscope that should make gameplay even more immersive.

What's more, the iPhone 4 which we reviewed (and loved) on AT&T, is also now offered by Verizon. This pairs the superb handset with a more reliable data and voice network. The 16GB and 32GB versions of the iPhone 4 cost $199 and $299 regardless of which carrier you choose. If you stick with AT&T though, the 8GB iPhone 3GS costs just $49.

Check out the spec and feature comparison below between the iPhone 4 and 3GS and let us know if it's enough to tear you away from your current iPhone or another Android phone. Is there anything you think is missing (other than Verizon 4G LTE support)?


iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4

Operating System iPhone OS 3 (Upgrade to iOS 4.3) iOS 4.3
Size (inches) 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.48 4.5 x 2.3 x 0.37
Weight (ounces)
4.76  ounces 4.8 ounces
Processor 600-MHz ARM Cortex A8 Apple A4 processor
Display 3.5 inches  (480 x 320 pixels, 163 ppi) 3.5 inches (960 x 640 pixels, 326 ppi)
Camera 3-MP 5-MP with LED flash, VGA front camera
Video Recording VGA @ 30fps 720p @ 30fps
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g 802.11n
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light 3-axis gyro, Accelerometer, proximity, ambient light
Internal Memory (max) 8GB 16GB, 32GB
Talk / Standby Time up to 5 hours (3G)/12.5 days 7 hours (3G)/12.5 days
Internet Use (3G/Wi-Fi) 5 hours/9 hours 6 hours/10 hours
Video/Audio Playback Up to 10 hours/30 hours Up to 10 hours/40 hours
Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on