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Why the iPhone 3GS Is Still My Favorite Phone



If this is your first time here, let me bring you up to speed real quick. I have been a proud owner of an iPhone 3GS since it launched back in 1895, or was it 2009, I can’t remember. In the months preceding the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 announcements, I was debating making a switch to the iPhone or one of the high-end Android devices on the market.

Mainly because I thought iOS 5 was going to be absolutely terrible on the iPhone 3GS, much in the same way that iOS 4 was clunky and virtually impossible to use on the iPhone 3G.

My experience, at least at the beginning, turned out to be a very positive one. That experience seemed to differ from that of many folks still toting the aging iPhone model but I also had supporters.

Thank you guys, checks are in the mail.


Why the iPhone 3GS Is Still My Favorite Phone

Just about two months later, the dream seemed to come crashing down. I started running into a number of problems. Apps were crashing. The battery life was getting worse. And overall, the experience was just flat out sluggish. I tried a whole bunch of stuff. I deleted apps I never use. I disabled iCloud.

And then, amidst these problems, I made a bold move.

I went out and bought the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. You can read my thought process behind that decision here, but one of the main reasons was that I thought I was finally going to have to retire my iPhone 3GS and start using another phone as my main device.

Fast forward.

We’re now in February and I’ve had my Galaxy Nexus for about two or so months now and guess what?

I still haven’t retired my iPhone 3GS. I still take it with me everywhere I go. I watch my media on there. I, well, I do just about everything on my iPhone.

And let’s get to why that is.

Somehow, the problems I had been having with my iPhone 3GS magically went away. I still get the occasional slow down but it’s not debilitating. The battery generally lasts me all day as well, something I covet.

But really, what this comes down to are the issues I’ve been having with my Galaxy Nexus since launch. The biggest culprit?

Battery life.

I am seriously scared to bring this phone with me outside and away from a charger. Things have improved since I wrote a scathing post denouncing the battery life as unacceptable but quite frankly, the battery life is still sub-par.

Don’t believe me?

Read: Droid RAZR MAXX Crushes Competition in 4G LTE Battery Life Test.

Another thing, I’ve just never gotten used to the footprint that the Galaxy Nexus offers. If you’ve never handled this thing, it’s absolutely massive. It’s fairly slim, but it has a 4.65-inch screen as opposed to the iPhone’s 3.5-inch display and just about every single person I’ve shown it to remarks about how big the footprint is.

Sure, it’s great for watching Netflix and sports highlights and viewing photos, but it’s a handful to carry around. And to be honest, while it feels good to hold, I’ve just never gotten comfortable with it.

Those are just the two biggest gripes I have with it. There are others – I would love to be able to use Google Wallet, but those are the biggest and they have been enough to send the Galaxy Nexus to my smartphone doghouse.

I should mention that I love Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and it’s why I am so adamant about HTC and Motorola rewarding those who bought into the Droid Bionic and HTC ThunderBolt with the software in a timely fashion.

It’s a great piece of software.

Anyway, here I am, using a phone that my as well have a gray beard flowing from its bezel. Thing is, the phone is performing as well as it did when I excitedly opened the box all those years ago, replacing my BlackBerry 7130c, a glorious brick of a phone.

Anyone else finding it hard to put down an old smartphone?

iPhone 3GS or otherwise?



  1. Apple crys

    02/14/2012 at 1:08 pm

    Yes you seems never used a LTE smart phone bring the speed of 30mb down compare iPhone3gs 3mb and not thing but spins.

  2. Apple crys

    02/14/2012 at 1:10 pm

    And you seems never seen a Super Amoled display on Galaxy Note, the game is over but not to you, you have to work hard to ear money to write crap like this.

  3. Emīls Ozols

    02/14/2012 at 1:27 pm

    Bought an iPhone 3G when the 3GS was already out, because I didn’t think the “2x faster” would mean anything for me, but I was so very wrong… Still, use it, even more than 2 years later and it`s even pretty banged up – the home button works only now and then, I can`t put it to silent and there`s even about 20 dead pixels on the thing, but I still use it. It`s a great phone but I still hope that I will be able to upgrade to the iPhone 4S or even the 5 if in the near future

  4. RDerkson

    02/17/2012 at 12:36 pm

    Adam – I’m still rockin the iPhone 3GS too and I love it. I wrote my own article a few weeks back why I thought the iPhone 3GS is still the best phone on the market today. I know millions of people would disagree with me but here me out. Like you mention most Android phones support a 4+ inch screen, to big because you cannot use it with one hand, is bulky in your pocket, and most Android devices now support 4G = horrible battery life. iPhone 4 = reception issues. iPhone 4S = battery issues.  As you also mention the 3GS runs iOS 5 well, has solid battery life, no reception issues, and is only missing a few main features on the newer iPhones, Siri, Screen Res, and Camera. Glad to see I’m not the only one who is still rockin the 3GS and is happy to be doing so.

    • u

      08/30/2012 at 11:19 am

      Do you have a link to that article?

    • Mark Glasson

      04/14/2014 at 1:55 pm

      I know these articles are a couple of years old, but I still wish Apple carried the 3GS! I deactivated mine today and I am already looking to purchase a new one from Ebsy soon. Sorry, when Apple went to the squared, flat phone on the iphone 4, I never cared for it! I love the way the black iPhone 3GS feels and looks! This to me is a real iphone.

  5. Joe111

    02/20/2012 at 9:14 am

    Yea and some people still like a flip phone.  It is choice.

  6. Eric

    06/18/2012 at 9:49 am

    Still using my 3Gs as well. My third one actually. First one was only a day old and died must use been defective. Second lasted me two years and still went on. The power button stopped working and silent button cause I dropped it but I carried it still cause I loved it. I finally read on Apples site if I was out of warranty I could replace it for only $150. I was made fun of saying I could just upgrade for about but I didn’t like the four eras sharp box feel and I loved the 3GS design so I thought why not have a brand new one because it does everything I need it too and have a pile of accessories for and no contract? So I did and I love it. Fast enough and the good thing about this massive cell phone market the more you wait the better they get! So enjoying my no contract new cell waiting on something to catch my eye. Eye on the beautiful HTC One x

  7. jamesatronic

    06/25/2012 at 11:47 pm

    I still use my 8GB iphone 3G…yes, just 3G, no “s”! It’s been replaced once by the Apple Store, but other than that, it works great (a bit slow), and I don’t have lots of new features my contemporary iphone user friends have, and I have no intention of switching phones until it breaks! (or the 5 comes out!) Great article!

  8. Michael

    09/19/2012 at 1:36 am

    Still rockin my 3gs since the day it came out. Getting ready to upgrade to the iPhone 5 cause well it is just about time and I do want Siri after using my moms 4s. I will say I was tempted to keep it for one more generation but there are too many new features I can not get with the 3gs. I love how Samsung touts it’s huge 4.5 inch screen on the GS3 as being cool. Ya, right like I want to carry a laptop in my pocket. Long live the 3gs.

  9. Stéphane Kapitaniuk

    09/25/2012 at 6:44 am

    Still use a 3GS and it works fine. I’m a very late adopter because of budget. But I haven’t seriously missed anything. I fell on your blog looking up whether I should install iOS 6 or just leave it be.

  10. Drew

    10/04/2013 at 6:59 pm

    I actually just got my iPhone 3Gs yesterday. Secondhand. I love it so far. It runs iOS 6 very smoothly. Every smartphone I’ve ever had has been Android, but Apple is by far the best operating system.

  11. Santos Jerez

    09/11/2017 at 8:09 pm

    By far the best iphone period had my since jump, able to send pictures via text and it does the business. Although I upgraded to the 4 I still use my iphone 3GS daily streaming internet radio .

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