iPhone 4 vs iPhone 3GS in Pictures

You didn't really think we'd let you get through a day without setting the iPhone 4 down next to the iPhone 3GS, did you?

The verdict? Well obviously we prefer the iPhone 4, but we will say that the lack of a curved back has us flipping the device around quite a bit post-pocket-pull. But the iPhone 4 is thinner, feels nicer to our hands, and... well there are a lot of "ands," the last of which is ...and you'll have to wait for our full review for our full opinion.

Ok, we'll let one thing out now: while you may have pooh-poohed the Retina display from what you've seen before, when it comes to viewing text there's just plain nothing else like it out there. We've included a detail shot of the Retina Display up against the iPhone 3GS's display after the break (along with the rest of the gallery) and we're pretty sure it'll put most arguments to rest. Yes, it's not necessary to read web pages or ebooks, but seeing electronic text at this level of refinement changes you, deep down, and suddenly all other electronic text looks like amateur-hour.

[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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There are 26 comments. Add yours.

smartbuyer says:

Why does the iPhone 3GS show a minute ahead of the 4? Seems it's a tad bit behind schedule! Seriously explain...thanks!

John M says:

I too poo-poohed the Retina display, but after 24 hours with it I am in agreement that there is simply nothing like it...amazing clarity and crispness.

Chobbs11 says:

I did the same thing last night with my iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4! The differences were stark! And left no question in my mind as to which phone was the better!
The difference is night and day!

Whatsupchia says:

I am completely loving my iPhone 4. It is Awesome.

tweger01 says:

I didn't realize how "bad" the 3GS' display was until I compared it to my iPhone 4. I say "bad" loosely because it isn't bad, per se, just not nearly as good as the iPhone 4's.

Mary Chnuckle says:

Still love my 3GS must say !!

TumnusMr says:

Same here. Only problem now is I'm even looking at my recently bought MacBook and thinking how pixelated its screen looks :-/

Max Bloom says:

The speed of loading HTML rich pages on 3G network is simply unmatched by ANY phone on the market. I was comparing with a couple friends and iPhone 4 simply blows other phones out of the water.

Jez says:

Personally there is nothing that cinvinces me to trade up a year earlier than planned. I'm happy with ios4 upgrade for my 3GS.
As per retina display I'll have to check it out is person cos looking at your screen shots on my 3GS makes no difference at all.
Maybe seeing it in the flesh will make it 'pop' lol.
How's the reception if you cover the base of the phone with your hand, there rumours going around on the interweb that this causes the 4 to lose some reception ?? Any comments ??
Also floating around in interweb land are several pictures of 'yellowing' areas of yellow tint on the screen which many are attributing to the manufacturing process.
As for me I'll wait for iPhone 4.5 lol.
Enjoy ur phones guy
Jez
:-)

petaf says:

Went to AT&T today to see a store demonstration phone. Awesome!! Felt amazingly heavy, screen was a joy to look at. The salesperson had to wrestle it out of my hand, lol. I have a 3G and I'm due for an upgrade but didn't want to order one without actually seeing it in person. No question in my mind that I'll be getting one now.

Chris says:

I also personally don't see a reason to upgrade to the 4, if you are a 3GS user. I'm really pleased with the ios4 update on my 3GS. I'm not too concerned about the better display, new camera and oh yea, FaceTime App. I'll wait for the 64GB iPhone 5 to come out next year.

Pinny says:

The new display is a world apart from that of any device I have ever seen. It literally looks like glossy magazine print.

Oliverf says:

Sticking with ios4 on my 3GS for a few more months as well. Looks awesome though. Enjoy all

audicy says:

I want it now!, but will have to wait several more months or I will have to pay full pop.

carolinamic says:

@smartbuyer my iphone phone is 4 minutes behind my 3gs and everyone else's phone at work

(9_) says:

Hurry up and release this in australia!!! i want it now!

iDavey says:

Not to sound jerkish...but it's only amazing compared to the 3G S because the resolution was so low (compared to most phones out now).
Yes the Retina Display is the most densely pixel packed display out. But whne compared to a 800x480 (or 854x480) screen...the difference isn't that big. It's of course going to be crisper and have more clarity. But it's not going to be something that you'd want to drop your phone and go run for.
But I am still loving the display. I thank Apple for putting this resolution out there (just as Windows did the 800x480). Cause now...I see this being a norm come as early as the end of this year. Maybe even hitting 720p resolutions (hey...a geek can dream cant he)

Caballera says:

hmm the iPhone 4 looks nice, however the pictures of the screen must not be doing it justice cause I can barely tell the difference. Guess I'll have to see one in stores. Anyways I'm still happy with the 3GS with the iOS4 update, feels more like the phone I always wanted now that it can multitask.

Webvex says:

I still think the 3GS is sexier (and more functional) with it's curves. The 4 looks like a robot.

zeagus says:

The difference is VERY noticeable in person and even compared to HD2 or EVO.

csan says:

i have the iphone 4 but i have to say i love the 3gs build better but not a deal breaker still love my iphone 4

Miked says:

Did y'all know you can lock it in portrait just like the iPad? Go to multitask screen and swipe left to get to the iPod buttons. Hit the far left button to "portrait orientation locked".

Emre SUMENGEN says:

The difference makes itself very clear... But, what about some comparison shots with already high-res devices, like the Nexus1,
HD2 and Evo4G?
Side by side macro shoots would show ppl clearly that it's not the size of the display that makes it look nicer & better, but the dpi...
I'd love to see such a match.

Josh says:

Side by side pic shows the 3GS with iOS3. What's up with that? The iOS4 upgrade is like falling in love with the phone all over again:)

Jordan says:

Guys & ladies
I have had the iPhone4 for about three weeks. IT IS ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!!
*but...
Antennagate is a reality.
I am actually flogging my iPhone4 and downgrading to a 3GS. Constant dropping of calls (2 out of 5), no signal where iPhone3GS has plenty... ouch.. not nice to sell but I need a phone that is actually, erm... a phone.

Elliott Shock says:

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