The first impressions of the new Apple iPhone 3GS are positive. It looks and feels identical, and though the case is the same, it weighs a few grams more. It also seems to be noticeably faster to launch applications, and the camera, although only 3-megapixel, is impressive.
Tapping the screen moves the focus point effectively and although there's no flash, improved responsiveness in low light really helps. Similarly, video, with the timeline displayed on playback is a neat and enjoyable improvement.
A quick glance at the compass was fun but the real difference was in Maps. Suddenly the glowing blue dot representing your location has a beam of light pouring out in the direction you're facing, the map re-orienting as you turn the phone. Ideal if you don't know whether you should be heading up or down the street you're on.
Many of the rest of the improvements are down to the new software due on June 17, but the hardware lifts match the new capabilities well. It's all looking promising for a similar-looking but higher-performance iPhone experience, and we're even promised better battery life to boot.