iOS 5.0 gives iPhone 3GS a new lease of life

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Lots of people now think that the end is nigh for the iPhone 3GS, however despite its dated internals Apple is bringing iOS 5.0 to the two-year old+ smartphone. Not only will this bring lots of new software features and tweaks to the 3GS, but it will also improve performance.

In a recent post we spoke about how the iPhone 4S wiped the floor with the iPhone 4 and Motorola Droid Bionic, however we also spotted something else when checking out AnAndTech’s benchmarks – to cut a long story short running iOS 5.0 (GM build) on the iPhone 3GS resulted in much more impressive benchmark results than iOS 4.2.1 delivered on the same device, obviously these results don’t necessarily equate to real-world performance, but it gives us something to think about none-the-less.

The iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.2.1 scored 13580 when running the SunSpider Javascript Benchmark (0.91), however when the same test was ran on the same smartphone running iOS 5.0 GM it scored a much better result of 5785. In this particular test lower scores are better as it means that the benchmark finished quickly, this just goes to show how much better iOS 5′s native web browser is than previous iOS versions.

In Rightware’s BrowserMark test the iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.2.1 scored 26151, in this test higher scores are better, and the same model running iOS 5.0 scored a whopping 37276 – when compared to most modern-day smartphones this is still quite low, but it is still a huge improvement.

Not all of iOS 5′s features will work with the iPhone 3GS, however it is safe to say that it should give the 3GS a new lease of life. You can see a full list of changes here, we have heard that in terms of battery life the 3rd-gen iPhone does suffer, but if you turn of iTunes and iCloud syncing things improve quite vastly.

If you are expecting the best iOS 5 experience from the iPhone 3GS you are being unrealistic, but if you understand the 3GS’ limitations and want a richer we browsing experience etc it will be well-worth installing. Will you install iOS 5 on your iPhone 3GS tomorrow?

Also See: iMessage not working with Mac sync

  • Vikaschopra84

    Yes for Sure do you have a list of features that will not work on iPhone 3Gs

  • Anonymous

    Looks like the improvement won’t be as drastic for more recent 4.x versions of iOS5. I just ran the SunSpider .91 on my 3GS with iOS 4.3.3 and it reported a score of 6143. It’s jailbroken, but no mods that should affect Safari performance…

  • Dave Morrison

    5.0 really improved the battery performance on my 3GS.
    Because of this much improved performance, I’m hesitant to download 5.0.1.