QR Codes and the new iPhone 3GS » Didgeroo

QR Codes and the new iPhone 3GS

Aug 08, 2009
Wayne Freeman


Both the original iPhone and the iPhone3G came with a pitiful 2 megapixel camera with no focus control. This was bad news if you wanted to read QR codes.

Things have improved somewhat with the release of the new iPhone 3GS. The built-in camera now has auto-focus, and its resolution increase to a slightly more respectable 3MP.

Given these improvements, I was curious to see if this meant the iPhone could now handle smaller QR codes so I performed some tests. Here are my results:

Model Minimum – QR size
iPhone3G:  25x25mm
iPhone 3GS:  15x15mm

These tests where performed using BeeTag Reader. I have tested the half a dozen or so QR code readers available on Apples App store and I have found BeeTag to be the best of them.

Looking at these results you can see the new iPhone 3GS can read QR codes that are 40% smaller than the older iPhone 3G. This is great news and definitely a step in the right direction, however it’s still not sufficient to read many of the QR codes that appear on things such as postal mail and retail packing. For this to happen the iPhone would need a switchable macro lenses like the mobile phones in Japan.