Events, SmartPhones, Tech

iPhone 8  and iPhone X – Thoughts and impressions

With Apple’s recent unveiling of its new phones, we can only be sure of one thing, that these are really exciting times. I spent the better part of yesterday trolling people I know that are iPhone fans and woke up today to more than 10 messages telling me “They are good phones, what are you talking about?!” or something to that effect. Which tells us one thing, that some of my friends don’t get jokes.

I won’t be discussing the phones specifications/hardware/software, but rather focus on some features highlighted in the event. Here are my actual unbiased thoughts (as an Android user) on the new iPhones and those features (no bashing):

Let me start off by saying that almost none of the technology/features are actually new, rather one has been implemented quite differently from what we saw done by other brands, and another has been “reinvented”. The two features I will focus on is the new AR applications and Face ID (iPhone X).

Augmented Reality

There have been talks about Apple, speculations about their introduction of AR in their upcoming phones (since they announced ARKit), and it is finally here. Anyone interested slightly in tech knows that with Apple’s adoption of it, we’ll begin to see new interesting things. This is simply amazing because it is about time something like AR got a boost such as this. Apple spent some time explaining iPhone 8 AR during their Keynote yesterday and some appealed to the gamer in me. The fact that you can use the phone’s camera to play strategy games such as “The Machines” over your kitchen table is something I would love to try. But I fear that is it, as a gamer, nothing really replaces my gaming PC, and my interest in AR gaming on the new iPhone is merely an interest to see how the technology is implemented. The same goes for the iPhone’s AR capability to overlay names of players during a live game. Both those features are features I would like to try, but merely to see how they work. Unfortunately, I view these new AR applications the same way I view Samsung Dex, features I’d like to try, but that I will probably never use (or never need to). Nonetheless, Apple’s future updates to the technology and its uses are surely something to look forward to. The same goes for other brands who have included AR in their phones, such as the ASUS ZenFone AR.

Face ID

The design of the iPhone X is beautiful, I still do prefer other brands approach to bezel-less design, but do understand at the same time the need for the iPhone unibrow. First, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that at last, an iPhone is here with an OLED screen. This is long overdue and is surely a welcomed upgrade.

Apple’s implementation of Face ID is brilliant and a slap in the face to other companies. Facial recognition has been available for about 5 years now, but it was never really enhanced much. Now, and thanks to Apple, there’s competition, and many companies are going to work hard to bring better Facial recognition. One of these companies is Sony, who is already working on their 3D facial recognition technology. But when I think about Face ID I can’t but think about how practical can this really be? Let us compare this to the Note 8 for a second, and no, I’m not talking about Samsung’s sorry excuse for facial recognition (can be unlocked with a photo). The Note 8 offers a couple of great ways to unlock your phone, the fingerprint sensor, and the iris scanner, both of which are very reliable. Of course, if anything fails, you still have your password. With iPhone X, you’ve got that Face ID and your password, the fingerprint sensor has been completely abandoned. The availability of one method to unlock your phone is just worrying in my opinion and not really practical when considering the everyday uses and situations we go through. The company did mention and indicated through their pictures while introducing Face ID, that it should work just the same whether it’s directly in front of your face, or placed down in front of you.  If that is true, then great, but how close should a user place it to unlock their phone?

These are merely my first impressions and thoughts on the “new” technology. We’re gonna have to wait and see real-life uses after reviews are out. Which brings me to “one more thing…”, the price! iPhone 8 and 8 plus prices are normal, just as we saw from previous iPhones, starting at $699 and $799. On the other hand, iPhone X is simply very expensive. The phone is priced very well and Apple didn’t do any mistakes there. That’s because if you want an iPhone X, then there are no alternatives, you can only buy an iPhone X. That doesn’t change the fact that starting at $999, the phone is ridiculously expensive. Consumers who care about their storage needs will probably go for the 256 GB model, which will cost them somewhere between $1150 and $1200, while in some other markets it will cost much more at about $1500. Consumers that are looking for an iPhone to merely have an iPhone for everyday use, would be better off purchasing last year’s iPhone 7, and saving all that extra cash.

It is clear that unfortunately, all the “new” tech added aren’t enough to convert an Android user. My interest in the devices is merely out of curiosity to see Apple’s implementation of the technology, rather than actually having one of them as my daily driver.

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