Average Joe’s Review of the iPhone X #illumedati 2


Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. As you may already know, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X yesterday. For those who were following along, most of what was said wasn’t a surprise because of the many leaks which occurred. Today I’m going to give my “Average Joe’s Review of the iPhone X”.

Apple iPhone X

Stock Photo from: Pexels

First a little history…

My first cellphone was in college which was a Motorola StarTAC, this was back in 2000 or so. Eventually, I got a Nokia, although it wasn’t the 3310 that everyone has back then. I think mine was the Nokia 8290. A Sony Ericsson phone of some sort is a phone I had for awhile too, although I don’t remember exactly which one it was.

I still remember when the first iPhone came out. One of my attendings and one of my co-interns bought it around its release of June 29, 2007. I think they got it around mid July or so because I was on ICU at the time which was my 2nd rotation, because my first two weeks were on “elective”. Anyways, I remember it being amazing compared to my Nokia.

Either way, I didn’t buy an iPhone for awhile after that. My first iPhone was the iPhone 3gs, which came out June 8, 2009, 2 years later. That phone served me well until we bought the iPhone 4 sometime in 2012. I remember buying the iPhone 4 for both my wife and I which went straight from their boxes into their Otterbox cases.

Moving on…

Then after taking out first jobs in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and working from July 2013-April 2014, we moved to Hawaii. That first fall in Hawaii, we bought the iPhone 6 Plus which came out September 19, 2014. The main reason for this was because of the significantly better camera the iPhone 6 Plus had compared to our iPhone 4. The main reason we opted for the 6 Plus at that time was because it had image stabilization. I had recently bought a relatively nice mirrorless camera to get pictures of my daughter (she was 1 year old at the time). However, it quickly became evident that our smartphones would be the ones to capture these moments and that the iPhone 4 wasn’t going to cut it.

Since then I’ve been pretty happy with our iPhone 6 Plus phones. However, my in-laws recently got the iPhone 7 and there is noticeable difference in the quality between their pictures/videos and the ones my wife and I get from our iPhone 6 Plus. Time marches on. Looking back at Apple’s history, the iPhone 6s is better than the iPhone 6 (and plus), and the iPhone 7 is better than the 6s.

It’s been about 3 years since we bought our iPhone 6 Plus. 3 years in smartphone years is like an eternity. I was hopeful that this year’s iPhone X was going to be worth buying.


And so here we are…

While I haven’t been watching the iPhone 8/8+/X information all that closely compared to the 6+ back in 2014, I had read most of the leaks before the official announcement.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with what was being offered. However, I must remind you that I am somewhere between the early majority and late majority on the Product Adoption Curve. Overall, the iPhone X probably isn’t really geared toward people like me. Anyways, let’s break down the features:

Super Retina Display

This is basically an OLED display with a pixel density of 458 ppi with a resolution of 2436×1125. The Galaxy Note 8, by comparison, is an OLED with resolution of 2960×1440.

No Home Button

This is a toss-up. Regaining screen real estate from the lack of a home button is definitely nice. However, I wonder if the “gestures” needed will really work that well. However, this will likely be the future of smartphones – more screen real estate, less buttons. It’s worth noting that other smartphones get around this by putting their home buttons on the back.

*iPhone 8 Plus has a home button

Glass

The iPhone is going back to a glass/aluminum style build. This is something it hasn’t done since the iPhone 4 (I think). This is a concern for some since the iPhone 4 was notorious for having glass backs that shattered. That was one of the main reasons that our iPhone 4 phones never left their Otterbox cases. They’re still in good condition even now, in case you were wondering.

Face ID

I think this “feature” will be kind of divisive amongst buyers. While it’s a “cool” feature, losing TouchID, which I am so used to, may be annoying to some, especially since so many of my apps utilize it. However, Face ID, if it turns out to be as good as Apple thinks, will probably be the future.

*iPhone 8 Plus does not have this

Animoji

To be honest, I’m not really sure why this was implemented. I guess because they wanted to implement FaceID in a fun way. I’m sure my daughter and son will get a kick out of this feature. Although, I don’t really see myself using it much.

*iPhone 8 Plus does not have this

Camera

This is what I actually care about. The camera is a dual-lens system with dual optical image stabilization. It’s a 12 megapixel camera.

If you contrast this to my iPhone 6 Plus which is a single lens system with optical image stabilization. It’s also an 8 megapixel camera.

The major concern for me was that the iPhone 6 Plus can only shoot videos at 1080p. The newer iPhones, 6s and up, can shoot at 4k. Of course, the iPhone X will also be able to shoot at 4k.

However, if we compare the 8 Plus to the X, then the only differences are:

  • aperture
    • X has f/2.8 while the 8 Plus has f/2.4
  • optical image stabilization
    • X has OIS on both rear cameras, 8 Plus has it on only one rear camera

Portrait Mode

Both the rear and front cameras allow the user to create different lighting effects. This is kind of cool, but I’m not sure how much me or my wife would use it.

Battery Life

Battery life is always a problem. The iPhone X’s battery life is decent, but not as good as the Plus Models, as you might expect.

Wireless Charging

Wireless charging has been around for awhile. However, it looks like Apple thinks it’s ready for primetime. We’ll see. While “cool”, it doesn’t really matter all that much for me.

A11 Bionic Chipset

It’s a monster of a System on a Chip (SOC), there is no doubt about that. It beats out the other current smartphones relatively easily. Here’s a good chart from Geekbench:

That’s right… it’s nearly as powerful as your 2nd generation 10.5″ iPad Pro.


 So what’s the verdict?

It’s a tough one for me.

On the one hand, I do want to get new phones for my wife and I with better cameras. However, to go all the way up to an iPhone X is kind of tough in terms of my Value Cost Ratio. I turned to Twitter (and #medtwitter) for some guidance:

As I type this, it says 22% Yes, 64% No, and 14% “What’s an iPhone?”

So, I have considered opting for the 7 Plus and 8 Plus instead since both have cameras that are significantly better than mine. My major concern is that if I buy one generation behind in the upgrade cycle that this new phone (and even the iPhone 8 Plus) won’t last another 3 years. However, if I buy the iPhone X now, while more expensive, it may last longer.

Some of you may be thinking… Just buy an Android, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or something. While I’m not an Apple fanboy at all, I do have both an iPhone and an iPad. However, I did previously have a rooted Nook and both my desktop computer and laptop are PCs. So, for me, I can probably use anything.

However, for my wife and the rest of my family, they’re pretty familiar with the Apple iOS. Currently, I don’t see any compelling reason to the leave the Apple ecosystem for smart phones.


TL;DR

Apple iPhone X is probably more evolutionary than revolutionary.

The differences between the iPhone X and the 8 Plus are not that huge.

Deciding between the iPhone X and the 8 Plus is kind of deciding where you are on the Product Adoption Curve.

Tell me what you guys think. I’ll keep you guys updated with what I decide to do.

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei

-Sensei

Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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About Sensei

A young attending physician trying to navigate the mine field that is life after medical school…


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