Review: The New Apple iPhone X

We just got our hands on the new Apple X, part of Apple’s big announcement the other day at the new spaceship style headquarters in Cupertino. It is a great phone, no doubt about that. But with all of the Pros come some Cons, so let’s break it down.

The device is sleek, slender and almost all glass and stainless steel. The new display is quite impressive and you will notice the difference. It come with a fancy facial recognition feature called FaceID, (which sometimes actually works), and Super Retina Display, whatever that is. Its new cameras are also upgraded and will impress any Apple user. But it starts at $999, which might compel people to wait before they buy one, and it has no Home Button, which will surely annoy some people who will be forced to learn a bunch of new gestures that control how they navigate between apps and functions. And it still has no earbud port, which we continue to find irritating. For the full detailed review, see this one by Cnet.

The Display (Pro)

The Apple X has a 5.8-inch OLED show that extends the distance over the front of the telephone. It's got a bigger screen than the 5.5-inch Plus iPhones, and the iPhone 8 models, which are also coming out. When you contrast with what Samsung is doing with bended OLED shows on Galaxy gadgets, it's altogether different: there's as yet a dark outskirt around the show. The telephone feels little, yet in a different route than, say, the S8. Apple's calling this a "Super Retina Display" with 1125 x 2436 pixels of determination, making it the most astounding thickness screen on any iPhone. It's nice to look at, and as sleek and dynamic as you'd anticipate from an OLED screen. It has the greater part of Apple's mark tech, as well, including 3D Touch and TrueTone programmed adjustment.

FaceID (Pro or Con?)

FaceID works with a TrueDepth front camera to splash 30,000 infrared dots on your face to unlock your phone. Maybe it is just us, but when we tried (and failed) if use my finger print sensor as a security protocol on my old device, it just annoyed me and lead to me switching it off. Yes it is cool (when it works) but when it doesn’t (and trust us, it won’t), it simply becomes a nuisance and adds time to the screen unlock process. Just tap in your code or do your swipe and you’ll be on your way. We like the idea of added security, but this is just another twist on an old idea that people don’t use. Apple says it won't work if your eyes are not open, which we verified, and says that is does work with glasses and a hat, which we have not verified. The only cool use of this new facial recognition technology is how it can enable animated emojis. But then again, for many of it will only be a matter of time before this just becomes a silly distraction.

No Home Button (Con)

The absence of a home button is a problem for us. It seems like it leads to some new interface designs you'll need to learn, however. You wake the screen with only a tap or by lifting it up. But the new swiping commands will take a while for Apple users to get used to. The Control Center is where you find an open all of your apps, and how you multitask. You swipe up to go home, and swipe up and hold to enter the application switcher. Control Center is currently a swipe down from the correct best edge, and the notices shade is a swipe down from the upper left. Apple Pay is also different. Instead of pointing your phone at the card reader and using TouchID, you double-click the side button, authenticate with your face, and then point the phone at the reader. It’s a little more work than just grabbing and pointing it to pay, but it’s manageable. All these new commands will definitely take some getting used to, and some will like it and some won’t.

Front and Back Camera (Pro)

The new front and back cameras are advanced improvements over the iPhone 7.  A series of upgrades to the experience will entice you. You'll be able to capture slow-motion film in higher definition or shoot film-style 4K. With the new Portrait Lighting setting, you'll be able to change the flash on the back of the iPhone to fill a little more naturally, or backlight your subject.

The back-facing camera is also upgraded. Inside are dual 12-megapixel cameras, just like in iPhone 8 Plus, with f/1.8 and f/2.4 apertures. Dual optical image stabilization mitigates shakes in both cameras. You can see a more detailed spec here on the Apple Website.

The Pricetag (Con)

Maybe we are getting old and miserly, but starting at $999 really means it will be $1,200 before we get out of the Apple Store with our new toy. For many of us $1,200 isn’t a lot of money, but to us it is. And we just can’t justify this kind of upgrade for this much money. We think people will balk at this, and apparently so do investors as they sold off Apple shares after the big announcement.

The Wait (Con)

The iPhone X doesn't show up until November, so you’ve got time to decide if the price tag is worth it. But we see it as just another reason not to run out and buy one: Because you can’t. And, you should wait until the masses have had a chance to use their new iPhones and see if they agree with us.

Frontrow: Three Reasons Not to Buy this Thing

If you needed any confirmation about how out-of-control the human race has become, look no further than the new Front Row necklace offered by a company called Ubiquiti Labs. First came Google Glass, then Snap’s Spectacles, and now this.

A new camera makes it possible to record and stream video without lifting a finger. 

This camera is worn like a necklace, and has 2 cameras that can live stream video straight to FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. It can be control by a touch screen, or your smartphone via the app that uses need to install. ‘Share your world in real time,' reads the device's website. The website goes on and on about how awesome this device is and how it will free up your hands to do cool stuff like, I don’t know, fill out you unemployment form or stare at your phone. Yeah, because Meercat and FaceBook Live have given us so many great unedited, real-time memories of things like sexual assaults and murders for all to watch. I read the book The Circle and as I recall, it pretty much clearly lays out in how flawed the notion of a ubiquitous, ever-streaming device like this is, and how society is not ready for it. My guess is most civilized people of average intelligence won’t want to buy it either. How does that expression go? ‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should…’ or something. Anyway, The Circle was made into a movie and currently owns a unremarkable score of 17% on Rotten Tomatoes despite the fact that it starred A-Listers like Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.

So, without further ado, and because the headline somewhere promised, the three reasons you should never, ever get this device or use one:

Reason 1

In case you haven’t yet figured it out, your life and your story just isn’t that interesting to most other people. Let’s face it, if I live streamed myself typing this story, the most interesting moment would be when I spilled coffee on myself and getting up stretch my legs. Not very compelling. Don’t assume others will be as enamored with your day-to-day stuff. If you still don’t believe me, read the first 100 pages of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past and you’ll see what I mean.

Reason 2

This should be pretty obvious but we’ll state it it anyway. Your ‘content’ will be out there for all to see when (see reason 1) no one is really interested anyway. But they might become interested when you go out to apply for a job or a school. Nothing good happened after 11pm, and nothing good happened when you live stream yourself doing boring or (see reason 3) potentially libelous stuff.

Reason 3

What happens if you record yourself, either on purpose or accidentally, committing a criminal act? What if you record someone else, knowingly or unknowingly committing a criminal act? Problems ensue, that is what happens. Imagine of judges started writing warrants for access to this information, or courts started allowing them as evidence (in some cases they already do)? Every second of everyone’s live were never meant to be captures for others to see. Do yourself and the rest of us a and favor and go read a book or talk a walk, and don’t buy one of these things.

5 Portable Tech Gadgets You Need This Summer

My friend, biologist Darrell Whitworth, works and lives in Italy for about half the year. Just recently he was traveling on the train from Arezzo to Rome when a thief nabbed his laptop. Unfortunately, it contained thousands of MP3 files and huge amounts of his research.

“I just left my seat for a minute,” says Whitworth. “When I got back, my backpack was gone.” If his laptop hadn’t already backed up his collection of digital music onto his new Cowon C2 Portable Media Player (PMP), he would’ve sworn off Italy for good.

The cool new C2 PMP is one of dozens of gadgets that could make your summer safer and more fun. From notebooks to e-books, here are the top five portable tech gadgets I recommend checking out before your upcoming excursions:

Cowon C2 Portable Media Player 

For: Those who love mobile music and video
Cost:
$135
Hot Feature:
50+ hours of battery life

As Whitworth discovered, the Cowon C2 is capable of supporting both music and video on its 2.6-inch resistive touch-screen display with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. The diminutive Cowon C2 comes with a choice of 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB of storage built in. And there’s also a microSD card slot so you can add extra storage to store all your favorite movies and music. With a 32 GB microSD card, you can have a small PMP with 48 GB of space. The Cowon’s C2 is definitely the best pick in this price range.

G-Tech’s G-Connect 

For: Cloud-computing mavens
Cost:
$200
Hot Feature:
External storage that connects wirelessly

Seagate Technology recently introduced the first mobile hard drive that can stream content to the iPad. Now, Hitachi’s G-Technology has come up with a similar product of its own: the G-Connect wireless storage product. The G-Connect is a compact 500 GB portable hard drive that has a built-in Wireless-N access point that can stream your stored digital content to up to five wireless devices. The G-Connect has one major advantage over the Seagate product: It comes with an Ethernet port, so you can get online by connecting to an existing network as well. The G-Connect also comes with an app that enables Apple iOS devices to conveniently access its content.

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook 

For: The savvy notebook user who loves Google
Cost:
$429
Hot Feature:
Near instant boot-up

For years, Google’s been touting the idea of always-on, always-connected laptops based on a version of its Chrome browser. At last, the Chromebooks are here, starting with the Samsung Series 5 -- a sharp-looking laptop that promises instant online access, 3G connectivity and long-enough battery life to surf the Web for hours. The Series 5 is more laptop than netbook. The glossy, white lid with metal Samsung and Chrome logos give it a unique look. And the entire system is decked out in a soft, rubberized plastic you could easily mistake for carbon fiber. If you love the Chrome browser (and don’t need to use any other) and would readily trade local storage for a zero-second boot time, then the Chromebook is a solid, formidable laptop that will weather your summer vacation and more.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer 

For: Those craving an Android tablet
Cost: $400
Hot Feature: Great price point

In the past, gadget reviewers tended to agree: Android tablets don’t perform as well as Apple’s iPad. Not so with this sleek new tablet from Asus. It features a wide-screen aspect ratio of a 10.1-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel capacitive touch display. As a result, you might feel more comfortable holding it in landscape orientation. The Eee Pad includes a keyboard dock that not only makes typing easier, but also doubles the battery life and boosts connectivity to the cloud. Removed from the keyboard dock, the tablet bears a face similar to many top new Android Honeycomb tablets. It’s glossy, black and rather iPad-like. Surrounding the black bezel is a strip of bronzed metal, lending the Eee Pad Transformer an impressive sense of quality that was missing from the all-plastic Samsung Galaxy Tab, last year’s top Android tablet.

Nook

For: Bookworms
Cost: $139
Hot Feature:
35 percent lighter than the first-edition Nook and long battery life
The new Wi-Fi-only Nook just about, well, closes the book on e-book readers. It measures 5 inches by 6.5 inches, weighs less than 7.5 ounces, and sports a 6-inch touch screen that marries infrared technology with a “Pearl e-ink” display to let users navigate with taps and swipes. Powered by Android 2.1, the Nook includes 2 GB of onboard storage, allowing for 1,000 downloaded books. It also has an SD card slot for additional storage. And it runs on an 800 MHZ Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor, which the company says enables a much smoother reading experience -- including quicker page transitions and 80 percent less “ghosting,” or page flashing. It also lasts two months between charges -- almost the entire summer. The Kindle 3 (the Nook’s biggest competitor) features a mere one month of battery life.