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iphone x: not so futuristic

To my fan-boy iPhone loving fans…

Let me begin this by stating: I am writing this on my Macbook Pro which I would never trade for a PC, Chromebook or anything else. I loved my iPod, until I started using my phone to play my music. I absolutely love my AppleTV (even though I also love my Chromecast). So, I am not anti-Apple.

I am, however, anti-iPhone. I like to have the latest and great and best in tech. Yes, the iPhone created the smartphone movement, but since that innovation, sadly it has fallen behind on the innovation front.

I will refrain from talking about past iterations of the iPhone and only focus on the new flagship iPhone X.

Tim Cook and his team took to the stage to give themselves a big “hip hip hooray” on the new “smartphone of the future.” I was worried they would hurt themselves with all the back patting they were doing.

I found it striking, though, that every time they announced an amazing new feature it was followed with “never before have WE” or “never before on an iPhone.” Not once was a feature touted as “never before” period—no qualifiers. Not once was it “We are the first in the industry to…” Everything was new… for the iPhone. The only thing they reinvented was their own phone—using technology and features others have been utilizing, in some cases, for several years.

The new iPhone has little-to-no bezels. Not only is this not new, but it’s not even one of the first phones to feature this. Almost every smartphone manufacturer from Samsung, to LG to HTC and even lesser-known manufacturers like Xiaomi have not one, but multiple phones in their lineup without bezels.

Those smaller bezels mean no home button, which most manufacturers have also already done away with in favor of other options.

Even their retina screen—touted as their best screen ever—can’t compete with the resolution available on other smartphones like the Galaxy Note 8 or LG V20 or HTC U11.

They are so late to the wireless charging game it’s honestly a little embarrassing. I will give them kudos on the AirPower concept. Being able to charge multiple devices on a single pad is definitely the future of charging, but it isn’t something specific to the iPhone. This is a product separate from the actual iPhone. I repeat—AirPower is not an iPhone innovation—it is a separate, and brilliant, Apple creation.

The 3GB RAM available on the new iPhone X is not only half of what is available on the new Note 8, it is less than the 4GB standard on the flagship model of almost every other manufacturer out there. Apple may claim they don’t need more than 3, but extra processing power means extra speed and responsiveness. Granted, I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but there are 3 main things I look for in a phone: RAM, battery life, and memory.

I will be interested to find out the DXO score on the camera. Right now, there are more than a dozen phones that outscore the iPhone 7 camera. On paper, the new camera is not physically better than any of these competitors, but actual performance is about more than the simple specs. Could it be the best smartphone camera on the market? Possibly, but only time will tell. DXO recently revised their scoring system so this will be interesting.

All of these brand new features are not even protected with the current-best IPXX waterproof certification. While its score of IP67 appears only one off from the common-high score of IP68 shared by multiple current smartphone models, you need to know what those numbers actually mean. The 6 is the highest rating for dust protection. The second number goes from 0 to 9. A very small handful of phones come with the full IP69 protection (without an additional case). So, what’s the difference between that 7 and 8? More than 3 feet. IPX7 withstands 30 minutes in water up to 3 feet. IPX8 is more than 3 feet of water (as disclosed by the manufacturer). So, the manufacturer can basically pick how water resistant they want their phone. The difference between 67 and 68 is meeting the bare minimum of water resistance or exceeding it. Sound familiar? Meeting or exceeding the standard. Way to “meet the bar” Apple.

This phone packs less than half what the new Galaxy Note 8 does yet costs more. “You could get more, but why?”

I get that people can argue you are buying into the environment—the Apple ecosystem if you will. I know at least three people in my life who are going to jump at the chance to buy this new, mediocre-at-best, smartphone. They will say, “but Apple does it better.” Do they? Apart from the one thing I DO praise Apple for, and that is controlling the operating system and preventing the fracturing that is rampant in Android, there isn’t anything better about the iPhone. Nothing! The “all new” iPhone is like saying “We reinvented the wheel. Look, we put lights on the spokes.” The software and the hardware, puts it up against the other flagship smartphones on the market today, but almost every single one of them features something (or multiple somethings) next-gen-ahead-of the iPhone X.

When the whole Apple event concluded I was left with one overarching conclusion:

The all new IPhone X has a bunch of “futuristic” features already offered by every other smartphone manufacturer. The future is… iPhone playing catch up with everyone else.

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