Published on July 9, 2019
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It feels like no one cares about the iPhone 8 and 8 plus last week it was reported that Apple’s latest iPhones are actually being outsold by their predecessors the iPhone 7 and 7 plus I can’t vouch for the veracity of that analysis but it wouldn’t really surprise me if it were true people that fire phones in September are early adopters early adopters are likely to wait for the iPhone X the iPhone 8 isn’t too transformative upgrade over the 7 and the 7 now costs $100 less than it did before simple enough but I’m someone who buys a new iPhone every year for my sins and while you think that would put me in the category of people who’d be holding out for the X I actually bought an iPhone 8 plus last month instead this isn’t because of price I’d spends the extra on the X if I were sure I’d like it better the thing is much as I do enjoy new intriguing shiny objects I’m pretty sure I like the 8 plus better as a phone in the end here’s why display this is the big one quite literally I’ve seen a lot of people assume the X will be an unambiguous slam-dunk in this regard saying the device is a bigger screen than the iPhone 8 plus in a body close to the size of the regular iPhone 8 but this isn’t really true and I think a lot of people used to the plus size difference will be disappointed with the X in practice yes the iPhone NEX has a 5.8 inch screen compared to the iPhone 8 plus 5.5 inch display it’s also true that the X’s is higher resolution but the 8 plus screen is actually bigger the X uses a narrower aspect ratio so while it’s longer on the diagonal you still get more surface area on the plus overall and that’s before you account for the notch in the rounded corners I know comparing screen sizes isn’t what it used to be but the bottom line is that the Plus will display more useful content at once even with its lower resolution it’s wider as you hold it in portraits which is why Apple introduced a new size class for layouts when the iPhone six-plus first came out apps websites and so on have 414 horizontal points the unit of measurement that the screen is divided into for design purposes to fill on the plus while the X has 375 the same as the regular iPhone 8 the X has more vertical points of course because of the taller screen but a lot of that will be occupied by the notch and home button bar what this means is that apps on the X will use the same basic layouts as the iPhone 8 not the plus you’ll get more vertical content in portrait mode but in landscape mode you’ll actually see less vertical screen space than even the smaller rate because of how developers need to avoid the virtual home button bar as well as the not you won’t get the Plus iPad style multi-panel views either and how long will it take before all your apps get updated for the X in the first place I’m still using several that never got updated for the iPhone 6 the X’s screen may well be better quality we’ll have to see how Apple’s first attempt at an alleged phone turns out but I have high hopes for the panel itself obviously there’s also no denying that the X makes far better use of available space the iPhone 8 plus chunk the bezels are pretty anachronistic for a phone at this price in 2017 but I’m too used to the plus layouts and the accompanying information density to go back to what’s often going to feel like a smaller phone in actual use video is also a concern with the X when watching regular 16 to 9 content the knotch and aspect ratio mean that you’re either going to have a lot of wasted space or things are going to look weird granted the ex will possibly be better for viewing wider cinematic content in case you do feel like watching Lawrence of Arabia on the bus this morning I caught up on the weekends Premier League action on my 8 plus for example I wouldn’t really want to do that on anything smaller but coupled with the much improved speakers it’s a great experience on the plus as with TVs it turns out that a big 1080 p 16 to 9 rectangle is the best and most reliable way to show the majority of video content out there touch ID I expect face ID to work very well on the X I’d out Apple would launch it otherwise considering the inevitable backlash that would follow the company doesn’t want a repeat of the Apple Maps Fiasco where it removed a critical feature of the iPhone and replaced it with something much worse but that doesn’t mean I particularly want to use face ID there could be some technical issues to iron out at launch and even if there aren’t it’s just another thing to figure out and get used to without any immediate advantages I’m not sure an emoji counts Apple itself fell foul of this when it announced face ID as Craig Federer II couldn’t log into his demo unit on stage after the authentication had been reset the system was working as intended but that’s kind of the point if it’s able to trip up even apples tightly managed press events it’s going to take a minute for regular users to learn what to expect meanwhile touch ID works on the iPhone 8 plus the same way it always has it’s fast reliable and you know what you’re doing when you activate it I’m happy to continue using it while iPhone NEX owners work through any face ID kinks design okay so Apple saying the iPhone eight as a new design stretches the boundaries of belief as much as it did when Apple said the same thing about the iPhone 7 this is still very much a tweaked iPhone 6 but what matters is what do you think of the tweaks I really like the tweaks the glass back feels great and while Apple is very late to wireless charging I’m glad it’s here now I’m also very into the new gold colorway which is more like copper on the sides and cream on the back it feels like something a 70s Bond villain would use the gray and white versions to look appealingly minimalist in a way that the 6 never did to be clear the iPhone NEX is the more attractive and beguiling device I even thought as much of the knockoff models I found at a tech market in Shenzhen last month but the egg makes a statement of its own giant bezels and all that statement is I’m comfortable with what most phones are like today and I want the ultimate one of those price this isn’t a huge concern to me because I split phone costs over 24 months so the X would be less than $10 a month extra but that adds up of course $200 is $200 even if you aren’t paying up front and if you are you’d have to really want the X availability even if you’ve read all of the above and still want an iPhone NEX good luck actually getting one supply chain reports suggest that Apple is only able to produce the device in alarmingly low quantities meaning that you could be waiting for several months before you’re able to pick one up if you use a phone for several years that’s less of an issue but if you buy a phone every year or two waiting is going to take a serious chunk out of the amount of time you’ll spend with this one you can walk into an Apple Store right now and buy a phone with the same software processor primary camera and wireless charging support along with a more useful screen more familiar method of biometric authentication and way hotter color scheme for hundreds of dollars less than the ex I understand the desire to have the cool new thing believe me I’m usually the first to fall victim to it but when I laid it out like this in my head I surprised myself by finding it really hard to justify the ex your needs and desires may differ and that’s totally fine if you’re sure your next smartphone has to be an iPhone I would just advise you to consider the eight plus as the expert order frenzy begins this week it’s not exciting but it might be better for you when you buy an iPhone X you’re buying into Apple’s vision for the future of the smartphone when you buy an iPhone 8 you’re buying the best version of the present the former is more exciting but if you need a new phone today the latter may prove to be more pragmatic like nyle a said it’s an iPhone

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