It’s finally here! The iPhone XS Max!

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DHL delivery arrived at my doorstop sometime around noon today with a wonderful package that I have been waiting for a week since I last placed my order at the Apple Store online.

Now it’s finally here, sitting in front of my desk in all its glory! Removing the shrinkwrap was such an experience, and seamless to, pulling the tab and then letting it fall away. Underneath the box and all the documentation is the phone itself and I must say, this thing is huuuuge! It’s almost the same size as the plus models iPhones and if I am not mistaken, every so slightly heavier than its earlier counterparts. But still, the all screen front on such a size is glorious! You simply can’t peel your eyes away from the beautiful screen that surely from the looks of it, is more vibrant than the iPhone X. I’m not kidding! Logos and from apps as they are loading are more colourful and vibrant and I am pretty sure that the screen is brighter too overall.

I got the Space Grey version, 256GB, and I just can’t peel away from this device. I just want to hold it forever! That being said, I need to retrain my pinkie finger to hold a much heavier phone from now on. I am starting to get a slight sore from my pinkie finger which had to support the entire phone!

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I did the unthinkable.

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At 3.01pm on the 14th of September, I did the unthinkable. I fired up the Apple Store app on my iPhone X and pre-ordered the new iPhone XS Max. For the first time in my life, I blew more than S$2000 on a phone. Call me crazy, and I will agree with you. Why the hell did I do that?

Now, I am not suffering from buyer’s remorse because my remorse hasn’t reached that stage yet. Rather, I felt remorseful that a phone would cost so much. My current iPhone X was already hard to swallow at S$1888. At S$2000, I think it is safe to say that this upcoming phone just broke the camel’s back. With such exorbitant prices, my ability to upgrade phones on an annual basis is no longer possible. I think it is safe to say that the iPhone XS Max will be the first phone that I would use for 2 to 3 years. The time of annual phone upgrades is gone.

The only consolation of mitigating the full financial impact of such a purchase is that I was able to sell my current phone to someone else for S$900. I still had to fork out more than S$1100 just to get the new phone. My brain is telling me that buying this phone is a completely irrational decision. My heart tells me that this is the phone to get and that you will enjoy all the new benefits it bestows upon you when using it. So we shall see.
One feature of the new iPhone XS Max is the bigger screen. I loved the Plus models of the previous iPhones. Imagine having the size of the new iPhones at Plus model sizes but all screen and no bezels. With such a size, I might actually consider for the first time watching TV shows and films on my phone while commuting.

So there you have yesterday marked the day when I did the unthinkable. I will be getting the phone (Hopefully) on the 21st of September 2018.

One week with the iPhone X! My impressions (Part II)

On my last post, I talked about my initial impressions of using the iPhone X. I talked about the screen, the phone size, the overall build, the famous notch (love it or hate it, it is gonna be there) and the flagship feature, FaceID.

Battery

Battery life is great. However, I do feel that the plus size models of the iPhone (like the iPhone 7 plus and iPhone 8 plus) offer slightly longer battery life than the iPhone X. It is not a game breaker, it can still do wonderful things without draining battery too much too fast. The phone can still last the entire day without needing a recharge. However I still feel that battery life on the new iPhone X is slightly shorter than I am used to. Perhaps this could all boil down to the OLED screen. When the OLED screen is bright and pushes out white or bright colours, power consumptions on the OLED screen can be quite high. There have been videos on YouTube showing that if you minimize bright coloured pixels like white, blue or green, the battery life of the iPhone can clearly be extended by a significant margin. So it’s not surprising that the main feature of the phone, the OLED screen, could potentially be a hard feature that consumes the most battery. Certain apps have night mode options, which I will enable it without hesitation to save some battery life.

App switching is quick and responsive

App switching requires new gestures, now that the phone has no home button. You simply swipe up and stay there for a fraction of a section to cycle through the app that are current open and running, or simply swipe up and flick right to switch app back and forth. Appe switching is fast, not just the action of swiping but the fact that the app immediately ‘wakes up’ and responds to your touch the moment it is active on your screen. It is near instantaneous to the point that I now switch app incessantly, without feeling the frustration of waiting for the app to refresh, load or respond to my touch the moment is becomes the active app. Clearly the blazing fast processor that is in the current iPhone X is fast enough for that task at hand.

Overall, I am loving the iPhone X. Sure, it is crazy expensive and it is definitely not for everyone. But coming from an Apple fan, Apple has clearly rejuvenate their smartphone lineup with an exciting new design and new technology that is perfect in everyway, especially when it is supposed to be a 10-year anniversary phone. 10 years is not a very long  time in tech terms but the improvements made from the software and hardware point of view where Apple’s smartphones are concerned are measured by leaps and bounds. Who knows what smartphones would look like in the next 10 years?

One week with the iPhone X! My impressions!

The last time I talked about how the purchase of the iPhone X was purely on impulse. It wasn’t a planned purchase, especially on something that costs a whopping S$1888 for the 256GB model of the iPhone X. I somehow got lucky that there was an in-store pickup option available when I was just fooling around on the Apple online store. Sensing that I had a very narrow window of opportunity before somebody else online snatches those precious few iPhone Xs available in the wild after the initial launch, I placed my fingerprint on the TouchID and my fate was irrevocably sealed. I had just surrendered my precious S$1888 to Apple in exchange for their latest flagship phone. The next morning, I head down to the Apple Store at Orchard and within 15 minutes, the iPhone X was in my hand. The order was placed on a Saturday, a week and one day after the official launch of the phone.

 

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So here are my general first impressions.

The Build

With an all glass build, this new iPhone X is sleek and sexy. Apple is the master of craftsmanship, especially on an industrial scale. It is no surprise that the company does not skimp on manufacturing, ensuring that every little detail is accounted and well thought out with the end user in mind. For example, at the back of the phone, there is just one word; iPhone. There is no longer any logo or safety symbols that is made mandatory to be there for all electronic devices. Apple has gone great lengths to ensure that the back of the phone is pristine and minimalistic, maintaining the perception, that this is a super high-end product.

Sure, there have been numerous criticism about the phone’s overal fragility, especially when deciding upon glass to cover the entire phone, but a good quality iPhone case would mitigate that problem.

As far as fingerprint magnets are concerned, yes, with such a smooth material like glass being used, naturally it is a fingerprint magnet. However, the adoption of stainless steel surrounding the phone has given it added strength it the previously used aluminium from the older models. The glass is surprisingly scratch resistant.

The screen

Without getting all too technical about the screen and the resolution, (you can read those on the official website) one thing is for sure; it is gorgeous. The moment you look at it, you can immediately notice a rather large visual upgrade from the usual LCD panels that we are so used to in older models of the iPhone. The OLED display certainly catches your attention. It is noticeably visible that it is overall brighter, colours punchier (but not overly saturated like the Samsung Galaxy model of phones) and very accurate. The bezel-less design have the effect of drawing you in, capturing every ounce of attention away from everything else until you are fully immersed in the screen. It is that good. For something that you interact with most of the time where smartphones are concerns, Apple certainly did not skimp on the visuals department, going all out to ensure that it has the best display ever on a smartphone, in all measures.

The notch

Upon using it for the first time, the next thing you notice is the notch. It looked… weird at first, but after a while, you get used to it. It is not very wide as some would suggest. It is noticeable, but definitely not an eyesore for me. Personally, I feel that the notch serves two function; product differentiation and the allowance of FaceID components (among other things within the notch). In a crowded marketplace of smartphones from different manufacturers all designing a bezel-less phone, Apple has attempted to differentiate itself from its competition, by making its flagship bezel-less phone look different. Knowing that the notch is there, and seeing it instantaneously informs a consumer that this is an iPhone X. And none other. The notch is also necessary to house all the high tech components that make up FaceID. Watching videos could potentially be a problem for some, but for me, I dont really watch videos at great lengths on my iPhone, so I can’t really comment on that aspect with regards to the presence of the notch.

FaceID

When Apple introduced FaceID for the first time, a lot of people were quite intrigued. TouchID was excellent (and will remain an excellent form of a secure biometric ID for years to come) Apple has refined TouchID to the point where it became seemless and invisible. We don’t think about it anymore. It is just there. Place your finger on the Home Button and in a fraction of a second, upon recognition, it unlocks your phone instantaneously. So why change it?

According to Apple, with FaceID, using your face as a form of identification is more secure than your fingerprint. The chances of a random stranger (other than your very similar looking evil twin, which can fool FaceID) unlocking your phone using their face is much lower than a fingerprint.

Using your face as a form of ID is not new. Samsung has it’s own retina scan feature. So Apple isn’t the first to market with such ID system implemented on a smartphone. What Apple did (and did well) was to implemented it and get it right. In my personal use of FaceID, it worked 98% of the time. The other 2% was when I wasn’t looking at my phone, or it was at an odd angle that the phone couldn’t find my face, or it is just held too near or too far from my face. It is fast enough for me not to notice that my face is being scanned before unlocking my phone. Touch ID is still a tiny sliver faster than FaceID, although I am confident that through software enhancements and future hardware iteration in future models, Touch ID will improve by leaps and bounds, making it more accurate, more responsive and more secure.

The only downside I can think about it using FaceID (aside from the fact that it is a tiny bit slower than TouchID) is that now, you gotta pay attention to the phone and make an effort at looking at it to unlock. Notifications gets pinged to you all day long and if your phone is flat on the table and you need to unlock your phone or read those notifications, you really need lift up your phone, face it in front of you and look at it to unlock. You can still unlock your phone while it is flat on the table, but from my experience you kinda have to lean forward more towards the screen before it can find your face and unlock it for you.

The advantage of FaceID is the added privacy feature of hiding the contents of your notifications, and revealing them as you unlock your phone. This ensures that only the correct pair of eyes and face are actually looking at the phone before revealing it’s contents. A neat feature to have.

There are a few other positive and negative impressions which I will write in my next posting. So long!

 

Introducing the iPhone X

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This is an impulse buy.

I do not need this phone.

My current iPhone 7 plus served me well for the past year and continued to serve me well till today. Last night, I went to the Apple online store and realised that in-store pickups were available. I immediately pounced on the opportunity to secure myself a 256GB space gray iPhone X. I headed to the Orchard Apple Store the next morning and within 10 minutes inside the store, the phone was in my hands.

It’s S$1888. That is insane. I just bought a S$1888 phone. Even deducting the resale value of my current iPhone 7 Plus (S$550) I am still paying more than S$1300 for a new phone. That is still insane. I don’t know what got me into clicking the ‘buy’ button. There is just something about Apple’s product that just mesmerises me. It could be the screen, the edge to edge display, the faceID, I don’t know, but I am feeling a hint of buyers remorse. Sure the phone is great looking, but do I really need it?

To hell with it. I have already bought it, unboxed it and set up my phone. There is no going back. Guess I will have to brace myself for the credit card bill next month. Thank God for the 13th month bonus!

And… Darn you Apple for making such gorgeous products!

 

 

Giving up my iPad mini 4

Almost a year ago I bought an iPad mini 4. I was excited when it came out. I bought the gold, 128 gb model and I used it primarily to read books and magazines while on my long daily commute. 

It served me well. It’s a great reading companion while in the subway to and from work. I took care of the ipad really well since I last bought it, with not a single scratch on the back of the ipad despite not getting a protector. 

But now that I have the iphone 7 plus, with a bigger screen, I have made my decision to let it go and pass it on to my mum who would utilise it better. Since I only used it for reading and nothing else, it would be far more useful for my mum than me. And now that I have a bigger screen iphone, it seems that the phone could be my main reading companion. I would definitely miss the bigger the screen of the iPad mini, but I feel more satisfied that it’s been to put to far greater use than merely using it only for reading. 

And why complicate my life owning so many gadgets? The new iphone 7 plus is so much more powerful than its predecessor and I personally feel that it could handily replace what the iPad mini could offer when I first bought it. 

Iphone 7 plus 

It’s been 2 years since my last handset upgrade. I must be one of the lucky ones to secure the initial batch of iphone 7 plus. Successfully managed to preregister my interest in getting one from SingTel, and then securing my reservation and collection slot a few days later. 

The iphone 7 plus is sold out worldwide. Like completely sold out. Of course more are on the way in the coming weeks. And those were have been unsuccessful in getting one would have to wait a little longer. 

 I am very satisfied with my purchase. Coming from an iPhone 6 user, the increase in size is a welcome but drastic transition. It’s just so big. I now have to use it with both hands when I’m typing messages to my friends. But everything else is just perfect. I haven’t had the chance to fully utilise the awesome camera, but I’m pretty sure it will take gorgeous photos, not that in a huge fan of selfies. 


So there it is, the gold iphone 7 plus.