Offering better value for money in the iPhone X

If you’ve been following me on Twitter you’ll know that I’m not the biggest fan of the iPhone X. I feel that pricing it where they have is making some uses move onto payment plans and take out unnecessary credit to get it. It also sets a precedence that if you want the best iPhone available you have to spend over £1000.  

Regardless of what I think Apple doesn’t care about that, it’s a business looking after it’s bottom line. We have to remember that under Tim Cook profits and revenue is soaring and wherever they can make money off us loyal users they will. Between watch bands and dongles it’s pretty obvious that Apple sometimes takes away practically to give itself an avenue to make more money.

I’m still sceptical about the loss of the headphone jack. It sometimes feels like it was just a way to sell AirPods. Regardless we are here to talk about the iPhone X.  

With the introduction of the X, Apple has a line up that starts at £349 and tops out at £1,149. That’s got a lot of bases covered and I think that it’s a great range of iPhones to cater for most needs. 

On paper that range seems ok, but where I feel Apple is taking us for a ride is when we get to looking at value for money. Someone smarter than me could explain why Apple have dropped the 128GB storage option for both the 8 and X. 

128GB is a great middle ground and proved best value for money in my opinion. Most people use iCloud and some kind of streaming music service but not everyone stores their pictures in the cloud. Offering 64GB as a starting point on the 8 and X, which both offer high quality video and pictures isn’t enough and just forces people to spend that extra £150 to get 256GB.

Offering an iPhone with just 64GB at £999 isn’t good value for money. 

This problem could go away with one simple change. Apple should offer you as much free storage as you need to store all of your photos, just like Google. 

Offering this service would be a good initiative to get more users backing up their photos but also take away the need for a lot of us (me included) to spend money on extra storage we might not need. 

What do you think? 

Why I’m not buying an iPhone X

Now that the excitement of the latest iPhone announcement is out of the way I’m looking at the iPhone X with a fresh pair of eyes.

Before the event I thought there is no way I can justify spending north of £1000 on an iPhone that will likely be replaced in a year or two. But seeing the technology last night I forgot these feelings and decided that the X was for me.

Now I’ve had the chance to think about it more (and owning a 7 already) I’ve come to the conclusion that the X isn’t going to be an iPhone I’ll be getting this year.

Here are some of the thoughts bubbling in my mind.

It’s my main computer

It’s the device I use the most out of all my tech. I use it for writing, taking the majority of my photos and keeping up to date with people. In one way it is worth as much to me as my iMac or MacBook. It’s the computer I have with me almost all the time.

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Design

I’m not a huge fan of the design. The black looks best to me but that black sensor area is going to bug me. The notch as it’s been named by some seems to get in the way of content when in landscape mode. It’ll hide video behind it and scrolling lists are still being figured out by developers.

I also use reachability a lot on my iPhone 7. This goes away with the X and I like to use my phone in one hand. This will not be possible with the X.

The materials chosen with glass back and metal sides will offer more grip than the existing 7. But having used a Samsung with similar construction it will feel slippery in cold conditions and fall off a couch arm. I have the jet black iPhone 7 and it’s the best feeling iPhone since the days of the 3G. The X isn’t going to feel as good.

It’s the price of my MacBook, 5K TV and 5K iMac

Yup, if I get the 256GB model it’ll be the same price that I paid for my 12” MacBook, our new TV or family iMac.

That’s let me step back and look at the money for what it is. Yes, it’s a computer in my pocket but how can it be the same as a 4K HDR 55” TV?

Personally I don’t agree with Apple creating this new price point so that they raise the average selling point of an iPhone.

I’m voting with my wallet this time to let them know I don’t want them to set a precedence for an elitist iPhone.

Is faceID better than touchID?

I’m concerned about losing touchID for faceID.

There are so many occasions where my iPhone is unlocked before it even gets to my face using touchID. It’ll be slower and less convenient using faceID.

Apple Pay is going to be weird too having to look at the screen before making a purchase in store.

I just don’t see that it’ll be more convenient for me.

In summary

So, I’m not buying an X.  It’ll be the first year since the 5S I’ve not bought a new iPhone.

Don’t get me wrong the tech looks cool but I am at the point I don’t want to send a signal to Apple that £1400 is ok. I’m looking at that amount with the 256GB+case+Apple Care.

If it’s your main computer and you can look beyond the notch I think it’ll be a good iPhone but it’s not for me.

Also, where’s the 128GB??

How to get iOS 11 early

iOS 11 is coming to everyone 19th September but if you can’t wait then go here

I signed up for the public beta and all is good so far.  

How to sell your iPhone 7

It’s not long before the new iPhone is released so you may want to sell your existing one to help fund it.  

I’ve bought and sold quite a few iPhones over the years so wanted to share my experience.  

My advice is to use a company that specifically buys gear. I use Music Magpie who make it really straight forward. Get a price online then they even arrange the courier. 

There are other companies out there but I’ve found these guys to be the easiest to deal with. 

If you are ok with potential hassle for a bit more money then selling privately is another option. Avoid Facebook marketplace and Gumtree as these get the most time wasters in my experience. Selling to a friend or using eBay is probably the best avenue.   

Personally I prefer to get a little less money and none of the hassle so use a service like Music Magpie.  

The only surprise left in the iPhone X announcement

Thanks to an error by Apple in leaking homepod firmware and an employee leaking the GM seed of iOS 11 we have very little left to look forward to in the iPhone X keynote.

To be honest I almost didn't even write this post as be my 'what to expect' post but after having a think about it we might know most of the detail but not the marketing message.

Two key things for me:

  1. If we have FaceID, how are Apple going to market the fact there is no longer TouchID and how do they manage Apple Pay?
  2. What the price will be for the iPhone X?

As good as the new (mostly) bezel free iPhone will most probably look the only takeaway is going to be 'How much!'. My best guess is £999 for the lowest storage tier - 128GB. It's going to be a hard sell for most and Apple will be hoping that most people overlook it and go for the iPhone 8 models instead, which should be in good supply.

I'll most probably pick up an X if I can for reviewing but whether I'll keep it long term might be another thing. If it comes with a cracking camera then I'll most probably be sold on it but if it doesn't at least match the plus model I'll be leaving it.

What are your thoughts on the pricing?

Destiny 2 thoughts

I picked up (with some trepidation) Destiny 2 on the PS4 at launch not knowing if I would like it or not. I'd played a lot of the original and although I enjoyed the soundtrack and looks of the game it got very repetitive as each section of the map seemed like the same thing.

 I'm only about 5 hours into Destiny 2 but I am already enjoying it more than the first. There is a story driven campaign that has a great voice cast, engaging plot and awesome soundtrack. It still takes a little while to get into the way the game is structured but once you have that under your belt you're good to go. If you are used to games like Call of Duty then the lack of a linear story will have you a little confused to start with but once you have this down it's nice to be able to play the game at your own pace.

The game is structured using a 'navigator' that shows different play areas including 'The Crucible' that allows you to play online, something I didn't do a lot of in the first game. This allows you to jump out of whatever you are doing at any time you like and do something else.

As you progress though the game you level up gaining new upgrades that you collect along the way to increase your ability to take and deal out more damage to opponents. This also applies to online so makes matches really interesting and some of the best multiplayer I've experienced.

 So a thumbs up for the single player campaign and online.

 The visual experience is also some of the best I've come across on a console. I'm playing on PS4 Pro in 4K, no HDR support. It plays and looks great, no screen tearing and really immersive environments.

 For me it's one of those games that I just want to keep playing and time passes way to quickly.

 Downsides so far...

  1. Load times between areas are a little longer than I would like, they do show a nice shot of your ship flying to your goal but I wish they didn't happen so often
  2. Lack of guidance on how to move forward in the campaign, sometimes it's not clear how you move onto the next stage
  3. Moving into your inventory screen doesn't pause the game, this would be nice as I've been caught out a few times where I want to adjust something and get killed off
  4. The Crucible seems to take an age to find compatible players, this has taken at least 5 minutes each time I want to play for me

 So am I glad I picked up Destiny 2 - definitely.

If you have been put off by your experience of the first game I'd definitely recommend checking it out, it gets a lot right and even though multiplayer can sometimes take a while to get going it's really engaging.

 Have you played Destiny 2 yet?

iPhone X and other leaks

Well, it's not been a good couple of weeks for Apple between the homepod software leak that they did by accident and now the GM of iOS 11 has been leaked by someone else. Looks like it may be a carrier this time but either way next Tuesday is going to offer very little in the way of surprises.  

I'm not going to go again through all the leaks here as I don't want to ruin it even further but this is unprecedented for an Apple Keynote. We pretty much know everything about the new iPhone, including how the UI is going to handle the new screen. 

All that is left is the price.  

How to find the crucible in Destiny 2

I’ve just started to play Destiny 2 on PS4 and wanted to share my spoiler free thoughts as I go. 

In order to unlock the crucible so you can play online you need to stick with the single player campaign. Visit everyone at the stop off point after the first couple of missions and then you get a key one. Once you have completed this mission you will go back to the stop off point and when you see lots of other online players wandering around then you have the crucible. 

Bring up your map but long pressing the touch area on the controller and you will see it.  

How does the Jet Black iPhone 7 wear over time?

I still love the finish of the jet black version of the iPhone 7, in fact I haven’t used a case at all this year. With the Apple keynote next week I thought it would be fun to share some images of my iPhone 7 so that you can see how it’s worn over the last 6 months. I had a replacement due to some issues so this isn’t the wear over a full year but it gives you a good idea of the nicks that this finish picks up. 

 

What’s happening with Star Wars at Disney?

With the recent news of Colin Trevorrow walking away from Episode IX I’ve started to lose some faith in the powers that be, namely Kathleen Kennedy and co.

I for one was looking forward to the Jurassic World directors take on the Star Wars universe but creative differences seems to have removed another director. Brining in another writer to redo the script isn’t exactly a massive vote of confidence.

With reshoots of Rogue One and the directors of the Han Solo movie being fired at such a late stage it’s becoming a little worrying for a die hard fan like me.

Surely this doesn’t make directing a Star Wars movie much fun for up and coming directors out there.

Personally I feel like they are worrying too much about creating a poor movie in the franchise. Guys, we had the prequels we are already capable of dealing with it. You can’t make every film a success.

Now to think about who is going to replace him? 

iOS 11 beta 8 thoughts

As you saw in an earlier post I think that iOS 11 is ok to use on your daily driver iPhone. We are a week on and there is another beta - 8.  

Apple have done a good job of providing regular updates and I can’t remember a time where we had this many beta before the GM.  

Beta 7 was pretty solid for me and in testing 8 the only thing I’ve noticed is slightly better performance. Not on par with iOS 10 but a step in the right direction.  

Still have the occasional app crash but all the apps I rely on work ok.  

Let me know if you are using the beta.