Tech Chap's Reasons for Why You Should Not Buy an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus

I think Tech Chap is off here.

His argument to buy the iPhone X is two-fold:

  1. It's a significantly better phone than the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus (his words).
  2. It's only $200 USD more than the iPhone 8 Plus to purchase the iPhone X.

Both of these arguments are flawed.

For one, the iPhone X is not a significantly better iPhone. Here are the main differences between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X:

  • 5.8-inch Super Retina Display (X) vs. 5.5-inch Retina Display (8 Plus)
  • HDR display (X) vs. non-HDR display (8 Plus)
  • Infinite contrast ratio (X) vs. 1300:1 contrast ratio (8 Plus)
  • Smaller size and weight (X) vs. larger size and weight (8 Plus)
  • Dual optical image stabilization (X) vs. single optical image stabilization (8 Plus)
  • f/2.4 telephoto lens aperture (X) vs. f/2.8 telephoto lens aperture (8 Plus)
  • Front-facing camera portrait mode + Animoji features (X) vs. no front-facing camera portrait mode or Animoji features (8 Plus)
  • Battery life closer to iPhone 7 (X) vs. battery life closer to iPhone 7 Plus (8 Plus)
  • Face ID (x) vs. Touch ID (8 Plus)

Do any of those bullet points mention a "dramatically" or "significantly" better iPhone X? I'm not sold. There are even features which skew toward the iPhone 8 Plus rather than the iPhone X.

I'd need to be shown a situation where the unstabilized f/2.8 telephoto lens on the iPhone 8 Plus is significantly outpaced by the stabilized f/2.4 telephoto lens on the iPhone X. It's proven to be difficult to distinguish between three professional camera lens apertures shooting the same image, so I'll be surprised if the difference between the two iPhones is dramatic enough to be generally noticeable.

I'd also like to see some real world data on the improvements Face ID has over Touch ID. We can quote Craigh Federighi until we're blue in the face regarding the qualities of Face ID. But his job is to sell the qualities of the iPhone X. There's four years of Touch ID history setting a pretty high bar for Face ID to overcome.

And the money argument is even more off kilter. The iPhone X costs 25% more than the iPhone 8 Plus. When you talk money, 25% would be considered a steep premium on any product.

Apple is charging a 25% premium to put the guts of the iPhone 8 Plus into an all-screen iPhone X. There are definite improvements the iPhone X offers — that OLED screen is surely going to put the now-old LCD technology to shame. But you're also paying a 25% premium to be an Apple beta tester regarding Face ID and an all-screen UI dependent upon gestures and cameras. Betting against the iPhone X in the long run would be bombastic, but for the iPhone fiscal year mid-September 2017 to mid-September 2018, there are unknown variables the iPhone X presents which the iPhone 8 Plus has long since answered.

My argument is not that the iPhone 8 Plus is the better iPhone. But writing off the iPhone 8 Plus is foolhardy.

If anything, I'd argue the 8 Plus provides the best value of any iPhone purchase this year.

Austin Mann's iPhone 8 Plus Camera Review

Another iPhone launch, another Austin Mann iPhone camera review.

As I understand it, the improved colour in Mann's images is in no small part due to the always-on HDR mode in the new iPhone 8 cameras. That you can't automatically assume these photos are shot in HDR is a testament to how far Apple's HDR shooting mode has come. In many respects, these photos look as though they were shot with off-camera lighting.

Hodinkee's Review of the Apple Watch Series 3 Edition

Benjamin Clymer, writing for the de-facto watch blog on the net:

Apple Watch Series 3, Edition or not, is the watch we've been waiting for from Apple. As mentioned, the cellular capabilities alone elevate this product from a niche peripheral to something that could become instrumental to millions of people's daily lives. The setup above, Series 3 with cellular and one AirPod, I expect to become almost indispensable to many, just as it has been for me this last week. The Edition, an admittedly pricey option for an object that will likely become obsolete in 18 months, is silly when viewed that way, but lovely when viewed for what it is – an expertly produced and stunning piece of industrial design that gives fine watchmakers a run for their money. It's so beautiful and so complex to produce that it makes me wonder if this watch is simply a beta test for larger projects with ceramic to come.

Wonderful review from Ben with great photos and GIFs to boot.

When the Cellular Series 3 was first announced, my mind immediately jumped to leaving my iPhone behind for the work day. With the latest reports of less-than-stellar LTE-only battery life, this dream still seems to be a few years away. The fact Ben has largely not touched his iPhone since receiving the Cellular Series 3 helps instill the reality of this dream, but the fact Ben didn't mention anything about battery life is somewhat disconcerting. Does he only work for two to four hours per day? Does he charge the Watch when he's sitting at his desk?

Barring a three or four hour work day, the Cellular Apple Watch does not appear to be an iPhone replacement at this point in time. Absolutely improved capabilities, for sure. But replacement? Doubtful.

The Goat Skin Leather Midori MD A6 Notebook Cover

I love my Midori Traveler’s Notebook, but the Hobonichi Techo is luring me back. It might be the full page calendar days. It might be the Tomoe River paper. Or it might be the smaller, more convenient size. Either way, I’m putting the Techo back into action.

And with every new notebook comes the need to cover it up with an over-priced piece of leather. This Midori goat skin cover will be the cover of choice, if only because it’s more reasonably priced than the Arts & Sciences Techo cover straight from the source.

Field Notes Brand's Fall 2017 Quarterly Edition: Dime Novel

An homage to Beadle’s Dime Novels from the 1860s. A new format, that took 157 years to make. Subscribers get a sweet one-inch button.

I bought two 2-packs. And I wouldn't be surprised if I need to buy more. Field Notes has always excelled at the nostalgia factor in their memo books, and this Dime Novel limited edition may take nostalgia to a whole new level.

In doing the research for this quick link post, I noticed Field Notes Brand seem to be moving away from labeling quarterly limited editions as "Colors" editions. The limited editions still have the classic "FNC" — or "Field Notes Colors" — coded branding, but there are very few (if any) references to the original "Colors" branding. It's not hard to see the logic in the change — getting away from "Colors" opens up a wider world of printing options.

The Cleveland Indians Are, Somehow, Better Than They Seem

Neil Paine writing for FiveThirtyEight:

By now, of course, the Indians have erased all doubt about their standing within the division; they lead the Twins — who are themselves clinging to the AL’s final wild-card spot — by 14 games. (Twenty-one straight wins do have a tendency to boost a team’s division lead.) But according to BaseRuns, Cleveland still should have more wins than they do. In fact, the Tribe’s six-win shortfall between their predicted and actual records is the second-biggest such margin in baseball behind the Yankees (who should have nine more wins).

What’s astonishing is Jason Kipnis, Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley, and Bradley Zimmer have all been injured for at least some portion of this 21-game win streak. Miller was only activated this evening.

The Tribe are down 2-1 to the Royals in the 6th as of the time of writing. Let’s hope they set the Major League record later this evening.

Dan Frommer’s Photographic Look at Apple’s iPhone X Event

As per John Gruber’s comment from his look at the Steve Jobs Theater:

The roof is supported only by the glass walls. There are no support columns. It seems impossible, and the effect is amazing. (They run electricity to the roof through the narrow spacers between the window panes.)

Absolutely stunning.

And as Alex Pardoe said in our Candid Slack channel:

It’s amazing what can be done with architecture when you’re basically unencumbered by cost.

No doubt.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

Working with the iPhone X’s Notch

I understand the thought that the notch looks a tad “unfinished”, but I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s “ugly”. There’s no way the notch should be a reason to choose the iPhone 8/8 Plus over the iPhone X.

That said, these solutions around the notch look great. As does PCalc’s experimental design for the iPhone X. I’d be on board with this new design trend if it came around.

To me, there should be two reasons to choose the iPhone 8/8 Plus over the iPhone X:

  1. Face ID has a lot to prove, especially in the shadow of Touch ID. Face ID isn’t all that different than the Touch Bar was back in late 2016. If you’re an iPhone X owner, you’re basically Apple’s beta tester.
  2. The iPhone X’s width is closer to the iPhone 8’s width than the iPhone 8 Plus. And that extra width makes for a much better keyboard on the 8 Plus. Sure, the iPhone X’s screen is larger and sexier than the 8 Plus’s screen. But I’m willing to bet the keyboard will feel more cramped like the iPhone 8 than free and clear like the 8 Plus.

Of course, the X’s price could be an issue too.

For once, here in Canada, it doesn’t appear the iPhone 8/8 Plus are priced through the roof.

P.S. In my head, I’m still saying iPhone “Ex”, not iPhone “10”. Anyone else?

Bell's "NumberShare" Program for Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular Only $5/Month

Bell is offering its new "NumberShare" program to customers wanting to link their new Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular with their iPhone. And, based on what I've seen so far, the $5/month fee is the cheapest option available. At $5/month, the Series 3 with Cellular seems more and more worth the premium.

Of course, it's not available in Manitoba or Saskatchewan.

Fortunately, it looks like Telus supports VoLTE in Manitoba, so we should have some sort of service by year-end. No such luck for Saskatchatoon though.

Budelli Island’s Lone Resident

Gulnaz Khan for the National Geographic:

In 1989 on a stretch of water between Sardinia and Corsica, with a crippled engine and anchor adrift, Morandi’s catamaran was gripped by these same inexorable forces and carried to the shores of Budelli Island. When he learned that its caretaker was retiring from his post in two days, Morandi—long disenchanted with society—sold the catamaran and took his place.

I wonder how many conversations Morandi has had with himself over the 28 years.

The Silent Update to the Peak Design Everyday Messenger

Peak Design's Everyday Messenger bag was a Kickstarter phenomenon and is largely considered the best camera bag on the market. The original Charcoal and Tan colours shipped with the original (and insanely awesome) flex-fold dividers. However, when the Everyday Backpack, Tote, and Sling were introduced, updated flex-fold dividers were included to be stronger and more flexible.

Those updated flex-fold dividers didn’t make it into the Charcoal and Tan Everyday Messengers. The first generation dividers were enough to keep some people waiting until an update was launched (myself included).

It seems Peak Design “soft launched” the updated flex-fold dividers in the new Ash Everyday Messenger (which is way prettier than the other colours, by the way). I haven’t been able to find any documentation confirming this, nor have I seen new reviews of the updated Ash Everyday Messenger. I first discovered the updated dividers in the linked video, and can now confirm the update after having purchased an Ash bag.

This is the updated Peak Design Everyday Messenger those patient waiters were waiting for.

U.S. Bank Stadium Could Pose Acoustic Issues for U2

Karla Hult for Kare 11 News:

“Probably the best thing that people have said about the acoustics there is it’s better than the Metrodome, which of course is very, very faint praise,” said Chris Riemenschneider, the music critic for the Star Tribune.

Riemenschneider has written several articles about the challenge of sound within the stadium, which he says is due to the stadium’s billion-dollar design and the decision to go with or without some elements.

“The big thing is, it’s like half glass, and glass is terrible for acoustics, sound bounces right off there. And it’s got angles, and the walls on certain ends are super steep,” he said.

I guess I'll find out tonight.

Of note, songs referenced in this article:

  • Beautiful Day
  • Desire
  • With or Without You
  • Elevation
  • Bad
  • Pride (In the Name of Love)
  • Magnificent
  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

After you read the article, tell me how I did.