December 11, 2018

iPhone updates are not worth the hype

This summer, while at a pool party, my stepmother pushed me into a pool. It was meant as a joke, but my phone was in my pocket. After exposure to water, the common practice is to put your phone in a bag of rice. But for me, it didn’t work–the opposite happened–it fried my phone further. The next day, I went and picked up an iPhone 7 Plus.

Had this incident been a few days ago, I might have qualified to get the iPhone XS in some type of neat payment plan, something like $22.99 a month for 74 months. But it didn’t, it happened in July, and I am left with a fossil of a phone.

The iPhone XS was released on Sept. 21. A consumer cycle has taken hold of the marketplace – every year or so Apple rolls out their new model of the iPhone, iPad and other products. Meanwhile, Android has released 17 new phones during that year, all more functional and much more economical than the last. But the sleek, cold and sterile gloss of the iPhone is part of its mystique, and the Android doesn’t have this. Using an Android is akin to using a huge, ugly machine, with gears and cogs, like a handheld 18th century factory.

What makes the new iPhone worth it? Or not worth it? Let’s find out.

Durable Glass…Surgical Grade Stainless Steel

I guess I don’t know what the draw is for this. This language is clearly aimed at people who fawn over tech news. They probably have a subscription to Wired Magazine and have Elon Musk quotes tattooed on their chest. If the glass doesn’t break the first time I drop it, it’s fine. There are countries that have immense shortages of medical equipment. Maybe save the “surgical grade” stuff for them?

Wireless Charging

Isn’t this what everyone hated about the last model’s earbuds? They were wireless and everyone lost theirs the day after they got them. Not everything has to be wireless. If this is a way to charge the phone faster or hold the charge longer, then this is a great advancement. Otherwise, it is not needed. Just another way to lose a charger.

Advanced Face ID

I thought the last one had this? Does this mean I don’t need to have a password? This is what everything is leading up to: no password, complete facial recognition technology. It started with the fingerprint analysis that earlier versions of the iPhone had. Now Apple has a complete inventory of a sizable chunk of the world’s fingerprints. Next up, our faces. Honestly, this doesn’t bother me. I have come to terms with companies owning me and my data. As long as I am provided a service in return–more specifically, an easier time opening up my phone–I’m in.

Dual Camera System

This is probably the focal point of the marketing for this phone. The photographing capabilities for this phone are staggering. You don’t even need a traditional camera anymore, you can just use your phone. The quality of pictures you can take with the XS is insane, but compared to the previous few iPhones, the difference isn’t that noticeable. Not $1500 worth, at least.

Over 500GB 4g LTE

Similar to the Face ID, I thought 4G LTE was already what all iPhones had? That’s what mine always says in the top right corner (unless I’m on Webster’s campus). The storage is the real boost–that’s 400 GB more than the average phone. But again, this is probably cancelled out by the new, ultra high resolution photos. Still, 500 GB is a lot, more than many computers.

Overall, the iPhone XS is overpriced, overblown and overrated. Most of the updates are built around things that have already been done. The only thing brand new is the huge price. Still, having this device is a status symbol, one that signifies the owner is, 1) affluent 2) tech savvy and 3) relatively immune to smartphone radiation, all attractive things to be seen as. So if that’s appealing to you, go ahead and buy it.

 

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