A nerd’s guide to iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X


– We had this big Apple
announcement, three new phones. We had the iPhone X. We had the iPhone 8, two
models of that, Apple 4K TV. What did you think about it? – The fall Apple update
is always, sort of, a fun Apple update. We have a developer’s conference which they talk about stuff
that developers care about but this is the one where we get to learn about all the stuff that’s
gonna be out for holiday. We got new iPhones, you know. We had a lot of information going in. We heard a lot of rumors, most of which turned out to be true. Which is sort of a new thing. That didn’t use to happen. Now, it’s maybe a little less exciting because we knew about ’em. But, still, so much new
hardware to talk about. That’s what we really want. – A lot of leaks, a lot of
things weren’t that surprising. iPhone X, price of about $1,000. Are you excited about it? Do you feel like it’s something
you might buy someday? Pretty steep price tag on that. – iPhone X is a weird, it’s a weird thing for Apple. The idea is that it has
this edge-to-edge screen. That’s the thing they
made the big deal about. They took it to the extent where the phone has rounded corners so the
screen has rounded corners and you get 5.8 inches of diagonal screen which is actually, I think that’s more than a iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus. But you’re getting it
in a smaller form factor because all the way to the edges, which is pretty interesting. It’s also the first OLED
screen that Apple’s using which is sort of a big step for them. They talked about some of the challenges the happen with OLED. You get these deep blacks and
you get these bright colors but they’re not always
the most accurate colors which, you know, they
sort of worked out by now. I’m pretty excited to
see the screen in person. I think this is one of those things that’s gonna have much
more impact when we see it in your hand and you see all the pixels. It’s over 458 pixels per inch, I think, super retina display, which
is gonna look ridiculous. – You know, with that big screen, they’ve done away with the home button. It’s interesting, Apple’s
been training us for years to push the home button to get home. Now there is no home
button so new gestures. You swipe up from the bottom to get home. You can do that in any app. I’m wondering how they’re
gonna make that square with the control center
cause now you swipe up to get to the control center. I guess with the new iPhone
X, swipe up to get home but you won’t be able to get
to the control center that way. So, it’s interesting, we’ve
learned these gestures and rhythms and now we’re gonna
have to learn some new ones. – Yeah, it took me a really long time to get used to just Touch ID. Because it used to be,
with the iPhone 4 or 5S or whatever I had before, I
wanted to see my notifications so I’d push the button
bring up the notifications. Then I move to a 6S, or
whatever, when it had Touch ID and all of a sudden I push that button and it unlocks the phone and
all my notifications are gone. It took me a really long, surprising, maybe a disappointing amount of time to learn to not do that. Now, you can just turn
it over and it turns on, which is great. There is gonna be a learning curve for it. I think it’s also gonna be interesting, we’re eventually getting to it now, we talked about no more home button, is that this new True Def
camera with facial recognition. Anyone who uses it is
gonna have to get used to unlocking the phone with your face. – It’s using some artificial intelligence in an interesting way. They’re talking about
these neural networks, this kind of neural engine they’ve built where the phone learns the
way your face looks at first, kind of creates a mathematical
image of your face and then takes your
face and matches it back to the original. There is some really kind
of new interesting sensors in the phone that are helping to do that, kind of a flood illuminator, something called, like, a dot projector, that’s gonna make all this happen. It can even learn as your face changes. If your beard gets longer,
you don’t shave one day, it’s still gonna be able to recognize you and match it back to that original image and learn how your face changes. – Yeah, the whole idea
of the dot tracking, it seems like Mo-cap. You know, you see those
guys, the NBA players when they’re capturing
them for video games. That’s what I imagine. But apparently you have
30,000 points on your face, which is pretty interesting. The facial recognition
stuff already does exist. Like Microsoft, when I
log into my Surface Pro, it looks at my face and
it used near-infrared. I’m curious to see, you know, the AI seems to be the differentiator here and the system they’re using
to actually recognize your face because the Microsoft
version, I use it, it works. But it doesn’t always work. There doesn’t seem to
be, really, a way to tell when it’s gonna work and when it’s not. – And like the Samsung S8 and the Note 8, they have a face ID unlock system. It’s a little bit less secure than their other biometrics
but they’re doing it with just the single
front-facing camera in that case. In this case, Apple’s
working with a plethora of sensors in the front to try to do it in a kind of more three
dimensional, we think, way that will hopefully
make it more secure and less likely to be fooled by something. – And they’re also using
that depth information like they do on the back camera. Where they say if you take a selfie, you can add portrait
mode or whatever to it. They can use that depth
to fake those effects. – Right, like the new
portrait lighting effects with the dual cameras. It’s interesting, we saw the iPhone X with the face ID feature. It doesn’t have the touch ID. We have Siri now, instead
of pushing the home button to activate her, we do
it on the side button with the iPhone X. And then the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and just the regular size iPhone 8. Like, the iPhone X it has a
glass front and a glass back and stainless steel edges, I think. Any takeaways from the iPhone 8 that kind of caught your eye? – Yeah, I think the iPhone 8
Plus is the one I want to buy. That’s the one I want. I think it’s interesting
that they’re going back to glass on the back now
and the front obviously. Otherwise, it looks pretty similar. I like the iPhone 7 Plus a lot. The iPhone 8 seems like
a pretty iterative step, you know, going forward. There’s not like a huge gap. It’s just the next iPhone. – It is. Yeah, and I think it’s
nice, they kind of, like, threw the common folks
a bone with the iPhone 8 also having wireless charging. I kind of assumed going into this that the iPhone X would
have the wireless charging but I wasn’t sure if
the more iterative model would also have wireless charging. So, it’s nice that it
has that, in my opinion. – The wireless charging was an
interesting overall concept. It was really interesting
to see at the end of the keynote, to see
them talk about future tech where they said that
they’re gonna use this as AirPower.
– Yeah, the big mat. – For them to talk about something that’s coming out relatively soon. They do that sometimes, but
I think it’s interesting to see them putting it
out there that this thing is gonna work across the whole system. – Someone like, for me, I
have a lot of Apple products. I’m kind of slightly ashamed to admit. The fact that I could charge an iPhone with an Apple Watch and Air
Pods all next to each other on a sleek little white mat,
actually makes me very happy. Although, I worry that
I’m gonna actually spend all the money to make that happen and then I’m gonna be poor. – You can already kind of do that because the underlying technology Qi, that they’re using, is out there. It’s just that it’s cludgy. A lot of times, your stuff
doesn’t all work together and you need to put your
phone in a special case or you need to plug in a
little dongle to the bottom. Which is, you know, that defeats
the entire purpose of it. Why don’t you just plug in the cord. But I thought it was
interesting to see that. I’m excited that I the
iPhone 8S is getting that. I think that’ll be really cool. One of the things that
they talked about a lot was the camera stuff. I, obviously, care very
much about cameras. I think it’s interesting
that they’re, sort of, making these procedural
steps to improve the camera. They’re saying, “Okay,
the sensors are gonna be “a little bigger now.” They’re still 12 megapixels which is like, I think it’s really a sweet spot for them because they’re not trying to do too much with too many pixels,
which I think is good. – You know, one interesting
thing coming down the pike also with iOS 11, which will
be on all these phones, is that Apple’s switching
to a new photo format. This HEIF photo format, H-E-I-F, which I’m kind of excited about. It’s independent from the
hardware announcements today. The new HEIF photo format
will have more colors to it. Each photo you take will take
up less space on your phone so you can cram twice as
many selfies on there. I think that’s exciting, too. – JPEG has been around for a long time. – Yeah, since 1992.
– Time for something new. – It’s really old. – I’m pretty excited. The iPhone 8 is, I don’t
know how crazy excited I am for it, but iPhone 8
is, I think, the winner. Maybe it got overshadowed by it. – I think the iPhone 8
Plus starts at around $800. So, that’s $200 cheaper than the iPhone X and you’re still gonna
be getting great phone that also has wireless
charging and beautiful display, great camera system. They introduced this thing called, I think, it’s portrait effects where you can dynamically
change the lighting on somebody’s face when
you’re taking their portrait. They had portrait mode already. This is a slightly kind
of new thing to that. I think there’s a lot to be excited about. – I, personally, am not excited at all about the lighting effects. – As a kind of tried and
true photographer, yeah. – I think that they look
like they need a lot of work ’cause they’re very obvious tricks. Especially if you’re
used to editing photos. I think it’s cool that
they’re doing it with AI and they’re trying to learn. But I think it has a
very, very long way to go. Even if you look at even portrait mode, I think portrait mode is good. But if you look at some of the photos on the iPhone X site, you can see clearly where it’s like, “Oh, this
part of her hair is in focus “and this part is just way out of focus.” – I’ve noticed that on
portrait mode, actually, that the photo can kind of be blurred or the hair can be blurred in
the photo kind of incorrectly. It’s interesting to see the way Apple can use software updates to hopefully make those things better in
conjunction with the hardware. – One camera thing that they
did talk about, though, is AR. The demo of the game, I think
it was called The Machines, that they showed where they
were playing, basically, a table top game in augmented reality, that looked really cool to me. – I’ve also seen some
interesting AR apps coming down the pipe. For example, like in
the original Star Wars where they’re on the Millennium Falcon and they’re playing a
game with these little holographic creatures that
are fighting with each other, there’s an ARKit-enabled
game coming down the pike where you look through your phone and you see that game happening. So, a lot of exciting
things that are gonna be coming with AR, I think. – Yeah, I think so, too. They even sort of name-checked War Hammer which is a game that’s been around forever and it’s been played in
dark rooms with big tables and you have to measure with
tape measures and stuff. It’s a natural progression for that. I’m really excited for
some of those things. – Yeah, and even IKEA’s app, I think, in the future will make use of ARKit. Oh, you’re looking at your living room, you look at it through the phone and you can put a couch
there or a chair or a table. – I think there’s gonna
be some competition there that’s gonna help because
Windows, Microsoft has really doubled down
really hard on their, what they call a mixed reality. But it’s really just,
mostly augmented reality. But they’re baking it into Windows 10. So, all Windows 10 native devices, if they have a front-facing camera are gonna be able to
just do this AR stuff, which I think is gonna really push people to try hard and make it good. There’s also the new processors. That’s one of the big
things about iPhone X is that it has the new A11 Bionic. Is that what it’s called? – Six cores and then in the iPhone X, they’ve built in a neural engine as well, some new hardware there just for AI. There’s a lot going on under the hood. – I thought that was really interesting to see Phil sort of
gloss over the numbers. Where they said, “There’s six cores, “four of which are 25% more efficient “and two of which are 70% more efficient “than the cores before.” That seems pretty substantial. But I think people just
sort of glaze over. – I think any time you start
talking about chip specs and you start talking
about threading and cores, it means a lot to the
people who really understand that hardware stuff very well. But I think for the rest of
us, it’s a lot of jargon. But I guess the point
is that it’ll be faster. – Yeah, it’ll be faster. I think one of the other
things about the iPhone X that’s interesting is that we talked about how you get more screen
but in a smaller format but that also means that
they made a new case. They already did the R&D. They have this new case now. For Apple to talk about,
“This is what the future “of the phone looks like,” he’s probably being literal. Being like, “We spent all
the money to make this case “for this phone–” – You have a stainless
steel bezel around it. – Right, you’re probably
gonna see it for a while now. That’s an interesting concept, to start with this really
high-end phone and say, “Okay, you early adopters,
buy it for a lot of money. “Let’s try and recoup some
of this money already.” – Yeah, we may see the
tech from the iPhone X kind of trickle down
into the next editions. So, you know, the 8S, the 9. Do they lack fingerprint
sensors and just use Face ID but come in that lower
price point a year or two from now so that you’re
paying a premium now to have the most expensive tech but it may be baked into later iPhones. – Yeah, which is cool. Trickle down works in terms of phones. Maybe not so much in terms of other stuff but when it comes to phones. – So, it wasn’t just phones today. We had Apple Watch that’s now
getting a cellular connection and a 4K Apple TV. Anything about those that
kind of got you excited? Or it’s kind of like humdrum
little iterative updates, what do you think? – I think Apple TV 4K is cool but I think it’s sort of
catching up at this point. You can buy a 4K Roku. One of the things that
Apple has going for it is it has the built in
HDR and it has the 4K. They’re wrapping it all
up in, you know, tvOS. They’re saying they’re
gonna have all this content that you can watch. ‘Cause that’s one of the hard parts, is trying to standardize
the content you can watch. ‘Cause you can buy a TV that costs $8,000, looks awesome, but you have like, “I don’t know what I can watch on it.” Some things on Netflix will work and some things on Amazon won’t. I think Apple has an
opportunity to be like, “Look it might cost more to
get your movies through us “but we can tell you for sure “that they’re gonna be in HDR, “you’re gonna get the most
colors out of your movies.” I think it’s also cool
that if you bought a movie through the iTunes store
and it gets the upgrade, that you’re gonna get the upgrade. – I was very happy to hear that a 4K movie will not cost anymore than an HD movie. And if you already own the HD movie and it becomes available in 4K, you get the 4K version for free. So, it’s very nice not to be
nickel and dimed in that way. – It was interesting to see them talk about that supporting
media infrastructure stuff ’cause they mentioned Apple Music a lot but there wasn’t a section
of the presentation about Apple Music. It was just, “Oh, and by the way, “this works with Apple Music. “Oh, and by the way, the Apple watch now “can play Apple Music.” Which I thought this was
really kind of smart. – It was kind of baked right in there. And speaking of the Apple Watch, it’ll now have a cellular data connection so you could stream your music or stream actually music from Apple Music straight to your wrist if
you wanted to listen to it while you were jogging. I think the fact that it
can now make phone calls kind of independent from the phones means someone who’s more athletic than me and wants to go for a jog, can leave their phone at home but then make a call either just casually or in an emergency situation
straight from their wrist through the cellular network. That could be pretty huge,
I think, for some people. – Emergency calls while
running is important to me. It seems like it could be
relevant to my interests. I don’t have an Apple Watch. I’ve always kind of wanted
one, I just never bought one. I think is the place where
a lot of people live. Where every time I’ve
been close to buying one, it’s been like, “Ah, maybe
I don’t really need it.” – I’ve enjoyed using it for a while now but it’s not a perfect device and I’d like to see them make it
round because I feel like the square form factor
looks a little bit dorky but I still wear it anyway. – I think it’s interesting that they say that it gets the same
amount of battery life even though now it’s using
a cellular connection. – And they were saying that the screen is now gonna serve as the
antenna, the cellular antenna. So, that’s kind of some
impressive engineering right there if they can make the screen
have this dual function. – I’m curious, personally,
this is information I can see is like what it’s gonna
cost to have your iPhone have a cellular connection. I’m assuming it’s gonna be
something along the lines– – Oh, to have your Apple
Watch have a cellular– – Sorry, yeah, to have your
watch have a connection. I’m assuming it’s like the iPad where it’s gonna be $15
a month or whatever. – Or if you have a AT&T or
data plan for your phone, you tack on also that you can
use your Apple Watch with it so they charge you $15 extra a month. Or to get grouped into the same amount of data you already have. It’s unclear but I do know
that I don’t want to pay more for my phone bill. So, it’ll be interesting to
see how that’s parceled out. – I think the heart rate
stuff was interesting that they talked about. That it’s now the most
popular heart rate sensor in the world. – Right, and they’re gonna alert you if your heart’s pounding too fast or if it notices an arrhythmia. – That kind of stuff worries me because the prospect for a false positive or it being able to catch a weird heart beat and tell you, “Hey, your heart just beat weird.” It’s not like, “Oh, here’s what it is.” It’s like, “Hey, your
heart is screwing up,” and then you can just panic until you figure out what it is. – It’ll be interesting to
see how they have trained it and how they do train it. They may feed the signal
that an atrial fibrillation or something from
somebody’s heart shows up, how that signal shows up on the watch. And they may feed all those signals into some sort of neural network that kind of learns what it looks like. Then it can, hopefully,
recognize it in the real world with, hopefully, few false positives and doesn’t miss the real positives. So, I guess it’s part of
a Stanford health study. So, it’ll be really interesting to see how that happens moving forward. – That’s what I worry about. Also, I didn’t quite understand, they said that people’s heart
rate races for no reason. – If you think about it, like,
when I’m going for a swim, sometimes I monitor my
heart rate with the watch and it’ll say my peak
heart rate was 120 or 130 and that feels really high. I think what they’re
saying is if they notice that your not moving but
your heart rate is 120, 130, you’re just sitting there
and your heart’s going really too fast, that’s
when they’ll alert you that something’s wrong. ‘Cause it shouldn’t be doing that if you’re not moving really quickly. – Right, unless your watching
the Fast and the Furious. – Or you’re scared, exactly, just by life. – Watching the new It movie. It’s going off like crazy. I also thought it was interesting that they talked about the retail stores, which are not called stores. – Town Squares.
– Town Squares. – Which makes me want to throw
up a little bit in my mouth when I hear them talk
about the retail stores being town squares. It feels too much, kind
of, Apple hammering the, kind of, community line. You know, it is a store,
it’s meant for selling stuff. It’s not a town square. But, whatever, I guess
that’s their branding. – Well, it’s just an odd
thing that they want people to come and hang out at the Apple Store. Most stores would rather
you just buy stuff and then get out. I guess their thing is if you hang around this stuff long enough,
you’re just gonna be like, “Well, I need to buy it.” “I can’t not be around this. – They seem to want them to be centers for education where you can go learn what’s happening at Apple
today, they call it, and also go to the Genius Bar, which I also heard them
refer to as the Genius Grove. If there’s trees, I guess. So, yeah, they want you to hang out and they want you to buy stuff. – I think it’s interesting that they have this new emphasis on what
creative professionals that they’re talking about. That, sort of, teach people to do stuff and, like, are community managers, basically. Which I think is an interesting, you know, that’s good because not
everybody is ready to be a genius and fix computers, like me, you know. Like, I’m not ready to do that. But, you need me to be
community, hey, sure. Let’s learn how to draw and paint. That sounds great. But, I think, overall,
it was a good event. I think it was a good way to
break in Steve Jobs Theater. I don’t necessarily know
if iPhone X was worth the, “Oh, one more thing.” – The question is,
everyone expects so much from Apple and they always
hope that the next device is revolutionary in some ways. But I often wonder if there’s
really anything Apple could do where people wouldn’t say,
“Why isn’t it revolutionary? “Why doesn’t it brush my teeth for me?” Is there anything that the iPhone X doesn’t proclaim to do that
you kind of wish that it does? Or does it seem like
just a pretty good phone that’s gonna be pretty
sweet and now it exists? – I’m wondering what it’s
gonna be like to use it, I really do. The rounded corners, at
first glance, I hate ’em. I hate the way it looks. When I first saw it, I hated it. Obviously, that might
change when you use it ’cause I’ve been using Essential phone and it has rounded corners
on some of the corners, too. It has a cutout for the camera on the top and I thought I was gonna hate that but they deal with it
in a pretty elegant way. It looks okay. In terms of actual functionality, I don’t really know what
do I want a phone to do. I use the same seven
apps all day, every day. It can’t really do those apps much better than it’s doing them. – The glass back, we can assume that that’s an important part
of the wireless charging but I want a phone that’s
gonna be really resilient that, ideally, I could
carry without even putting it in a case ’cause phones themselves usually look pretty
nice and they look worse when you put case on them. So, it’d be cool. I do wonder how robust and resilient will that glass back be. – I definitely cracked the back of mine. That’s the only iPhone I ever broke. I’ve never broken a screen. But I’d break the glass
back of my iPhone 4S. I guess we’ll find out. ‘Case we’ll definitely
drop whatever phone I get. – I would rather have
an indestructible phone or a phone that’s virtually indestructible but doesn’t have wireless charging than the other way around. I think it’s too soon to say how resilient the phone will be. – And also something
that’s not as slippery as a bar of soap when I’m holding it. – They always are that way. – But, I mean, it looks nice. They look shiny. But they’re also impossible to hold on to. – All right, so, yeah,
we covered a lot today. Stay tuned to PopSci.com where we’re gonna be doing a lot of follow-up stories about the iPhone, the new
software, things like Face ID. We’re gonna be getting a unit in-house, hopefully, pretty soon. Stan, hopefully, you get
a chance to play with it. – Yeah, I’m looking
forward to trying iPhone X. I’m looking forward to trying Apple TV and I’m not looking forward to
running with the Apple Watch. – Yeah, you don’t have
to, that’s optional. – Well, don’t worry.
– Okay.