Unboxings

Google Pixel 4 - Announced!


Google's October 2019 Event is over, and being a Pixel 3XL owner I was hoping for some improvements on what I felt was a pretty decent phone. There had been many many leaks on this phone and basically all of them were right. You can check out our article on the Final Leaks and Rumors surrounding the Pixel 4 if you like to see for yourself. If not, let me give you the rundown. 

Also check out Daniels live reaction unboxing at the video above.


DESIGN

The limited edition ‘Oh So Orange’ Pixel 4 (Source: Rabbit TV)

The limited edition ‘Oh So Orange’ Pixel 4 (Source: Rabbit TV)

The design is exactly as we had seen, block colour body rather than the dual tone, with a black camera module on the back, no large notch on the front for the XL, but instead a larger forehead which house some of the newer features to the Pixel of the Soli Radar chip and the Face Unlock Flood Illuminator. It is also coming in the colours that we thought it would do; ‘Just Black’, ‘Clearly White’ and the limited edition ‘Oh So Orange’.

In terms of the screen we are getting a 90Hz refresh rate OLED display on both, with the Pixel 4 having a 5.7” display, up 0.2” from the 3, and the Pixel 4XL will have the same size screen as the 3 XL with 6.3”. Both the phones are going to be slightly larger than their predecessors, with the 4 being 1.5mm taller than the 3 and the 4XL being 2.4mm larger than the 3XL.

 

CAMERA

So we are getting minor changes to both the actual build of the phone and the screen on the phone. But what I personally look for in a phone is a good camera, and with the Pixel 3XL having an extremely good camera, I was excited to see what improvements were going to be made. Unfortunately I was let down.

The hardware on this is no huge improvement over my current Pixel. Whilst we are getting a new camera module on the back, with a 16MP main camera and a 12.2MP secondary camera, we still have no Wide Angle but a new telephoto lens! That’s right, we hoped they wouldn’t do it, we didn’t want to believe the leaks but they were right. Come on Google, why do we still not have one? We touched on this in our Leaks and Rumors Article but you can always zoom in post, but you cannot take a wide angle image without a wide angle lens! In addition, we were right in thinking that there was going to be a single camera on the front, which is only 8MP, so no real improvements here, and it can only do 1080p at 30FPS. The Pixel 3 could do that, so why Google isnt trying to match both Samsung and Apple, who are able to do 4K on the front facing cameras, I don’t know. In terms of the rest of the video capabilities here you are, they are pretty much the same as the 3 but some are locked to specific FPSs:

Rear Camera

  • 4K @ 30FPS

  • 720P @ 240FPS

  • 1080P @ 30, 60 and 120 FPS

Front Camera

  • 1080P @ 30FPS

I am hoping that there are some major improvements when it comes to the software of the Pixel 4’s camera that would make up for the lack of improvement in the hardware. But whether those software improvements will come to the 3’s as well, we will have to wait and see.

Something new that is coming with the camera though is the Astrophotography, which was further shown off at the event. What this appears to be is an extended Night Sight of soughts but this astrophotography requires a 4 minute exposure time in order to take the image, so unless you want to stand perfectly still while it takes the picture, I’d suggest getting a tripod for it, unless you want to be in the picture, in which case you will have to stand still for the entire exposure time. Personally I see this as quite a gimmick but I could be surprised.

An example image of the Astrophotography from the Pixel 4 (Source: 9to5Google)

An example image of the Astrophotography from the Pixel 4 (Source: 9to5Google)

 

CPU & RAM

So whilst all the leaks have been right so far there was something that we did get wrong, the CPU. We thought that these were going to come with the Snapdragon 855+, which is essentially an overclocked 855. However, we are not getting any overclock at all, and are instead getting the Snapdragon 855 regular, which is the same processor you find in an S10. However, although that sounds great, the S10 had the best CPU at the time seeing as the S10 was released in March and the 855 was released in December of last year, but the Pixel could have had the 855+ which was released in July.

But we did get the RAM correct, with 6GB up from 4 on the 3XL. This is another questionable move, seeing as many phones come with 12GB of RAM nowadays.

 

PRICE

We also got the prices wrong, and in a good way this time. So from the leaks it looked like we were going to have to spend £730 for the 4 and £1,000 for the XL, but luckily those were overestimated prices and instead the Pixel 4 will start at £669, and the XL at £829. But whether that makes up for the lack of improvements, we will have to get one and find out!

The Pre-Order prices the for 4 and 4XL (Source: Google)

The Pre-Order prices the for 4 and 4XL (Source: Google)

 

CONCLUSION

So in the end I am not massively impressed. The design to me isn’t great, we are getting no huge improvements in performance or camera, and the only large camera update to me seems gimmicky but I am interested to see what kind of pictures it produces.

Until I have seen one for myself and had a go with it, I personally wouldn’t look to upgrade from my 3XL as there simply isn’t enough to make me want to upgrade, and if anything now could be the time to get a Pixel 3 if you’ve been wanting one as the price is sure to drop.

OnePlus 7T Pro Unboxing - The Best Android Smartphone of 2019?


OnePlus has sent over this special mystery package and I have a pretty good idea of one thing that’s inside of this but this package is huge so there’s probably quite a few things inside.

So without any further ado, here’s my unboxing and my first impressions of the OnePlus 7T Pro!


UNBOXING

Ok, so we get this big red box, this is the OnePlus 7T Pro Media Pack, which means that if you’re just buying the 7T Pro from the Store, you wouldn’t really be getting this unfortunately,as this is something that only the reviewers get.

Now when you compare the 7T Pro Media Pack to the one that we got just a few months ago with the 7 Pro, you can see how much bigger this one really is. It’s significantly larger and thicker as well and I think that it also looks better, with that full on red look.

So OnePlus logo on the front and nothing else really on the sides and the back.

Taking off the sleeve takes us to the actual box. Now I think that this one’s really cool, it’s got the ‘Never Settle’ logo on the front, but the front also slides away in this butterfly like style and the contents of the box are revealed.

An example of the drawing styles in the Media Pack that comes in this box

An example of the drawing styles in the Media Pack that comes in this box

The first thing here is this black OnePlus sleeve which seems to contains the OnePlus 7 Pro booklet. This is essentially a guide made for reviewers, so that they get accustomed with all the new features that the OnePlus 7T Pro comes with, and they’ve actually changed the style significantly, from the one that the OnePlus 7 Pro used to come with. There’s no actual images of the phone itself, just drawings and graphics, which I do like! Whoever designed it should get a promotion! This is just a brilliant job and the whole booklet is made out the same cardboard like paper that the box is also made from. So it’s a much thicker and textured paper, than what we got before with the 7 Pro reviewers guide. Also inside the booklet we get a OnePlus branded cleaning cloth - which I don’t think I’ll ever open. This is way too precious to open. This has also had a design change as we now have this landscape cloth rather than the portrait style one that we had before.

Removing that and we get 2 compartments. I opened the one on the right first, since the one on the left seems to be the box for the 7T Pro. Inside of that we get 3 cases for the OnePlus 7 Pro. So we get a Sandstone case and 2 which from the outside look pretty much the same, but they’re actually quite different. They’re both part of the Karbon series of cases, but one is the Karbon Protective Case while the other is the Karbon Bumper case, which does offer more protection to the frame of the phone. I just love both, the feeling on the back is just incredible, but I prefer the Bumper One. It’s a bit weird to explain as it’s made from one piece of plastic, however, the back is more solid while the edge is made from rubber, but there’s no seam line or anything. It’s all just made from one block or at least merged together in a perfect manner.

The size difference between the OnePlus 7T Pro Box (Left) and the 7 Pro (Right)

The size difference between the OnePlus 7T Pro Box (Left) and the 7 Pro (Right)

Then finally we get to the actual OnePlus 7T Pro box. The first thing I noticed about this box is that it’s very tall. Comparing this to the OnePlus 7 Pro box, this is about 25% taller, however it’s also not as wide or as thick as the 7 Pro box. Now, I actually prefer this design, it’s much sleeker, not just in terms of the form factor but also in terms of the style of the box. We have a red box with the message “This is the OnePlus 7T Pro. It is the culmination of all our design and engineering efforts and crafted for those, who like us, always strive for the very best”.

On the sides we get the OnePlus 7T Pro branding, nothing on the top and bottom and on the back we get color (Haze Blue), the Capacity (256GB) as well as the RAM (8GB). Then on the bottom of this box we have ‘Never Settle’.

So once we have removed the phone what else do we get? Well, we get this very long booklet that says OnePlus on it, and inside that we get quite a few things; another card that says invitation on it, which has a message from Pete Lau, the Founder & CEO of OnePlus. We then get three OnePlus stickers, all different. We then get two manuals, one being a quick start guide that also shows you the layout of the phone, and the other one being the warranty and the safety guide. 

There is also another cases in here too, a silicone case just like with the 7 Pro which is really nice to see OnePlus including this in the box, giving day 1 protection!

We then get another card with the sim eject tool, the charging cable which is the same iconic OnePlus red and white cable, definitely the best looking charging cable out there, and we finally get the Warp Charge 30T charger which actually looks identical to the 7 Pro charger, same design, same size, even the exact same specifications and the exact same model number, yet the 7T Pro can charge 23% faster than the 7 Pro could. It seems like the reason for this speed increase is actually some optimisations done in software or it could be thanks to the new processor which I’ll talk about just in a minute. 

Ok, so that’s pretty much it when it comes to the MediaPack. The box was indeed bigger but we actually got less stuff than with the 7 Pro MediaPack, which also included the Bullet Wireless 2 Headphones as well as a OnePlus Car Charger. However, we did get 3 cases this time round, rather than just 2.

THE PHONE

Ok, so now let’s remove the plastic wrap from the 7T Pro and take a look at the actual phone!

Design wise, it looks pretty much identical to the 7 Pro from just a few months ago. We have the same exact bezel sizes, the same display, the same display resolution at 3120x1440, the same 516 PPI. It also has the same 90Hz refresh rate, as well as the same camera system, the same haptic engine and I’ll promise that this is the last time I’ll say “the same” in this article.

Holding these in my hand it’s pretty much impossible to tell which is which from the front.

But in that case, what’s different?

The new Haze Blue 7T Pro, the small black mark next to the camera is the Macro shot assistant

The new Haze Blue 7T Pro, the small black mark next to the camera is the Macro shot assistant

Well, 7 things really.

First off we do get a new colour called the Haze Blue which replaces the Nebula Blue that the 7 Pro came in. It’s a bit lighter than the Nebula Blue and it also reflects more light so it’s a bit shinier. Personally I like both. 

Then the second change is the processor. We now have the Snapdragon 855+ compared to the 855 that the 7 Pro had. The GPU is now 15% faster which means slightly higher FPS in some more demanding games like Call of Duty mobile for example. 

Thirdly there is a new addition next to the camera module, which is for the new Macro mode that this phone now has. Essentially you can get as close as 2.5cm from an object and it will still focus, where most phones will fail. Here’s an example of how close the 7T Pro can focus vs the iPhone 11 Pro that’s all blurry here so this is perfect for photographing insects or plants or just textures in general. 

Then the fourth edition is that the battery is slightly larger at 4085mAh compared to 4000mAh, mostly for that 855+ chip which is essentially an overclocked 855 in the end.

Fifth. If you ever used the Reading Mode on the 7 Pro, on the 7T Pro now allows you to use it in Full Colour mode rather than just Black & White.

Sixth. The 7T Pro comes with Android 10 right out of the box. The 7 Pro will also be getting Android 10 soon, I don’t have it on my unit just yet, but it should be here by the end of the month.

And finally seventh we actually do get a faster fast charge with Warp Charge 30T, which like I said before is 23% faster than on the 7 Pro.

 

CONCLUSION

So in the end, the OnePlus 7T Pro is a very small upgrade over the 7 Pro that we got back at the end of May, just four and a bit months ago. However, I don’t think that that’s necessarily a bad thing. 

The 7 Pro was already an amazing smartphone. Pretty much the best android phone overall, especially considering the price and the 7T Pro is now an even better version of that. Yes, it still doesn’t have a camera that’s as good as the Note 10’s or the iPhone 11 Pro’s, but it does have a very usable and good camera for the price which by the way OnePlus has improved a ton with software updates which they’ve been slamming in a few times a month. 

If you add that to the insanely fast UI, with the near stock android experience, day two updates right after Pixel phones, that 90Hz refresh rate display, and no notch or display cutouts at all, all for $670 or £650 less than what the regular iPhone 11 costs! Well, you guys have what’s probably the best all round android phone of 2019!

iPad Pro 4 (2019) - Early Preview


So I got a pretty special package in the mail. This supposedly contains a preview of the next iPad Pro, the 2019 iPad Pro 4th generation, and without further adieu let’s open this up and see what we have inside! 


UNBOXING & FIRST IMPRESSIONS

So opening up this box and inside we get this iPad mock-up wrapped in bubble wrap. The one I have is the 12.9” mode, which is the same dimensions that we currently have now with that model. But taking a look at the front nothing really has changed, we get the same design style, the same bezel sizes. The side frame is once again appears to be identical to the one we have now, same thickness as well.

Like this years iPhone’s the iPad Pro 4 is expected to come with a triple camera module

Like this years iPhone’s the iPad Pro 4 is expected to come with a triple camera module

So really, the only new thing about this iPad, is on the back, which has a fairly massive triple lens camera module. This is coming from the single module camera that we’ve had so far on pretty much every single iPad model, including the recent 3rd generation iPad Pro.

Now something that I’ve noticed is that the camera module itself is a bit smaller than the camera module on the iPhone 11’s. This usually means a trade-off in some regard but to be honest I wouldn’t expect Apple to manufacture a separate triple lens camera module just for this 2019 iPad Pro.

So what’s likely the case here, is that they just managed to reduce the footprint of the camera unit, by spacing out the camera components better since an iPad does have significantly more space inside, compared to an iPhone.

Now having that triple lens module on an iPad Pro might seem like overkill, and it kinda is. However what this means is that if you’re the kind of person that edits photos taken with the iPhone on the iPad Pro, like I do a lot of the time when I’m travelling then you won’t need to use AirDrop to constantly transfer your photos, since you can just take them with the iPad Pro instead.


BATTERY & RAM PREDICTIONS

So although we get a pretty big upgrade in the camera module, there must be something else to warrant upgrading to this right? Well from what we know it would appear that the battery life is also getting a huge upgrade.

Its highly likely that the iPad will feature the A13X Processor that is also found in the iPhone 11s

Its highly likely that the iPad will feature the A13X Processor that is also found in the iPhone 11s

The new iPad Pro is will be getting the Apple A13 processor, the A13X even, which will be Apple’s most powerful mobile processor by far! For context, the 2018 iPad Pro with the A12X processor scored 5106 SC and 17156 MC in Geekbench 4, which is just nuts! The iPhone 11 Pro Max for example, with the Apple A13 processor, scores 5411 SC and 13883MC, again in Geekbench 4. So the SC is even higher than the iPad Pro 2018’s, it’s just that the multicore and the compute GPU scores are lower. It is very likely that this will be the case again. The A13X will have an even higher SC than the iPhone 11 Pro does, probably at around 5700 or so and the MC should be around 19000 or so, while the GPU will be further improved. 

But just like I said before, the biggest improvement that we are getting with the A13 processor isn’t necessarily the performance gains, but the battery life. The iPad Pro should be getting about 2 hours extra battery life, if not even more than that, thanks to this A13 processor.

Now, something that Apple has added to the new Apple Watch Series 5, is an LTPO display and a new display controller that can adjust the refresh rate from 60Hz down to even 1Hz. The iPad Pro can already do something similar. It has a Pro-Motion display which also adjusts the refresh rate from 120Hz to 24Hz, depending on the content that you’re watching but it cannot go lower than 24Hz. Apple could implement the same display technology and the new display controller from the Apple Watch to let the iPad go as low as 1Hz and improve the battery life thanks to that as well.

Now, with the iPhone 11 Pro’s, we still have 4GB of RAM unfortunately. I know that some of you will say that “oh, iOS doesn’t need more than that because it’s very well optimised”, and while that is true, my Note 10+ which has 12GB of RAM, can keep many more apps open in the background compared to my iPhone 11 Pro which does have to reload certain apps quite often.

So with the iPad Pro 2019 I am personally expecting 6GB of RAM as standard, just like we had in 2018 with the 1TB models.

 

SCREEN PREDICTIONS

The thing that I want to see the most on the iPad, is an OLED display. Same Super Retina XDR that we have on the iPhone 11 Pro’s. That would look insane on an iPad!

But don’t get your hopes up for 2019. We have seen a recent report from Ming-Chi-Kuo yesterday, who claims that Apple will be releasing Mini-LED displays for iPad & MacBooks in 2020 and 2021. Now Mini-LED should not be confused to Micro-LED, which is the next display innovation after OLED. MicroLED is the future of displays, but it won’t be coming out until a few years from now. 

Mini-LED is what Apple already uses on their Pro XDR Display for the Mac Pro, and that one uses 576 full array local dimming zones. So it’s in between LCD  and OLED. It’s an LCD technology with a lot of dimming zones so you can still get deep black levels and high brightness but you only have 576 dimmable zones rather than 20.4 million zones like you would have if the Pro XDR Display had an OLED panel. Kuo claims that the new iPad Pro’s with the Mini-LED displays will launch in Q4 2020, with the MacBook Pros following in Q1 and Q2 2021. So this year’s iPad will have the same display as in 2018 for the most part. 

A quick breakdown of the differences between LCD, Mini-LED, and OLED

A quick breakdown of the differences between LCD, Mini-LED, and OLED

THINGS THAT NEED FIXING

Well, the current iPad Pro 2018 model does have 2 issues, which Apple should be looking to fix.

Some previous models of iPads came bent out the box (Source: MacRumors)

Some previous models of iPads came bent out the box (Source: MacRumors)

The 1st one being Bend Gate. If you remember the iPad has the Apple Pencil connector on one side and the microphone port on the other, which greatly reduces the structural rigidity of the iPad itself. This means that not only will it easily bend when you put stress on that point, but more importantly if you’re carrying it in a tight backpack with lots of stuff in, there’s a high change that when you remove it from the backpack it will be bent. I’ve even seen some cases where this iPad Pro came bent out of the box brand new, and in a lot of those cases Apple even refused to replace or repair it, because they considered it to be something that the user has done.

Now on the mock-up I’ve noticed that it still has the microphone port in the middle of the frame. The Apple Pencil charging pad seems to be in the middle as well, maybe slightly off, but visually at least I cannot see any changes and improvements from the 2018 model. Now there is a chance that Apple alters the construction of the aluminium back to make it more durable and less prone to bending. Apple have done this in the past, like the move from the iPhone 6 to the 6S with 7000 series aluminium, which is the strongest aluminium on the market that manufacturers can use. But overall, I cant guarantee that this will be altered before the release.

Scuffgate occurred when the Apple Pencil was eroding the area around its place on the iPad

Scuffgate occurred when the Apple Pencil was eroding the area around its place on the iPad

Then the 2nd issue that we’ve had is the Scuff Gate issue. This is actually something that affects more users than the Bend Gate issue. Essentially if you have the new iPad and the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, after a few weeks or months of use, you’ll notice that the pencil has started scratching and eroding the actual aluminium frame of the iPad. The reason why this happens is because the magnets aren’t strong enough to hold the top and bottom portions of the pencil, they only hold the middle of it. This means that it will slightly move, either in your bag or when you’re carrying the iPad in your hand, and this slight movement of the pencil will cause the aluminium frame to be eroded. This is something else that Apple will not replace your iPad for. I did ask Apple about this and they’re classifying this as cosmetic damage, even though it’s a fault in the iPad itself. In my opinion, and I’m sure you’d agree, using the Apple Pencil which is a 1st party accessory, shouldn’t damage your iPad in any way.

So these 2 issues, the Bend Gate and the Scuff Gate are something that I do expect Apple to address with this new iPad Pro.

 

CONCLUSION

In terms of the release date for this 2019 iPad, it appears very likely to be the end of October, at a special Apple event where Apple will also unveil the new MacBook Pro 16” redesign. We’ve had some reports claiming this to be released in March, but personally since this will be a fairly small update, an October release it what looks to be the most likely scenario from my perspective as well. 

The Triple Lens camera module is really the only noticeable upgrade and we could kinda say the same about the iPhone 11 Pro’s. But then we got some pretty big upgrades that no one was expecting, such as the significantly improved battery life, the 4m water resistance, the speaker improvements and more.

So I do think that Apple will have some more exciting features to talk about, when it comes to this new iPad, we will just have to wait and see.

Apple Watch 5 - The Watch We've All Been Waiting For!


This is the Apple Watch Series 5 and we have it in both Titanium as well as Black Stainless Steel. This is it, the Apple Watch that we’ve all been waiting for since it now has an Always-On-Display.

Shout out to BandWerk who make some amazing Apple Watch Straps for sending the Black Stainless Steel for me personally.

So let’s unbox both of these, the Apple Watch Edition in Titanium and the Black Stainless Steel and I’ll give you my thoughts on both in this article as well! 


UNBOXING

Design comparison between the Apple Watch Edition box (Top) and Stainless Steel Model box (Bottom)

Design comparison between the Apple Watch Edition box (Top) and Stainless Steel Model box (Bottom)

So taking a look at both boxes, the Apple Watch Edition has a bold Apple Watch text in black on the front, whereas the Stainless Steel model just has a white indented logo and text, and that’s it.

On the sides we don’t really have anything aside from the pull tab and on the back we get a listing of what we get included inside, alongside the Apple Watch model. 

Ok, so let’s unbox these up, starting with the Stainless Steel model.

So opening up that butterfly style packaging and we get 2 boxes inside. We get the actual Apple Watch box and the band, which in this case is the Black Sport Band with a black stainless steel PIN as well. It isn’t really a perfect deep black, like the old Apple Watch sport bands were, it’s more of like a dark space grey instead, but it still looks really nice on the Stainless Steel Apple Watch.

Opening up the actual Apple Watch box and we get a booklet which includes a quick start guide, the warranty and the safety guide, but no Apple stickers at all.

The Stainless Steel and Edition models charger comes with a stainless steel charger

The Stainless Steel and Edition models charger comes with a stainless steel charger

We then get the charging cable, UBS A to the magnetic head that attaches to the Apple Watch, and also the charger itself, which in the UK is this very compact and portable travel adaptor that also folds the pins inside. Really nice! Now, if you get a stainless steel or edition model, the back and the sides of the charger would be made our of stainless steel as well, rather than plastic like we get on the aluminium models. It has no impact on the functionality, its just a cosmetic upgrade.

And then finally we get the Apple Watch Series 5 which comes in a microfiber pouch which actually matches the colour of the watch and that’s it for the stainless steel one.

Now the unboxing experience for the edition is similar but slightly different.

The inside of that butterfly cardboard that holds the watch box and the band box together has a black inside rather than the white one that we get with the aluminium and stainless steel models. 

We get the quick-start guide which does say ‘Apple Watch Edition’ on it and it seems to be more detailed that the Stainless steel one, and it also matches the colour of the watch inside.

Then with the Apple Watch Edition Box, we the booklet which is noticeably thicker than the stainless steel one. It seems like we actually get a free band inside this Apple Watch Edition Booklet. In my case its a Dark Grey Sport Band which matches the colour of my Watch.

Like previous models, the Series 5 comes in a microfiber pouch

Like previous models, the Series 5 comes in a microfiber pouch

So you get that one with the Black Titanium, you get a Light Grey Sport Band with the regular Titanium and you get a Soft White Sport band if you go with the Ceramic Apple Watch. All all of these band colours are exclusive to the Apple Watch Edition. You cannot buy this separately as of right now.

But that’s pretty much everything in terms of exclusive Apple Watch Edition content. Aside from this we get the same charging cable, the same charger and we now get the Titanium Apple Watch in its own pouch, a dark grey one which looks pretty sleek, and that’s it for the Black Titanium Apple Watch Edition.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

So I’ve been playing around with these for the past few days and this is what I think about both so far. 

Design comparison between the Series 4 and Series 5

Design comparison between the Series 4 and Series 5

The stainless steel model looks identical to my Series 4. Same dimensions, same thickness, same casing material, so holding them next to one another and you really wouldn’t be able to tell the difference

The titanium one is a new casing material and it looks good for the most part. I do like the brushed metallic look of the Titanium a lot, you can get the titanium in silver as well, which is titanium’s natural colour, I just prefer black It’s a weird one because it looks and feels like a matte stainless steel. It’s got that cold feel to it, unlike the aluminium which feels warm. So I do like that. But at the same time, it’s not as shiny as the stainless steel one is. It’s literally in between the aluminium and the steel in terms of how the casing material looks and feels like. 

Personally, I still prefer the stainless steel. The reason for this is because of the seamless transition between the glossy black display and the glossy back stainless steel case. It just looks as if it was all made from a single block of metal, and you don’t really get this with any other Apple Watch.

Weight comparison between the Stainless Steel model (Left) and the Titanium (Right)

Weight comparison between the Stainless Steel model (Left) and the Titanium (Right)

But something that you might be able to tell is the weight difference between the two. The stainless steel model weighs 47.9g compared to 41.8g on the titanium. It’s not as noticeable as I expected but holding both in my hands I can tell that the titanium is slightly lighter.

Now, probably the best part about the Apple Watch Series 5 is that it still uses the exact same mechanism for the bands. Yes same exact one that we’ve had since the original Apple Watch was unveiled back in September 2014, five years ago. Personally I think that this is just amazing! This means that all of your bands will still perfectly fit on your Series 5.

FUNCTIONALITY & FEATURES

The main new feature of this watch is the Always-On Display. Now the way it works is that it has a low power LTPO display which the Series 4 also had, but the Series 5 does have a new display controller that allows it to switch the refresh rate to as low as 1Hz, down from the usual 60. 

So when you tilt your wrist back, or even put your palm over the display to put it into sleep, rather than the display going black it still shows you the full watch face, only slightly dimmed. 

In cases where you do have a watch face with a lot of movement, like the Toy Story face or one that has a lot of bright areas like the white ones do, the colours would get inverted so that everything’s black, since on OLED displays, when pixels display black they’re actually turned off, so they consume 0 energy. 

Now, the display would be way dimmer in Always-On than it is normally, so you are losing that brightness but at least you have a display that’s always on, something that Android watches have had for many years now, and something that’s been the main lacking feature on the Apple Watch.

For your own privacy you can enable this blur effect which would hide notifications when using the Always-On Display

For your own privacy you can enable this blur effect which would hide notifications when using the Always-On Display

And having an Always-On display is just amazing. You no longer have to tilt your wrist to see the time or your notifications, and if you’re worried about your privacy, you can enable a blur effect which blurs all your upcoming notifications when the watch is in sleep, with the Always-On display on.

So how does that affect the battery life you may ask?

Well, Apple’s claiming up to 18 hours of battery life on the Series 5, which is identical to the Series 4, but I can honestly say that it’s nowhere near that. My Series 4 lasted me for two days easily, and by the end of the second day I had about 20% or so left, meaning my Series 4 consumed about 40% of battery life per day.

The Series 5 with the Always-On display on was at 63% by 3:30pm. Which means that by the end of the day, this will be at around 30% or so. So it can last a day but definitely not two days like my Series 4 easily could.

Also I’m a pretty light user myself. I almost always have DND enabled since I get a ton of notifications and I’d be constantly spammed by my Apple Watch otherwise. And I usually don’t fill my yellow ring. I know, I don’t exercise as much as I should which is bad, but at least now you know how I actually use my watch. Personally its mostly for time tracking, and when I do get notifications I just wipe down to see all of them and that’s mostly it.

So if you’re a heavy user and you use cellular, GPS, you listen to music, go out for a run and you plan on this lasting you for an entire day it won’t.

I also went on Apple’s battery page for the Apple Watch, where they detail all the tests that they’ve done in order to achieve that 18 hour battery life and there’s no mention at all of the Always-On display. They don’t mention if it was turned on or off, which kinda makes me believe that it was with the display off, otherwise they would’ve mentioned it because it’s a bragging right in the end. 

Yes, you can in fact turn the Always-On display off from the settings, but in that case this will just be a Series 4 with a compass and that’s it. 

The compass feature, new to the Series 5

The compass feature, new to the Series 5

Speaking of the compass it’s pretty amazing! It not only shows the exact direction you’re facing but also the inclination, the ground elevation as well as your actual coordinates, so your latitude and longitude.This is quite amazing for if you get lost in the woods for example, just make sure that you turn that Always-On display off to save your battery.

But aside from these 3 features the new Titanium casing material, the Always-On display and the compass, there’s nothing really new to this watch. Even performance wise the Series 5 has the same CPU and GPU as we have in the Series 4. So performance wise, the Series 4 and 5 are identical.

 

CONCLUSION

So based off the few days I have had with this I would say that if you have a Series 4 don’t upgrade to this as there really isn’t much more on offer than what you get with Series 4. On the other hand, if you have a Series 3 or earlier, I do think that this is a really good upgrade and would encourage you to try it.

This wasn’t the full in-depth review by the way, that’s still coming in a few weeks after I get to test this out even more, see how the battery life really is and maybe Apple will even release a software update in the meantime.

iPhone 11 Unboxing - This is the iPhone to get!


In yesterday’s article, I took a first look at the iPhone 11 Pro & the Pro Max so if you haven’t read it, you should certainly check it out! 

But in this article I’ll be unboxing and taking a first look at the regular iPhone 11 and telling you why I think that this is the iPhone to get, for most people!


BOX

Ok, so first off the iPhone 11 comes in 6 colors. We have the standard White & Black. We have Green, Purple, Red, as well as Yellow. Last year we had the blue XR and this year we got the yellow one as I think that’s the 2nd best color after Red. 

Like previous models, the iPhone 11 comes in a white box, with an image of the phone on the front

Like previous models, the iPhone 11 comes in a white box, with an image of the phone on the front

And taking a look at the box, the iPhone 11 comes in the same white box that we have seen in previous years. On the front we have a picture of the actual iPhone that you’ll find inside, the yellow one in this case. Some of the elements of the box are actually raised or indented, for example the camera modules are raised, the aluminium frame and so on. It’s a really nice touch!

Then on the sides we have the iPhone logo, there’s no number or anything on this at all, and it does shine in the color of iPhone that you bought, so yellow in this case. Another thing that shines is the Apple logo on the top and bottom of the box which also has that yellow glow to it. Finally on the back of the box, we have the capacity, along with a list of what is included inside.

Now, I do find it quite odd how the iPhone 11 box is noticeably thicker than the 11 Pro’s box, even though we get the exact same accessories inside. So we get the standard booklet, which includes the quick start guide, the sim eject tool, the warranty and the safety guide as well as a pair of Apple stickers. It would’ve been so nice if the stickers actually matched the color of iPhone, like it does on the 12” MacBook but we only have white stickers, just like we have on the iPhone 11 Pro’s. Aside from this, we get a pair of lightning headphones, a USB type A to lightning cable. With the Pro’s we do get a USB type C to lightning cable but both iPhone still have a lightning port. Finally we get the same 5W charger that we have seen in previous years, but the regular iPhone 11 does support fast charging, so you’ll have to buy a fast charger separately, like the 18W one that comes as standard with the Pro’s.

IMPRESSIONS

The new design of the iPhone 11 appears to be a blend of the X and the 6

The new design of the iPhone 11 appears to be a blend of the X and the 6

First off I’ve got to be honest, I’m not really a fan of this design. It’s basically a merge between the iPhone 6’s design from 2014, that the iPhone 6S, 7 and 8 all had, and the brand new iPhone X’s design. The bezels are still as big as on the XR which looks pretty bad on a 2019 phone, especially if you add a case to this.

Now if you thought that the iPhone  11 Pro’s were thick, coming in at 0.5mm thicker than the XS from last year, well the 11 is even thicker than the Pro’s, measuring in at 8.3mm, so it does feel very bulky in the hand.

The colours and the brightness on the Pro’s (Left) are significantly better than on the 11 (Right)

The colours and the brightness on the Pro’s (Left) are significantly better than on the 11 (Right)

The display on this is still an LCD display which again is very odd to see on a phone that still costs $700 or £730, so it’s not a cheap device by any means. So comparing the display to the 11 Pro’s display there is a noticeable difference between the two. The 11 Pros’ display has significantly better contrast, and colors just pop instantly. Everything is also sharper since we have a QHD+ display compared to not even a 1080p panel on the regular iPhone 11. It’s not necessarily a bad display but on a $700 phone this should’ve been OLED. I’m sorry Apple but the Pixel 3a which costs $400 comes with a much higher resolution display, that’s also an OLED panel. 

But those are pretty much all the negatives I have to say about this phone. The outdated design and the display.

Aside from that, it’s actually very very good.

It’s got the same A13 Chip processor as the iPhone 11 Pro’s. We also have 4GB of RAM on this, again, just like on the Pro’s. 4GB has now been officially confirmed on the Pro’s, unfortunately it’s not 6 or 4+2 where 2GB would be dedicated to the camera. So I find it so interesting how Apple promotes the performance on the Pro’s so much when the regular 11 has exactly the same level of performance, which is great! You get the same performance on the entry level iPhone 11 as you do with the much more expensive iPhone 11 Pro’s.

It also comes with fast charging support,even though we don’t have that fast charger included the the box, as I mentioned earlier.

As well as all those we get new and improved speakers, with special audio and dolby vision support, just like the iPhone 11 Pro’s do.  Now, when comparing the 11 and the Pro’s sound quality. They’re actually very very similar. The Pro Max is definitely the best one but between the smaller Pro and the 11, I couldn’t really tell the difference.

Haptic touch is also the same one as on the 11 Pro’s, now that 3D touch got removed from the Pro’s and not only that, but the regular iPhone 11 also come with WiFi 6, just like the iPhone Pro’s.

 

CAMERA

When it comes to the camera system, we now get a dual camera module, one more than the single module that we had on the XR.

The 11 (Right) is missing the Zoom Module that we get on the Pro’s (Right)

The 11 (Right) is missing the Zoom Module that we get on the Pro’s (Right)

Now, on the Pro’s we have triple lens camera module, up from the dual one that we had on the XS’s. So we have the regular module, which Apple’s calling the wide, we have the zoom module and we have the wide angle module, which Apple’s calling the ultra wide.

On the 11 we’re missing the zoom module. Now, we did have a lot of leaks in the past, that suggested the 11 would be missing the wide-angle and getting the zoom instead. However, the way we have it now is just perfect. Zoom can always be simulated through software and digital zoom, but a wide angle shot is impossible to simulate through software, unless you take a panorama but even that won’t be as zoomed out as a wide angle shot would be.

So for the most part we get the exact same camera we have on the iPhone 11 Pro’s, we have the exact same regular module and the exact same wide angle camera.

In addition, most of the camera features are also there as well, such as the Night Mode, the ability to take portrait mode shots on pets and objects, so not just people. 

We have the same brighter True Tone flash as well as the exact same improved SmartHDR processing that the 11 Pro got over the XS, thanks to that Apple A13 processor.

The front facing camera is very impressive as well. We now have a 12MP sensor, up from the 7MP one that we had before. This not only means that we can now shoot 4K video at 60fps, which is a first not just in an iPhone but in any smartphone on the front camera. But not only does the front facing video just looks stunning, but it’s also wider when compared to the XS and yes, we have the exact same front camera here, as on the 11 Pro.

Turning the phone landscape whilst in the Selfie camera will trigger wide selfie

Turning the phone landscape whilst in the Selfie camera will trigger wide selfie

Something else that’s cool is when you rotate your phone in landscape, it switches to the full resolution of the sensor, and lets you take some even wider shots, thanks to that extra 5MP resolution.

Now normally your selfies would be 7MP in resolution so they will be automatically cropped from that 12MP resolution that the front camera has. However you don’t get any image distortion, like you get on something like Pixel 3XL that does have a wide angle lens on the front. 

So really, the only feature that you’re missing on the 11, camera wise, is the lack of that zoom module. But you can still zoom in digitally, your shots won’t be as good of course. Apart from they’re the exact same cameras as on the Pro’s.

PRO VS REGULAR

So both the Pro and the Regular 11 are pretty similar, but one big difference is the price. The 11 costs $700, while the 11 Pro costs $1000, a significant $300 difference between the two, with which you could buy an Apple Watch Series 4, or the Series 3 which now costs $200, or even save towards a Series 5 which costs $400.

But in that case, why does the Pro even exist, and what extras does it offer over the regular 11?

Well, just 4 things really.

A comparison between the frames of the 11 (Left) and the Pro (Right)

A comparison between the frames of the 11 (Left) and the Pro (Right)

The 1st one is a more premium design. We still get the glass on the front and back which Apple is still calling the toughest glass in a smartphone. The only difference here is that with the 11 Pro’s we get a matte glass back and a glossy camera cutout, whereas on the 11 we get a glossy glass back and a matte camera cutout - so quite the opposite here. Also the frame of the phone is made out of aluminum on the 11 compared to stainless steel on the 11 Pro’s.

The 2nd improvement that you’re getting with the 11 Pro’s is that display that I mentioned before which is in my opinion the biggest improvement. High resolution, brighter 800 nit vs 625 nit panel when outdoors, better color reproduction, better HDR content playback and of course OLED versus LCD.  But the 11’s display still supports DCI-P3 color gamut, just like the MacBook Pro’s do, so it’s still a very good display for an LCD panel.

Unfortunately YouTube still doesn’t allow you to view videos in higher than 1080p on Apple devices, due to Apple’s lack of support for Google’s VP9 codec, which means that you’re not really missing out on as much as you would think. 

The 3rd reason to get the 11 Pro would be for that zoom or telephoto lens which, personally, I don’t think is a strong enough reason to upgrade.

Finally, the 4th reason is the battery life. The iPhone XR already had an amazing battery life last year. In fact, it even lasted more than the more expensive iPhone XS & XS Max did. In fact lot of people, even other tech reviewers that I know, chose the iPhone XR over the XS Max, just because of that improved battery life.

But this year the iPhone 11 offers 1 hour more than the XR did last year, so it’s even better. However, the 11 Pro gives you 1 extra hour over the 11 does when playing back video, and the 11 Pro Max offers you 2 extra hours over the regular 11 , again when playing back video. So if you need the best possible battery life that would now be the 11 Pro Max. 

A breakdown of the battery lives of each of the new iPhones

A breakdown of the battery lives of each of the new iPhones

Now there are a few more differences between the two, like the improved water resistance up to 4M compared 2M on the iPhone 11 Pro’s, or up to 512GB of storage on the Pros, but these 4 categories; design, display, zoom camera and battery are the biggest ones.

 

CONCLUSION

So whilst the Pro does have a few benefits over the Regular, I’m not sure if it’s enough. If you just need a new iPhone and you don’t want to spend $1000 on a new phone the regular iPhone 11 does the majority of the things that the Pro does.

But if you are looking for a new phone and you’re open minded about Android, there are many other options that are even better than the 11 is, like the Galaxy S10e or the S10, which now costs even less than the 11 does and offers you a triple lens camera module that’s very similar in quality, a much better OLED display with no notch and an in-display fingerprint reader. I think that’s the best deal for a smartphone today. Of course you also have phones such as the OnePlus 7 Pro which for the same price offer you an even better display with a 90Hz refresh rate, no bloatware, and a full-screen display with no notches or cutouts at all.

But if you’re looking for just a new iPhone the iPhone 11 is certainly the most worth it over its counterparts!

iPhone 11 PRO - Unboxing, Camera Test & My Initial Impressions


So we finally have the iPhone 11’s in the office! I have the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro & the iPhone 11 Pro Max! This is the first time I’m seeing them in person, so without any further ado here is the unboxing and my first thoughts on the iPhone 11 Pro & the iPhone 11 Pro Max!


BOX

Ok, so taking a look at the boxes they both come in a black box now, to showcase that Premium Pro name now. They also come with a protective plastic wrap which is very easy to remove now thanks to a new pull tab that Apple started including with the iPhone X’s. Personally, I absolutely love the way these boxes look. They remind be a lot of the iPhone 2G, 3G and 3Gs boxes from back in the day. Those were the last black iPhone boxes that we got. Now, we did get a dark space grey box with the iPhone 8 which was quite cool, but these ones look so much better.

The design of the boxes has changed from the previous white boxes

The design of the boxes has changed from the previous white boxes

On the front of the boxes we have an image of the iPhone 11 Pro which matches the color of the iPhone inside, so Space Grey in the case of my 11 Pro Max and Midnight Green for the smaller 11 Pro. And like previous iPhone boxes, the iPhone 3G’s indented home button for example, we get 3D indentations of the actual phone on the box. The camera modules are raised a bit so you can actually feel them, and same goes for the stainless steel frame! Really cool.  On the side of the box we have an iPhone branding, no 11 name or anything like that, and what’s really cool about this is that the logo shimmers in the color of your iPhone.

We then have an Apple logo on the top and bottom which also shimmers in the color of the iPhone that’s inside and finally, on the back we get the capacity, 64 & 256GB in my case, as well as a listing with everything we get inside.

Upon opening up the box, the iPhone 11 Pro just sitting there. Interesting enough there is no plastic wrap on the back anymore. There’s just the one on the front, that now says Apple Inc alongside Apple’s address on it. We get the booklet, that includes the quick start guide with gestures, the Sim Eject Tool, the warranty and the safety guide, as well as some Apple stickers which unfortunately do not match the color of your iPhone like they do on the 12” MacBook which would’ve been nice. 

We also get a pair of lightning headphones, a USB type C to lightning cable, a first for an iPhone. Unfortunately we still have lightning on the iPhone but the charger,  is now the new 18W charger which is significantly chunkier than the previous model, but it does offer significantly faster charging than the previous 5W charger that came in the box. However, despite being chunkier it is actually very compact. You can fold its feet for the UK model at least, which you couldn’t do before  and since this is 18W, it can easily charge an iPad Pro as well. Quite a useful thing to carry around! 

Everything you get inside of the iPhone 11 Pro Max box

Everything you get inside of the iPhone 11 Pro Max box

IMPRESSIONS

Now I’ve been playing around with the iPhone 11 Pro Max for a bit now and here’s what I think.

First of all, the back feels weird. Feels as if you have a silicone skin on it. It’s smoother than the frosted glass back that the OnePlus 7 Pro has for example, and certainly something that we’ve never had on iPhones. But I do like the Matte Space Grey look of it! Especially with that centered Apple logo which I’ve actually come to like a lot more than the previous logo which was always towards the top of the phone. I think it has a very sleek look. 

The Space Grey (Left) compared to the Midnight Green (Right) iPhone

The Space Grey (Left) compared to the Midnight Green (Right) iPhone

I’m not fully sure what to say about the Midnight Green color. From certain angles, the back just looks identical to the Space Grey one, at least to my Color Blind eyes. It’s only when you put them next to one another, can you really tell the difference between the two. The stainless steel frame on the Midnight Green 11 Pro does have this yellowish/green look to it, so that’s quite an obvious difference between the two. 

So design aside, what about actually using the phone? Is there anything different that I’ve noticed from my XS Max?

Well, the display is brighter, but only when you manually max out the brightness and compare the two side by side, can you actually notice a difference. However if you’re watching HDR content there is a noticeable difference between the Pro Max and the XS Max. I did also noticed the display being warmer, even with True Tone turned off.

The speakers appear to have had a pretty big upgrade! I was really impressed when I heard the difference between my 11 Pro Max and my XS Max. Not only was the 11 Pro Max louder but the vocals were so much easier to hear and clearer.

The Haptic Engine to me feels exactly the same as on the XS. Same haptic response, same strength, same everything. However the lack of 3D touch was very noticeable to me. Having to hold on icons for that 3D touch functionality makes everything so much slower. However, the only place were I was using 3D touch on a more frequent basis was in the control center and the lock screen, but if you compare the XS Max and the 11 Pro Max side by side, you can see how much slower it really is.

I didn’t really get to test out the battery life, because I only just got this today so definitely follow on Twitter @ZONEofTECH where I’ll post some updates as to its battery performance. Although I’m expecting it to be significantly better than the XS Max was, which for me could never last me an entire day of use.

CAMERA

Before we get into the camera properly, a quick tip. When you get a new iPhone always make sure that you go into the settings app and then camera and enable 4K60, because by default you’re stuck at 1080p for some unknown reason. This way you get the maximum amount of quality out of this camera.

Ok, so the front camera is very impressive on this. All the shots were perfectly exposed and sharp the colors were accurate and now you can rotate the phone in landscape and you get this wider field of view. Apple’s doing this by using a higher resolution 12MP sensor from the 7MP that we had before but because they haven’t added a wide angle lens, we actually don’t get any distortion, just a wider image which is pretty cool! 

The video on the front camera is also amazing! 4K60, which is some thing that’s never been done on a phone, so that’s extremely nice to see on the 11 Pro, considering that the XS’s only had 1080p video recording, so there were already far behind the competition which had QHD and 4K30 on the front already.

Other than that, FaceID does unlock faster but the difference is smaller than you would expect, since iOS 13 does make unlocking with FaceID faster on the iPhone XS as well.

Then on the back we get that triple lens camera system that you’ve all heard about. 

What I really like about this is how insanely smooth the transition between the lenses really is! You wouldn’t believe how much you can zoom out! It’s still not on par with the Huawei P30 Pro but very impressive!

Now, there is a bit of noticeable frame-blending that Apple is adding when transitioning between the lenses because they all have a different field of view, and for the most part you won’t be able to notice that, unless you do the transition between the lenses very very slowly.

In terms of the camera quality, I was very impressed with the consistent look that the photos got, between each of the lenses, but something that did shift quite a bit was the white balance. So it really does depend.

Even video recorded with the ultra wide lens comes out very stable.

Now, it would be hard to not talk about Night Mode. So here’s an example taken in our studio comparing the iPhone XS Max, which doesn’t have a Night Mode feature, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, a true night and day difference! Its great to see that Apple are finally catching up with this feature. I’m just a bit disappointed that the Night mode is an exclusive feature to the iPhone 11’s, even though all the other iPhones could easily do this, since it’s mostly a software feature. 

The Night Mode on the new iPhone makes such a huge difference to low light photography

The Night Mode on the new iPhone makes such a huge difference to low light photography

So overall, with that 3rd wide angle module, improved HDR video recording, and the significantly improved front facing camera, the 11 Pro’s have big improvements in the camera department. And I’m extremely happy about that because the camera is actually what I care about the most in a smartphone!

 

CONCLUSION

In the end the biggest improvement that the 11 Pro got over the XS is in the camera department, and while I do find the camera to be the most important thing for me in a smartphone, I don’t think that this upgrade is enough to warrant an upgrade from the XS. 

The 11 Pro in my opinion is what the XS should’ve been. S models of the iPhones have always had a speed improvement, a significant camera improvement as well as a brand new unique features, while keeping the same design. Pretty much exactly what the 11 Pro is, to the XS.