Minority Report: The iPhone X loses

by Uluroo — December 4, 2017

Why be right when you can be wrong?


As we all know, the best way to prove that one device is better than another is to throw out all of one device's benefits. Because really, when you can do that, what's the point in coming up with actual argumentation? Here with an example is Quartz's Mike Murphy, who says that "This was meant to be the year of the Apple 'supercycle,' but Samsung's phones were better."

Since the underwhelming launch of the iPhone 7 in 2016...

Uluroo finds it funny that the iPhone 7's launch was "underwhelming." A quick Google search for the words "iPhone 7 most popular" turns up an interesting article that totally says the opposite. In fact, the iPhone 7 was the world's bestselling smartphone for much of 2017. Its sales were admittedly lower than those of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but Uluroo thinks that's still pretty good.

...the world has been waiting for what analysts called a “supercycle” in 2017, where Apple was set to launch a litany of new products, including a new, redesigned flagship iPhone.

The hilarious part is that Murphy even agrees that this actually happened.

That more or less came to pass, with Apple releasing the iPhone X (as well as the iPhone 8, for some reason), new MacBooks, iPads, Macs, watches, and TVs to great media fanfare. And while there were legitimate complaints to be made about many of the devices (the computers are missing ports, the iPads definitely aren’t computers, the watches are niche products), Apple had an excellent year, returning to revenue growth, and selling some 216 million iPhones in the process.

Uh... what? First off, the iPad Pro is definitely a computer. Its usefulness really just depends on the use case and the person. But you can't make a blanket statement and say iPads "definetely aren't computers." The Apple Watch isn't a niche product; it just isn't for everyone. Uluroo doubts that someone couldn't find a use for it, but maybe some people don't find it worth the money. The strangest part about this paragraph, though, is that Murphy is admitting that his own misplaced complaints about Apple's products have been refuted by their sales.

But the iPhone X, which Apple has referred to as “the future” of the iPhone, didn’t feel particularly futuristic when I tested it. It was expensive, featured a very buggy operating system, and forced me to change the way I’ve used smartphones for years for no particularly good reason.

Sorry to let you down, Mike, but you are definitely in the minority on this one (there are four separate links there). Practically everyone else who has reviewed the iPhone X has loved it. Uluroo isn't saying that because the majority thinks the iPhone X is great, it's automatically great; but everyone is willing to admit to the same flaws Mike Murphy is pointing out; they're just also willing to look at the positives too.

In fact, I found the two flagship devices Samsung released this year—the Galaxy S8 and Note 8—much more compelling.

Remember, it doesn't explode. That's gotta count for something, right?

Next, we see a list of things the Note 8 has that the iPhone X does not have.

It still has a “home button” (even though there’s no physical button). The Note 8 has a massive screen that takes up most of the front of the phone, like the iPhone X, but Samsung still kept an on-screen home button that’s in the same place the home button has been on all its devices. This is likely partially due to the Android design, but Apple’s replacement of its home button with awkward swiping continues to frustrate me nearly a month into owning the iPhone X. Samsung’s device still has a massive display, and doesn’t force its users to change their behavior.

Again, this is a minority opinion here. If you want the iPhone X, yes, you will have to change some habits. But Uluroo honestly thinks swiping to go home is a better solution than a button anyway. He's not trying to sound Jony Ive-ish here, but swiping is just more intuitive: The user sees a direct visual correlation between the app on the screen and their finger as the app gets moved back to its place on the home screen. Uluroo admittedly hasn't gotten the chance to use the iPhone X for a month to see if swiping would become tiresome, but based on the reviews, he doesn't think it will.

It still has a headphone jack, even though it’s water-resistant.

Uluroo almost wants to skip over this year-old complaint, because the lack of a headphone jack does absolutely nothing to counter the other benefits of the iPhone X. Uluroo has an iPhone 7, and he has very rarely wanted to charge his phone and listen to music at the same time (which, because of Lightning-connected headphones, is really the only use case where it's bothersome). That minor problem isn't enough to make him want to replace his phone with a headphone-jacked up phone — let alone replace an iPhone X with one.

It has a similar display as the iPhone X, but bigger.

Screen size is really just a matter of preference. Uluroo doesn't see it as enough of a difference to make a definitive statement that one phone is better than another.

Excellent camera, similar features. The iPhone X has my favorite cameras of any smartphone I’ve used this year, but the Note 8, along with the Google Pixel 2 XL, were close seconds.

Uluroo will point out that Murphy still prefers the iPhone X's camera. Also, the Note 8 cannot take portrait selfies unless you hold the phone backwards.

Uluroo will briefly mention the other benefits Murphy mentions: the "occasionally useful" S-Pen; the battery-draining, perfect-while-in-your-pocket always-on display; and the also-available-on-iPhone Google Assistant.

What didn't get mentioned in this article (which has the hilarious page title "The Samsung Note 8 or the iPhone X: Which phone is better?")? Face ID, because that runs counter to Murphy's conclusion. The A11 Bionic processor, because performance is another area where the iPhone takes the cake. Basically, anything that disproves Murphy's false hypothesis is either not mentioned or mentioned and ignored.

Uluroo isn't saying that the iPhone X is better than the Note 8. What he is saying is that when giving your opinion about something – and a minority opinion at that – you shouldn't ignore everything that goes against what you say. Especially when you're comparing the features of two devices.