The Switch

Because I believe in being on time and topical I’ve decided to now post a mini, rambling review of the Nintendo Switch. I held off on this new console because when “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” came out it also available for the Nintendo Wii-U, which I already owned.

However, after a promotion at work, I decided that was an excuse enough to finally dive in and I’m very glad that I did. I love the versatility of the console. The number of ways that you can use it that suit your needs.

Super Mario Oddessy
Super Mario Oddessy

I primarily bought the Switch as a portable console. Originally I had been looking at getting the “New” Nintendo 2DXL as an upgrade on my older 3DS (I never really used the 3D features) but the cost was $199 (Canadian). However, everything I read and looking at the very few new games coming out did not make it seem like a great investment. The Switch in Canada was $399 and seemed like a much better deal, to me.

The specifications for the Switch are adequate for what it can do but like the Wii-U mind-boggling in that they didn’t bump them up at least a little more.

  • NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor
  • 32 GB of internal storage
  • Expand storage space using microSDHC or microSDXC cards up to 2TB
  • Approximately 2.5 – 6.5 hours battery life

One of the few negative points that struck a lot of people right away was, 32GB of internal memory? In this day and age? Yes, I know you can expand it but even so, 32GB is an insultingly low amount of memory to include with the base console at the price of $399. Thankfully the microSD cards are not very expensive and I recommend getting a 256GB card.

Ittle Dew 2+
Ittle Dew 2+

One thing I recommend is checking out some of the possibly lesser known titles on the Switch. Ittle Dew+ is one of them and if you were a fan of the original Zelda style of gameplay you are in for a treat here. It has a cute look to it but, given my lack of gaming ability, I have found it to be rather challenging at points.

I recommend checking this channel on YouTube as he often has great reviews of Nintendo Switch games.

Hopefully, they put out a second Zelda game (as I believe there have been usually 2 per console, or so) and I can experience it on this console. Given the limited power (it’s not much more powerful than the Wii-U) I do not see as long of a life for it as with the Xbox One or PS4 unfortunately.

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iPhone X Thoughts

iPhone XAnd so it begins again.

Ever since the iPhone 3GS back in 2009 I have been buying the new iPhone every single year thus far. 2017 has proved to be a unique situation, as due to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X coming out in the same year, there is a gap in my line up. Now, if that is not a first world problem, then I don’t know what is.

There was so much noise this year with the rumour mill that I’m considering stopping reading them all together. What is the point of reading a website which on a Monday posts a story about how bad the supply contraints will be and then on the Tuesday post one about them being just fine. Then repeat that cycle. Over and over again.

iPhone 8 or iPhone X: The Choice!

While for myself,  choosing was easy, I think that the release of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X in the same year will help ease people into the future of the company. To be honest, it only took me a few hours not to miss a single feature from my iPhone 7 Plus. No home button? Not a problem. The over blown, crisis of epic proportions, omg wtf notch? I rarely even notice it’s there and when I do I’m starting to like how the colours flow around it.

Yes, some applications need to be updated to better support the new design and I am very happy to see the majority of the ones I use, have already done so. I would much rather people actually go out and USE an iPhone X, instead of basing their purchasing opinions on the hysterical, lenghtly self indulgent rantings of people on Youtube.

To know if you really want to dive into the new iPhone form factor you really need to play with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. These are just my opinions and should carry no more weight than what phone OS my cat prefers.

I’m pretty sure it’s Android. She’s evil that way.

Everyone Welcome OLED!

Anyone who has followed Apple over the years should know that they rarely jump on brand new technology and especially not something as critical as the screen. OLED phones are far from new with Samsung having released the Nokia N85 way back in 2008. With OLED having come a long way since those days, I’m happy that Apple finally decided to jump on board when the quality was right. If you’re interested in reading about what happens when you don’t strive for quality you can go read the reviews on the Google Pixel 2 XL screen.

Walking Around Camera

Ever since the iPhone 5S I stopped taking my DSLR camera with on vacation or pretty much using it at all. Now, the camera in the iPhone I don’t believe will ever replace the need for professional cameras, I cannot imagine buying a walking around camera (one without a detachable lens) ever again. I’m very happy with the quality of the photos and they, of course, get better every year.

Is the camera in the iPhone X that much better than the iPhone 8? The setup is very smilier with the exception of optical image stabilization in BOTH camera on the iPhone and telephoto lens is 2.4/f instead of 2.8/f in the iPhone 8. Below are the specs of the iPhone X camera setup:

12Mp wide-angle, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp telephoto, f/2.4, OIS, optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, Portrait Lighting, Portrait Mode, quad-LED flash

TCAFE6703.jpgThe Screen: The insignificant notch

As soon as renders came out about what the front of this phone a collection of the Internet lost their minds over it. It did seem like an odd choice and one would imagine if they had another option, that wouldn’t make the phone look like a Samsung Galaxy as a result, that they would have gone with it. Interestingly, Apple has embraced the notch as a characterizing feature of the device and I agree.

First and foremost, it’s a complete non issue for me using the phone in portrait mode. I like the way the colours flow around the notch. It really does give the device character but I expect that Apple will ditch it as soon as another option, whatever that may be comes to light. As for landscape, this varies from application to application. Coming from the iPhone  7 Plus I keep trying to rotate the home screen, which it does not do. It can be oddly distracting but I’m interesting to see how applications evolve to find creative ways to support it.

Much of how I feel about the screen is the same as the hosts of The Accidental Tech Podcast and I highly recommend giving their review of the iPhone X a listen by clicking here.

While they believe it may be gone next year, I do not see that happening. That’s a bigger jump and while, perhaps, next year it might be smaller I have a feeling it will still be there. But then, anyway, developers will be more than use to working with it.

Nitpicking: Because nothing is perfect

I generally hesitate when someone says something is perfect. Now I’m firmly in the Apple camp and cannot see myself ever going to Android. However, Apple and their products are not perfect. One note though, can someone create me a filter to automatically block anyone who says anything along the lines of, “Steve Jobs would have…” because no one has any clue. Whatsoever.

Much of my nitpicking over the phone comes from the fact I was a Plus user. While the screen is larger than an iPhone 8 it feels, at times, much smaller than it did on the Plus. I would have liked it to be just a touch wider. My second nitpick is I’m not a fan of how you invoke Control Centre by pulling down on the upper right hand of the screen. Again, coming from a Plus I’m fine with reaching up there, but it just seems awkward and the animation when it springs up is very odd.

Conclusion

So… There you have it. My thoughts, for what they are worth (not much) on the new iPhone X. It is the future of the iPhone, there is no doubt about that. Even having used it for as little time as I have so far, picking up my iPhone 7 Plus I notice how old it looks. This is not helped by the fact that Apple kept the same basic format around starting with the iPhone 6 / 6S and then to the 7.

It is an expensive phone. A very expensive phone. Considering how many infinitely more cost effective Android phones are out there I wish Apple would play a little more in that space. While I doubt they would ever go for the low end market, I believe they should be playing a lot more somewhere in the middle.

If you can afford it, go for the iPhone X and skip the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. In the end the advantages of the screen and the camera will make the extra expense worth it.