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iPhone X Review Roundup: Face ID Works Well as Life Without Home Button Takes Getting Used To

Apple has lifted its embargo for iPhone X reviews today, but many of the articles and videos are more like early impressions, given that it provided many media outlets with less than 24 hours of lead time with the device. iPhone X via The Verge We've rounded up some notable excerpts from iPhone X reviews below. The general consensus is that the smartphone has a gorgeous design and that Face ID works well. However, the smartphone definitely isn't for everyone, and using an iPhone without a Home button seemingly takes some time before feeling natural. The Verge's Nilay Patel said Face ID "mostly works great," but he noted authentication was inconsistent in certain lighting conditions.I took a walk outside our NYC office in bright sunlight, and Face ID definitely had issues recognizing my face consistently while I was moving until I went into shade or brought the phone much closer to my face than usual. I also went to the deli across the street, which has a wide variety of lights inside, including a bunch of overhead florescent strips, and Face ID also got significantly more inconsistent.Patel added that apps that haven't been updated for the iPhone X's display have "ugly" black borders along the top and bottom.Apps that haven't been updated for the iPhone X run in what you might call "software bezel" mode: huge black borders at the top and bottom that basically mimic the iPhone 8. And a lot of apps aren't updated yet: Google Maps and Calendar, Slack, the Delta app, Spotify, and more all run with software bezels. Games like CSR Racing and Sonic The Hedgehog looked

List of iPhone X Reviews and First Impressions After Just 24 Hours

Apple has lifted its embargo for iPhone X reviews today after providing many media outlets with the device less than 24 hours ago. MacRumors is combing through the first impressions published so far to find interesting tidbits about the iPhone X, and in the meantime, we've compiled a list of both text and video reviews of the device in one convenient place. Videos Reviews • The Verge • Gizmodo • Engadget • The Wall Street Journal • Digital Trends • Forbes • The Washington Post • Financial Post • Business Insider • Mashable • CNBC • TechCrunch • iMore • CNET • Above Avalon • The Independent • BuzzFeed News • The Loop • The Telegraph • SlashGear • The Economic Times of India • Tom's Guide

Apple TV 4K Reviews: Expensive But With Cheaper 4K Movies, Some Limitations Like 1080p YouTube

Apple TV 4K reviews are out, providing us with first impressions of one of the most expensive streaming media players on the market. The Verge's editor-in-chief Nilay Patel said the Apple TV 4K is "by far the closest thing to being a fully realized vision for the future of TV that exists," but for now it has some limitations that hold it back. Notably, the Apple TV 4K doesn't have Dolby Atmos sound and the YouTube app can only play videos in 1080p quality.But the new Apple TV doesn’t support Atmos. And it doesn’t support YouTube in 4K HDR. And it doesn’t have Disney or Marvel movies in 4K HDR. And it makes some 1080p content look less than great. […] Apple doesn't support YouTube's VP9 video format, which means YouTube on the Apple TV 4K doesn't support 4K HDR playback. Apple doesn't have any timeline as to when or if that might happen; it's a problem that affects Safari on the Mac and iOS devices as well.Apple told Patel that the lack of Dolby Atmos sound isn't a hardware limitation, and said support is on the roadmap. The new Apple TV automatically upscales all SDR video to either HDR or Dolby Vision, depending on which format your TV supports, but Patel and some other reviewers said the end result doesn't always look great.…Apple's HDR video processing is hit or miss. It was great when I watched HD content from iTunes, but it fell down in other apps. I watched The Dark Knight in HD on HBO Go with our video team, and the Apple TV 4K HDR processing blew out all the contrast in the image, sharpened everything to hell, and turned the film grain into noise.Mos

Apple Watch Series 3 Reviews: Freedom From iPhone Held Back by LTE and Battery Life Concerns

Apple Watch Series 3 reviews are out, and the verdict is mixed about its new built-in cellular capabilities and the impact on battery life. Apple Watch Series 3 via The Verge The Verge editor Lauren Goode said her Apple Watch Series 3 largely "failed at the LTE part," particularly due to an issue where the watch would connect to an unknown Wi-Fi network instead of LTE.You can't rest easy with the Apple Watch 3 yet, because that seamlessness, that so-called magic, isn't there. The stutters during the handoff from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi to LTE shouldn't happen. The music streaming? It isn't there yet. A built-in podcast streaming option? Also not there. A reliable Siri? Nope, not in my experience.Apple acknowledged the issue and said it is investigating a fix that will be included in a future software update. Goode said the one aspect "worth two thumbs up" is watchOS 4, especially for its improved heart rate tracking.But the watchOS 4 updates to heart rate tracking are really the most noteworthy. Any Apple Watch with heart rate sensors will now record your resting heart rate, your average walking heart rate, your recovery heart rate, and, if you opt in, any spikes in heart rate that occur when the Watch thinks you’re not working out.TechCrunch editor Brian Heater said the Apple Watch Series 3's cellular capabilities are "a bit liberating," but he didn't find many scenarios where having a standalone connection was particularly useful.All nice functionality to have on the go, but in the days I’ve been wearing the watch, I’ve been straining to come up with many

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review Roundup: Powerful Devices With Great Cameras Set Stage for iPhone X

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus reviews are out, providing us with a closer look at two of Apple's latest smartphones ahead of their Friday launch. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus via The Verge The devices represent Apple's first glass-backed iPhones since the iPhone 4s in 2011. Most reviews complimented the glossier design, although there were naturally some concerns about glass being more prone to shattering. And not everyone was sold on the new look. The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey A. Fowler:The glass might remind you of the iPhone 4, one of the most iconic Apple designs. But I’m not sold. The iPhone 7's glossy black finish gives it a contiguous surface, like a pebble smoothed by the ocean. The iPhone 8 shows seams where the glass touches the aluminum band, making it feel a little like a knockoff. And there's no denying it looks dated compared with the curved glass on rival Samsung’s Galaxy S8, which takes the screen all the way to the edge.Apple stressed that the glass on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus has a strengthening layer that is 50 percent deeper, but we'll have to wait for drop tests to see how the devices hold up from both ordinary and extreme heights. The switch away from aluminum was necessary to facilitate wireless charging, an overdue feature many Android smartphones have had for years. Wired senior writer David Pierce:Wireless charging makes the iPhone feel less like a Tamagotchi needing constant feeding, and more like a digital sidekick that’s always ready to go. Pick it up when you need it, put it down when you don’t; whenever you’re not

Galaxy S8 Reviews: Full-Front Display Scores Top Marks, But Rear Fingerprint Scanner is Awkwardly Positioned

Reviews of Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ hit the web today, and given each smartphone's potential similarities to Apple's rumored iPhone with an OLED display, we have rounded up some of the impressions below. Galaxy S8's Infinity Display (Image: The Verge) The vast majority of reviews praised Samsung's so-called Infinity Display, which takes up over 80 percent of the front of the smartphones. The design results in smartphones with large 5.8-inch or 6.2-inch screens that are still easy to hold in one hand or put in your pocket, according to reviews. Dan Seifert, reporting for The Verge:… I’m a fan of the new shape and the fact that it lets me have a much larger display without making the Galaxy S8 too unwieldy to use. On top of that, the Quad HD Super AMOLED panel is wonderfully vibrant and sharp, and it’s very bright, even outdoors under direct sunlight. It’s no exaggeration to say this is the best smartphone display I’ve ever seen.Brian Heater, reporting for TechCrunch:I’ve been carrying the Galaxy S8+ around for a few days now, and it fits in my pocket every bit as comfortably as the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. And you’re able to operate that phone with a single hand, so this device will be no problem.Steve Kovach, reporting for Business Insider:It’s an impressive feat of engineering. At 5.8 inches, the Galaxy S8’s screen is larger than the iPhone 7 Plus screen, but packed on a slimmer and more attractive body. The iPhone looks chunky and outdated by comparison. We’re getting closer and closer to the dream of having a phone that’s all display on the front.Lanc

New MacBook Pro Reviews Mixed as Touch Bar Called Everything From 'Useful' to 'Gimmick'

Apple has started shipping its new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to customers just as reviews of the all-new 13-inch and 15-inch notebooks are hitting the web. The reviews provide a closer look at the Touch Bar and whether or not the new MacBook Pro is a suitable upgrade for those with older models. The new MacBook Pro's headline feature is the Touch Bar (Image: The Verge) Andrew Cunningham at Ars Technica said he "liked the Touch Bar a lot," calling it "more convenient to use" than a traditional row of function keys. However, he noted the Touch Bar's usefulness depends entirely on the apps you use and, to a lesser extent, how you use your computer. If you primarily use the MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt Display and keyboard, for example, he said the Touch Bar will "do nothing for you."If it’s being used as a desktop with an external keyboard a significant amount of the time, the Touch Bar does nothing for you. When I went out of my way to use Apple’s apps, I liked the Touch Bar a lot. It just takes one or two useful buttons—creating a new tab in Safari, looking up a main page in Terminal, changing font sizes or creating checklists in Notes—to make you glad the Touch Bar is there. However, a typical day for me is spent mostly in Word, Outlook, Slack, Tweetbot, and Chrome. Microsoft is bringing Touch Bar support to Office, but if other app makers don’t start adding in support, a big chunk of that bar is going to end up sitting empty most of the time.Cunningham noted the Touch Bar's display dims after 60 seconds and turns off completely after 85 seconds to preserve

New MacBook Pro Has Better Keyboard Than 12-Inch MacBook, But It's Expensive and Lacking Ports

Apple provided the media with demo units of the new MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar, and a handful of websites have now published their early thoughts and first impressions about the 13-inch notebook. The articles reveal some interesting tidbits beyond yesterday's Touch Bar model hands-on and first impressions roundups. While the new MacBook Pro's keyboard is a controversial topic, with some users preferring Apple's traditional scissor design, most reviews said Apple's second-generation butterfly mechanism offers an improved typing experience compared to the 12-inch MacBook's first-generation butterfly keyboard. Brian Heater of TechCrunch said the keyboard "feels more natural" and that individual keys have "better give":The new technology certainly marks a step in the right direction. The process feels more natural, and the keys have better give. I still prefer the tactile feel of older keyboards, but a lot of that may just have to do with familiarity. After all, the device was only announced yesterday.Jim Dalrymple at The Loop echoed that sentiment, noting there is "a little more travel distance when you press down on a key":It seems to me that there is a little more travel distance when you press down on a key with the newer keyboard. I actually like that a bit better. After using both, the MacBook keys didn’t have enough travel. This one feels much better to me. Stuart Miles of Pocket-lint said the new keyboard is sandwiched between "louder, clearer, and cleaner" speakers with bass-heavier sound:The keyboard is now sandwiched between two speakers that run the height

Review Roundup: 9.7" iPad Pro is a 'Powerful' Laptop Replacement for Casual Users

Apple last week announced the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which marketing chief Phil Schiller described as the "ultimate upgrade" for both existing iPad and Windows PC users. Nearly one week later, a number of in-depth reviews have surfaced that offer a closer look at the new tablet beyond last week's first impressions and hands-on articles. Apple's new 9.7" iPad Pro, right, next to the 12.9" version (Image: Ars Technica) The general consensus among early reviews is that the smaller iPad Pro has powerful hardware, but like its 12.9-inch sibling, opinions were mixed about whether the tablet can truly replace your laptop. From $599, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is certainly a more affordable Mac or PC alternative over the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which starts at $799. Andrew Cunningham for Ars Technica:When I reviewed the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, I said that I was having trouble envisioning the type of user who would choose it over a “real” computer like a MacBook Air or Pro. I still feel the same way today. The full-size Pro is large enough and expensive enough that you could buy any number of high-end Macs or Windows PCs for the same price, and you wouldn’t have to put up with the potentially frustrating limitations of iOS. […] The equation is a little different for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which is both smaller and cheaper. […] At $599 (plus the cost of accessories), this tablet is competing more against midrange Windows PCs, and it’s substantially cheaper than any MacBook that Apple offers. For many active but less-demanding users, the strength of the hardware and the relative

iPad Pro Review Roundup: Powerful Creative Canvas, but Not Quite a PC Replacement

Apple released the iPad Pro online and in stores earlier today, and the embargo has now lifted for hands-on reviews of the new 12.9-inch tablet. The consensus opinion is that the iPad Pro is an excellent device for content creation, with powerful hardware for intensive apps and multitasking, but not quite a PC replacement due to its iOS limitations. The tablet's experience will be better realized once more developers update their apps to take advantage of the larger canvas. From left to right: iPad mini 2, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro (Image: WSJ) iPad Pro reviews praised its large display, which at 2,732×2,048 pixels has a higher resolution than the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and most early adopters claim the tablet meets or exceeds its advertised 10-hour battery life. The new Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard also received positive reviews. Ars Technica - Andrew CunninghamIt's best to think of the iPad Pro as a starting point, especially for iOS 9. These multitasking features are still brand-new, and there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick in future iOS 9 revisions and into iOS 10. My biggest gripes with the iPad Pro are with the software rather than the hardware, and that means that most of them can be fixed given enough time and enough feature requests. It took Microsoft three tries to really nail down the Surface Pro concept, and given a couple of iOS updates the iPad Pro has room to grow into a more versatile laptop replacement without necessarily giving up the things that people like about iOS. For the rest of us, there's still the Mac.CNET -

Apple TV 4 Reviews: Siri is Helpful and There's Loads of Potential

With the launch of the new fourth-generation Apple TV just a couple days away on Friday, October 30, the first batch of reviews for the new set-top box have arrived online. Most sites have come away with positive impressions of the new Apple TV, noting that Siri is extraordinary helpful and the inclusion of tvOS and apps give the device a lot of potential for the future. BuzzFeed says that the biggest new feature on the Apple TV, the new Siri Remote, is a "drastic" improvement over the remote included with previous Apple TV remotes. The touchpad is "surprisingly accurate and easy" to use for pinpointing certain moments during a film or TV show. The universal search via Siri, however, will have longtime Apple TV users "resenting Apple for not enabling it sooner." Siri, according to BuzzFeed, is both useful and clever. “Rewind 30 seconds,” “Show me Anchorman,” and “Who directed this?” all work well. And thanks to “What did he say?” — which skips back to replay a character’s comment with closed captioning, I finally know what Benicio Del Toro’s character was mumbling in The Usual Suspects. (“I said he’ll flip you. …Flip you. Flip ya for real.” Kind of a letdown. Don’t even get me started on Lost in Translation.) Also: For a few glorious moments last night I was able to taunt my wife by repeatedly what-did-he-saying a favorite moment in Blue Velvet.While The Verge also enjoyed Siri on the Apple TV, saying that the execution is "among the best in the game," they noted that there are several limitations in place. Siri only works with a handful of apps at the moment,

12-Inch Retina MacBook Receives Mixed Reviews From Early Adopters

Just a few weeks after the 12-inch Retina MacBook became available to order online, a number of early adopters have shared mixed opinions about the notebook within the MacRumors discussion forums. Overall, many users agree that the new MacBook has major design appeal but with too many key compromises, as mentioned by several well-known tech pundits and websites in our review roundup of the notebook. A handful of users within the discussion forums claimed that they regretfully returned their new MacBooks shortly after receiving one because of those compromises, including the frustration of looking for and purchasing USB-C adapters that are needed to connect various Digital AV, VGA or USB devices, peripherals and cables to the single USB-C port on the ultra-slim notebook. The new keyboard and slow performance were also areas of concern for some users. Some responses have been slightly edited for clarity. MacRumors forum member Audiopablo:"Took mine back. It was really a wow factor. So light, so beautiful. But in the end, it just wasn't for me. After spending a day trying to hunt down USB-C adapters in Apple stores (weren't available at Best Buy, where I bought mine), I got to thinking about what I loved and what I didn't. Could I type on my lap with it? Sure and watch the screen jiggle on my soft legs. Turns out a 13" or even 15" model with weight is more stable for me personally. […] Ports is an issue for a user like me. I knew that going in, but I was going to be patient with it. It finally got to me. But that doesn't mean it isn't for you. I wouldn't mind

Apple Watch Fulfills Promise of All-Day Battery Life in Early Reviews

Apple lifted the embargo for large websites to publish their Apple Watch reviews this morning, providing us with detailed insight about various functions of the device. Battery life in particular has been one area of interest for several prospective Apple Watch buyers, and most early reviews found the Apple Watch to fulfill its promise of all-day battery life on a single charge. Well-known tech journalist Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal offers one of the better looks at the Apple Watch's battery life in her video of using the device in day-to-day life. The video keeps track of how much battery life the Apple Watch uses while Stern goes about her daily routine in New York, with the device fully charged at 7:30 AM and having five percent remaining at just past midnight. Apple confirmed last month that the Apple Watch will have up to 18 hours of battery life with mixed usage, and last up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode. Early reviews find the Apple Watch generally on par with, or falling slightly short of, those numbers based on articles published by Daring Fireball, The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, Techpinions and Re/code. We've compiled those findings in the roundup below. John Gruber, Daring Fireball:"After more than a week of daily use, Apple Watch has more than alleviated any concerns I had about getting through a day on a single charge. I noted the remaining charge when I went to bed each night. It was usually still in the 30s or 40s. Once it was still over 50 percent charged. Once, it was down to 27. And one day — last Thursday — it was all

Apple Watch Review Roundup: The 'World's Best Smartwatch', But 'Not For Everyone'

Apple has given members of the media several hands-on experiences with the Apple Watch following its special events, but ahead of Apple Watch pre-orders, select sites have been able to get a much closer look at the device. Apple has provided a handful of publications with Apple Watch review units, giving them a chance to spend multiple days with the watch, and they've now shared their opinions in reviews published today. Apple Watch has received favorable reviews, but isn't for everyone (Image: CNET) We've rounded up tidbits from several of the best reviews in order to give MacRumors readers a look at the Apple Watch from the perspective of those who have finally had a chance to use it extensively. The roundup includes reviews and opinions from Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Verge, Re/code, Yahoo Tech and other large publications that tested the Apple Watch. The consensus among reviews is that the Apple Watch sets the bar for smartwatches, but has downfalls as a first-generation product and isn't for everyone. More specifically, the watch's goal of providing you with instant access to notifications of a paired iPhone can be both convenient and interruptive at times. Overall, the device is the future of the wrist and should get better after new features are added in the future. Joshua Topolsky, Bloomberg:"The watch is not life-changing. It is, however, excellent. Apple will sell millions of these devices, and many people will love and obsess over them. It is a wonderful component of a big ecosystem that the company has carefully built