By Albert Ornelas
DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to update your smartphone? Here is a side-by-side comparison of two phones that REALTORS®will be considering this year.
The next generation of smartphones has arrived in the form of the Google Pixel 2 and the Apple X (Ten), the smartphone that eclipsed the recently released Apple iPhone 8 in both media hype and customer excitement. The Google Pixel 2 is an Android smartphone that is available with a contract through Verizon. The Apple iPhone X, which includes several features that have been added to the new iOS 11, is available through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
Both smartphones are encased in glass and are advertised as being damage resistant, which begs the question: Do smartphone designers ever drop their phones? To be sure, the glass casings look sleek; but one drop on an unforgiving surface could ruin that sleek look—and your whole day!
The Apple iPhone X, which was released in November 2017, is already infamous because of the number of photos of broken casings that have been posted on the Internet; and the Google Pixel 2 has glass all the way around the phone, which offers little protection when the phone is dropped. It goes without saying that both phones need to be placed in a protective accessory case immediately upon purchase.
Both smartphones do come with several standard features, including water-or weather-proof casings. The Google Pixel 2 has a glass-metal unibody that is designed to withstand wet conditions. The Apple iPhone X is advertised as being splash, water, and dust resistant. Both phones have modern 12-megapixel cameras that can be used in low-light conditions and will produce sharper images than previous smartphone cameras.
Choosing between these two smartphones may come down to features and price. Here is what each smartphone has to offer.
Google Pixel 2
The Google Pixel 2 offers free, unlimited storage in Google Photos2. No more deleting ﬁles to save space on your device. The Google Pixel 2 sends your photos to an easy-to-organize Google online service, which allows you to save and share your favorite moments. Use Google Lens, which allows you to access Google information about an object or place simply by pointing your phone (and its camera) at images, posters, and landmarks almost anywhere that you have access to Google.
With a squeeze of your phone, you can connect to a built-in Google Assistant for real-time help with requesting a ride, reserving a table, or buying a ticket using your voice. You can use the Name that Tune feature to learn what’s playing on a speaker in your favorite hangout, coffee shop, or restaurant. And ﬁnally, at $650, the Google Pixel 2 is the more affordable choice and is available as a phone lease at an average cost of $30 included in your monthly telephone bill.
In a real-world scenario which has played out in Orange County REALTORS®ofﬁces in Laguna Hills and Fountain Valley, the Google Pixel 2 phone on the Project Fi network automatically switches from one carrier to another because carriers are limited for this phone. REALTORS®must obtain a new authorization every time they drive through a different carrier area.
A phone may work ﬁne at the ofﬁce because the phone is using the AT&T network. When the REALTOR®drives away, he or she may leave the AT&T area and drive into an area that is dominated by Sprint or some other carrier. Under these circumstances, the REALTOR®will need a new authorization to enable the phone to work in that area. Keep in mind that a Project Fi smartphone will work only in the area where it was authorized.
Apple iPhone X
The Apple iPhone X stole the thunder from the iPhone 8 and the never-existent Version 9. Here are some of the features that made this new smartphone so exciting. On the 5.8-inch iPhone X, a full-screen display has eliminated the access button, which was on previous iPhones. Instead of pressing a button, a single swipe takes you to the home screen, where you can navigate to open apps, look at your calendar, and select the music you want to hear. Also, Apple has added a true High Dynamic Range (HDR) display, which increases the quality of the images shown and the resolution of the videos played on this device.
One of the features that was also included on the iPhone 8 earlier this year is wireless charging compatibility, which requires a certiﬁed wireless charger that is sold separately. Video gamers can experience sleek new augmented reality games, and apps are available that will enable you to digitally redecorate your home, explore a city you’ve never visited, or even walk with dinosaurs.
Finally, there is the much-hyped facial-recognition software, Apple’s Face ID, which is a new way to unlock, authenticate, and use Apple Pay. There is no doubt that this feature is a unique and futuristic way to unlock a smartphone, but is it as secure as touted? The answer to that question is a resounding “No.” The Internet is a-buzz with YouTube videos of instances in which youngsters have fooled the facial-recognition technology into opening their parents’ iPhone X.
Under these circumstances, it is advisable for the owner to protect smartphone information with a more reliable passcode to authenticate opening the Apple iPhone X. I imagine that Apple is scrambling to upgrade the Face ID technology; however, the company, which has offered no ofﬁcial comment or explanation, remains in a business-as-usual mode.
The Apple X costs $999, and a lease from a choice of carriers runs about $40 a month, not including usage. While there is much to be said for the sleek look and modern features of the Apple X, the failure of the facial recognition technology and the phone’s vulnerability to damage if dropped may cause a potential purchaser to wonder if the product is worth that hefty price.