So yesterday some iPhone X stuff went up, and today some more went up. Impressions and reviews — a blast of IR. The amount of time each person has had seems to vary from a week, to a day, to a briefing room in a temporary space in New York for about an hour. One controversial aspect of this — and I can’t believe I’m going to fucking talk about this — is that some YouTubers were given early access in the briefing area and published their material first. Matt Alexander has a good post pragmatically outlining the reasons why this was a good choice. There’s been some sour grapes about that with some other people. Which of course means the whole thing has been distilled to “old people don’t understand young people.” Where all The Olds are just grumpy YouTubers made videos instead of blog-words in their RSS feeds, when really it’s that the YouTubers did not make very good videos. Arguably because of the parameters Apple set.
The videos appear to be true to who the people are, and they all seem like very nice people, but the craftsmanship of these videos is just not very good. They’re mostly undifferentiated YouTuber-style videos with fast, consecutive jump-cuts that are unmotivated by any narrative reason, and a pretty generic, electronic music bed. They’re trying to make a mostly static scene where they talk about some pretty dry features seem dynamic in the only way they can given the constraints of the briefing room, and time. What they’ve made is a bubbling cauldron of clips of mostly a person standing in front of a brick wall, and wood table, and holding a black slab. Emphasis is placed on the face and hands of the person speaking. This is your human connection to this thing. Each video mostly boils down to, “Do you like this person and think they’re fun?” In a very strange way it’s not about the phone at all when you watch several of these in a row.
By all means, seed these people with review units again in the future. Just don’t do this briefing room. Give them the phones to take out in to the world and explore and create. Record material with the camera in the thing.