Episode 54: Unboxing Apple's iPhone 5S in goldThis week on Always On, we explore how high tech helps vintners produce wine, Molly Wood crushes the Nokia Lumia 1020 in a torture test, and we unbox the classy, gold iPhone 5S.
-This week on Always On-- oh, it's really a pimp. Look how cool it is. And get in their phone, 1020 vintage. Hi. I'm Molly Wood and welcome to Always On, the show where we take tech into the real world. This week, we're in Napa Valley, one of the world's premier wine destinations. There are more than 450 wineries here, and as you might imagine, high-tech is having quiet an impact. We got to look at some of the tools that are helping vintners insured quality in the fields and in the bottle. In the hills and valleys of Northern California as wine country, vintners are using new tech tools to help them in the wine-making process. At Dana Estates in the Napa Valley, head wine-maker Cameron Vawter is using a technology from Oakland-based Fruition and Sciences. It can essentially measure a vine's heartbeat using sensors. -And we're basically measuring the sap that is flowing from the roots all the way up through the vine and out the leaves and by measuring the sap in the flow of that sap we can get an idea whether the vine is under stress and limiting itself or whether it's essentially running just fine. And so using that, we can make decisions about whether we add irrigation or whether we would hold the irrigation. Underneath this foam right here is this device right here which measures the flow of the sap through the vine and the way that it works is that we have two temperature sensors; one at the beginning, one at the end. And then we have a heating element here in the middle, so by measuring the difference from the sap going in to the sap going out. We can tell how much sap is flowing through the vine. -The data is gathered from the vine and displayed on this software app. It shows on a detailed graph how much water is needed by the month, by the day even by the minute. How much of a competitive advantage is this? So how much of a difference is it making the quality of the wine? -It can make a huge difference in the quality of the wine. Working with this technology, we started drive farming a lot of our vineyards and I have vineyards today that I still to this day have not irrigated this year. In 2013 is a very dry vineyard in the Napa Valley and especially here at Dana Estates. And so it can make a real difference. -So that's how you make great grapes. But making great grapes doesn't necessarily guarantee great wine. So we visited Palmaz Winery, where they're developing new tech to keep an eye on the grapes once they get inside fermentation tanks. To do that, Christian Palmaz and his family have built a fermentation dome that stands as the world's largest underground reinforced structure or the equivalent of an 18-storey building. It's basically like a giant wine bat cave. Inside, there are 24 fermenters, each of which represents the unique flavors or terroir of their vineyards. -So when you have 24 tanks the complexity of course goes up. So we decided to build a system that helps them make decisions algorithmically that in general sense we believe fermentation should be a constant rate of change overtime. So that information goes into what we called the fermentation schedule as you plugged this in. The computer it takes us information and builds a trend graph so we can control things like supply temperature, mixing temperatures-- -And what do you think is the result? I mean, so if you were trying to manage 24 tanks with no help, would you have 4 great wines and 20s okay-wines you think? -I think what would happen is, we'd have more mistakes. -All of the tanks are also connected to iPads or iPhones so those winemakers can be mobile while monitoring their product 24/7. -So using the iPads at the tank means you don't have to walk back to your laboratory to get the information you need. It's all there on screen. You make the decision while you have, you know, the sampling at hand. For example, there are 220 valves behind all these thanks and they fail sometimes. So from home, you get the alert and you just come here. You pull up the valve and you manually close it. We can go back. We can learn from potential mistakes that we committed in the past and the system can help in a way help predict problems before they occur. ---which in the end is really the whole idea. Time for us to take a quick break--when we come back it is crush time perfectly right for our Nokia 1020 torture test. Welcome back. Now you may remember that earlier in the season we road tested the Nokia Lumia 2010, that's the smartphone with the 41-megapixel camera. It is very attractive for photographers. But I wanted to see how it can hold up to a crush season torture test. Time for our torture test of the Nokia Lumia 1020. Now, the test I have in mind today isn't the most likely occurrence but [unk] crush season and given the theme of this week's show, I thought we would conduct a pressure and moisture test with something special, a little crush of my own. I want you to know this is kind of a life-long dream of mine, the life-long dream didn't involve the phone. That is so squishy. But it's pretty awesome anyway-- can't get in their phone. Forgive me to just-- you know what, [unk] down in there. Okay. I hope this doesn't like crack. This is too very squishy. Guys, I'm making Windows Phone wine, 1020 vintage. It's kinda slippery. The phone's getting a little slippery. You can see it's splashing. All right. I'm just gonna let it marinate for a minute and grape juice on my pants-- okay let's rescue it. Oh, yeah it's pretty wet. I can't do anything with this phone until I rent it so sorry dude. You're getting a double dunking. Okay, right. It worked. Okay, let me just remind you again that I know perfectly well that I'm not supposed to try the phone on at this point. But here I go. Okay, I felt the vibration but I'm not seeing much in terms of the screen. Definitely does not wanna come back on so I am gonna try to dry it out. Wait, it's restarting. You can do it little Nokia. Don't worry, I'll dry you out. I'll dry you later. Just show us what you got buddy. Windows Phone-- it's on. Look at that. I'm gonna go to the gallery. I wanna see if it is recording. Okay, looks like we may have done some damage to the camera, which is kind of a tragedy, although to be honest, I think I'm gonna do more damage to the camera because you think I was gonna leave out the drop test, did you? So now my phone is all sticky and it's starting to attract bees so I feel like I need to get rid of it. Oh, no. My phone fell. Some water splashed out all around it in grape juice, got a little dirty. The dirt now turning to mud, although I've not really see much damage at all. I think we should try that again. A lot of water came out that time. No physical damage that I can see. A little bit of a damage right here. But listen, the great thing about this Nokia phones is that they're made like absolute tanks. I really believe that if something's gonna take it out it's gonna be the water-- oh the wine and that's it. But we are gonna try to dry it out and we'll check back in. I'm pulling for this little guy. I like the yellow. So here is the bag of rice, which the 1020 has been marinating in for several weeks now. I took it out though earlier today and I've been charging it all day so let's see if I can get it to come on. First sec, see if I can remember which one of these buttons that are totally unlabeled is the power button, I think it's the middle one. It seems like that button doesn't even depressed anymore. Here we go. Nothing. Let's try the bottom button. Nothing there. Now while it was charging, the little Windows light was blinking and at one point it sort of restarted itself and gave me the Windows Phone logo and then said that the battery was dead. But I think what it really meant unfortunately was that the entire phone is dead. It was a valiant effort. But even the pretty tough Nokia Lumia 1020 cannot survive being made into one. All right, moving on it is time for this week's unboxing. Inside this box I have a unicorn. I know this box doesn't look unicorn size but it might as well have one inside. It is the gold iPhone 5S. I wear my gold shirt for the occasion. This phone has been so hard to find that we actually had to borrow one from a friend to unbox. So it's not totally the unboxing experience but we went ahead and taped it up just so that we could feel the vibe. All right, let get this thing outta here and see if it's all-- it's cracked up to beat. Okay, already you can see, you're getting a premium experience because-- look, there's a little shiny gold edge around the picture on the box. It's like-- I can't help to make fun of it because it became such a big deal. All right, we have a gold Apple right there, gold iPhone 5S. They are going all out. There it is. Oh, actually, it's like a lot more gold that I thought it was gonna be. That's not very champagne at all. In fact, this is really pimped. Look how cool it is. It sparkles. So the back is matte, as you can see. So it's not quite as sparkly as the edges but I really like how the bezel and then the Apple right here are, in fact, kind of shiny gold. I'm not gonna lie. This is a more premium even though I'm convinced that the scarcity is artificial. It's still pretty cool. Okay, that's the gold. Now before I get totally mesmerized, let's see what else is in the box. I'm not expecting any surprises. We have our usual power brick. I actually think Apple could stop shipping these by now and just go with the cable, 'cause really, I got like about 15 of these. Our little lightning cable and, of course, the earpods and their nice little box, and that is it. Okay, put it back to the phone. All right. Let's fire it up. I don't care. I so wish I had a bigger screen. Don't be trying to seduce me with your shiny gold prettiness and you're still just a 4-inch screen. All right, you know, we'll get to the specs while I fire it up and go through the configuration and see if there's any other gold secrets looking inside. The new iPhone 5S comes with a 4-inch screen and three color options, silver, space grey or gold. It runs iOS 7, Apple's graphically overhauled operating system, which includes the Android like control center and Airdrop file transfers. It has a motion tracking M7 co-processor and a new A7 processor capable of 64-bit computing. Apple says the iPhone 5S is at least twice as fast as the 5. In terms of ports, the headphone jack stays on the bottom with the iPhone 5S and then you have a lightning port charging. It is available in either 16 gigs, 32 gig or 64 gig capacity. The iPhone 5S camera stays at 8 megapixels. But Apple claims major boosts to the sensor. It says, the sensor itself is 15 percent larger and that the pixels themselves are physically bigger, 1.5 microns even if they're the same number of them. The camera's aperture is larger at F2.2 and basically all of this adds up to better low light exposure-- two, three, jump. Plus the camera has a new burst mode that takes full resolution photos at 10 pics per second. That's better than most DSLRs. The iPhone 5S records video at 1080p with more digital stabilization and 3x digital zoom. And the big fun feature, you'll find in the camera is something called slow-mo mode where you can take a video in slow motion and set the in and out points and be a film-maker in an instant. In the US, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon are the 3 carriers offering the iPhone 5S under contract, while T Mobile sells it unlocked for $649 for 16 gigs, $749 for 32 and $849 for 64 gigs. The price with the new contract is $199.99. Then, of course, the headline feature for the 5S is the fingerprint sensor, which I've already set up. When I turn it on, I just use my thumb print to unlock the phone. Now, so far, the touch sensor touch ID as Apple's calling it only works with Apple apps. Hopefully there will be an STK in the future so that you can use it for banking apps or any other app that requires a password. It's promising. Right now, it's probably not the reason to upgrade, although I have to admit, it's kind of growing on me. I like to unlock my phone that way. I have to say, I did not expect to be won over by the goldiness of the gold iPhone 5S but it is kind of winning me over. If you have an iPhone 4S, then do not get in line for this. Save your dignity and wait for more supply. Well, I gotta say, for me, I think the gold one is the one to get. Fancy. And now it's time to answer some of your mail. Today's e-mail comes from Ben who writes, "The LG P925 might not be the world's most popular Android cellphone. I personally have never heard of it. But as far as I'm concern, it is the most durable. Mine has been dropped several dozen times. It has fallen from a second-story balcony on to concrete. It's even been run over by a car. The only damage to it less far is a chipped in the battery cover which resulted from freezing it in liquid nitrogen and throwing it against the wall. I decided to postpone trying to kill it and luckily so, since now my Note 2 has failed. The USB connector broke during normal use. But as soon as I get the note fixed, this thing is going through the ultimate test, the 24-hour nitrogen freeze and a 26-storey fall. Let me know if you want the video." Ben, I want that video. That's pretty much all I have to say about that other than I think I also need to go by that phone. And I have some good news for all of you. The Always On torture test sweepstakes is back. Go to our blog, cnet.com/alwayson to find out what we're giving away and how you can win it. And, of course, keep the feedback coming. E-mail me at email@example.com or find me on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus. That's it for this week everyone and I'm sorry to say that that is a wrap for Always On. I have had an amazing time working on this show and I could not be more grateful to the people who worked on it and to all of you for watching it. Next week, we'll have the highlights from Season 5 including some of our amazing torture test from this past season and I hope you'll just go and watch the entire run all over again 'cause I know that I will. Thank you for watching Always On. You guys, this is the best day ever. I have always wanted to do this. Literally, I've always wanted to do this, this and the French Open. And as you can imagine, you can imagine [unk], three, two-- welcome back everybody. Now you were may-- you were may. What the hell? It just [unk]. Three, two-- oh, good one. Good one.