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Episode 14: iPhone vs. HTC One X in midairThe iPhone 5 ships this week; Molly unboxes the Kindle Fire HD; Torture testing the original Kindle; and a Road Test of the iPhone and HTC One X from 10,000 feet in the air!
-This week on Always On, we are on fire. We've got the low down on the new iPhone. I drop-tested it myself. The original Kindle gets a pool party and we unboxed the new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. Always On is on. Welcome to Always On, I'm Molly Wood and this is the show where we take a look at the tech that's part of your life and your future. I'm sure you know by now that I recently jumped out of a helicopter and I finally get to show you that footage in this episode. But before that, I think that new Apple news trumps skydiving at least for us gadget geeks. -The iPhone 5 has landed. Well, almost. Some of you probably already pre-ordered. If you haven't, you can get in line on September 21st at your local Apple store and get your hands on the latest generation of iPhone. -Good morning. -Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 5 last week and like every new Apple product, it is thinner and lighter than the last model. It's also bigger. It now has a 4-inch retina display so you'll get a whole extra row for apps. That is not as big as some of the flagship Android phones like the 4.8-inch Galaxy S3. But I'm sure that extra row of icons will make a lot of people happy. Plus, the new iPhone has a 16x9 aspect ratio with an 1136x640 resolution. HD video should look great. The third party apps at least at first will have black bars on the side, like SD commercials on TV. Big news is the inclusion of 4GLTE. Here in the US, that means AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all cached in on the new iPhone. T-Mobile, not at all. With 4G though, there could come worst battery life. Apple is claiming you'll get 8 hours of browsing time and 8 hours of talk time. Obviously, we're gonna test that in the CNET Lab. I suggest you be prepared to carry an extra charger or maybe one of those mutli-juice packs. Keeping up with the data speed, the iPhone 5 will have an A6 processor that is supposedly twice as fast as the A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S. The camera stays 8 megapixels with some welcome tweaks, panorama mode- sorry- at makers and a sapphire crystal lens cover for more protection. Also, the front facing camera finally goes HD. Other big changes? How about this? The iPhone 5 will have an all-new much smaller duct connector called lighting that's not compatible with any of your old accessories. Personally, I can see why Apple wanted to dump the old 30-pin connector for smaller devices but I would have like to see them go with the industry standard micro-USB instead, same size, less waste, fewer $29 cables to buy. And the iPhone comes with redesigned earphones: the new ear pods, which reviewers are loving. The cost is the same, $199 for 16GB, $2.99 for 32GB, $3.99 for 64GB and it comes in black and white. Apple was horridly the only company with some big news lately. Everyone is announcing products including Amazon which has a whole slate of new Kindles for us to play with. Now, a couple of weeks ago, Jeff Bezos' took the stage at a big Amazon event and announced a fleet of new Kindles. We are going to un-box the Kindle Fire HD 7 inch in just a minute but first, here's a rundown of all the new models. In the E Ink family, the Kindle Paperwhite is the new star. It has built-in light technology which Bezos says lights up the screen so you don't need an external light. But apparently, it's not as bright or hard on your eyes as an LCD. Other big changes, there are zero buttons on this Kindle. It's all touch screen and Amazon says it will have 8 weeks of battery life even with the light on. I'll believe that when I see it. I ordered the Wifi only model which costs $190 and it's shipping on October 1st. The 3G version costs $179 and then the original Kindle, which I'm gonna torture test in just a little while here, goes from $79 to $69 with apps. Now, on to the Kindle Fire. There's a new updated version of the original Kindle Fire that's 40 percent faster with longer battery life. That price goes from $199 to $159. And there's more. Amazon also announced Kindle Fire HD models so the 7-inch goes to HD and there's also a brand new 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD which comes out of November. The big Kindle Fire comes with just Wifi or- and this is exciting- 4GLTE. Both models have 1920x1200 resolution displays and 10 ADP screens. Wifi only will go for $299 and the 4G LTE model will cost $499 with a yearly subscription fee. We'll have more on all those Kindle models when we get them in house and for now, we're going to un-box the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch model. Now, this is our review unit so it's already been open as some of Eric Franklin's information on it. But, hopefully, we'll get an idea of how it works. This is already kind of a confusing little box. This is the tape right here. Oh, I'm not smart enough for the Kindle box. There we go. Okay. It looks very much like kind of a standard Kindle packaging but black. It is black. Oh, wow. Okay, now. This is a 7-inch display but it's way bigger than the- Okay. Well, first, charging. This is sort of new with the Kindle line. I've noticed they're no longer coming with the power breaks, just the cable. You can actually buy the wall wart separately but it costs 10 bucks which I think is kind of a [unk]; 'cause if you're carrying one of these, you're not bringing a laptop. I don't like this trend. Anyway, this is a substantially different-looking Kindle from the original. It's much more landscape-oriented for one thing and then look at it compared to this guy. They're both 7-inch tablets but this is just like a big square brick and this thing is totally different. It's pretty sleek although it's a little bit fat and that makes it kinda hard to hold. Now, for comparison, I have the Nexus 7 here. This is you can pretty easily palm. This one feels more like you have to have like a big old Michael Jordan hand. The camera is located in the middle here so if you were doing video conferencing- now, the original Kindle fire didn't have a camera at all. This one has a front facing camera and I think it comes with Skype built-in so it's kind of a noticeable feature right off the bat. It's a very very big 7-inch tablet. I'm kind of curious to see how that's gonna play because for me, the size and portability are kind of the key there. I don't know those things. All right. Let's do some specs. It weighs just under a pound at 13.9 ounces. The HD LCD display has a 1280x1800 resolution and it's capable of 720PHD viewing. The surface is Corning's Gorilla Glass so it might take me a little bit longer to crack that screen than it took to break the Nexus 7. Just think. Amazon made a big deal out of their Dolby audio dual driver stereo speakers and let me say they sound pretty good. -You're missing out. -Oh, wow. -Yes. [unk]- -Tell me the truth. What really happened? -There's also a dual-band, duel antenna for better Wifi performance. And speaking of performance, it has a dual-core 1.2 Ghz processor. That should be okay for gaming. Right here is a front facing camera and they preloaded the Kindle Fire with Skype for your video conferencing needs. The original Fire, no cameras. There's micro HDMI and micro USB ports. You do get the USB 2.0 cable in the box but the power adapter is an extra $9.99. Like the original version, the operating system is a modified version of Android. Now, all the Kindle Fire's bulk come with apps on the lock screen which is probably how they keep that price down. You can get rid of the apps but you'll have to pay an extra $15. The 16GB model is $199 and the 32GB version goes for $249. Now, the 7-inch size has actually been a winner for Amazon and biggest thing for me about this tablet is that it's such a wide 7-inch tablet, it's really hard to hold. I got a little bit of a hand cramp. I will say though I do think this is a good size but I'll be interested to see what people think of the new bigger Kindle Fire HD. For Eric Franklin's full review of this guy right here, head on over to CNET.co/KindleFire7HD. Now, no more teasing. Here's our midair road test of the HTC1X versus the iPhone. Jeff Cannata is back to help me try to debunk the HTC1X Skydiving commercial. All right. We're here with the road test of the HTC1X. I- -I know. I think it's more of a sky test. -I think it kinda is a sky test. In fact, it is literally a sky test. We're gonna get in that helicopter right there, go up, try to recreate the 1X commercial where we do a little mini fashion shoot in the sky. But this is not the only phone or human jumping out of the helicopter today. -No. I've got an iPhone and I'm gonna try to see if I can take a photo that's better than your photo while plummeting toward the Earth. -That is totally not gonna happen 'cause neither of us can take any photos. Well, if one of us does, it's gonna be me. -It's on. It's on, Molly. -It's- -It's always on. -It's always on. -You nervous? -Not yet. -Not yet. -Now, I'm like [unk] okay. -Sure. -It's not [unk]. -Uh-huh. -I like this. Perfect. What do you think? -All right. I'm ready. Ready to skydive. There's no [unk] skydive, right? -Wow. -I've been practicing like my camera quick draw. I'm ready to go. With just some key differences, actually. For one thing, there's a case on this phone and a wrist strap because my worst fear is like- -Oh, yeah. -and I don't wanna kill a bunny on a field dropping this phone. That's not cool. -Yeah. -So I have like a- what is it- minus a ballistic and I think your case is too. -Oh, right. -On the off chance that we do drop them. We can see like- -Supplemented by tape. -Taped. And I was making fun of the commercial 'cause the guy didn't have a helmet on but neither do I. So- -Yeah. He had gloves, right? We're not doing gloves. -We're not 'cause you can't operate a phone with gloves on. -No. -I am go pro right here. There's gonna be a lot of footage of my nose. -Perfect angle. -They can burrow to that. Yeah. -It's really always on. Crew are taking sidebets no who's gonna get the better picture. -Those bastards. -Yeah. -It's gonna be me. Don't bet against me. I'm your boss. Okay. I'll see you on the ground. -Oh my God. This is hot. -What? -Seems like a lot of weight here. -[unk]. -And let's see. What will happen next? Will I hurl in midair? Will Jeff choke? Will either of us get the shot? You'll find out a little later in the show so just keep watching. Now, I don't know about you but I am feeling a little anxious after watching that skydiving footage. Let's torture a gadget to get some of the stress out. So we're gearing up to test the $79 Kindle. Now, if this survives the early rounds, we are gonna take it to its native environment, the pool. And I have to say this one's gonna be hard for me because I'm a Kindle fan and it has my name on it. Here we go. Time for the opposite of a day at the pool into the freezer. Two hours, now we wait. Let's rescue our Kindle. Hello, little buddy. Okay. We got some ice, some crystals. Something like- crystals are kind of pretty. Let's see if it turns on. The power button's broken. It can't- it. The power button has not depressed. Oh dear. Oh, it's trying. It's trying. Look at the screen. So, it's sort of on. Clearly, the E Ink is just a little bit frozen. We'll let it thaw for about 30 minutes, see how it's doing before we cook it. The Kindle actually recovered very quickly from the cold test. Not a problem. Let's see how it does in the terrarium of death. It's 140 degree in there now. We'll leave it in for about an hour and I do expect it to get a little hotter. Put it again on the towels so the plastic doesn't melt. I want this to live 'cause I wanna go to the pool with it. Last [unk]. See you in an hour. The Kindle has had its day at the beach. Let's see how it's doing. I don't see any melting so that's a good sign. Oh, it is nice and warm in there though. It's not actually too hot to touch like some of our phones, probably it's not metal [unk]- metal parts are, but the plastic seems fine. Let's to turn it on. No problem. Even easier than the cold. Kindle survives the heat test. It's kinda hot, though. -Now, the great thing about the Kindle is that it's E Ink screen is clearly visible in the sunshine which we thought has adjusted and obvious if somewhat luxurious water test. I'm just breathing, floating, holding my drink. Maybe a bee comes- Beat it, bee. No. Go. Get off. Where are you? Well, that is pretty far down there. Can I get an intern? Breath. Can you get this? The hair. Thanks. All right. Well, the screen is still on. Let's see if we can actually make it do anything. So no page turn buttons work. Go Home, and menu. Man, looks like even the Kindle is susceptible to water. Poor little Kindle. We threw it in the pool a lot of times, I mean, we did try to revive it but when we plugged it in to see if it would come back to life, it got so hot I thought it might explode. This thing is officially dead and it's stuck on the first page of 50 Shades of Grey. How embarrassing. Now, I know what you're thinking. Molly, you didn't even do the drop test. I know but that seemed like overkill for all we did to it. Oh well. Hey. Well, actually, the screen is pretty tough other than swimming which it doesn't like. Now, I know that Amazon did just announce a whole new line of Kindles. I can't wait to get my hands on that Paperwhite, test it out, see if we can turn it into a paperweight. Get it. Okay. Back to skydiving. My turn. Straight out of the chopper. -It feels awesome here though like [unk]. -Hey, Molly, hey. How are you doing? -Awesome. -Good [unk]? -I- when I look down. Still, not yet. I don't know why not but not yet. -Yeah. -Oh my God. -How are you doing? -I'm awesome. Oh my God. -[unk] first day. How are you feeling here? -I feel unbelievable. I think I might [unk]. -[unk]. -I think I got them. -You got them? -I can't look right now. I feel nauseous than normal. I'm really [unk] about it. Well, I'm gonna breathe. I think [unk]. -Good shot. -Good job. Yeah. -Look at that. Go [unk]. Gets. Uploaded? -Totally uploading. -I got 2 shots of that guy. -Yeah. Upload them all. -I'm gonna tweet this so I'm- -I tweeted from midair. -And I get to look at the scenery, right? I think it's already uploaded to Facebook even. [unk] did. That was amazing. -That was pretty cool. -I didn't pee or throw up so I'm pretty happy. Out of the helicopter. -Wow. -Out of a helicopter. -Oh my God. That was unbelievable. -That was nice. -Nice work there. -Whoa. Yeah. -Stick to landing. Okay. How was it? -Yeah. How was it? -Oh my God. -We got it. -Beautiful. -You are right. -I won. -No. -How do you feel? -Unbelievable. -Yeah? -I really- I thought that I'd throw up but I didn't. I believe I already uploaded my pictures to both Facebook and Twitter. -Go. -Oh my gosh. Did you got- pictures- -I got pictures of the bird man -There's so a lot of different -and -[unk] moment, I think. -I totally uploaded. -What? -That was unbelievable. -Wow. -Yeah. -I called it- -until I like, I did it. And I think she said [unk]. Oh my God. That was unbelievable. That was amazing. -That was crazy. -Wow. I felt like I was falling for like an hour. -Nice work now. That's so perfect. -That was awesome. Thank you. That was awesome, dude. You're next. -I'm ready. -Special thanks to the Go Pro Bomb Squad which is the name of their full-time stunt team. Yup. Go Pro has a full-time stunt team. And actually, the bomb squad was the same guys who put on the Google glasses and did the big jump at Goolgle IO. Nerdgasm, all right, that is quite enough adrenaline for right now so I'm gonna show you Jeff's jump a little later in the show. Spoiler alert: my banana pose is way better than his. Now, it's time for our break. When we come back, Jeff jumps out of a helicopter and we compare our skydiving photos. Which photos and photographer will reign supreme? You'll find out right after this. -How are you feeling about the [unk]? -I'm really excited. Yeah. -Just relax, get excited. It's amazingly peaceful up there. It really feels like we're floating. Just enjoy the ride and if you feel tense, anytime, just let out a big scream, you know. Woohoo. -Woohoo. -Always helps, you know. -You been doing that? I have a job to do in the sky, though. This is not just for fun. Do I look awesome? -All right. Good luck, buddy. I know you can do it. -I'll see you on the flip side. -We'll see you on the ground. -Push the button beside the thing and then take the picture. -Look out. -Let's do it. -This is [unk]. Thank you. -All right. -All right. -Oh my God. -How's it going? -Oh my God. -What was that? -[unk]. Oh my God. -Nice jump. -Oh my God. Oh, Christ. Oh, Christ. -You [unk] parachute, didn't you? -Well, that feels amazing. -Got the shot? -I think I did. -Oh yeah. -Holy. Oh my God. Oh, it's gorgeous. I can't believe I'm looking at my phone right now. -Yeah. -Yeah, that- -Whoa. -Nice [unk]. -Whoa. -Nice. -Epic. -Oh, so fun. -Epic. Oh my- -It was awesome. -God. -You're so good. -That was a blast. Thanks, guys. -Nice. -I think I got a couple of good shots, right, and I uploaded to Instagram. -You did? -Yes. -Shut up. -And I was [unk] like, [unk] likes, likes, all the way down. -No way. -Yeah. -Oh my God. Oh, I knew you would find a way to defeat me. -I mean, the commercial is actually proven to be true. -And now, I wasn't expecting that at all. -But both phones did it. -Yeah. Both phones pretty much killed it in the air and I had service. -Yeah. They do. Excellent service. -You- what do you have? Verizon? AT&T? -AT&T. -I have AT&T also. I like- I gotta give them a solid like fantastic. -All you have to do to get a good signal is leap out of 10,000 feet. -That's true. That's all it takes. Yeah. -Pretty simple. -They pulled the parachute like 5000 feet so we were about there where- Oh. -Oh, man. -Okay. -So, Instagram uploaded like 10 different photos. I can't even call this one, actually. -I know. I think it's a tie. -They're- -It's a tie of awesome. -Yes, it is. -Awesome. -Both jumpers performed well in the air and both phones got the shot. In this road test, or rather sky test, the iPhone came out on top by a hair but everybody landed a winner. Although it lost the road test, the HTC1X and its new camera lens are no slouches. I really enjoyed my time with that phone. I'm even thinking about torturing it sometime in the next season. Now, I think the real road test was actually that skydiving commercial. Who would have thought the whole thing was possible without 50 jumps and a huge budget. Here at Always On, we give you reality every time. And speaking of you, dear viewer, time for the mail bag. Let's all read some e-mails together. This first one comes from far, far away. Dear Molly, Always On is now my favorite tech show since the Xenatech Review is not on air anymore. Just in case you want to know why all those un-boxing fans want to see everything from the very beginning, it's because sometimes people need to know what is really going on in that box. In my country, you cannot believe website's description of tech. Sometimes they say that there are accessories with product and after buying it, you realize that you were fooled. So just do it and don't think much about it. You are just making a good thing for some people in the world. Can't wait to see all that cool stuff form the second season of Always On. Keep doing that. You are great. Hope they won't ever make you go from Xena until you really want to retire. And one more thing, copyright. I am watching your show from Ukraine and love it. You should ask people about where they are from just to experience how giant impact our world this show has. I suppose your audience is much broader than just America. You can find someone on the very opposite side of planet and give him/her something nice just for being awesome. What about that? P.S. I am neither fat nor a liar, smiley face, and in case you don't know where Ukraine is, Dima. And then Dima sent a picture of Ukraine is on the map. And geez, Dima, I know where Ukraine is roughly, generally speaking. It's actually a lot bigger than I thought it was gonna be. Thanks for sending that and thanks for the good point about the un-boxing. We don't have that problem so much but point taken. Moving right along, this crazy story from Craig. I have seen you do drop tests and leaving your laptop on top of a car. Well, I have a suggestion. As many areas are adopting no texting laws, I was inspired by a recent story I heard. I'm a police officer and a colleague was following a woman who was swerving around in her lane while texting. When he pulled alongside, she was driving about 50 kilometers per hour. When she saw him, she threw her phone out the passenger window, trying to be discreet. When he stopped her, she tried to convince him he must be mistaken as she had no cellphone with her. When he went back and retrieved the phone, iPhone 4S, it was well broken. He let her go with a warning. There you have it. Testing in reality. Throw your phone out of a moving vehicle. -Wait. What? She threw her phone out a car going about 30 miles per hour? Have you heard anything about California's littering laws? 'Cause believe me, if you got caught texting while driving and throwing a phone out of a window, I think you would end up on Alcatraz. I don't think we're gonna try that one. All right. Next up, a nice big generic question from Zane. I am planning in buying a cellphone in next November 2013, which phone should I get? New phones? Zane. Except for my iPod. I'm hoping that you mean November 2012, otherwise, I really have no idea since a new phone comes out about every 3 days. Since you sent that e-mail from your iPod, I'll take a flyer and suggest that you'd probably be happy with an iPhone although I will say the new Nokia Lumia 920 looks pretty cool. Happy shopping. And thanks for all the awesome feedback, everyone. Please keep it coming. I would love some more video mail. AlwaysOn@xena.com <mailto:AlwaysOn@xena.com> is our e-mail address. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. That's it for this week on Always On. Next week, we unbox the new iPhone, we hope. Jeff Cannata is back with the torture test of the Nokia Lumia 900 and Sharon Vaknin breaks out the drill and the jigsaw for pretty great Do It Yourself. Plus, I check out a potential game changer of a product called [unk]. See you next week on Always On. -How was the moment of stepping out on the strut? -Awful. -Really? -Actually, it's okay because he pulls your head back you know, and [unk] I just was like, okay, I'm just looking up at the sky. I'm just looking at the sky. But then when he pushes out, I was like- -That's right. [unk] outwards, yeah? -'Cause the whole ground just goes like [unk], and then when he pulled that parachute, I was like, I'm gonna puke. And then I got to stir parachute. -Wow. -Yeah. It was like, fizzles in my butt, like a lot. -Ow. -Now, it does it with my finger.