I decided to review the iPhone X in a slightly different manner than prior reviews. Rather than going through all the new features and specs of the phone, I’ll just be giving a few of my opinions on various aspects of the phone after using it for a little over 3 months. Enjoy!
I was really looking forward to the size of the iPhone X – having used the 7 Plus for the past year, while it was great having more screen real estate and longer battery life, it was quite unwieldy at times – specifically when using it one-handed while walking, and when carrying it in your pocket. So the fact that the iPhone X packed a larger screen size (technically) in a smaller form factor was really exciting to me. The first week or so of using it, it felt small – at times too small – mostly in screen width though. However, after getting used to it, and using it day-to-day, you realize that most of the things you do on your phone are vertically laid out – meaning top-to-bottom real estate is more important than side-to-side. I would almost always choose the larger size iPhone though – so if an iPhone X Plus comes out next year, that would be my choice.
Being the first iPhone to ship with an OLED screen, I was excited and slightly nervous at the same time. Excited for the benefits of OLED – deeper blacks, richer colours, longer battery life – and nervous for the unknowns – will the quality be as good? what about the rumoured “burn-in” that is associated with OLED panels, etc. I was confident though that Apple wouldn’t let it ship without addressing these issues. I have only noticed a deficiency in OLED in one instance – when scrolling images or white text on black backgrounds – when you do it quickly you can notice some ghosting. But it’s really only noticeable if you’re actively looking for it. Overall, the screen is phenomenal just like all of Apple’s screen technologies have been since the retina iPhone 4.
120hz Touch Input
This is something that has to be experienced to really appreciate. And to me, this is my absolute favourite feature of the iPhone X, next to Face ID. Not to be confused with 120Hz display refresh rate – the 120Hz touch input allows the iPhone X to register touch twice as fast as ever before. This leads to the interface feeling absolutely buttery-smooth – which is crucial for a device that relies so heavily on touch input – swiping to unlock, closing/exiting apps, swiping between apps, and more. I cannot say it enough – this truly is amazing!
Face ID is a game-changer. After a while, using the iPhone X feels like using a first-gen iPhone without a passcode. It’s unbelievable how well it works under 99% of conditions. There are a few times when Touch ID would work a bit better, but let’s be honest – 99% of the time when you pull your phone out to use it, you intend on looking at the screen. Overall, I’m a huge fan of Face ID and I can’t wait until it’s ubiquitous on all (or most) of Apple’s devices – mainly the iPad and the MacBook lineup.
Another convenience factor that I love. Most people complain that wireless charging is too slow – and while they’re right that it’s slower – they’re thinking about it wrong. I use wireless charging at night when I go to bed – easy, just place it on the pad and away you go. I also use it throughout the day at my desk – so instead of placing it down on the desk and not charging, I simply place it on the charging pad, and it’s constantly getting a few extra percent battery life here and there throughout the day. However, If you’re at 5% battery before heading out for a few hours, don’t expect to get a significant boost in battery charge by placing it on your wireless charger for 15 minutes while you get ready. In this case, it’d be better to plug it in to charge to get the best bang for your buck. I believe in tactically recharging your battery when possible, rather than waiting until you get that “low battery” warning and then scrounging around for a charger – but that’s just me.
TrueDepth Camera: The front-facing TrueDepth camera system is excellent and cutting edge for 2017. I rarely take selfies, but when I do it’s nice to have the best possible camera available to do so. It really is truly phenomenal how far we’ve come in mobile phone photography in just 10 years, but it’s also exciting see where we can take it over the next 10 years.
Augmented-Reality: We’re not really there yet – there are not really any breathtaking apps available that people see – and just need to have. It’s more a marketing buzzword at this point in time – but I do believe in the backbone that Apple is laying here – and look forward to what comes next here.
Build Quality: This is the nicest iPhone that Apple has made in terms of build quality. The runner-up in my opinion would be the iPhone 4/4S, followed by the iPhone 6/6S/7. Every detail is meticulously crafted with precision that is unmatched by any smartphone manufacturer in the world. They continue to pay attention to the things that most people don’t even notice – and this is one of my favourite things about Apple. The iPhone X proves they are continuing to push forward in this regard – which makes me extremely happy.
Lock Screen Shortcuts: This is another one of those touches that is so convenient for day-to-day use. Being able to switch on the flashlight or get to the camera from the Lock Screen with a virtual button (which feels just like the virtual home button of the iPhone 7/8) is such an awesome feature. The combination of seeing those icons there every day, combined with how convenient they are to access, makes using older iPhones seem older than they are.
It seems obvious that every new iPhone will be my new favourite iPhone – due to the fact that it will nearly always be better in every way than the iPhone before it. However, the iPhone X is a little different than each iteration over the years since the original iPhone. This is the first iPhone that really breaks the mould of what we know as the iPhone. No more top & bottom bezels and the biggest change of all, no more home button. So using the iPhone X for the first time truly felt different – and the fact that Apple pulled it off so seamlessly with Face ID and 120Hz touch input truly makes the iPhone X a delight to use. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing where the iPhone goes next year!