While Apple may have announced three new smartphones this year, there is no doubt that the iPhone X is the one most people had their eyes on for a number of reasons. Not only is the new iPhone X a major shakeup in their smartphone lineup, drastically changing a lot of things in design making it truly feel like a new phone rather than a refreshed design which the company had been adopting for the past few years. Whether the iPhone X lives up the Apple brand name is a worthy upgrade or not, our iPhone X review should help highlight. While Apple didn’t give reviewers much time to thoroughly test the device, the Apple iPhone X review should still give you an idea of how things stand with this super expensive device.
Apple iPhone X Review
Reports suggest that the iPhone X was originally intended for a launch in 2018 but considering that this year is the 10th anniversary of the launch of iPhone, Apple decided to fast-track the process and the new device will now be shipping tomorrow, 3rd November.
Apple iPhone X Specs
- 5.8-inch Super AMOLED 1125×2436 screen
- Hexa-core Apple A11 Bionic SoC
- 64GB/256GB storage
- 3GB RAM
- 2716 mAh battery
- Dual-lens 12MP camera, OIS and [email protected] video recording
The first thing you notice upon taking out the iPhone X out of its retail packaging is the massive and amazing looking bezel-less display. Since Apple doesn’t manufacture its own displays, once again the company had to go to Samsung for a display on the iPhone X and it is a good thing that they did since the Super AMOLED seems like the perfect way to go with this screen size and smartphone design.
While the rectangular notched bar at the top of the screen to accommodate the speaker and camera of the iPhone X might be a bit distracting considering the almost complete edge-to-edge design overall, we found out in our review of the iPhone X that over time you end up ignoring it for the most part and might only notice it when viewing video content like complete movies. Despite the display being taken from Samsung, the iPhone X OLED is actually tailor-made for Apple devices and because of that, it doesn’t have the same issues that plague Samsung’s smartphone devices.
The iPhone X screen is bright, vibrant and gives a sharp image quality that truly gives the phone a premium look. Apple’s TrueTone system automatically adjusts the screen color based on ambient light and the display also supports Dolby Vision HDR, although you might have issues finding HDR content outside of Apple’s own iTunes movies section.
As for the general design of the phone, the buttons are still located on the side of the phone and the Home button has been removed from the front of the phone due to the bezel-less display. The power button on the right side of the phone is more elongated than before making it easier to press than previous iPhone devices. Continuing its tradition from last year, Apple still continues with the no 3.5-mm audio port design which means you will either need to use wireless earphones like the Apple earpods or use the lightning to 3.5mm adapter to connect your wired headphones.
24-hours aren’t really enough to test out the battery life of iPhone X but even though the battery capacity seems considerably less to what most other flagship smartphones use these days, at least 3,000mAh, Apple has always delivered great battery life in its devices through software optimization. Undoubtedly, that will also be the case with iPhone X and it should last a full day with normal usage. Thanks to the glass back of the iPhone X, it also supports wireless Qi charging and is quite efficient at that. Unfortunately, in order to make use of the Fast Charging feature of iPhone X, you will need to purchase a $25 USB-C to Lightning cable separately. However, if you do, you can fully recharge your iPhone X in just 1 hour and 20 minutes.
iPhone X Camera
While the Pixel 2 XL may have the best smartphone camera in the market as we mentioned in our review of the Google phone, Apple’s iPhone X camera is no slouch either. On paper, the iPhone X camera is the same as the one being used in Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus. The main camera has two 12MP sensors, one a wide angle one with f/1.8 aperture and the other with a more telephoto f/2.4 aperture size (iPhone 8 Plus has a f/2.8 aperture on the telephoto lens). Because of this lens combination, the iPhone X performs great in low light situations, even when using the 2x optical zoom. Part of that is thanks to the optical image stabilization which doesn’t affect the image quality when zoomed in.
The DSLR like Portrait mode makes a return that can blur parts of an image when taking pictures especially with the help of the telephoto lens. Combine Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting that lets you introduce fake studio light effects to images and you can make your photos truly shine and make them look professional DSLR pictures. Thankfully, both the Portrait Mode and Lighting are also available on the 7-megapixel front camera, something which is missing from iPhone 8 Plus.
While the iPhone X ships with iOS 11 just like iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as was expected, there are a number of tweaks made to the OS specifically for iPhone X to accommodate the lack of a physical Home button and other software features like the Animojis. We will mention all these changes below in the software section of our iPhone X review so that you have a better grasp of the difference between the iPhone X and other iPhone models.
To access the Home screen, the iOS 11 has been tweaked in a way that you have to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Similarly, if you swipe down from the top right, you will open up the Control Center while swiping down from the top left will open up the Notifications pane. Surprisingly, the controls on the Notification Pane require 3D Touch to operate which is weird as the general purpose of 3D Touch so far in iOS has been to serve as a “right click” rather a simple toggle on/off “left click”.
Thanks to the 3GB RAM and software optimization, switching apps is easy and fast while not bogging down your phone. Simply swipe up and hold to bring up the App card with which you can switch between apps or swipe left and right on Home screen to move through apps.
Another exciting new addition in the iPhone X is the new Face ID system which bypasses the old fingerprint security sensor of the previous iPhone devices. While the technology is exciting, scanning your face to unlock your device, it doesn’t always work perfectly. Unfortunately, the performance of Face ID is quite iffy when your phone is at a distance of more than 10-15 inches from your face which is quite close. On top of that, the scanner has issues recognizing faces when you are outdoor although, in indoor lighting conditions, the Face ID unlock works surprisingly well, whether you are sitting or moving around.
As we mentioned before in our iPhone X review, the iPhone X’s version of iOS has something which other iOS 11 devices lack and that is Animoji, Apple’s version of animated emoji characters. You can basically scan your face and then your facial queues will control the expressions on the faces of the emojis which you can use as gifs or send through messages. You can even add Animojis as overlays on top of your recorded videos which should open up some interesting and funny opportunities.
One of the biggest issues with the iPhone X software which we discovered in our Apple iPhone X review has to do with the large screen and bezel-less display. As of right now, there are only a handful of apps that work properly with the new screen and most of them make do with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Apple has assured that more developers will work on their apps and make the feature fully functional before the launch tomorrow.
While this issue can mostly be ignored, it becomes a huge nuisance when you use your phone in Landscape mode as this way it covers a much bigger portion of the screen. Hopefully, app developers will be quick to update apps for iPhone X and fix this problem.
- Large, bright and sharp screen with excellent display quality
- 12MP dual-lens camera with OIS and Portrait Mode
- Wireless Charging with Fast Charging support
- Apple’s latest iOS 11 software and optimizations
- Price! Starting at $1000 for the 64GB model, the iPhone X is currently the most expensive smartphone in the market
- Only two storage options, 64GB and 256GB, one too little and the other too much for most users
- Questionable battery capacity which might lead to battery life issues
- Lacks proper security measures as Face ID performance isn’t very good when using device outdoor
So there you have it, our iPhone X review that breaks down all the good and bad things about the latest and third smartphone from Apple this year. While the iPhone X might be a truly impressive device and finally feels like a worthy upgrade over the past few Apple iPhone devices, if bezel-less display and fancy software features aren’t really your thing then it is probably not a good idea to spend $1000 on the 64GB model of a device which has the same hardware specifications and performance as the other two iPhone 8 models. For budget users, iPhone 8 with its $800 price tag seems a much better alternative right now and even the iPhone 8 Plus is cheaper than iPhone X despite having the same hardware and camera.
If for some reason you want to make the jump to Android and are tired of iPhone devices, there are some great alternatives in the market. While the Note 8 might not exactly be cheaper than iPhone X, it delivers the same performance while adding a lot of new features which you won’t find on most other smartphones. Similarly, for best smartphone photography, there is nothing better than the Pixel 2 XL.