After 72 hours I try to write down my experiences with the iPhone X. By the way: I call it iPhone Ten and not X. Disclaimer: this is not a comprehensive review but my personal thoughts.
Coming from a 6s I already enjoyed the benefits of iOS and the whole Apple ecosystem. Using iOS 11 on all my devices already brought me the idea of what to expect from the iPhone X. You can see that version 11 was designed around the new iPhone though there are still some bugs inside. For the overall inconsistencies of the UI see the following paragraphs below.
What’s inside? Nothing special. Even worse: they deliver still the Earpods on a simple paper carrier. Remember: this is a 1100+ Euro device and they refuse to put back the plastic wrapper box we used to get with the 6s and before. Again, the Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter is included as - of course - the device doesn’t have a headphone jack. And no USB type C, still the proprietary Lightning connector.
What can I say about the look and feel. The device is wrapped in stainless steel and glass. Apple says it’s the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone. Tests prove that the iPhone X is the most breakable device Apple ever made.
What I can say: it’s feels better in the hand than any other iPhone before, it’s unlikely that it will slide off the hand due to the steel frame. It’s more grippy than the brushed aluminum frame and backplate.
My device was instantly wrapped in a silicone case from Apple so the glass backplate never got a fingerprint or any dust on it. I used this type of case on my 6s before and it’s awesome. It’s expensive but hey, the device is, too.
I also put an extra glass layer on the screen as I always did before. I will change it though as it doesn’t fit perfectly, especially in the rounded corners.
A benefit of the glass backplate is the ability to charge the device without any cable. Just use a Qi wireless charger and rest it on top, it will instantly start to charge. There are differences in chargers though, so try for yourself. I can recommend the charger from Ravpower which delivers 7.5 Watts which means that it also supports the fast charging capabilities of the phone itself. It’s not a feature I missed but it’s nice to have it. At least it prevents scratches around the Lightning connector.
This is a feature everyone freaked out about. No home button, no TouchID anymore. We were used to bad implementations of iris scanner and other face recognition systems on other devices of other manufacturers. But Apple won’t be Apple if they wouldn’t have put a maximum effort into this exclusive mechanism. And it works surprisingly great. The setup is super easy, more than TouchID ever was.
Due to the fact that there’s no Homebutton anymore, you have to use gestures and different actions to reach the home screen, take screenshots or open the task manager. I would have lost any bet but I got used to the swipe-to-open gesture instantly. I have to admit that unlocking the phone with TouchID is currently a lot faster and maybe it will continue to be because of the movement when you pull it out of the pocket while your thumb already rests on the Homebutton. I guess we will have to get used to FaceID and all the gestures because I am pretty sure that the iPhone 8 was the last with TouchID.
Some of the gestures are weird though.
First thing that I personally do not like is opening the control center. Instead of swiping from bottom to top you swipe down from the upper right corner. Same from the upper left will open notifications. Both is very inconvenient as you cannot reach these areas with one hand while holding the phone.
Second is the task manager. Apple says you have to swipe up and pause, which means you stop swiping somewhere on the screen. After about half a second the task manager pops up and you can swipe through the tasks. There is a better and faster way to achieve this. Swipe up and the instantly to the right. This will bring up the tasks immediately. The next thing is closing a task. This is something Apple definitely will change. They did for the iPad already. To close task you first have to hold a task until red Xes appear. The. you are able to either click on the X or you can swipe up to close the task. The Xes were on iPad before and the swipe gesture returned. Now we only have the swipe gesture on iPads - so we should have them on the iPhone, too.
This is Apple‘s first OLED display built in their devices. It comes from Samsung so you know what to expect. As any other OLED the view angles are not as stable as they are with IPS panels of course. The resolution itself is the highest in an iPhone ever. Apple calls it the Super Retina display. It is bright and color accurate. The key feature is the size of 5.8 inches. This is remarkable as the device itself is not very much bigger than an iPhone 8 - and the resolution is higher then of the iPhone 8 plus. So if you are a display junkie than the iPhone X is a must have.
Of course it also has the notch, the area that holds the sensors and camera for FaceID. It doesn’t bother me at all. What bothers me is the little space that is left for the carrier info, signal strength, time and battery. To get all the details in a familiar way you have to open the control center. I wish for customizable functions in these two places, similar to the widgets or the control center.
Of course not all apps are currently iPhone X ready, which means that they do not utilize the new screen dimensions and the extra space on top around the notch. Some are looking like on a 8 or 8 plus, some just ignore the info area completely.
That the home screen itself is sometimes ignoring the rules or at least looks strange is another item on the bug list. I lately experienced black fonts at the top though the wallpaper is dark enough to display white text. Even more weird: it turns white when opening the control center...
AR is Apple’s other new big thing to come to mobile devices. It’s also nothing I missed but they may some nice implementations. I used IKEA Place so far. This helps you to imagine IKEA furniture in your living room or elsewhere in real time - graphics could be better but hey, it’s the first throw. For gamers this might be the next cool shit to have. I am not a gamer so I really don’t care about it.
The iPhone X is the best iPhone within it’s ten year‘s history. It is the fastest ever thanks to the amazing A11 Bionic processor, it has one of the best camera systems at the moment and a form factor and size which is big and small enough. This is just a personal view on one of the most expensive phone our times. I like it. very much.