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iPhone X Review

Apple's Latest iPhone

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The iPhone X, also known as iPhone 10 is an important product for Apple. Its release overlaps with the 10th anniversary of the industry’s most significant device, being the first iPhone in four years to go through a major design overhaul.

Design Review

iPhone X is built slightly taller than the iPhone 8 (and 7 and 6) and much slimmer and smaller compared to the iPhone 8 Plus. These proportions make it very well balanced, especially since you have a 5.8-inch display.

The aluminium sides have been traded for stainless steel (just like Apple Watch) and the front and backside of the phone is made out of glass. But be aware that these shiny sides get covered very easily in fingerprints, so wipe downs will be needed quite frequently.

Apple has stretched the screen to the edges here, significantly reducing the size of the bezel. There is still a black rim though, which adds contrast to the bright display.

No thick bezel means no Home button, a feature which has been on every single iPhone version until now. Consequently, there’s also no Touch ID fingerprint scanner. In its place, the iPhone X uses facial recognition.

Face ID components (infrared camera, flood illuminator, dot projector) are stored in the ‘notch’. Even though the notch is set at the top of the display, unless you are playing something full-screen, it seamlessly blends into the background in all other instances.

On both sides of the notch the battery indicator and time are featured. To some people’s annoyance,   the battery percentage is no longer displayed, and you can’t see if your headphones are connected or not without accessing the Control Center.

Face ID

The face recognition feature works accurately in both the light and dark; it can’t be tricked by pictures or masks; and it works even with your glasses on. For it to work you need to be ‘actively aware’ – you can’t just put it in front of someone’s face and expect it to unlock.

Face ID isn’t perfect, as it struggles to identify you if your eyes are not fully open, or if your face is not close enough to the screen. So if you just want to take a glance at your notifications early in the morning, or check with your phone at pocket-level then you’re out of luck.

Apps that used Touch ID for unlocking will be replaced by Face ID automatically, without tany updates needed, and you can also use it for Apple Pay payments.

Screen

The iPhone X doesn’t feature Apple’s usual LCD screen tech, having instead an OLED panel, which is a first for this product line. It seems that Apple has finally followed in the footsteps of Samsung, Google and other Android phone manufacturers, which have been using OLED for quite a while now.

This iPhone also has the highest-resolution screen that its product line has ever seen, having 2436 x 1125 pixels, and there’s also support for the DCI P3 color gamut and Dolby Vision HDR.

OLEDs fares better when it comes to contrast, true blacks and colorful images, but like all screens, they are not completely perfect.  Apple’s OLEDs are made by Samsung, and while viewing angles show a slight bluish tinge when you tilt the device off-axis, it’s far less obvious than Google’s Pixel 2 XL.

Apple claims that it brought some modifications to this panel, and the company’s improvement is quite noticeable when compared to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note 8 panels. The iPhone X shows colors that appear more natural and the saturation is not that intense.

The screen also has True Tone, which adjusts the screen temperature accordingly based on the environment you’re in. 3D Touch enables you to perform alternative actions by applying different intensities of pressure on the screen.

Performance

iPhone X is exactly the same on the inside as the iPhone 8 Plus. It’s fitted with an A11 Bionic chip, which is incredibly fast, plus 3GB of RAM. Apart from a few bugs in iOS 11, the iPhone X OS runs smoothly.

The A11 Bionic is a six-core processor with two high-power and four low-power cores scoring in benchmarks 10,000 in the multi-core Geekbench 4 test, which is more than double than what most Android phones managed to get.

A forward-facing speaker and a downward unit on the bottom work in tandem to let you listen to your beats at the loudest volume. Sound will not get blocked by your hand when watching videos in landscape positioning.

Audio quality is also impressive. Call quality is outstanding, with the noise-cancelling mics blocking out noise efficiently. The device provides strong reception for both data and Wi-Fi.

Software

The absence of a home button has changed how the iOS 11 functions in many ways. You now swipe up from the bottom of the display to go to the Home screen, and swipe and hold to get to the multitasking menu. Also, you can’t swipe apps away anymore; you have to press and then tap the ‘X’ icon.

Other functions that formerly needed the Home button have been moved to the stretched out lock button on the side of the phone. Apps that have not been updated work slower and have some trouble with displaying, but hopefully the developers will catch up with this soon.

The rest of iOS 11 is pretty much similar to the software of any other iPhone.

Camera

The iPhone X comes with a dual 12-megapixel cameras on the rear, just like with iPhone 8 Plus, making it the smallest iPhone to have two sensors.

The main wide-angle camera is optically stabilized with an f/1.8 aperture, with the telephoto being optically stabilized, with the aperture f/2.4. This makes the phone perform better in dim lit settings.

Apple says it has entirely rebuilt the sensor, improving its size and speed, and there’s a new ISP (image signal processor) for better grains and colors.

Having the switch to the True Depth camera on the front, Apple enabled Portrait mode via the 7-megapixel selfie camera too. This feature was extremely highlighted during the phone’s announcement, but in reality it doesn’t perform all that great.

Battery life

In terms of endurance, the iPhone X is situated between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, allowing you to go through a day without worrying about charging.

The iPhone X supports wireless charging just like the aforementioned 8 series. X uses the open Qi charging standard, meaning it can be powered up by using various pads; not just made by Apple. Naturally, Apple make available its own version – called AirPower – next year. In the meantime, the company recommends using a Belkin or Mophie pad.

The phone itself does have a form of fast charging, but the charger provided is the same 5W wall plug that is supplied with all previous iPhones. To be able to charge faster you either need to use an iPad charger or purchase a MacBook USB-C plug and USB-C-to-Lightning cable. For a phone that’s worth $1000, that just won’t do.

Final verdict

iPhone X’s new shiny design is indeed very appealing, but this device will probably not work for everyone. But if you’re an iPhone person, you will love this new iteration.  The only problem would be the price, as $1000 is a load of cash for a phone.

Overall review

Pros Cons
• large screen

• optimized telephoto camera

• appealing design

• long battery life

• Face ID functions better than a fingerprint sensor

• software needs more optimization

• no fast-charging plug included

• very expensive

 

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