Ever since I got the iPhone X, I was asked the question, “Is it worth it?” about 50 times. The answer to that question is complicated and is very subjective and completely depends on personal opinion. I would often reply with a question rather than an answer. “What phone are you currently using ?” is the question I would ask in return. If you’re currently using the iPhone 7 and models that came before it, you need to read this review. Long story short – I love the phone and it is probably the best iPhone ever made. When it comes down to the question “Is it worth it?” – definitely!
This is the first time Apple has completely redesigned the iPhone with a brand new design language and a screen that simply captivates. So, let’s start with the review and tell you why we think the iPhone X is one of the most powerful smartphones in the world.
Apple has finally designed a smartphone that looks different from its predecessor and looks as close to a single slab of glass as possible. When holding the device, it will feel like a seamless design that can only be described as beautiful. The sheets of the glass cover the front and back of the device and sits perfectly with the stainless-steel chassis.
The first thing you will notice is the bezel-less design which is not entirely what it seems as one can clearly notice the side bezels. It’s not really a bad thing in our opinion as it doesn’t really disrupt the viewing experience in any way. I can hold the iPhone X very comfortably in my hand even though it is a bit bigger than the iPhone 7/8.
In order to have an all-screen design, Apple had to sacrifice the home button and that decision is probably the most welcomed change, in our opinion. The power button is in the same spot – only elongated and holding it for a longer duration launches Siri. Apple has also upgraded the stereo speakers as it is louder and offers much more clarity than ever before. If you are an audiophile, we still recommend using headphones for a superior audio experience.
If you put all the iPhones next to the ‘X’, one can easily conclude that Apple has released the finest and most refined iteration of the iPhone yet.
The Super Retina Display
After playing around with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, The Pixel 2 XL and the Galaxy S8, I can confidently say it’s the best smartphone screen I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Of course, the bezel-less display is interrupted by the infamous notch, but you eventually stop noticing it. In fact, I love the notch and gives the iPhone X a unique look. The notch consists of the usual front-facing camera, a proximity sensor and the earpiece. However, the notch also houses the TrueDepth camera system which consists of an infrared camera, a dot projector and a bunch of other sensors that help in Face ID security and Portrait selfies.
The iPhone X sports a 5.8-inch OLED screen (supplied by Samsung) and has 458 ppi that are definitely higher and more vibrant than any other screen. The colours are crisp and not too over saturated which cannot be said about other OLED panels on different smartphones. The display has a wide colour gamut and can support HDR 10/Dolby Vision content. The iPhone X has a 5.8-inch screen and has a smaller footprint than the iPhone 8 Plus. It has a bigger aspect ratio in a smaller body, which makes the device very comfortable to hold.
Having a brand new aspect ratio also means having enough apps that are optimised for the iPhone X. Developers are gradually updating their apps to make them fully optimised for the iPhone X, however, you will still find apps that look out of place and letterboxed.
The iPhone X runs on iOS 11 that is works rather differently when compared to other Apple products. Since Apple removed the home button, basic navigation and interaction with the phone have completely changed. If you want to know how the new gestures work in detail, we recommend you read our guide here).
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Instead of tapping the home button, you need to now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get back to the home screen. In order to launch the app switcher, you need to swipe up from the bottom and hold for an extra second – giving you a slight vibration and then it open the app cards. In order to close apps, Apple has added an extra step where you need to press and hold the app card, then swipe it away.
If you swipe from the top notch, it will bring up the Notification Center and if you swipe from the top right corner, you will bring up the Control Center. These are some of the basic gestures that you will have to learn. At first, you may find it annoying, however you eventually get used to it. In fact, I got so used to the Swiping Up gestures that I carried it over to the Note 8 and would accidently launch Samsung Pay every time.
Getting used to the new gestures will take time before it becomes the norm on all iPhones in the future, I often found myself swiping up trying to launch the Control Center and you will go through it too. However, a week into using the iPhone X and you will get used to the new gestures and it will come to you and your fingers naturally.
Face ID and Animoji
The most exciting features about the iPhone X are Face ID and Animoji and its time we discuss how it has changed the iPhone X. Face ID is the obvious replacement of the Touch ID fingerprint security system. It uses an infrared camera system that scans your face in order to unlock the phone. Animoji uses TrueDepth technology to create a map of your face and lets you send animation emojis with your facial movements and audio.
You can only register one face to unlock your smartphone and in our experience, Face ID was a painless way to unlock your smartphone. In order to register your face, you need to roll your head (which can look awkward) as it captures every single detail of your face. When you try to unlock your face, Face ID is fast enough to give a seamless experience. It’s faster than Touch ID and is really handy when you are driving. I registered my face when I had a beard and the Face ID worked like it was supposed to. In order to test Face ID, I completely shaved it all off (I can grow one in two weeks!) and the iPhone X asked for a passcode as it could not recognise the drastic change. Once I put in the correct passcode, Face ID learned the change in my face and worked just like it did when I had the beard. Face ID can also be used for verifying other login credentials that are saved in your iCloud keychain. It saves a lot of time as you don’t need to fill out the password each time you log in to accounts on various apps. Face ID works like a charm and you can expect the technology to become the norm in future iPhones and become a standard for the future.
Most people’s fears with Face ID is if it is secure or not? I’d say it’s not something you need to worry about. For starters, Face ID will only unlock your phone if you are paying attention to the phone or when your eyes are open. If you are not directly looking at the screen or have your eyes open, good luck unlocking the phone. The TrueDepth camera system also uses 3D facial recognition technology which means that if you put a 2D picture of your face in front of the iPhone X, Face ID will not unlock your screen.
The iPhone X features the same dual-camera setup as the iPhone 8 Plus which makes it one of the best smartphone cameras in the world. There are some key differences as the setup is vertical instead of horizontal and features optical images stabilisation on both sensors. It has a 12-megapixel dual camera setup (one wide-angle and one telephoto lens) that captures vibrant and vivid images. Captured images reflect more details than ever and look more natural when compared to some Android smartphones.
The telephoto lens now offers image stabilisation and has a wider aperture at f2.4. Both updates in the camera system aid in taking better low-light pictures. The OIS on the second sensor results in more stable and clearer shots whereas the wider aperture lets even more light in. Just like the iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X can also take Portrait shots and comes with the new lighting modes as well. While we are on the topic of Portrait shots, the iPhone X can also take bokeh selfies. It uses the same TrueDepth camera system to create the bokeh effect but it is not as accurate as the primary sensors.
In a sentence, we can only describe the camera as excellent and here are some sample shots for your reference:
Performance and Battery Life
The iPhone X uses the exact same processor as the iPhone 8/8Plus which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The phone uses Apple’s proprietary A11 Bionic chipset and it performs just as well as it does on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
When idle, the iPhone X uses two high-performance cores that work in tandem with four high-efficiency cores. The four high-efficiency cores work well when the iPhone X is idle whereas the high-performance cores kick in when you start playing games or do something that requires more horsepower.
The iPhone X has 3GB of RAM which is more than enough for the iPhone X to outperform most smartphones. The increased RAM helps in loading apps faster than ever and also aids the dual camera sensor to perform effectively. After running Geekbench on the iPhone X we could conclude that it is the most powerful smartphone in the world when it comes to performance. The iPhone X manages to score 10,069 in the multi-core rest while the single core test yields a score of 4,188.
The battery life on the iPhone X is not as good as the iPhone 8 Plus but it does last longer than the iPhone 8. The iPhone X would last for a full day on a single charge and would probably die out by the end of the day. We used the smartphone extensively to test out apps, record video and take pictures with the device. We also watched a lot of videos on Netflix and Youtube to test the new aspect ratio and the iPhone X still lasted an entire day. Apple says the iPhone X can last two hours longer than iPhone 8, however, that entirely depends on your usage pattern.
The Final Say
We can confidently say that the iPhone X will be the future of Apple smartphones and you should not doubt the smartphone just because it has a hefty price tag. Yes, the iPhone X has a few drawbacks, however, it still outperforms any other smartphone in the market. At the end of the day, it is a new iPhone with a brand new design that definitely turns heads. If you are an Apple fan and are looking to upgrade, the iPhone X should be your next smartphone.
Photo: © MensXP / Photography By Nasir Jamal
The iPhone X Is The Most Powerful Smartphone In The World And You Cannot Deny Its Might
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