Techgarage

iPhone X Review – A new era in Smartphones

by Kevin Kyburz 12/19/2017

It’s the most expensive iPhone ever sold, and according to Apple, it’s also the best they’ve ever produced. The iPhone X is the anniversary edition of the iPhone, the device that Steve Jobs introduced 10 years ago and that revolutionized Smartphones and the mobile telephony industry at that time.

I’ve been using the iPhone X in my daily life for more than a week, and of course I’ve also put it through a few tests.

 

A rough overview of the iPhone X

As an iPhone 6, 7, or 8+ user, anyone who holds this iPhone in their hand for the first time will quickly notice that the device itself is a lot smaller, which can seem strange if you’re not used to it. But no worries – the display is bigger than the one for an iPhone with Plus.
iPhone X Design

The stainless steel band is a perfect match for the glass design and, in my opinion, is also better than the aluminum on the iPhone 8. I’m a fan of white iPhones, but with the space gray, the transition from stainless steel to glass is hardly noticeable, which gives the device a cooler appearance.

As with the iPhone 8, the glass back allows for wireless charging through the Qi standard.

iPhone X back with camera

In addition to removing the Home button on the new version, the power button has been lengthened somewhat. They probably did this so that you could hold it naturally and still press it easily since it now plays a more important role than before. The camera has recently been changed so that it’s not horizontally aligned, like the iPhone 8+, but vertically, which doesn’t bother me personally. The flash on the new version has been mounted between both cameras and not next to them.

The iPhone X has a high-end, finely made look, something you should expect at that price.

 

FaceID – Security has never been simpler

FaceID is probably the most discussed feature of the new iPhone: the latest way to unlock your phone is not with your finger but with your face. My view on this is that it’s a risky but necessary step.

While manufacturers like Samsung are moving the finger scanner to the back – and to a spot where your finger is always bound to smudge the camera – removing the Home button was an elegant step.

iPhone X Display

I’ve never had any problems during my tests of FaceID, even if the iPhone was lying on the table and I looked into it or if I was unlocking the device in the dark with minimal backlighting. My first try with a wool hat and a jacket over my face obviously didn’t unlock the device. But since FaceID can learn new things, I managed to unlock it on my next try in spite of the wool hat because I’d entered the code the first time.

What I really appreciate about this option is that we won’t have to decide between quick face recognition and slow iris recognition requiring a specific position and distance from the device. Instead, the recognition feature simply works regardless of how you hold the device or how far away it is.

Another feature that comes with FaceID is that notifications no longer display complete with content unless you unlock the device with your face. That way, you won’t see the content of a message until you look into the display.

Apple has made it somewhat easier for app developers who previously integrated TouchID (e.g., banking). Now all they have to do is adapt the text somewhat since the app decides on the basis of the actual iPhone version whether to use TouchID or FaceID to unlock the phone.

 

Display – A Notch that`s not a problem

DisplayMate has already tested a new Super Retina Display and determined that right now it’s the best display of any, and I also really like the way it processes movies and images on the 5.8” OLED display. In addition to HDR, it also supports HDR10, which is great for playing new iTunes or Netflix content. Just like the iPhone 8 or iPad Pro 10.5″, the X also has True Tone technology, which allows you to perfectly display your content on the screen in any type of ambient light. In my sun test, I could read everything perfectly, which wasn’t always the case with the iPhone 8+.

The Notch

You might think that they’d have to compromise on the display to even be able to install a selfie camera or FaceID sensors. That was how they came up with the Notch, which a lot of people think is the ugliest thing about the iPhone X. My take on it is that it’s annoying for few days, and then you quickly forget about it.

If you ask me, Apple came up with the Notch so that people would still recognize the device as an iPhone X, since some manufacturers are coming closer and closer to the design of the iPhone. In the meantime, there are even apps that display the Notch on an Android or older iPhone.

 

The new Gesture – Like riding a bike

I’m a creature of habit just like the rest of us, and to be honest, I was a little afraid of the changeover and thought I would miss the Home button. But the truth is it’s just like riding a bike, and my fears were all for nothing. After just a few days, operating the iPhone X felt totally familiar, and I could see that it never really needed a Home button to begin with.

But I do have one little gripe: closing the app is a bit of a pain. Before, all you had to do was swipe up on the window, and it was done. Now you have to click somewhat longer on the window to swipe up on it and close the app. Hopefully, they’ll come out with an update soon.

 

The Camera – Even better than the 8+

iPhone X Camera

The iPhone 8+ camera was already great, but now the iPhone X includes a few innovations that make the camera truly ingenious. With the iPhone 8+, only one of the cameras is stabilized, while both are with the iPhone X. The telephoto lens changes from a 2.8 aperture to a 2.4, so it can let in more light to the lens. Incidentally, all the pictures in this post except for the one with the duck (iPhone X portrait mode) were taken with an iPhone 8+.

iPhone X Portrait Mode Duck

I’m constantly surprised by the quality of portrait mode and would rather not do without images anymore. I think it’s cool that it’s now also available for the front camera. This mode is still in beta, just like portrait mode was last year with the main camera, but it already works really well.

Speaking of the front camera, with the new TrueDepth camera, you can now also do Animojis, which is a lot of fun – especially the new Animoji karaoke videos.

Wireless Charging – The totally wireless iPhone

With the iPhone 8 and iPhone X came the introduction of wireless charging through QI standard. At home, I now have a mophie charging station, which has allowed me to have a convenient wireless experience with the iPhone. To charge it, I just place my smartphone on the station, and it works with no problem, even when the phone is in its case.

iPhone X mophie power station

Battery – Good for 1½ days

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in its staying power at first, but I also have to add that I still had a beta version on my X so that I could retrieve it from my 8+. Meanwhile, with iOS 11.1.1. and 11.1.2., my iPhone can last a while with frequent use, which really surprised me. The cool thing about it is that the battery life for my Apple Watch Series 3 also improved and held for almost 3 days, which is 1½ days more than for the Series 2.

Good job, Apple!

Is it worth the price?

I could just quickly say that the 256-GB variant of the Samsung Note8 costs CHF 1149 through Digitec and that the 256-GB iPhone X is priced at CHF 1389 through Apple. I’ll also tell you that in line with DisplayMate, the iPhone X has the better display, which is also manufactured by Samsung. But the best thing I can do is to show you the following performance figures so that you can decide for yourselves before I wrap up with the conclusion.

 

Which one are you using more? A smartphone or a laptop?

Conclusion

After the last three versions of the iPhone X, Apple has once again finally put a smartphone on the market that just leaves you amazed. It sits well in your hand, is easy to use, and is just plain fun. You get used to the new gestures really fast. FaceID operates without a hitch and has set a milestone in face recognition. Other manufacturers have also managed to make it work, but it tends to be slow and expensive. The X’s display is ingenious, and it’s fun to be able to do practically anything with it. The price is definitely one of its negative points if you consider that it’s lifetime is not equal to a laptop’s, which means having to trade it in sooner. But in my view, even that is justified.

Kevin Kyburz

Kevin Kyburz ist Blogger, Social Media Exponent, Kolumnist, Sportsmann, Coffeejunkie, Kitchengroover und wohnt in Zürich...

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