Apple iPhone X Review

Posted on December 27, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, iOS with 91 Comments

Apple iPhone X Review

Apple’s iPhone X is chock-full of new technologies and features, and it has a modern, elegant design that I feel will stand the test of time. But it is also more expensive than any other mainstream smartphone. And it has a few bad design choices that may limit its appeal.

Design

The iPhone X design is controversial but no less iconic than that of the design that first debuted with the iPhone 4. It has an ageless quality and is as much a work of art as it is a carefully-crafted tool.

You can see this instantly when you view the iPhone X next to its dated-looking siblings, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. There is no comparison. The very existence of the iPhone X makes older iPhone designs look pedestrian and old-fashioned. You see the future in this design.

Granted, other smartphone makers delivered what is now correctly viewed as the standard for modern flagships—tall, 18:9-ish displays with tiny bezels—well before Apple did with the iPhone X.

And some smartphones even offer more technically impressive designs. Samsung’s flagships offer displays that gracefully curve around the edges of the device, creating a truly bezel-less effect. And few phones stick an ungainly notch into the top of the display, ruining the infinity pool effect.

The notch is a problem. We must discuss the notch.

The notch is the wrong decision, and it’s one that Apple, and iPhone users, will now need to deal with for years. And it is the wrong decision on a number of levels.

From a looks perspective, the notch is an unnecessary, jarring interruption of an otherwise beautiful looking visual design. There is an elegance to the curves of the display and the surrounding frame, which match each other perfectly … except for that notch. It’s an affront. An intrusion. And despite assurances from some others I know who own the iPhone X—opinions differ on this one, apparently—you never really do get used to it. It’s like a mote in your eye, always in the way.

Apple should have done what Samsung did with its 2017 flagships, what OnePlus did with the 5T, and what virtually all other smartphone makers will do when they adopt this more design in other devices: Just put a bit of bezel at the top of the device. There is no need to intrude into the display.

But design is about more than just looks. Design also encompasses how a thing works. And notch or not, Apple needed some space at the top of the device to house the optical elements that were required for the iPhone X’s terrible Face ID technology.

And Face ID is terrible by any meaningful metric. I’ll get into this more in the Security section of this review. But the short version is that this design is an unnecessary compromise and inconvenience. A rear-mounted fingerprint reader would have been hugely preferable. This is the iPhone X’s version of the missing headphone jack: A mistake disguised as courage.

The other design elements are generally well-considered, though the all-glass build—the rear of the device is glass, too—should trigger durability concerns. (Not to mention the cost of replacement: iPhone X repairs are very expensive.) And even among iPhones, which have always been as slippery as a wet bar of soap, the iPhone X is notably slippery. But the combination of materials—that glass, plus steel for the curved side bands and buttons—is at least elegant.

Put simply, the iPhone X is beautiful but flawed, a problem common to many Apple products. Some will choose it for its looks, and that is a decision I understand completely. The build quality and materials are both beyond reproach. It’s a lust-worthy device, and one that its owners will cradle and appreciate over time. It’s a shame that it needs to be protected with a case. Which it does, given its slippery and non-durable all-glass design.

Navigation and gestures

Thanks to the unique new design of the iPhone X—it’s the first iPhone to not include a physical Home button—Apple has had to rethink some basic navigation functionality. Its solution is surprisingly well-done, and the iPhone X utilizes several easy-to-learn gestures for navigating around the user interface.

Indeed, assuming you’ve ever used a modern, touch-based smartphone—which is likely, since it’s 2017—these new gestures are almost intuitive.

Here’s a quick rundown.

First, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go home. This makes sense: The iPhone Home button was always located below the screen, so one’s thumb naturally moves to that position anyway. And Apple neatly highlights the possibility of something happening there by drawing a virtual home “line,” for lack of a better term, at the bottom of all non-Home screen displays (like, in apps).

You can also swipe down on the bottom of the screen. That may seem odd at first, but it makes sense: You do so to access iOS’s Reachability feature, which slides the on-screen display down so that you can access home icons or other on-screen elements that are normally on the top half of the screen more easily with one hand. Smart.

Accessing and using the App Switcher is, perhaps, the only non-discoverable set of new gestures, based on the confusion I’ve seen from everyone who has tried my iPhone X. (They have routinely asked, “so… how do I close apps? or similar.) To display the App Switcher, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold. Then, you swipe left and right, as expected, to find the app you want. But how you close an app is unclear: As it turns out, you have to press and hold on an app tile in this view; when you do, little red “close” buttons appear on each app.

To access Control Center, you now swipe down from the top right of the screen. This is, of course, different from all other iOS-based devices, where you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access this interface. But it’s easily learned.

To access notifications, you swipe down from the top left of the screen. And in most screens, you can swipe in from the left of the screen to go back. This is handier than reaching for the “back to the previous” link that often appears in the top left of the screen, but it also works inside of apps, too, so it’s nearly universal. (From the left-most home screen, you reach the Today view and its widgets when you swipe left, as before.)

In addition to these gestures, the iPhone X supports a wide variety of shortcuts that are based on button presses or even button combinations. These are generally less obvious than the gestures, though some carry forward from previous iOS versions. Whatever: They are good to know about.

You can press and hold on the Power button to invoke Siri, double-press the Power button to invoke Apple Pay, and even triple-press (!) this button to trigger some kind of Accessibility shortcut. (I never did get that to work, and the difficulty of doing so is kind of alarming given its purpose.)

The screenshot shortcut has changed because there’s no Home button: Now you press Power + Volume Up instead. There’s also an “SOS” shortcut: Press and hold the Power button and either Volume button; when you do, the Emergency SOS screen appears so you can call 911 or the local equivalent.

Display

The iPhone X is the first iPhone to utilize an OLED display, a superior display technology that is common in the Android world. (That said, Apple got unusually solid performance out of standard LED displays for longer than should have been possible.) And it does not disappoint: As with other OLED displays, it provides inky-deep blacks, wide viewing angles, and bright, gorgeous colors. It’s basically perfect, which is what I’ve come to expect from Apple displays.

It also works well outside: Unlike my Pixel 2 XL, whose substandard OLED display fades so badly as to be almost unusable in the sunlight, the iPhone X display holds up quite well.

Helping matters, the iPhone X display is also the first in an iPhone to truly warrant the term “Retina,” though Apple marketing calls the 2436 x 1125 resolution display “Super Retina HD” in a burst of hyperbole. But it’s not just the resolution: The iPhone X display features HDR capabilities plus Apple’s excellent True Tone technologies, which subtly and dynamically color the display to match the light in your surroundings. This is the best implementation of this kind of thing I’ve ever seen—it debuted on the iPad Pro—and it makes reading, especially, delightful no matter where you are at the time.

The iPhone X display is listed as 5.8 inches on the diagonal, which makes it seem “bigger” than that of the iPhone 8 Plus, which sports a 5.5-inch display, on paper. But that’s an illusion: Thanks to its tall aspect ratio, the iPhone X display, like the iPhone X itself, is, in fact, smaller overall than that of the Plus-sized iPhones. In fact, this device is closer in size to that of the non-Plus iPhone 8. The difference is that the face of the device is mostly (not “all,” as Apple claims) occupied by the display.

Regarding the size, the iPhone X will be a nice step up for normal iPhone users, I think. But it is a bit small, overall, if you are used to the iPhone Plus or other phablet-sized phones, as I am. I feel that the elegance of the design and the superiority of the display somewhat makes up for this, however.

Speaking of which, while tall aspect ratio smartphones feature curved display corners, none are as elegant as those on the iPhone X. I previously noted that the corners of the OnePlus 5T display look more elegant than those on the Google Pixel 2 XL that I normally use. But the iPhone X display, which is, in effect, a rounded rectangle of perfect dimensions, outdoes them both. The way that the display corners map exactly to the curved corners of the device itself is a miracle of engineering and art. Everything looks perfect.

Even the curve of the notch that intrudes into the top of the display is well done though, again, I find it distracting. But the ultimate effect here is that the display you see is the entirety of the display; with the Pixel 2 XL, it seems like Google has basically covered the sharp-cornered display that you know is there with curved tape to make it look curved. Where the Pixel 2 XL is crude and artificial, the iPhone X is not.

Hardware and specs

With only a few exceptions, the iPhone X features the same innards as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus: A 64-bit Apple A11 “Bionic” chipset, which includes embedded M11 motion and neural (on-device AI) coprocessors, 64 GB or 256 GB of non-expandable storage, dual 12 MP rear cameras (one wide-angle, one telephoto) with 2x optical zoom, and a single 7 MP selfie camera. (I examine the cameras in the next section.)

Like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the iPhone X also supports wireless charging. (This is one reason for the all-glass design.) But Apple doesn’t yet sell its own wireless charger for some reason, and I long ago dumped all my Lumia wireless gear. So I’ve not yet tested this functionality or, for that matter, fast charging, which requires a crazy-expensive combination of Apple peripherals (a USB-C charger and a USB-C-to-Lightning cable; total cost is $75-ish).

Maybe I should consider doing so, given the battery life. The iPhone X includes a small-ish 2716 mAh battery, meaning that is more on par with the non-Plus iPhone 8 (which is 2691 mAh) than with a typical phablet, like the Google Pixel 2 XL (3520 mAh). Apple claims that this device will last up to 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7 (which is a curious measurement). But since I wasn’t able to test this formally, I turned to the experts at Tom’s Guide, who were not impressed with what they found.

According to that publication, iPhone X battery life (10:49) falls between that of the iPhone 8 Plus (11:16) and iPhone 8 (9:54). But it falls well short of my Pixel 2 XL, which delivers 12:09 of battery life. Samsung’s flagships also outperform the iPhone X. Keep a portable charger handy.

Performance has been excellent—flawless, really—in all cases, with the exception of Face ID, which bogs down what should be a quick sign-in each time you want to use the device. (More on that below.) The iPhone X, like all iOS devices, should not succumb to the performance rot that is common with Android phones, though recent reports about Apple slowing devices over time to account for battery capacity loss are a bit troubling.

Cameras and photography

Before diving into the cameras, it is worth understanding the subtle differences between their implementation in the iPhone X and the iPhone 8/8 Plus. After all, camera capabilities are a main selling point for flagship smartphones, and for iPhones in particular. And Apple always holds aside the best camera features for its most expensive iPhone.

It has does so again this year: The iPhone X rear camera system sports dual optical image stabilization, where the iPhone 8 Plus only offers OIS on the wide-angle lens. That’s important, and while I don’t have an iPhone 8 Plus to test against, that difference alone would be enough for me to upgrade to iPhone X. The front selfie cameras are identical, with a 7 MP sensor, but the iPhone X also features TrueDepth capabilities for Face ID sign-ins and a new feature called Portrait Lighting that I discuss below.

Here, the Pixel 2 XL (top) and iPhone X (bottom) shots are nearly identical

In my tests, the iPhone X provided a superior camera experience that is on-par with the quality of photos taken with my Pixel 2 XL, but for one major exception: Low-light photos. Google remains the king of low-light, and because this has been a great source of joy for me over the past two or three years, the Pixel 2 XL remains the single best smartphone camera.

The iPhone X (on the right) sometimes delivered a bit more color pop than the Pixel 2 XL (left)

But the iPhone X comes so close. And in my head-to-head tests in more typical scenarios—outside in various conditions, inside with standard lighting—the two devices are almost interchangeable. The iPhone X cameras are all excellent.

Here, the Pixel 2 XL (left) and iPhone X (right) shots are nearly identical

To determine how well the iPhone X performed in low-light, I visited Bethlehem, Pennsylvania—the self-described “Christmas City”—with my family right before the holiday, at night. And in taking and comparing the same shots with both the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 XL, I think I’ve come to a great understanding of why it is that the iPhone X falls short. Apple, as is so often the case, is making decisions on behalf of its users that it feels are for the best. And in this case, this means overly-lighting dark scenes so that the resulting picture can be as “good” as possible.

The Pixel 2 XL shot, on the left, is more realistic, and shows the yellowing of the keys. The iPhone X, right, overcompensates to create a “better” photo that doesn’t match reality.

The problem with this approach is that great low-light cameras, like that in the Pixel 2 XL, actually use the darkness to great effect: Instead of lighting up the scene, they let you tap to focus on a lit area and create a much more attractive—and sometimes even surreal—photo in which colors and lights pop in the darkness. With the iPhone X, all you usually get is a scene that is as evenly lit as possible, given the conditions.

With the Pixel 2 XL (left), you can tap to focus on a light source with great results. The iPhone X, not so much

To be fair, most iPhone X users probably won’t know what they’re missing. And the camera does provide excellent picture-taking modes that will appeal to most, including the best and fastest panorama functionality I’ve ever used. (Panoramas on the Pixel 2 XL are slow and awkward by comparison.)

Another light source tap-to-focus example: Pixel 2 XL (left) and iPhone X (right)

Speaking of which, Apple debuted a new Portrait Mode with the iPhone 7 Plus last year; this feature used the device’s dual camera system to create a software-based depth effect. But it did so very poorly: Most of the photos I’ve taken with Portrait Mode betray its poor edge detection, with the edges of the foreground object—a person, perhaps—blending into the background. I very much prefer the normal bokeh effect that is common now with smartphone shots, and the Pixel 2 XL takes superior portraits with its own (also software-based) Portrait Mode.

For the iPhone X, Apple is trying to improve Portait Mode further by bringing it to the selfie camera and adding a new set of Portrait Lighting effects that enhance the foreground subject or removes the background of the shot and replaces it with a dark background. The effect can be impressive, but like Portrait Mode itself, it is buggy and usually results in weird-looking edges.

Portrait Lighting only works with the selfie camera. And it is still in beta, Apple says, which suggests that it will improve over time. Could be. But Portrait Mode never got much better on my iPhone 7 Plus, so I’m not convinced yet. So it’s more of a curiosity than a go-to feature.

The selfie camera also uses its TrueDepth functionality to provide a goofy but fun feature called Animoji in which an on-screen emoji-like cartoon character mimics your facial expressions in real time. It’s the type of thing any adult will try once and move on, but you can send short Animjoi videos, complete with your voice, to others with the Messages app. You know. If you’re 12 years old.

Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that Apple provides a free app called Clips that let you insert yourself into fun themes in real time; some are photo-realistic, and some are artsy, like paintings or drawings.

Some neat effects are available in Clips

Sure, there are some edge issues, as always, but the effect is truly impressive. If you get an iPhone X, be sure to grab this app too.

Security

Apple’s use of facial recognition is inarguably the most controversial aspect of the iPhone X. It is also, I think, the iPhone X’s Achilles Heel.

Yes, Face ID works as good, if not better than, any facial recognition system I’ve used. But it’s not particularly fast or convenient when you factor in the time and effort it takes to actually sign-in: You also need to swipe up on the screen in order to actually access the home screen or whatever app you were previously using. It’s tedious.

Worse, it’s time-consuming: Face ID is not nearly as fast as using the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that Apple placed on previous iPhones. And in denying users that option—it could have, and should have, simply put Touch ID on the back of the iPhone X—it has created an all or nothing dilemma for customers. Face ID is easily the worst thing about the iPhone X. Easily.

And you will need to use Face ID. To sign-in to your device, over and over again. To use Apple Pay. To approve purchases in the Store. Until of course, you can’t: For reasons I can’t quite explain, I’ve had to type in my Apple ID password—my freaking password, in 2017—more on the iPhone X than I have in years. (And sometimes my PIN.) It’s inscrutable.

God, I miss Touch ID. Apple had created the industry’s best fingerprint reader and then just removed it from its best-ever iPhone instead of making it available as an option. As always, Apple knows best. And its users suffer as a result.

Software

I’ve seen a lot of complaining about iOS 11, but I’ve always found it to work reliably and with great performance. And, as noted, the new iPhone X gestures in iOS 11 are easily learned. Overall, I appreciate the clean, crap-free system.

That said, I have long-standing issues with the iOS user experience, which is far less configurable and less easily personalized than that of Android. You cannot place icons anywhere you want on the home screen, for example; instead, they must fill in from the top left. Always. Because Apple.

And iOS lacks an All Apps interface, meaning that the icon for every single app you have installed on the device must appear somewhere, on some home screen. Apple’s only concession to this lack of scalability was to add folders to the home screen a few versions back. But this system is broken. It has been for a long time.

As bad, iOS app icons cannot provide rich or dynamic notifications about new content. Most icons display nothing at all, but some might display a tiny number in a red circle. That’s it. The whole thing is as sophisticated as the Windows Program Manager, circa 1990.

Granted, we use an iPhone because of the apps. And here, iOS shines: This system provides the very best app and content stores on earth. Even individual apps seem to look and work better on iOS than they do on Android, almost to a one. Everything just seems more refined. (Well, except Siri. The less said about Siri, the better.)

The only niggling issue, and this should be temporary, is that many apps have not yet been updated for the new aspect ratio of the iPhone X. And it’s sometimes odd which apps have been updated and which haven’t: Google Calendar and Google Play Music have, but Google Inbox and Google News have not, for example. Those apps that are not updated float in the middle of the display with black bars on the top and bottom.

Video playback is problematic too, thanks to the notch. You have two choices: You can let the notch intrude into the video, as shown here.

Or you can crop it so that there are black bars on both sides. No, neither is ideal.

Pricing and availability

There is no way around this: The iPhone X is expensive. Too expensive, I think. The base price, which nets you a 64 GB model, costs $999. Or you can upgrade to 256 GB for $150 more, or $1150.

Yikes.

There are two color choices, Silver (e.g. white) and Space Gray (e.g. black), and both are quite elegant looking. You can also buy the device from any major wireless carrier or directly from Apple, either unlocked or carrier-locked. You have to pay for the device upfront if you choose unlocked.

I chose the unlocked Silver version with 256 GB at a cost of around $1200 including taxes and fees. But I recommend sticking with the less expensive 64 GB version. Spreading out the payments over two years may not be a bad idea: If you buy directly from Apple, you can do so interest-free if you pay it off within that time frame.

The iPhone X was briefly in short supply. But looking at Apple’s website now, you can get one in any version, from any carrier or unlocked, immediately. You can do this in an Apple or other retail store, or from the web.

Recommendations and conclusions

Should you buy an iPhone X? That’s a difficult question.

For some, of course, the iPhone X is inevitable. Many people understandably jump at the chance to buy new Apple products, and in particular new iPhones, as soon as they can. But with the iPhone X, I recommend a bit of introspection.

Compared to other flagships smartphones, the iPhone X is crazy-expensive. You can get an excellent Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ at a steep discount right now, and these devices feature even more impressive displays than Apple’s offering. Samsung always has sales, and I’ve seen 2-for-1 deals on the S8/S8+ recently, plus big rebates on older trade-ins. Even Google’s too-expensive Pixel 2 is a much better deal: a 64 GB unit costs just $600 right now. That’s $400 less (!) than an equivalent iPhone X, though, granted, it features a dated design.

Apple fans will also look to the iPhone 8 and even the iPhone 7 to save money. I’d personally have a hard time buying such a dated design right now. At least you have the option.

But it’s not just the cost. The iPhone X is a new design, and it is highly likely that we’ll see some changes and improvements in coming 2018 models. The question is how dramatic those changes will be.

If history is any guide, they will not be dramatic. I do not expect Apple to step back from the cliff of Face ID; instead, it will make some subtle (“revolutionary”) improvements, and it will not add Touch ID to the rear of the device as it should. It is also possible that the iPhone X design will be used for the base iPhone in 2018 and that we’ll see a larger iPhone X Plus (or whatever) too. If you prefer phablets, you may wish to wait for that.

Ultimately, this is a personal decision. If you can afford it, you will not be disappointed by the iPhone X overall, even though I feel that Face ID is a huge disadvantage. The design is amazing, the display is nearly perfect, and the camera is superior. Whether this puts the iPhone X over the top for you will depend on your needs, of course.

Overall, the Apple iPhone X is recommended, with caveats for the high price and for Face ID. Be sure you know what you’re getting into before you put down your credit card.

At-a-glance

Pros

  • Gorgeous design
  • Superior display
  • Superior rear camera system
  • Surprisingly simple learning curve

Cons

  • Crazy-expensive
  • Face ID is slower and less convenient than a fingerprint reader
  • That notch
  • All-glass design necessitates a protective case
  • More expensive to repair than other iPhones
  • Fast charging requires an additional $75

 

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Comments (92)

92 responses to “Apple iPhone X Review”

  1. Mcgillivray

    " Just put a bit of bezel at the top of the device. There is no need to intrude into the display."


    Or - is the display intruding into the bezel? Dun dun dun......

  2. RobertJasiek

    The notch is the mistake of all mistakes. Not because there are people tolerating (and excusing) it but because any device with a notch is explicitly made to exclude the device for those never tolerating a notch. A device can be my dream in every other aspect including a possibly very low price - with notch I never buy such a device. I cannot and do not want to be forced to ignore a notch. I simply want a pure display.

    • PincasX

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      Keeping track of what you think is the biggest mistake with iPhone and why you won’t but it is exhausting. A few days ago it was the Files App, now it’s the notch next it will be something else. Make up your mind.

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to PincasX:

        The notch is the biggest mistake because it makes all use of the device a great pain. The bugs and insufficient capabilities of the Files app are the second-biggest mistake because they (together with the, as a consequence, also missing general file tools of third party software creators) inhibit 2/3 of all use I would want to do with the device. The camera bump is the third-biggest mistake because it does not inhibit use but makes all on-table use a pain and all handholding use a slight pain.

    • pecosbob04

      In reply to RobertJasiek: Well there goes that sale.
      "any device with a notch is explicitly made to exclude the device for those never tolerating a notch." So are you saying that Apple designers identified a group of 'notch-tose intolerant' induhviduals and then worked their design magic to specifically exclude them from the Apple eco-verse? Although plausible I suppose, that seems like an odd marketing strategy to me."with notch I never buy such a device." Good for you. Stick to your guns and when you attract a critical mass (whatever that may be) I am sure Apple will correct their wrong-headed notch design.


      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to pecosbob04:

        Apple has the manpower to think through the consequences of important decisions. They must have been fully aware that their notch decision would divide consumers. Actually Apple has a tradition of making decisions creating believers (Apples knows best what consumers need) versus non-believers (consumers shall retain their freedom of choice). However, the notch is different: it is an unasked, unwanted feature whose best fate is being overcome by a) advance of technology (such as a camera of sufficient quality integrated in the remaining edge of the chassis or a camera looking through the display) or b) reversal of the decision. Same for the camera bump of iPad Pros: what use does a productivity tablet have that cannot lay plain on a table and therefore does not allow every kind of productivity? Either it is the utmost stupidity of design / product portfolio or deliberate exclusion of non-believers.

        • pecosbob04

          In reply to RobertJasiek:

          "Same for the camera bump of iPad Pros: what use does a productivity tablet have that cannot lay plain on a table and therefore does not allow every kind of productivity? Either it is the utmost stupidity of design / product portfolio or deliberate exclusion of non-believers."


          I am beginning to wonder if you have ever actually seen let alone used either of these devices. Your imagined inability to work flat on the iPad Pro is particularly flawed. I notice no rocking, instability, tendency to rotate about the axis of the camera bump, or any other deficit when using the iPP on a flat surface which I do approximately one third of the time. Maybe I am not as finely attuned to my environment as you but I have no issues when my iPad is flat on its back. Also my poor sense of spatial and esthetic awareness may explain why on the iPhone X you see a showstopper while I see... well a minimally invasive and rapidly disappearing ... notch.


          • RobertJasiek

            In reply to pecosbob04:

            iPhone X: Photos of it are enough for me to know. When in an Apple store, I did not waste time to look at it. That's how much I am interested in devices with notches. Their only relevance for me is that they further limit my choice of remaining devices I might buy.

            iPad Pro: In an Apple store, a few seconds were enough for me to form my opinion. Further slight reduction of reflectance - good. Camera bump - very ugly and intolerable for a) convenient handholding and b) flat lying on a table. For that matter, I would even notice and consider intolerable a bump 1/10 as deep.

            • pecosbob04

              In reply to RobertJasiek:
              My mind boggles in the presence of such an esthete! "I am not worthy." So I was correct you've not used and barely seen the devices.


              • RobertJasiek

                In reply to pecosbob04:

                FYI, I use an iPad Mini 4 daily and love the flat back without any camera bump. (And hate the dysfunctional files app.)

                • pecosbob04

                  In reply to RobertJasiek:

                  I thought the devices in question were an iPad Pro, and the iPhone X my error. To return to the iPP for a second though how does the camera bump effect "a) convenient handholding?" Considering the camera placement I don't understand at all how this can be an issue. Oh wait I see what you might mean is that it is so butt fugly that you wouldn't be able to find anyone to hold hands with while carrying it? Also I bet huge hands Paul can't one hand even the smaller iPP so that must not be what you are trying to do. Ah well DSFDF.

    • pmckean

      In reply to RobertJasiek:


      Myself and my partner have been using our iPhone X's for a few weeks.


      Yesterday, having read this review, I said to her "some people really don't like the notch". "What notch?", she replied. Honestly. In almost two weeks of ownership, she simply hadn't noticed, which I imagine is most people's experience


      And despite reading endless discussion of it, I have to say I've barely noticed it either. I strongly suspect that Apple's decision to emphasise the notch is a design decision intended to differentiate the device from other phones with full-face screens.


      Honestly. Seriously. It's not a problem for the vast majority of people. There are plenty of good reasons to choose something like a Galaxy S8 or Pixel 2 over an iPhone X, but the notch isn't really one of them.


      Oh, and without sounding like a total shill, Face ID has been a delight and is as close to frictionless authentication as I have ever seen. Love it. I just swipe up get access to my phone. Full stop. Password are automatically entered for me. Notifications expand when I look at it. It's as close to magic as Apple has ever done.


      My one issue with the device is size. I think it could do with being a couple of millimeters wide. It just seems a little bit narrow. I'm coming from an iPhone 7 Plus, which might have something to do with it.




      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to pmckean:

        Obviously, people either can or cannot ignore the notch. Without very good queries among unprejudiced samples of people, we cannot know percentages so saying "most people" has no meaning.

        There are reasons for almost all TV or computer displays having been without notch for decades. Only the recent fashion of "fridge toasters" (in this case, whole board displays with front camera) creates conflicts, which are sometimes dissolved by notches.

        I suppose that buyers of iPhone X would, on average, have a much greater ease of ignoring the notch. Good for them - but not good for everybody else faced with a dropping percentage of devices suitable for them at all.

        The question is not whether the notch will disappear but when. It is a technological dead end.

  3. NT6.1

    This phone is a fail. They really needed Steve. The notch, the Face ID, the ridiculous price... Stick with iPhone 7 and 8. Just make sure to never update the software otherwise they'll lower the clock speed of the processor making your device useless.

    • pecosbob04

      In reply to NT6.1:" never update the software otherwise they'll lower the clock speed of the processor making your device useless."
      Useless? Seems a bit melodramatic to me. Besides the issue is with battery health not a nefarious performance stealing update as you seem to think. IMHO it is an effective solution to an ubiquitous problem.


      • NT6.1

        In reply to pecosbob04:


        You are very innocent. They design a small battery that will be unable to provide enough power after a year creating the unexpected shutdowns. And they solve the problem lowering the CPU clock speed making your device artificially slower so you will buy the latest device for $999.

  4. johnlavey

    I have owned the iPhone X since November 21st. So based on what I am reading, Paul wrote a balanced, fair review. But I disagree on two points: the notch and FaceID.


    The notch has never been a problem for me. I never even notice it. What I do notice on occasion is the small clock that sits on the upper left side of the notch. That's actually a helpful convenience without being intrusive.


    The use of FaceID is easy. It almost always recognizes me right away and I can sweep the lock screen aside. If the camera/phone doesn't recognize me it asks for my passcode. That's easy. In my opinion, the inconveniences of these two 'shortcomings' are greatly exaggerated.


    I love the IPhone X. It's fast, convenient and fits much better in my pocket compared to my previously owned iPhone 8 Plus. I like the wireless charging too.

  5. Bats

    Look. I may be an Apple hater, just like the next guy, but the reasons against "the notch" in this review is utterly ridiculous. 

    LOL...that notch is not a big deal. The tone of this blog post makes it seem like it is, but really, it's not. 

    The integration of the notch is not nearly as bad as Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch and it's flat tire. LOL...I pity the fools who bought that watch, with the intent to sport a classic two hand watch face. 

    The iPhone X has an 5.8 screen with a very small surrounding bezel. Paul suggests to add bezel. Why should Apple do that? All that needs to be done to remedy this so-called problem is to crop the video or electronically INCREASE the bezel to iPhone 7 screen specs. This way, the phone can have the best of both worlds.

    That's all.

    LOL...it's really not a big deal. 

  6. Skolvikings

    The problem with this approach is that great low-light cameras, like that in the Pixel 2 XL, actually use the darkness to great effect: Instead of lighting up the scene, they let you tap to focus on a lit area and create a much more attractive—and sometimes even surreal—photo in which colors and lights pop in the darkness. With the iPhone X, all you usually get is a scene that is as evenly lit as possible, given the conditions.


    Every iPhone I've ever owned tends to wash out the scene automatically when you have dark and bright parts in the same view. However, with the iPhone you can also tap anywhere on the screen to manually set the exposure for what you tapped. So, for example, you could tap an overexposed section of the image and it will change the exposure accordingly.


    Is that different than what you're referring to on the Pixel 2 XL where you can tap on the screen too? Maybe I'm not understanding the difference.

  7. TEAMSWITCHER

    There is nothing wrong with the "Notch." I bet you also complained about the hump on the Boeing 747. I predict that Apple's competition will all be copying this design choice in the next two product cycles ... proving Apple right, and Paul wrong .. again.

    • macguy59

      In reply to TEAMSWITCHER:

      Eh I would rather not have the notch with a fully utilized 5.8" display but it hasn't made me question the purchase (so far). FaceID is another matter. I've had to turn it off for everything but Apple Pay, iTunes purchases and banking apps. Needing to swipe up after Face unlock is ridiculous. In my car, I would need a new car mount (to raise the phone higher) for FaceID to actually work and good luck if there is too much glare from sunlight. Want I really want is TouchID under glass or if necessary, on the back or power button

  8. pesos

    Gestures are great except for having to press-and-hold once you're in the switcher to enter app closure mode. Makes no sense and really throws off the flow of an otherwise smooth process and system.

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  10. stelaban

    I must disagree close to Face identity; for me, Do my Essay it really works perfectly and far exceeds my expectancies. However i like apple merchandise as it has wide range in affordable charge

  11. mortarm

    >...Silver (e.g. white) and Space Gray (e.g. black)...

    You should use "i.e.” (in other words) here.

  12. jdawgnoonan

    The iPhone X is easily the best phone that I have ever used compared to my other iPhones, the Android phones I have used (Nexus up to 6P, LG phones and Samsung Galaxy phones), and Windows Phones. I have to disagree with regards to Face ID; for me it works perfectly and far exceeds my expectations. It even recognizes me flawlessly when I am out fat biking in my snow gear and I appreciate that I do not have to remove my gloves to unlock my phone to take a picture. I also disagree that Samsung phones have nicer screens. Yes, they are sexy from a distance, but as soon as I use one and see the distorted fonts when content is displayed in the curved portion of the display I know that I am happy to have stopped using Samsung devices mainly because I do not like the curved screen in practical use.

  13. Fuller1754

    There may be a lot to praise about this device, but I'm not keen on the rounded-corner display. It's like an old TV.

  14. cddouglas

    I agree with Paul on the notch but not on Face ID. I've never once had a problem with the phone unlocking with Face ID and find Apple's implementation to be vastly superior to Samsung's facial or retinal systems (I own an iPhone X now and have owned the S8 and Note 7). The only thing I would change about Face ID is to remove the extra step to have to swipe up to go to the home screen after unlocking. It makes zero sense.

  15. linksys

    i like apple products as it has wide variety in reasonable price

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  16. Skolvikings

    I would already own an iPhone X if it weren't for the price. I paid $950 for my iPhone 7 Plus, which gave me a bit of sticker shock at the time. Since I'm currently using 114.2 GB of 256 GB on my phone, I would have to get the more expensive iPhone X. But paying $1150 for an iPhone (plus tax) is a pill I haven't been willing to swallow yet.


    I did play with one at the Verizon store. The screen was amazing. But that price tag... I set the iPhone X back in it's display cradle and walked out of the store...

  17. William Clark

    I have to call BS on that light picture. I have an iPhone 7 and I can tap and hold on a subject (including a light) and adjust the lighting up or down to get the exposure I want. You tap and hold to get ae/af lock and you have a small slider to the right that allows you to decrease the light exposure. I learned this a few months ago and it's great for taking night-time pics under poor lighting conditions.

  18. jgt2105

    Very thorough review, thanks. And a much more objective report than from most other outlets.

    IMHO it is the most overrated phone I've ever read about: when using my mother-in-law's iPhone x it was a remarkably underwhelming experience, with zero genuine innovation. Glass back? - done before. Face unlock?- seen that in many devices already, working perfectly in 2015's sg5. 2:1 aspect ratio design? - already done. Its such a meh device.

    I know the rationale for calling this version "ten"......but when MS skipped version 9 on PC they were derided from all sides.....oops I forgot , Apple can be forgiven anything,

  19. johnh3

    Played with the iPhone X some time at a Apple store. A beatiful device, but of course very expensive. When you can get a OnePlus 5T much cheaper its a hard choice to pay so much for a phone.

    And most rumours point out that we will see devices with a built in fingerprintsensor under the glass display shortly. The first unit from China will got it. And will be followed by bigger brands.


    So I guess Apple one more time have ”designed themselves in a corner” to go all in for FaceID in future phones.

  20. red.radar

    I keep thinking Iphone X is a beta launch. Face-ID is not 100% baked and Apple is using its faithful to beta test. I wonder what the situation will be like in Version 2.


    I am also wondering if this augmented reality thing goes anywhere. Apple is not inspiring me with use cases like gaming and animoji. doesn't seem like a productive technology.

  21. mesposito2

    Paul,


    In regards to the camera, especially in the case of Snow, notice that Apple chose a more correct white-point and the snow is white, not yellow or green. (Pixel 2 examples show issues with the snow) Of course with a professional camera we have to overexpose snow shots by 1-2 stops, so the phones did a fairly good job. The iPhone house colors are more pleasing while still holding correct snow. I assume from the two house-shots that the house is more yellow than green.


    In the case of the typewriter, identifying the keys as white worked against the iPhone and reality but white-balance is a difficult problem in general. If that was HDR that might explain it. (Still, the Pixel either had more intelligence about the scene, or lucked out in how it’s rules worked in metering the scene) The iPhone’s global white balance shift threw off the blue of the typewriter, which is double-bad.


    So the non-photographers (most everyone) want the phone’s camera to decide everything - metering, white balance, HDR, etc. (with no post-processing work - a crop at most) My point then is that some undefinable variation is to be expected when doing point and shoot with smartphone automatic metering and white balance. I think that we are chasing the differences, but we don’t know the algorithms and choices they made, so one shot is always better on one phone, and another scenario is better on the other phone. We may need to carry 2-3 phones.


    Here is a quote from Nikon on how they use Matrix Metering in their DSLR’s. Note the DataBase of 30k images that are present and used to help determine the exposure. No doubt some of this can be done in software alone, but not sure it will acheive this precision. It’s so good now that it probably doesn’t matter as folks are mostly not printing their photos anyway, so exact color matching isn’t that important.



    Matrix Meter is called the 3D RGB Color Matrix Meter. 

    This meter gathers information from 1005 red, green, and blue sensors and factors in distance information provided by the lens as it evaluates proper exposure calculation. This meter instantly analyzes a scene’s overall brightness, contrast, and other lighting characteristics, comparing what is sees against an onboard database of over 30,000 images for unsurpassed exposure accuracy, even in the most challenging photographic situations. By the time the 3D Matrix meter has made its considerations of colors by hue and saturation, tonal ranges by brightest and darkest, areas of similar tonality that are connected or separated, distance to the subject, and compared that to its database generated from photographic images, it’s got a very good idea of what the exposure should be.


  22. macguy59

    You can of course turn off FaceID for things you don't like or turn it off completely. I have turned it off for everything except Apple Pay (some apps like banking have their own setting for FaceID which I use)

  23. Chris Payne

    Interesting... I haven't had any delay problems with Face ID. It is amazingly fast and never slows me down when I need to get into my phone (or authenticate for any reason). Most of the time it happens so fast in apps I don't even realize it was doing it, if it weren't for the little swirly icon that pops up. Having to swipe up on the lock screen after it's authenticated me is my only (small) gripe, as that takes longer than Face ID to recognize me.


    I wonder if maybe when you scanned your face it was done in non-ideal lighting conditions?

  24. Prebengh

    I don’t share your experience with FaceID. For me it has worked almost every time, and when it hasn’t it has been because I didn’t look at the camera/sensor.

    One comment regarding the AppSwitcher, it is much faster to slide up and then slightly to the right instead of slide up and hold.

  25. stevek

    I got the iPhone X mostly cause I wanted a larger screen but the 6S Plus I had before was just physically too big with its huge bezels. So it was a compromise for me.


    My understanding of how the "fingerprint" readers work is it checks against the heat generated by your blood vessels and its not actually reading your "fingerprint". I have poor circulation and I live in MN so its often cold here; so fingerprint readers work terrible. I mean really really terrible to the point on my last phone I just gave up, disabled it and typed in the code instead. It was much faster to just type in the code; then let the phone fail 3 times at reading my "print" and then let me type in the code anyway.


    Face ID for me works great so far. I find it to be pretty fast. My wife has the same problem as I do with the fingerprint readers (we've always thought they were garbage) and we both think Face ID works great in comparison at least.


    The notch; i guess hasn't bothered me. It's annoying when an app isn't adjusted for it; you do get those huge black bezels on those apps; but on apps that understand it; all it means to me is that the status icons and the clock are on each side of the notch; so meh...its a status area and the rest of the screen is usable.


    I have often said that the launchers are just Program Manager and Apple finally caught up with Windows 3.1. Ha...loved that line.


    Thanks for the tip on swipe up and to the right for switcher...that's helpful.


    I have also noticed that if you hold on the running app, when the red minus signs appear you can just swipe up on the apps to close them; instead of having to click on the red minus signs. Why you can't just swipe up to close without holding first I don't know...that seems like a move backward in usability to me.


    • rgelb

      In reply to stevek:

      That's exactly right. And TouchID is not only fiddly when it's cold (and I live in a warm climate) but also when your fingers are momentarily cold (like u walk from the heat outside into the frozen isle of the supermarket). Or when you ate something and your fingers are slightly oily.



  26. Kendo88

    IMO, Face ID works fast. I suppose the swipe on the lock screen is necessary, otherwise you would never see your lock screen and notifications, kind of like the same reason Apple introduced ‘click home button to unlock’ after Touch ID, so that the lock screen isn’t bypassed. The option would be nice though. The notch is a non issue for me, never notice, most of the time it just has the time and signal icons on it, if the notch wasn’t there then those icons would be a row lower giving me less screen to use. I never look at it and think, damn that’s annoying, but definitely a user preference thing.


    1 thing though, slight error in the review by stating that Portrait Lighting is only available on the selfie camera. On iPhone 8 Plus, it’s available on rear camera only, as it needs the dual lens for depth info, on iPhone X, it’s available on rear camera and front facing camera due to it having extra depth sensors in that front Face ID module.

  27. chrisrut

    I gave my wife a Pixel 2 for Xmas - upgraded at long last from her Lumia 950. Once we'd ported her contacts over via a CSV (What are we, animals?), she spent the rest of the weekend loading apps and snapping pics, muttering "Wow..." from time to time as one picture after another exceeded her expectations...

    Me, I'm waiting for - I have no idea what. Don't think this eye phone is it... They're all just so "Smart-phony," know what I mean?

  28. MikeGalos

    No, no, Paul. You're misinterpreting Apple's "Courage".

    They meant they have the "courage" to sell a product with FaceID and the notch and the lack of a headphone jack and limited battery life and no expandability and a mostly glass construction that virtually requires hiding the industrial design in a case while knowing those are horrible flaws.

    Selling something you know is awful takes courage.

    Moving ahead with a design you know is better even though users might not understand it at first doesn't take courage. It just takes confidence.

  29. fishnet37222

    I actually upgraded from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone 8 about a month ago. I eliminated the iPhone X from consideration right off the bat because of the lack of a physical home button and lack of Touch ID.


    I remember reading an article somewhere that Synaptics had demonstrated a display with an embedded fingerprint reader. It might be possible for Apple to use a display like that in their upcoming iPhone models. I would much prefer that to a fingerprint reader on the back which would very difficult for my thumb to reach.

    • jt5

      In reply to fishnet37222:

      I upgraded from a Lumia 950 a few months ago and did use the retina scanner on it. It was "ok" but moving forward the thing I like about the iPhone is it has a fingerprint sensor- till this one. I was tempted to buy the iPhone X- but I eliminated it based on three things- price, battery life, and lack of Touch ID. I realize face id is more secure than touch id- but having to press the power and then swipe up makes me think why not just type in your PIN at that point? This led me to go with the 8 plus. I have been very happy with it. The battery life has been excellent for me- I usually get 1 and a half to two days on a charge!


      To Paul's point- I think he is right. They wont be able to back away from a bad decision- even though I can only hope they do.

      • SvenJ

        In reply to jt5: You don't have to press power and swipe. The phone recognizes your picking it up and lights the lock screen. By the time I have it anywhere near where I am going to use it, the lock screen is on and it has recognized me. At that point I swipe up. The physical action is no more than I used to do with touch ID. I used to place my thumb and press, now I place and swipe. The difference is trivial. If the lock screen should happen to not come on or turn off before you get the phone up, a tap on the screen lights it, and again swiping up gets you in..recognition is imperceptible. After I first set face ID up, I was sure it just wasn't locking. I had to intentionally hold the phone facing sideways and initiate the lock screen, and then turn it towards me, watching the little lock, to understand it really was unlocking. I find it way better than my Lumia 950/XL and not any less convenient than touch ID on previous iPhones. Wife has gotten to prefer hers over her former 7+ as well. Paul's experience not withstanding, I have not yet had to enter a PW, and PIN only when some security function has demanded it, re-boot, excessive failures (yes you can make it fail), too long between face IDs, etc.


        • jt5

          In reply to SvenJ:

          It sounds like I misunderstood a little as to how it works. I think the main difference between the Lula and this is the lumia used iris instead of the face - more secure but requires more to work. I appreciate the feedback and will keep an eye on it for next year or unless someone gives me one...

    • Travis

      In reply to fishnet37222:

      When the fingerprint reader is on the back you use your index finger to unlock. Your finger naturally goes to where the reader would be in the back of the phone. I prefer it to the readers in the front.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to fishnet37222:

      Yeah. I just feel like these guys are so unilateral that they can't even back away from a bad decision.

  30. curtisspendlove

    In my experience the notch doesn’t bother me and Face ID works well in almost every situation.


    In fact, I find myself angry when I have to authenticate anything else. Seriously, iPad? You want my finger?


    I assumed I would end up sending the phone back because my OCD and ADHD would war over the notch. After a few weeks I got used to it. I hardly ever see it as more apps move their iPhone X navigation toward the bottom of the phone.


    As of now, I really only notice it in apps that are predominantly light colored and I scan top-to-bottom content. Safari, I’m looking at you.


    If I’m using black themes or an app lends itself to avoiding top-screen content it is invisible. Even when I do see it, I don’t find myself annoyed.


    The only place I actually dislike it is in full-screen video. But I rarely tap to zoom video so even then it isn’t a big deal. I’m fine with video letter boxing.


    Face ID does fail consistently under one circumstance for me. I have very bad eyesight. And I like to read on my phone at night, in bed, without my glasses on.


    This means I hold the screen very close. Too close for the Face ID system to properly recognize me. The attention detection also fails quickly in this situation, so the phone often dims and locks on me.


    It is my understanding that disabling attention detection should fix this. The next time it irritates me, I’ll probably disable it to try. I really don’t need the added security under most circumstances anyway.


    In all other situations Face ID is fast and useful. My brain has adjusted to just start the swipe upward as soon as I’m lifting my phone to wake it, and it has often unlocked and animated to the home screen before it is in my standard viewing position.


    During actual use it rarely fails to “wake on raise”, so it’s rare that I have to press the power button or tap the screen to wake it.


    If if I had any criticism, I’d probably say that some of the animations in iOS are getting too long. The Face ID animation is pretty cool, but I’m betting it’s done before the animation is. (This is irritating in a few other areas too...a common one at the moment is Calculator.)


    Update: I’ve also read (here and elsewhere) people suggesting Apple should revert back to Touch ID. I disagree with this. In fact, using Face ID makes me want them to refine it more and move it throughout the product line. I want my MacBook to auth when I raise the lid (it’s pretty awesome when I use my wife’s gaming laptop that does so).


    I just think it is pretty funny when people praise Windows Hello then crap all over Face ID.


    Facial recognition is either useful or it isn’t, right? Implementations can vary, sure. But calling for a reversal instead of iterations seems...strange.

    • macguy59

      In reply to curtisspendlove:


      The way its used for Apple Pay is . . . odd. I was able to get past not having a Home button much faster than it's taking me to get the hang of doing AP. It's now a 2 step process in that it requires 2 diff actions to work. Dbl tapping the sleep/wake button is very unintuitive (for me anyway). I've basically stopped using Apple Pay on my phone in favor of my Apple Watch

      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to macguy59:

        Agreed. And the initial animation leaves something to be desired. “Double-clicking” the side hardware button still seems strange. Even in the App Store.


        I still sig the FaceID animation though. :)


        And turning off attention detection solved my late-night sudden sleep issues (for the phone anyway—I’m now getting old enough that I suffer from random spells of falling asleep when reading). :D

  31. wocowboy

    Complaining about having to swipe away a screen after FaceID grants you access to your phone seems odd to me because several Android phones require you to swipe away a screen as well. My work phone is an LG V30 and after pressing the fingerprint reader, a lock screen appears that I have to swipe away. And this lock screen contains ADS! I don't want to see ads on my phone screen, not the Home screen or the Lockscreen! Ads also pop up on the V30's Home screen from time to time, as little icons that appear for a while and then go away. Extremely annoying!!


    I am quite happy with my personal iPhone X, contrary to Paul, the notch went away a day or so after I got it. The FaceID electronics have to go somewhere, and I am positive if Apple had made the top bezel large enough to contain those cameras, etc and leave a straight edge all across, that reviewers would be ranting and raving about how Apple made the ugliest phone ever made with a HUGE and GINORMOUS bezel at the top instead of going with today's modern design language of having no bezels at all.


    Having made this last point, I would have been happy if Apple had put a fingerprint reader on the back of the phone as an extra goodie. But then I suppose that reviewers would rant & rave at Apple about not not being able to make up their mind on security, have one method or the other, make up their mind, no one needs TWO different security methods, etc etc.

    • Yaggs

      In reply to wocowboy: Most newer Android phones with rear mounted finger print readers don't present a lock screen when using the FP reader... My Nexus 6P, Honor 8, Pixel, Pixel 2 and now Essential PH1 don't show any kind of lock screen when using the FP reader... and I bet there is a way to remove it on those that do.
      The problem is that with the FaceID the phone doesn't know if you meant to look at it... just moving your phone into the cameras view of your face could result in an unlock... so they have to present a deliberate action to unlock the phone. That alone should have made them change to a rear mounted Touch ID. Pressing the finger printer reader with your finger is deliberate, thus the unlock is assumed... it's just wouldn't make sense to make the phone unlock every time it sees your face... thus creating the 2 step process to unlock with FaceID... and I bet they had to make some functional changes to make it work better without being right in front of your face (like a retina unlock on some other Android phones) and doing so likely make it even more necessary to provide the swipe to unlock.


  32. Edward Grego

    Great review Paul! The notch bothered me at first, but that subsided rather quickly. Face ID, like you, I can't understand why Apple didn't include the FP sensor on the back, at least for a couple more iterations until FID is rock solid.

  33. Chris_Kez

    Thanks for the thoughtful review, Paul. After an unexpected Christmas miracle I'm replacing my aging Nexus 5X with an iPhone X this weekend (after much deliberation about the Pixel 2 XL). The device looks and feels great in person but I remain ambivalent about iOS for all the reasons you mention.

      • Chris_Kez

        In reply to Georgecoll:

        I know! I never would have bought one for myself, but when someone offers you one as a gift? I couldn't resist. I've been mostly happy and have been reminded that many of my "needs" were simply preferences. I am reminded of this every time I switch platforms. The one thing I am probably most pleasantly surprised by is 3D touch. It helps offset the lack of Android widgets/quick actions or Windows Phone deep links. The other really nice thing is now that I'm a "blue bubble" when I send my photos/videos to my wife they're not massively degraded by compression.

  34. Aaron Arruda

    As someone who uses both platforms, and has used every generation of the iPhone and Galaxy Series, including the iPhone 8+, the iPhone X is definitely the best phone ever made. I don’t think the notch is that big of a deal after you use it for a while and Face ID works great for me. I have turned off the “attention” setting though and this makes it easier to unlock.


    I do love my Note 8, and in an iPhone-less world I would choose it over a Pixel any day, but it’s no iPhone X.

  35. captobie

    Far be it for me to disagree with Tom's Guide, but I've been very happy with the battery life on the X. Prior to getting this phone I had an iPhone 6 which could just barely squeeze out a full day per charge, and a Galaxy S7 which would crap out by 3:00 if I didn't charge it during the day. By comparison, my iPhone X has never gone below 40% with a full days usage. As of this moment, my phone has been off the charger 12 hours with 3.5 hours of usage and the battery is at 76%. I'm a very happy camper.

  36. obarthelemy

    FaceID is a bit of a puzzler to me. It's for... when you want to unlock your phone but not touch it ? To me, that would be : never. When I unlock my phone it's because I want to use, ie touch, it ?

  37. ivarh

    To use a cliché, you are using faced wrong. When lifting up the phone swipe up without waiting for the lock to open up. Most of the time by the time the swipe is done the phone will be unlocked and at the home screen. In the few times it does not you will get the password/pin entry screen but faceid will still be looking for your face. Once it is recognised it will go to the home screen without any more interaction on your end. It took me a day or so to get used to doing it that way but now I don't miss Touch ID any more.

  38. BigM72

    My desire for a larger screen is to see more onscreen - e.g. more whatsapp messages or more of an email in a single glance on-screen.


    Comparing my iPhone 7 to an iPhone X side-by-side, the X didn't show any more on screen, it just made each element a little larger to help fill the screen. To me, this is pointless. My partner's Galaxy S8 by comparison really makes the most of that tall screen e.g. more news items showing up in the BBC News app.


    Paul, you are comparing Pixel XL and iPhone X cameras understandably as you wish to identify which is the "best". From a reader perspective, I think few people switch ecosystems, most are set in their ways. To me, Apple is usually competing with last year's Apple product i.e. a comparison with the iPhone 7 would be helpful (how much better is the X over the 7, is it worth the cost of the upgrade?)

  39. Vladimir Carli

    Great review, thank you. I strongly disagree on Face ID. From my point of view is much better than touchID. It fails just as much (or as little), maybe I have sweaty hands :-), and in those cases you just use the pin. It’s really not a big deal. The way you login automatically into websites, authorize payments, download apps, just looking at the phone is amazing. I understand the notch is a bit divisive. I actually like it and doesn’t bother me at all but I understand someone might not like it.

    V.

  40. abcmit

    Confused between which institute to choose for Best LED LCD TV, CCTV, Laptop

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