The iPhone X (10) was announced in September 2017 to a mixed reaction, many found the ridiculous price tag and lack of touch ID a major turn off. It was mocked and abused for the huge £999/$999 starting price for a pathetic sized 64GB model and £1149/$1149 for the next size available at 256GB, Apple removed the touch ID after failing to add it under the screen and gave us Face ID instead.
I bought the silver 256GB model on release day in November, I’ll be talking about the hardware mostly and any iOS 11 features exclusive to the X.
Notch? what notch?
The screen, where do I even start with this thing? It’s an absolutely stunning and bright 5.8″ display, it just looks crystal clear and sharper than anything I’ve seen or used in years. I had a Samsung Galaxy S8 which had probably the best display on any phone in 2017 and this looks superior, the perfectly clear viewing angles and wide colour gamut give this screen the crown for me. There is a faint blue tint at certain angles but it’s not noticeable unless you’re looking for it, the curved corners are also a wonderful change for users of iPhones like myself and give it an almost CGI render when you look at this in the hand.
The screen is made by Samsung but it’s been calibrated by Apple, it shows the attention to detail they’ve always showed on the LCD screens of old iPhones. The true tone feature from the iPad Pro is here at last on the iPhone and its a nice feature but some might not like the warm colours, with it off the screen is more blue so I always keep it on.
Now the notch, the show stopper and talking point from a lot of the media and public. I found it to be a little weird at first but after a few days you don’t even notice it! I get now why they did it, when you see someone with the notch then you know they’ve got the iPhone X and that is like the previous models and the round home button. It became the trademark in a way of the iPhone and the notch is that, already some Android phones for 2018 have leaked specs showing a notch, it was a design choice by Apple to look different from a Galaxy or Pixel and it’s worked… for now anyway.
The phone of steel
The frame of the X is stainless steel, a nice return to the metal last seen on the iPhone 4S 7 years ago. The stainless steel on the silver is untouched but the space grey has a darker band, both feel strong and well made in the hand. The back is glass for wireless charging and it comes with 2 stereo speakers, I love the look of the silver model because it just looks so smart with such a modern look. I go naked and always have (Caseless, not nudist), I feel like this is a work of art and should be shown off.
I really like the swiping action between apps and lack of home button, it gives you so much more room to breath and view things on that glorious screen.
The X is able to fast charge but for some utterly stupid reason it doesn’t come with the fast charger or wire in the box, both come to £75/$75 extra! I feel like Apple needs to start looking at its consumers and respect them a bit more like Google or Samsung sometimes do but then nobodies perfect. The phone has no touch ID which upset a lot of people but Face ID is actually really cool and works 100% of the time unless you’re laying down in bed, then it’s a pain in the arse!
iOS 11 is fine, it’s the same as it always has been since iOS 7 and feels a bit behind Android Oreo in design and UI sometimes but it’s old reliable for many. I hope iOS 12 brings in some good changes and useful features for X users.
The main camera is fantastic and so fast when taking pictures but struggles a tad in low light, it also comes with dual cameras like the iPhone 8 Plus but both lens have OIS and it records in 4K 60fps. Day light photos taken with the main camera look stunning and sharp with accurate colours but I find low light images suffer compared to the Pixel 2 cameras and the front camera is pretty grainy for low light selfie’s which bugs me and probably others.
Portrait mode works well and gives some fantastic photos, it’s also available on the front camera but not as clear. Animoji is a gimmick plain and simple but uses the camera well and it’s fun for a few messages of yourself singing and then you’ll forget about it like I did a month ago.
I’ve used every iPhone since 2008 and feel this is the first real change Apple has made since iPhone 4, It’s a fantastic but slightly delicate device and it has an amazing screen you won’t find on anything else at the moment but is it worth the price? probably not but if you want to be at the cutting edge of tech you’ll buy it anyway, the camera is incredible and face ID works well, the notch stands out in a good way and the future of iPhone looks bright that’s for sure.
I do however believe this phone wasn’t due in 2017 and was rushed out due to the decline in sales of the 7 and the upcoming 7S now named iPhone 8, the rise of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and other bezel-less phones released in 2017 forced Apples hand and they brought it forward a year. Of course iPhone sales are always great but the constant same design was slowing those sales and you could see some panic in Apple, looking at iOS 11 you can see parts of it were it hasn’t been designed for the device and maybe iOS 12 was the original intended UI update for a full screen experience.
The late release in November also points to this and the rumours of OLED panel supply issues which turned out to be false and made up, regardless I’m happy they finally changed the design after 4 years and rinsing the iPhone 6 design to the point I was ready to give up on Apple after 10 years.
Later this year we’ll be getting 2 models so it might be worth waiting now, the same 5.8″ screen of the X and a 6.4″ Plus model with no iPhone 8S in sight thankfully. If you can’t wait, want something new with probably the best camera on any smart phone and don’t want to spend a years wage then the Google Pixel 2 or 2 XL is a fantastic option I recently reviewed here.
I love this phone but it’s just half a mark below the Pixel 2 due to the camera and that’s not a bad thing, it’s just having used both I just love the pictures produced on the Pixel 2.
And yes this is my daily driver, I’m stuck in the Apple eco system but the hold on me is getting weaker.
Personal Verdict ~ 4/5