The iPhone X marks the biggest change in iPhone since, well, the iPhone. Adopting a new OLED display that reaches every corner of the screen and being the first iPhone to make use of Face ID, the iPhone X feels like a revolution for Apple’s flagship smartphone.
To experience the journey from the original iPhone that we owned right up to the X has been the best part of being Apple fans. Sure, the iPhone X does borrow from a few mobile devices in the market, but at the end of the day they are not Apple and the biggest argument about what makes the iPhone X so great is that is it an Apple device.
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Dimensions: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm
OS: iOS 11
Screen size: 5.8-inch
Screen Resolution: 1125×2436
CPU: A11 Bionic
Storage: 64GB / 256GB
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP (both OIS)
Front camera: 7MP
The Power Of The iPhone X
While the design of the phone is the main reason why you would opt in for one, the internals are not very different when you compare it to an iPhone 8. The iPhone X and the 8 and 8 Plus all boast the latest generation of Apple chips. The new A11 Bionic processor delivers fast and fluid multitasking on the device, but the iPhone X still has the same hardware under the hood you would find if you were to get the iPhone 8.
One major issue we had with the iPhone X was its lack of a 128GB model. The device comes in a 64GB, and a 256GB. Which means there is simply no middle ground at all. You either go for the 64GB priced at R20,499 or really ball out at R24,999 for the 256GB. 64GB might be a bit small while the 256GB is a bit dramatic so it would just make sense to release one in between. But no, Apple left it out.
We are also looking at 3GB of RAM, and all the bells and whistles you’d expect to find in the iPhone X, like all the sensors to allow for movement detection, and of course, the awesome Taptic Engine that delivers the best vibration we have felt on an iPhone in ages. Even touching the torch button on the lock screen truly feels as if you are pressing a button down.
At the top of the device, you will find the notch that packs all the magic of Face ID and its new front-facing portrait camera. It is also the first time that Apple has included the ambient sensor on an iPhone so it detects the light around you and changes the colour on the screen to make it feel more natural. This is known as True Tone and while it sounds revolutionary, it is actually something we turned off within a few days of use. The True Tone display turns yellow and looks washed out, we wanted the bright and vibrant images in our face all the time and the True Tone feature took that away.
The OLED is also an HDR display so watching Netflix and movies on it is on another level of beauty. Sure, it does take a while to adjust to the pure black levels and get used to it, but the realistic darks and lights are something to witness.
As for cameras, the iPhone X packs a dual 12MP optical stabilized camera that features new portrait modes and takes some of the best photos we have seen on an iPhone to date. To think that the phone is so small and it manages to fit all this camera into such a small body is truly a great design feat. As for the front camera, that is a 7MP one that also has a true depth sensor for portrait selfies. The camera may not be the biggest improvement over the iPhone 8 but it is one of the best on the market and the shots are fantastic. Take a look at some of them below.
The battery of the iPhone X promises extra hours compared to the iPhone 8 and while this is impressive, the OLED display is a guzzler. We went through a charge a day, well almost. Sometimes we plugged the phone in just to boost some battery as we would hate the phone to turn off due to no charge. There are the battery saving mode and the option to turn off the display too by using black wallpapers, so you just need to be wise with it. That being said, the iPhone X does not have the worst battery in the world but the Plus range is obviously better. We came from an iPhone 7 Plus so we have had to start adapting. There is also wireless charging, so if you have a charger around you can use it, with no limit to third-party chargers as we have taken to placing our iPhone X on our Samsung Fast Charge device.
The design of the iPhone X is its strongest feature. Its stunning 5.8-inch OLED display hits every corner of the device, its stainless steel trip feels premium, and its glass back is a welcome addition to the many years of metal. There is no audio jack which is normal these days on phones, and the same lock buttons, volume up and down button, and the silent button is back as expected.
The OLED on the iPhone X is really its biggest feature and you believe it when you turn on the device for the first time The iPhone X has the lowest screen to phone ratio, which means that it covers more of the front face of the device than any other phone on the market. Besides the notch at the top, it is really all screen and it does a great job giving you this flawless and seamless look and feel.
The OLED does more than just make the iPhone X bright, as it adds layers of depth to the system OS too. Thanks to the OLED’s ability to turn off the unused pixels on the screen when the image is black, you can basically have a black wallpaper and the phone’s screen will be using next to no battery due to the pixels not lighting up at all. This allows the display to deliver black bars as if you actually had an iPhone 8 in your hands, and the edge-to-edge OS that looks amazing in action.
The display is vibrant, colours are rich, blacks are deeper than ever and it is truly the greatest display on an iPhone without a doubt.
The design of the iPhone X is not bezel-less however. There are still thin black bars around the display but these are probably in place to prevent accidental pressing off the screen too. Perhaps we could see a complete edge-to-edge display in the future, but for now, this will do.
Gestures: The New Home Button
Gone is the home button and fingerprint scanner. Instead of weighing the device down with these two features, Apple worked the home button on to the bottom of the device with the use of gestures. Using the white bar as a starting point, your thumb and index finger can do all sorts of things at the bottom of the phone to activate specific things in the new iOS. Flicking up from the bottom closes an app, sliding across the bar changes your active app to the one in the background of the multitasking, and flicking up and to the right brings up all your apps. It took us a few days to get used to the new way to operate the iPhone X but we are now masters at the new multitasking features.
There is no doubt that the new iOS has been built to compensate the iPhone X as even the longer display changes the way you type and perform specific actions. The keyboard is higher than before to allow for a better reach of your thumbs, and the empty spaces are there for your comfort.
Gestures feel natural and even the biggest new change which is closing apps by holding them down and pressing the red cross at the top comes naturally after a while.
iOS 11 For iPhone X
On Apple’s side of things, iOS 11 looks and works great on the iPhone X. Every stock app runs up the screen and makes use of the display fully. There are some things we want to be changed like the Control Panel that can only be accessed by pulling down the top right of the screen. We use our phones mostly in our left hand so this is a far reach.
As for the iOS experience itself, it is smooth and we never had any issues besides the odd crash of Facebook and Twitter glitching out on us. It may take a while for third-party apps to get polished up but from Apple’s side of things, it is perfect. Talking about third-party this is where we were most disappointed. The lack of third-party apps supporting the bigger display is concerning. We are talking about no Skype, Gmail, even Pokemon Go only got updated this last week. While the iPhone X is new in SA, it has been out for over a month now in the US so you would think the biggest apps on the market would get patched. No, it is actually the opposite where apps open with a square box and the top and bottom of the display is filled with nothing. This then makes the OLED turn off so it looks as if you have an iPhone 8 in your hands.
Face ID – No Gimmick
Face ID is no doubt the biggest thing Apple has ever done to reinvent the way we use our devices. While other phones in the market use a similar facial recognition practice it has never been on this level of security before. Face ID is not just a way to unlock your iPhone X, it is the fingerprint replacement in terms of your personal data and security. Apple is so confident in this tech that it has made it the primary security measure for the iPhone X. This means that you unlock using your face, buy things on the App Store, and even some third-party apps like OrderIn have already implemented Face ID into them to proceed with a payment with your face.
It is really not a gimmick rather something awesome that you have to see for yourself. You register your face once which takes around 20 seconds and then that it is. Put glasses on and it will still detect you, and even wash your makeup off and it will still unlock the phone for you. The accuracy of Face ID and the sheer speed which it detects your face is remarkable. By the time you swipe up on the home screen it has already unlocked the phone without any hassle at all.
No photographs, 3D print, and no other face can unlock the phone for you. It has to be your face and yours alone. When we say it works, it really does work and so fast too. It has exceeded our expectations completely and there are even settings to make it easier, like turning off that you need to be looking at the screen to unlock it so you can do it at any angle.
Animoji is another fantastic game changer for the iPhone X that detects your face and lets you animate a selection of characters to send to people via iMessage. It tracks your head, your eyes blinking, and even if you frown. It is really a cool tech demo of what the TrueDepth camera is doing in the background when you scan your face. This goes beyond just a simple eye tracker.
The iPhone X is the biggest step for Apple’s mobile device but it is very expensive. Sure it feels like R20,000 in your hand and the screen is amazing and the Face ID is flawless but it is the most expensive phone on the market. Saying that, however, Apple’s attention to detail and premium polish oozes into every corner of the display and that is what makes it so fantastic.
You can order your iPhone X HERE.