iPhone X Review: It Changed My Mind


iPhone X Review: It Changed My Mind

The iPhone 10 is predictably different it’s the first design overhaul Apple’s had since the original iPhone and like Apple itself it’s predictably polarizing. I tend to be pretty agnostic when it comes to mobile OS’s splitting my time pretty evenly between whatever Android flagship du jour is out and the large screen iPhone.

At the time for me the iPhones become a commodity an entry into iMessage but with the iPhone X it was the first iPhone since the 6 plus I was generally pumped about but now two weeks in the initial enthusiasm has started to wane. The iPhone X for me though is a tale of two stories for the first six days I found it frustrating and oftentimes super annoying I wasn’t starting my swipe far enough down to go home.

Accidentally set off the SOS alert trying to turn my phone off which probably the police to call me back it was annoying that I couldn’t see the battery percentage without swiping down from the right.

The second week of testing something happens. I stopped thinking about these UI tweaks and just started using them . After that initial learning curve I started to really enjoy the phone but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself let’s start back at the beginning.

The iPhone 10 at least on paper is a phone that I’ve been hoping Apple would make . Wireless charging, OLED ,badass camera, setup and a design that can finally rival the best of Android. So aside from Apple stealing my hairline for that top notch at least aesthetically the phone looks stunning Face ID.

This sounds like a gimmick but now two weeks in and I’m still not completely sold but I’m way more convinced than I was at the beginning. But we’ll get to that I usually skip over software in my phone reviews because it’s iOS but with the iPhone X you can’t just pick it up and know what to do.

I’ve been reviewing phones now for over nine years this is the first device that I can remember where I had to look up how to power the device off. I had to ask how to take screenshots and how to close applications there’s a lot of nuances here it takes time to learn. But the more I used it the more I saw that Apple’s feature while looking surprisingly like the Palm Pre software is incredibly bright. The gestures became more deliberate and the swipes became second nature. I still have a hard time understanding why Apple didn’t put an on screen home button or at least something. For touching the dock but I did at least get used to it so, software aside, the next big story is the 5.85 inch OLED display .

I just want to say thank you seriously finally and thank you the 2436 x 1125 make the 458 PPI screen look awesome in my recent Samsung reviews. I praised them for the incredible screen technology and for the iPhone X Apple cozied up to the frenemy Samsung to build the display.

While Apple maintained control of the underlying tech so predictably when those two get together the screen is incredible but not perfect I turned off the true tone display. I thought the constantly re-white balancing was unnecessary and a possible battery drain and also to my eye caused a bit of a yellow hue. But others in the office absolutely loved it so personal preference thing.

Color reproduction is awesome the wide color gamut really helps with that and the black levels are very black it’s one of the incredible things about the OLED technology. I was a bit worried about brightness but with Auto turned on I never felt this screen looked washed out I never had issues seeing it in direct sunlight.

This is clearly the best screen Apple has ever put on one of their devices and can finally rival the best displays from Samsung and LG despite having a larger display than the 8 Plus the phone feels noticeably smaller in the hand. It kind of feels reminiscent of a Galaxy S8 and it’s only slightly bigger and frame than an iPhone 8. I usually opt for the larger sized phones but it’s hard not to admit this is the sweet spot for almost everyone’s hand size.

I really love the feel of the phone the glass on the back feels awesome and I thought that I lost the feel of device when I put in a case so perhaps foolishly I made the decision to go case free and instead opted for Applecare. It’s hard to not feel like a chump after shelling out about 1200 bucks for the phone that extended warranty I have laptops that cost less .

Apple claims the glass on the back is the strongest glass on any smartphone but when it comes to the accidental drop and the subsequent battle of glass versus concrete I’m going with concrete every time . The drop test that we’ve seen and reviewed tend to confirm the fragility the band around the side is made of surgical grade stainless steel.

I’m not sure what surgical grade has to do with anything here but hey it’s there. The space gray version and I’ve been testing does show plenty of finger prints so keep a t-shirt or a cloth handy to clean that sucker up. The speakers here are also 25% louder and they sound pretty good for a mobile they don’t distort the sounds when you go to high volumes .

If you still want better audio you’re gonna want a headphones but make sure those headphones are either wireless or lightning because still no headphone jack here. I promised I talked about Face ID and in all honesty I’m still not sure how I feel about it but how I feel doesn’t really matter it unlocks about as fast as touch ID. I found myself having to use a passcode about as often as I did with touch ID anyway. So I think that’s a win using it in apps though is we’re really shine things like Apple Pay and one password just feel effortless. 

Apple changed orientation a 12 megapixel sensors from landscape to portrait so you know they mean business it’s expected combo of wide-angle and telephoto lenses and Apple’s marketing machine will tell you it uses a state-of-the-art seven magnet solution but to the end-user the pictures just look really good both cameras have OIS and they do a really admirable job of stabilizing video.

Where I think it really shines is in low-light situations where the pictures still end up looking really good pictures look really incredible without being overexposed. Even in almost no light I was able to see the true color reproduction in the photos another thing I love is portrait mode. I try and use it almost every chance I get to take pictures of my kids it just works incredibly well.

The true depth camera on the front enables portrait mode selfies that just looked really bad hopefully software updates will fix this. The background sometimes  I’m blurred properly ears seem to trip it up. I just wasn’t that impressed but you do get an emojis which I’m not gonna lie I use more than a grown man should. The novelty will probably wear off soon but I love shaking my head and seeing the poop sway.  I can’t be alone battery life for me was about 10% worse than what I got on my iPhone 8 Plus. It’s good but not great I could get through a full day so that’s at least what I need.

I commend Apple for not going full Apple and creating their own wireless charging standard instead opting for the pretty much ubiquitous Qi standard. It also rained one day while we were testing so it was nice to have the ip67.

Obviously I would have preferred the ip68 that standard now is across almost all Android flagships.  When watching full screen videos or apps and aren’t yet optimized it’s kind of distracting it a bit of an eyesore it did start to fade in the background in the latter part of my usage but then I’d watch a fullscreen YouTube video.  I’d be keenly aware that notch was there I’ll say this though it detracts less than I thought but it’s definitely a slight blemish on otherwise gorgeous canvas

The A11Bionic is powering the device and it’s predictably fast sometimes it feels overkill but I imagine the extra horsepower is there to help the iPhone 10 aged gracefully into iOS 12 and 13.  Which I think are gonna focus a lot on gestures. So the iPhone 10 is not for everyone in the way previous iPhones were.

My mom for example has been an iPhone user for five years and took one look at the lack of a home button and said no thank you. Face ID and gestures are gonna take time to get used to not because they don’t work because they’re drastically different than what people have had before. The price of having the cutting edge from Apple is a steep one to pay starting at a grand the barrier to entry is crazy high even for Apple. If you decide you want to come on board or get a device that’s finally at feature parity with the best of Android and predictably performs better than any iPhone in recent memory I can see the direction Apple is headed here and while not perfect the iPhone 10 is definitely top notch

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