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X Marks the Spot: iPhone X Review
November 6, 2017

Embrace the notch.

Every year you’d probably always hear how Apple’s current iPhone is always the best one. That’s always true, and the same goes with every other flagship released in that year. Since its debut in 2007, the iPhone has ushered a new generation of smartphones that still follow most of the original’s design aspects.

For its 10th anniversary, Apple is looking to reinvent the smartphone again. The iPhone X (pronounced ‘Ten’) is the culmination of the technologies introduced over the years, though some may question their design choices.

So yes, after its big reveal last September, the iPhone X is finally here. It has a brand new display and a design that emulates previous iPhone designs. It’s significantly smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus and just a millimeter larger than the iPhone 8. The all-glass back and front makes a return from the iPhone 4 all held up with a strong metal frame.

It’s easier to hold compared to the Plus, but you’ll instantly notice that the device is now all-screen. You can probably attribute this change since it’s the latest trend in smartphones at the moment and it’s great that Apple is finally catching up.

The 5.8-inch display is the largest screen to be placed on an iPhone. Following a taller aspect ratio, it has also been upgraded to a higher 2436-by-1125-pixel resolution. The iPhone X marks the first time Apple is shifting to an OLED-based, HDR-capable display that offers far better colors compared to LCD.

But it takes a keen eye to compared iPhone’s OLED screen to the previous LCD. Don’t expect oversaturated colors like the ones found on Samsung. Apple calibrated the display to match their specifications and it’s as bit as good (if not better) than previous iPhones.

Okay let’s talk about the notch – yes, it is there, yes it can be distracting at times. But the more you use the iPhone X the more you’d care less about it. What’s behind that notch maybe some of the most advanced hardware you’d find on a smartphone (and probably is one of the reasons why it costs more than 4,000 AED).

The notch houses the iPhone X’s TrueDepth Camera system, which are the components that make Face ID work. Face ID replaces Touch ID since the iPhone X doesn’t have a place for a fingerprint scanner (guess Apple doesn’t want to place it in the back). Face ID uses a combination of a dot projector, infrared camera and a flood illuminator that will identify your face the most accurate way possible.

The days I’ve used the iPhone X Face ID mostly works well, and a few instances where I’m in direct sunlight is the only time it would fail. I must admit though, I still miss and at times prefer Touch ID. But owning the iPhone X means I would have to settle with Face ID until I get used to it.

There’s still no headphone jack, so either you go wireless or use the Lightning port. The iPhone X supports wireless charging. Fast charging is also supported, but you would need the USB-C charger plus the Lightning to USB-C cable to take advantage of it – and yes, it’s sold separately.

The camera optics found on the iPhone X is almost similar to the 12-megapixel sensors found on the iPhone 8 Plus, with the telephoto lens getting a larger aperture at f/2.4 and optical image stabilization. The front camera is still the same 7-megapixel shooter and thanks to the TrueDepth camera hardware, it also supports Portrait mode and a new feature in iMessage called Animojis.

Images taken on the iPhone X look more or less as good as the iPhone 8 Plus camera. Colors are well-balanced and detailed even at 100 percent crop, while low light images tend to be noisy at times but does not lose detail. The Portrait mode has also been improved and made even better with the new Portrait Lighting feature. It’s a perfectly capable camera, and I wouldn’t mind ditching my personal camera when I go on trips and just take iPhone X instead. Video recording has also been upgraded. You can now shoot 4K video at 24, 30 and 60 fps settings. 60 fps is unarguably the best, but it eats a lot of space.

It runs iOS 11 out of the box and if you’ve ever used an iPhone, then the experience is still consistent. The one major difference that I’m still adjusting to is accessing Control Center, to which you have to swipe down from the top right corner of the device instead of swiping from below.

That’s because swiping from below is the new way to go back to the homescreen since well, there’s no more home button. It takes a while getting used to the new gestures, but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it.

Navigation is fluid and apps runs faster than ever thanks to the A11 Bionic chip that runs the iPhone X. t renders videos and images faster than expected, and the various graphics and AR apps is where Apple’s SoC truly shines.

Battery life is pretty much at par with the iPhone 8, but no better than the iPhone 8 Plus. On real-world scenarios I usually get to 60 percent after 1 pm which is already good. The addition of wireless charging also somehow benefitted me since I have a wireless charging pad on my desk I was using for the Samsung Galaxy S8. I just place it on top and forget its even charging.

The iPhone X is indeed the best iPhone Apple has ever made. You can argue about its flaws but ultimately it is still one of the best smartphones available in the market. That being said, the starting price (4,099 AED for 64 GB and a whopping 4,729 AED for 256 GB) is still expensive no matter how you look at it. You can always go for the iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus, which is relatively cheaper than the iPhone X (and still has Touch ID) as an alternative. 

by admin