Rather than do an unboxing video or solo gallery of the new iPhone X I have decided to combine a gallery with my initial thoughts and a very short term review.
I have had the iPhone X a week, having been lucky enough to get one on release day (3rd November 2017), and I’ll be straight up – I am impressed.
I’ll also be honest – it is damned expensive! A 256 GB model will set you back £1149 and if you want AppleCare it’s another £199 – so thats £1348 for a phone with 2 years piece of mind! If you dont want piece of mind just throw your eyes over this repair price list – it may (or may not) sway your decision on AppleCare. Personally I get AppleCare on all my Apple devices – (something I have never actually had reason to use) whether you do or not is obviously a personal choice however at these prices some sort of insurance seems like a no-brainer.
Full details on AppleCare – what it covers, and what it doesn’t and how much you pay can be found here : https://support.apple.com/en-gb/iphone/repair/service/pricing
Now that we are over the price – (by the way it is reported that the 64GB iPhone X costs $370.25 to make – it retails for £999) it is time to look at what is different, is it worth upgrading, and really is it worth all the hype?
What is different? That’s easy – this is the biggest redesign in iPhone history. Since the original iPhone it has all been about the ‘Home’ button. It has always been there, it has always had the same purpose. It is the control centre of the phone, it does everything, and is a safety net. For those that aren’t in the slightest tech-savvy it was like a comfort blanket – push it and you were just back to the start – it made everything easy. More importantly though it made everything functional. It was great. Now it is gone.
So instead of a ‘Home‘ button we have now have gestures. You swipe up to get back to your Home Page, from the bottom, simply swipe up. Boom you are back. Easy? It really is! After a few uses it feels right, after a few hours it is now second nature – your muscle memory of 10 years of Home Buttons has been replaced – and now you know instinctively how to unlock the phone. Job done! What Home Button?
The Fingerprint Sensor – it’s gone! Apple had improved on the fingerprint sensor every year for the last 4 or 5 years. It was pretty much perfect. It worked and it was secure. Banks / Apps / PayPal / ApplePay – it worked for them all – now it is gone. Without the Home button there is now nowhere for it to go on the iPhone X. It has been replaced with Facial ID. After the initial set up and a week’s use it seems fine. It works in the dark, it works if you have glasses on – or off. It works if you have a hat on – or off. It works most of the time, its quite impressive actually and apprarently it has an accuracy of one in one million IDs being incorrect. So the person trying to unlock your phone is going to have to look damned like you. Also you can set it so you need to be paying attention to the phone and looking directly at the screen for it to unlock, so it can only be unlocked with your knowledge. Banks / PayPal etc all seem happy enough and have all adjusted (or are adjusting) their apps to work with Facial ID. It’s not perfect but it works well and I anticipate with every update it is going to get faster and more accurate.
As far as the accessories go there are no surprises here, you get a 5W plug – its slow (use an iPad charger to benefot from Quick Charge) A set of earbuds. They are as they always have been with a 3.5mm audio jack and a lightning adapter for the earbuds – following the removal of the earphone jack if you aren’t opting for bluetooth then you simply plug your earbuds into the adapter and the adapter into the lightning port. They work well, however you can no longer charge your phone whilst using the earpods. Third party spilters are available, I haven’t used one yet so wont comment on their functionality or value.
Now to the screen. It’s is 2436 x 1125 pixels at 458ppi. What this translates to is a glorious image. Honestly it is maginificent. Edge to edge screen, bright and OLED. It is the big seller for me. It is what makes me say to people ‘Go for it!’ when they ask if they should upgrade. It is just in a different league even from the iPhone 7 Plus I was coming from. Size wise the screen is bigger than the 7 Plus, but the phone is no where near the size. It is closer to the 7 yet it has a 5.8 inch display. Go and hold one and try it out that is really the only way to appreciate the screen. I have had the 6 Plus and the 7 Plus, I was used to the big screen, I liked it, now instantly I like how easy this size slides into my pocket and I still have a substantial sized screen. Would an iPhone X interest me though? Oh hell yes. The size of the iPhone Plus Series never put me off and the thought of that OLED screen on a Plus sized phone – Yes please!
Then there is everything else to consider – an A11 bionic chip (that even sounds cool – but the crux is that it is powerful – very powerful. It’ll run whatever you want and enjoy doing it!) A 12 MP rear camera that also records in 4K at up to 60fps. There is 2 times optical zoom with image stabilisation and up to 10 times digital zoom (6 times digital zoom for video recording).
Everything has been given an upgrade – if you are interested in the Tech Specs you can find them all here : https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-x/specs/
One thing I should point out is the screen – it is OLED, therefore it can suffer from screen burn, Apple have come forward very quickly and accept this and have offered guidance on looking after your phone. Basically use auto brightness, shut the screen off when not in use and lower the screen brightness for your everyday tasks. Even with the brightness set pretty low and in auto the screen and images are beautiful. You aren’t missing anything by not have the full juice pump through the screen. Read more about the OLED screen and Apple’s guidance here :
So a week in and I am more than happy with the upgrade – and it is an upgrade, not just an incremental step as we have seen over the last number of years. It is a big jump from the iPhone trend and analysts have said that it has put Apple about 2.5 years ahead of the Android competition.
It is expensive and personally I think throwing £1349 at a phone in a lump of cash is crazy. Keep it in the bank and go for a 0% deal. Over 20 months at 0% a 256GB iPhone X with Applecare comes in at £67.95 (£57.45 without AppleCare) – it is still an awful lot of money but much more sensible than handing over a huge lump of cash you could be saving, keeping for a rainy day or using for your next holiday. The Apple Upgrade Program is another option – it is what I used for my iPhone 7 Plus (although I cleared the finance and sold the phone on privately – it is still an option) :
Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your new phone – and if the iPhone X is just out of your budget do a comparison with the iPhone 8 range – it is hugely spec’d up too, just without that gorgeous OLED screen.