Every Apple iPhone rides a hype machine. But the Apple iPhone X has been unprecedented even by Cupertino standards, managing to stay on top of popular imagination for well over a month when it was first unveiled for the world. While the jury is still out of whether it has impacted the sales of the iPhone 8 series despite the differential in pricing, it is clear that this phone has been able to capture consumer interest across the world. Over the next few days we will look at different aspects of the what is arguably the most premium mass production phone in the world at the moment.
Apple iPhone X price in India: Rs 89,000+
Here is our daily review blog of the Apple iPhone X. [Updated with verdict]
Apple iPhone X Design
The first thing you will notice about the Apple iPhone X is how small it is. In fact, is not much larger than the iPhone 8. Actually, at 5.8 inches the iPhone X packs a larger screen than the iPhone 8 Plus but is significantly smaller. So much so that the iPhone can fit easily inside the iPhone 8 Plus and still have some real estate behind. This means the iPhone X will be easy to hold for a lot of users and thus have a better acceptability than Apple’s Plus range phone.
The phone has a distinct steel frame, which in the space grey model is a dark and blends well into the rest of the phone. In fact, the phone has no edges and this steel frame melds into the edge-to-edge display. But while the phone is touted as bezel-less there is a thing frame that is visible where the screen meets the frame, unlike on the Samsung phones where the screen bends into the curves.
Yes, there is no Home button here. But the power button and the volume buttons stay where they are in the other recent Apple phone. There is a speaker grille at the bottom, flanking the lightning port.
The other significant change is at the rear where the dual camera bump is now vertical, unlike the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus where it is horizontal. The bump is pretty much the same height as in the iPhone 8 Plus.
This phone too has a glass back where you can clearly see your fingerprints. While this is a significant design diversion from what Apple has been doing for the past few years, it is a necessity for wireless charging to work. Though the phone has the strongest glass ever put on a smartphone, it also means you need to protect the back… just in case.
Apple iPhone X display
The Apple iPhone X is the first iPhone to sport a Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. Apple has always wanted to try AMOLED, but it’s become good enough and affordable enough only now. So along with the ~82.9 per cent screen-to-body ratio, the 5.8-display is the brightest ever on an iPhone and has the most PPI density at 458. All this goes on to make the iPhone X’s a stunning screen.
However, this is not a regular screen for the true depth camera eats into the screen as you are watching most types of videos. This not an issue on YouTube, but for iTunes movies you will need to live with the camera in your frame with the video wrapping around it. But still you will notice that the display is much crisper than the iPhone 8 and maybe a bit mellower and it appears to be warmer.
Apple iPhone X Face ID
One of the biggest changes in the iPhone X is the lack of a home button. Apple is using gestures to help navigate without the Home button and has replaced the fingerprint scanner with FaceID. The new FaceID feature, which uses the TrueDepth camera to read your face, can also be used to make App Store purchases and to auto-fill forms on Safari. The FaceID setup process is simple and once this is done you realise who fast and convenient FaceID is. As soon as you face the phone it is unlocked for you to swipe and reach the home page. I would have loved the unlock to take you directly to the homepage.
But for me the best use of the FaceID is where it auto fills passwords on most of the apps I have logged into before. This is so convenient for someone like me who struggles to remember passwords. Also, FaceID does not need you to be a well-lit area to unlock the phone and works most of the time. For me, FaceID has worked almost always and is a good enough reason to pick up this phone.
Apple iPhone X gestures
With home button gone, iPhone X users will need to get themselves used to some gestures. To get to home you swipe up right from the bottom of the screen, do the same swipe and hold your finger at the middle of the screen to see running apps and drag down from top right corner to get the control centre. All easy, but it does take a bit of time of a regular iPhone user like me to not find the home button below the screen. In fact, I struggled more to take screenshots, something I keep doing all day. That is now executed by holding down the power and volume up bottom at the same time. Siri needs a long press of the power button. Yes, this took a couple of days to get used to.
Apple iPhone X performance
The iPhone X is one of the most powerful phones you can buy at the moment and that is not about having a 8GB RAM or a graphic processor on coke. The phone’s A11 Bionic chip works really well with the software to offer a smooth experience all the time. Yes, there have been a couple of app crashes in the week I used the phone, but they were not because of the phone couldn’t handle it, but more because the app in question had issues.
The phone can cleary handle the day-to-day stuff. But then the A11 chip is made for much more. So the dual camera processing is much faster than it was on the iPhone 7 Plus, for instance. Also, if you use the FaceID in the middle of the night and it unlocks in a flash, you know there is something this phone is doing right. Also when you use Apple’s fun new Animojis, the processor is working over time to convert you facial movement into animation using the TrueDepth camera and it does not so much as break a sweat.
One silly issue
Apple knows the iPhone X is a phone that needs some extra protection and has hence released its first folio cover with the phone. It’s an expensive piece of leather at Rs 8,600. However, while on Android phones you would dial, close the flap and start talking, you can’t do the same on the iPhone. Becase as soon as you close the flap, the call terminates. So if you have invested in the iPhone X folio, you will need to hold the flap back. I am not sure this Folio will be successful.
Apple iPhone X battery life
The Apple iPhone X has slightly larger battery than the iPhone 8 Plus, despite the smaller build. However, it also has a beter screen, more powerful processor and a front camera that needs to constantly look for a face to reckon with. I was expecting the battery life to be a pain point on the iPhone X. But that is certainly not the case.
Using the iPhone X over the past week, I have not had to charge the phone during any of the days. In fact, I have come back home with about 20 per cent charge left on all days on which I have left home with over 80 per cent charge. And this is really good for a use like me who is always looking for a charging point, even with the brand new iPhone 8 Plus.
The phone has been relatively cool through the week and I think is thermal control is helping maintian the battery really well. While Apple just says that the batter is about 20 per cent better than the iPhone 7 series it is certainly better than the iPhone 8 series too in my books. However, these are early days and usually issues with the battery crop after a few weeks of use.
Apple iPhone X camera review
The Apple iPhone cameras are already at a spot where there is very little competition. Of course, there is the Google Pixel series and the top-end Samsung’s that are really good, but the iPhone is still the most popular camera out there. With the iPhone X, Apple seems to have plugged one weakness of its cameras. The iPhone X has the best front camera ever put on an Apple device and it comes with the full Portrait mode, even though the dual camera is limited to the rear. The iPhone X uses the TrueDepth camera that Apple uses up front for FaceID to create selfies that comes with more character than before.
The Portrait mode is the same as the one on dual cameras, but here again, the TrueDepth is what helps add the extra layer of detail and depth of field. Apple could change the way selfies are taken with the phone and I personally think that would be better than beautified selfies.
The rear camera, on the other hand, is very similar to the one on the iPhone 8 Plus. But this is better as it has an f2.4 lens. So it clearly performs better in low light and reduces noises in such photos. It also offers great colour like the 8 Plus.
I did not really get to travel with the iPhone X and Delhi is not really the place for photographers. However, whatever I have shot so far has me impressed. However, if you are buying this just for the camera, I would suggest you to take a look at the iPhone 8 Plus too as the difference is not that much.
Apple iPhone X verdict
The Apple iPhone X is the clearly the best phone Apple has produced in a while, both in terms of innovation and functionality. However, I am not sure this is the phone for all Apple fans. This works best for those who don’t mind the price tag, needs a compact phone that is also powerful and comes with a superb camera. If you just need a good iPhone then both the iPhone 7 and 8 series are more than sufficient and will also save you a lot of money. However, if you are already on the iPhone 7 series and want to upgrade then it makes no sense to buy the iPhone 8 series now. For you the iPhone X offers enough in terms of new and future-proofed features.
Also, I will not recommend this phone for those who have a history of wrecking their devices. This is hard phone to take care of and you should get a good cover even before you step out of the store.
The Apple iPhone X is a must-buy for those who can afford it and have been dedicated Apple users for long. You will enjoy multiple aspects of this phone.