There are literally thousands of videos and articles about the iPhone X so I am certainly not going to cover their ground here.
Instead, I am going to try and answer a very simple question… should you buy one.
Well, its the heaviest phone in a while and it feels thicker in the hand. But this is not a return to the days of the brick, its still very easy to hold and you still forget its in your pocket. Instead, the weight and its very very slightly thickened girth give this phone a sense of quality and purpose.
The screen going from the very top to the very bottom of its 5.8 inch body is bright and beautiful and gives you as much workable screen size as the bigger iPhone 8 Plus. And if you have been reading about the notch at the top, I promise you, you stop noticing it within a few minutes of use.
As always they have improved the camera over last years model with improved portrait mode, slower and crisper slow-mo, and more editing affects. You can also shoot video in 4K.
The missing home button takes about a minute to get used to and you’ll find the new gestures almost second nature. The phone actually feels smoother and the experience more fluid because your fingers aren’t moving from screen to tactile button all day.
The full screen and the technical issue of having it read fingerprints lead to FaceID as Apple’s now preferred way of using biometrics.
It is very easy to setup and I found it just as quick as TouchID. Most articles and video bloggers have bemoaned the process of looking at the phone, the phone unlocking and THEN swiping up from the bottom to unlock the phone. I, on the other hand, have found that if I tap the screen and then swipe up, FaceID will – in the split second it takes my finger to swipe upwards – read my face and unlock the phone… all in one fluid movement.
FaceID is powered by some pretty incredible front facing cameras that mean they can be useful for better AR. This means that applications that allow you to choose glasses frames and virtually try them on is now possible. And because we are talking about very precise tracking, the glasses move with your movements and you actually look as though you are wearing them. Same can be said for hair colour or trying makeup or seeing if a beard will suit you. The positioning of furniture in a room or measuring a doorway without a ape measure. Endless possibilities really.
Of course one of the most talked about advantages of accurate face tracking are Animojis. These cute little faces that very accurately mimic your facial expressions whilst recording your voice makes for a whole new way to communicate with friends and family. Since getting my iPhone X this is the only way I now communicate with my wife…. which can make meal times a bit awkward.
And, to top it all off, the battery life is phenomenal.
So, should you buy one?
Well, no… not really.
A client innocently and genuinely asked me, not long after I started bragging that I had one, what are the advantages. I started rattling off everything I have just said but then I concluded that these weren’t really advantages but rather features.
FaceID isn’t any better than TouchID its just different. The rear facing cameras are just as good in an iPhone 8 and the full screen isn’t a clear advantage over the screens we become used too. Wireless charging is also something that comes on both models but again, isn’t a massive feature above plugging in your iPhone 6 the old fashioned way.
So for now an iPhone 8 will be just fine and save you a bit of money in the bargain.
However, it should be noted that the iPhone X is an example of the future. Some day, soon I guess, all phones will be full screen with FaceID and wireless charging. They will all have a camera that takes the kinds of photos you used to pay hundreds of dollars for.
So if you’d like to get familiar with the future today, get ready for the shift in gesture control and all the marvellous things IA for will do for us, then the iPhone X is the perfect way to start.