Apple iPhone X Review

Price
Euro280
Pak RupeeRs.144,999

Apple iPhone X Review

Apple iPhone X Review


Introduction

Apple celebrated its 10th anniversary by releasing the phone every Apple fan was anticipating for, the Apple iPhone X. The phone which is pronounced 'iPhone ten' symbolizes 10 years of excellence in the tech world by the giants in the business, Apple. It's the flagship device by Apple for the year 2017 which comes with major design changes, first time we've seen since the Apple iPhone 6. With Apple jumping pass iPhone 9 for the latest and greatest Apple iPhone X, does the giant leap means they are all ready to revolutionize the cellphone experience again? Or is Apple just trying to catch up with the rest in the industry? Let's find out.

Design

As mentioned earlier, the Apple iPhone X finally goes through a major design overhaul after 4 years of similar looking phones. The phone features a glass front and back and comes in two colors, Space Grey and Silver. The glass back and front sandwiches a polished stainless-steel frame that shimmers and catches light shining on it. It feels and looks different than aluminum frames, as the steel shines and adds some weight to the phone, making it feel premium. The chrome silver trim on the frame catches fingerprints as soon as you touch it and with long usage, loses the luster you get straight out of the box. The metal frame is also very slippery and falls out easily out of the pockets of your pants so you might want to get a case or a skin to add extra grip to the phone.

The front of the device houses a big edge to edge display with a notch on the top which we will talk about in detail later in this review. The large display makes the phone look visually appealing and a major design change at the front comes with no home button. Yes, Apple has decided to ditch its very popular home button and with it, the Touch id as well. The Apple iPhone X uses screen gestures to go to home screen, activate Siri, open the Control Center and to manage running apps. Now this isn't a regular design change as Apple has always had a home button for 10 years and with this phone, it feels like you're going to go through a learning curve before the phone feels familiar to use. That also means that now you will have to secure your phone with the brand-new Face id by Apple. It's an advanced facial recognition system which is more secure than regular face recognition systems found on some Android phones.

The back of the phone is made of glass and like every glass back phone, catches fingerprints easily. The dual camera setup rests on the top left of the device, now placed vertically as compared to the Apple iPhone 8 Plus's horizontally placed dual camera setup on the back. The camera module, however, is large and leaves a bump which makes the phone completely unbalanced when placed on a flat surface. It would've been much better if the module was flushed inside the body. Much like the older Apple iPhone 7, there's no 3.5 mm headphone jack to be found with only the lighting port at the bottom of the phone together with the speaker grill. The phone is also dust and water resistant with an IP67 certification which means that you don't have to worry about dropping your iPhone in water and rushing it inside a jar of rice for it to recover.

With the Apple iPhone X, it's a refreshing new look for the iPhone, something which will appeal majority of the customers as the old unchanging design felt rather stale. With more and more smartphones coming out with a bezel-less design, this was a much needed change by Apple as they needed to keep up with the market, especially being the world's market leader. With Apple deciding to give as much display available as possible and revamping the design to give it a clean, new and premium look, the Apple iPhone X succeeds to impress fans and critics in the design department, with some reservations about the utility of the device with the removal of the home button. The changes are bold and without any doubt, this is the best designed iPhone to date by Apple.

The Notch

Even before Apple officially launched the Apple iPhone X, the phone started trending due to its very prominent and somewhat infamous feature, the notch. With the new large edge to edge display which Apple has incorporated in its flagship device for 2017, Apple decided to have a notch at the top to cater to the front camera and sensors placement of the phone. The notch contains the selfie shutter together with an infrared camera, flood illuminator, and dot projector which enables the Face id to work. Initially, there were mixed reviews about the notch by the critics and general public, but with the release of phone and after using the phone for some time, I can say that the notch actually blends in and you won't notice it many times while using the beautiful display.

The biggest issue with the notch is that some apps don't incorporate the odd aspect ratio of the display and in order to run those apps, the phone creates a virtual bezel on top bringing down the display size to what you'd see on an Apple iPhone 7. This defeats the purpose of having an edge to edge display, however, due to the fact that Apple has its own App store and developers pay much attention towards the flagship devices from Apple, more and more apps have adapted to the notched display with updates coming up every day for apps supporting the notch on the Apple iPhone X.

One issue which doesn't look to go away with app updates is watching videos on the Apple iPhone X. While watching any video, the notch takes up some area of the video hiding it from the user's eyes and that gets frustrating, especially while watching YouTube. There's a small fix though, by tapping the screen twice you can shrink the video and have virtual bezels around it which enables you to watch the video without being cut by the notch. This again, however, defeats the purpose of edge to edge bezel-less display so as it seems, you will have to get used to the way Apple wants you to watch videos on its new flagship.

Some people wish that the notch was never there, some have gotten used to it. For what it's worth, the notch allowed Apple to have a new, gorgeous looking display and with more and more app updates and future iOS updates, hopefully the user experience with the notch will substantially improve.

Display

The display on the Apple iPhone X is the one to talk about. For the first time ever, Apple went for an OLED panel instead of LCD, which ironically, is manufactured and provided to Apple by Samsung. The new Super Retina display on the Apple iPhone X is a 5.8-inch OLED panel with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1125x2436p, at a pixel density of 458 ppi. That's the highest resolution and pixel density on any iPhone display ever made. The new display on Apple's new device enables it to capture more space on the body without the phone increasing in size and that is a win. With a higher pixel density than on the Apple iPhone 8 Plus, the display on the Apple iPhone X is also one of the brightest I have seen so far with an impressive rating of 625 nits.

The higher pixel density certainly makes viewing experience on the Apple iPhone X pleasing as it means that more detail is crammed into the screen to make things look sharper and brighter. Graphics and texts both look sharp and crisp and the OLED panel really stands out in the crowd even when it's not the highest resolution on a smartphone. Like many Android smartphones, you can wake up the phone by tapping on the screen which works pretty fine and makes it convenient to wake up the device especially with the lack of a home button. The phone also supports 3D touch which makes interacting with menu options much easier.

The colors on the Apple iPhone X's display are bright with deep blacks as OLED is able to turn off pixels in the area of the blacks creating natural deep inky blacks surrounded by precise punchy colors. What Apple has done basically is to implement the same OLED tech from its Apple Watch to the new iPhone and as Apple must've expected, the results are great. The display on the phone is bright and crisp even in the sunlight and overall, it's one of the best displays I've seen. The colors lean towards the natural end of the color spectrum as compared to the Samsung Galaxy S8 which boosts color vibrancy a little more.

The display on the Apple iPhone X is HDR10 ready which means that the phone supports HDR content with Dolby Vision technology and HDR content on Netflix and iTune store can be watched on the phone. Apple has also incorporated Apple's True Tone tech found on the Apple iPad Pro which shifts color balance according to your surroundings, making your display shift from cool to warm as move around with it in different lighting conditions.

I will say that given all its pros and cons, the display on the Apple iPhone X is one of the best ever made for a smartphone device and it truly makes the user experience one you would expect from the Apple's 10th anniversary flagship.

Hardware

The hardware on the Apple iPhone X is pretty much the same as on the Apple iPhone 8 Plus making it one of the fastest phone in 2017. The phone is powered by the Apple's A11 Bionic chip and Apple-design three core GPU, coupled with 3 GB of RAM which makes this phone a powerful device. The phone comes with two storage options, 64 GB and 256 GB. This makes the iPhone X most powerful phones in the market with the ability to deal with Augmented Reality at 60 fps.

On the Geekbench 4 multi-core score, the Apple iPhone X scored a whopping 10,330 which is the highest Geekbench score to date. What this means is that the phone is more than able to handle heavy applications and carry out all your daily task efficiently and without any hassle. With 3 GB of RAM, the Apple iPhone X handles multi-tasking much better than the previous version of the iPhones. During my test, the phone performed exceptionally well, handling heavy applications and games smoothly, and proving to be a very tough competition for its Android counterparts such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Google Pixel 2.

The phone features stereo speakers and they're quite loud, although there are other phones with louder speakers such as the Samsung Galaxy S8. The phone supports NFC for payments and caters to your music needs via the lightning connector as there's no headphone jack. With the glass back on the phone, the Apple iPhone X now supports Qi wireless charging which uses any Qi wireless charging pad. The phone also supports fast charging, first time for an iPhone. Although, you have to buy the fast charger separately which is a major drawback as the phone itself is pretty expensive.

The phone is packed with sensors to support Face ID and overall, the hardware found on Apple's flagship is impressive with the ability to defeat any smartphone in the market.

Battery

The 2017 flagship from Apple carries a 2716 mAh battery with Qi wireless charging support and fast charging with the Apple iPhone fast charger available separately in stores. The Apple iPhone X has a screen-on time of 5 hours and 2 minutes, which is much impressive as compared to the Apple iPhone 8 Plus's 4 hours and 26 minutes. Apple claims that the phone will go all day on a single charge and it appears so too. During the charging test, the Apple iPhone X took 15 minutes to charge from 0 to 9%, 30 minutes to reach 20%, 1 hour to reach 40%, and it took a whopping 3 hours and 6 minutes to reach the 100% mark. This is due to the fact that Apple tries to save battery life on the long run by slowing the charging input into the device while it reaches the 100% mark.

Even though the battery on the Apple iPhone X is much improved as compared to the previous iPhones, and overall comes close to the competition in battery life, the time it takes to charge the phone is too long. Without the fast charger inside the box, most people would think it's a hassle to charge this phone when other smartphones in the market such as the OnePlus 5T take around an hour and a half to charge from 0 to 100%.

Camera

The camera of the Apple iPhone X is one of the best I've seen from a 2017 flagship smartphone. The phone has a dual camera setup with two 12 MP wide and telephoto sensors similar to the camera setup in the Apple iPhone 8 Plus. Both sensors support Optical Image Stabilization and comes with an f/1.8 and an f2.4 aperture respectively. This means that the zoomed-in pictures shot on the Apple iPhone X are more stable than the ones from Apple iPhone 8 Plus and they're also brighter due to the wider aperture allowing more light to enter the camera sensors.

The performance from the camera is top notch, with great level of detail in images. The two rear cameras deliver fantastically in a variety of situations. In low-light, the telephoto lens helps capture more light and create cleaner looking photos with less noise. This is a major upgrade from the Apple iPhone 8 Plus's camera where it can be seen that the camera struggles in low-lighting conditions. The other camera takes similar photos in both good and bad lighting conditions. The results from it aren't as good as that from the Google Pixel 2, but it's a match for all its other rivals. Exposures are spot on, autofocus is reliable and handling noise is much more elegant than on many phones in the market.

There's a new feature by Apple introduced with the Apple iPhone X called the Portrait Lighting. The feature allows you to create an effect of a professional studio's lighting rig, enabling you to capture some really interesting and professional looking portraits. It works on both the front and rear camera, creating a depth map with the help of data captured by both lenses and ensuring that the lighting falls on the subject as it should. Of all the different effects this mode offers, the Studio Light is my personal favorite choice as it adds brightness to the pictures without changing the overall exposure and contrast. The results are lovely, as it really lifts the picture quality, especially the face, even in bright sunlight. At the end of the day, you end up having some excellent DSLR-like pictures. However, some other mode's lighting is almost laughable but Apple gives you the option to apply and change Portrait lighting modes to any of your portraits that are shot from the Apple iPhone X so you can try and chose the one you like the most.

The front camera of the Apple iPhone X is the same 7 MP camera found on the Apple iPhone 8 Plus having an f/2.2 aperture. It takes decent quality pictures and with upgrade in technology, the camera now captures Portrait selfies using the same AI depth effect used on the rear cameras. This is the first time a phone has featured portrait selfies and the results are somewhat mixed. In some conditions, the selfies come out to be pretty good with good depth effect, while in others, the edges get blurred out and the photo looks like a mess. Another feature introduced by Apple is the Animoji. This creates an animated emoji using the phone's front camera which you can share with anyone. What it does is create an animated emoji video of .mov file format using the phone's front facing camera, mimicking your facial expressions and creating a Snapchat like clip of an emoji doing and saying what you do and say. Not many would agree that this is what was needed in the next iPhone, but it is a feature and as it's only the Apple iPhone X, it ends up being a subtle advertisement that the sender of Animoji owns the latest flagship by Apple.

The video capture on the Apple iPhone X is one of the best I've seen so far. The camera is capable of capturing videos up to 4K at 60 fps, which is quite impressive as it makes the phone one of the few phones to have that ability. At 1080p, you can shoot at a whopping 240 fps which is just amazing. The video shot at 240 fps might struggle with autofocus a bit but the end result is great with even some professional cameras not having the ability to shoot 1080 at 240 fps. The Slow-Motion video looks great, especially in good lighting conditions, however, in low light the video captured turns out to be grainy at times.

Overall, it's a great camera for a phone which takes some stunning quality photos and great fluid videos. Apple needs to work on its portrait selfies as the ones taken from the Google Pixel 2 look clearly better. In all other departments, the photography experience is overwhelming and nothing you wouldn't expect from a flagship phone by Apple.

Software

The Apple iPhone X comes with iOS 11.1.1 straight out of the box with the latest 11.3 update available to download. With the brand-new display having no home button, Apple has added some gestures to carry out tasks such as going to the home screen, opening recent apps and activating Siri and the Control Center. This makes this iPhone different from all other iPhones and adds a learning curve to the device. The gestures initially seem hard to remember and execute, but with some time on the phone spent, one gets used to them.

The biggest challenge Apple had to face was fitting the apps in the notched display, however, more and more apps have been upgraded to the new aspect ratio of the Apple iPhone X. The keyboard on the phone appears a bit higher than the previous iPhones with a virtual bezel below to provide comfortable typing on the new edge to edge display. The next challenge was to replace the Touch id which Apple has done with the new Face id feature. It uses the front facing depth sensors to create a 3D image of the user's face, learning its curves and edges in order to unlock the phone using facial recognition. This makes facial recognition much secure than it is on Android phones as the Apple iPhone X cannot be fooled with a picture of the user's face. It also actively learns the user's face due to its Neural Network technology so you don't have to register your face again and again in case you grow a beard or get a haircut. The Face id works fine most of the time, although it sometimes fail to acknowledge your face especially when you have sun glasses on. This is something which Apple would look to improve with its AI technology.

There's Augmented Reality support due to the new A11 Bionic Chip enabling some games and app to simulate the environment of the user. Personally, I don't think many people would be using this yet, as just a very small number of apps have this feature, however, the ones available work super fine adding a unique feature to the 2017 flagship by Apple.

Conclusion

The Apple iPhone X is available for $999 in the US for the 64 GB model and $1149 for the 256 GB one. That's a very steep price for a smartphone, reaching the thousand dollars bracket and this is the biggest con of this amazing device by Apple. For many, the high price would be a deal breaker as there are many other smartphones available in the market for quite less price, offering a lot of great features. For Apple fans, this won't matter a lot as the phone is a nothing like the previous iPhones. With a brand-new look and design, a gorgeous display and Apple's best ever camera, the Apple iPhone X is a great device.

It does lack some of the features found on some Android device, such as a headphone jack and Quad HD display. The phone doesn't come with a fast charger in the box even with this steep price and it's extremely fragile due to the glass body. The glass back is very expensive to repair without Apple care going all the way upwards of $500.

Even when this is the best-looking phone Apple has ever made with amazing specs, there are many other phones in the market with similar, if not better, specs and camera which don't cost anywhere near a thousand dollars. Personally, I would recommend you to look into other phones as well, such as the Google Pixel 2 XL and the Samsung Galaxy Note8 before buying this phone. For Apple fans, this is a great phone and they won't be disappointed.