Apple is changing everything. Again.
Ten years after revolutionizing the mobile phone, the tech giant is trying to do it again with the introduction of the iPhone X. But is the bezel-less display worth the $999 price tag? I’m not quite sure yet, but I’ve been using the iPhone X for nearly a week and I have some thoughts…
It’s actually pretty small
Immediately after unboxing the new iPhone, I realized just how small it is. It’s roughly the same width as the iPhone 8 and stands at 5.65 inches, just .20 inches taller. But the bezels that have plagued the iPhone for the past 10 years are gone. Though Apple wasn’t the first to introduce bezel-less displays, it did a really good job of making it look f*cking beautiful.
The screen is super sharp
Retina displays are old news and the Super Retina HD display is the wave now. All that really means is this is the first iPhone to feature an (Samsung-supplied) OLED screen, which is known for high contrast and saturation. The screen has deeper blacks and truer blues that are really on display with photos taken with the new camera. Apple somehow squeezed a 5.8-inch screen into the small frame, and the true tone display makes things even sweeter.
Not having a home button isn’t that big of a deal
There’s no home button, but you already knew that. So get ready to learn a ton of new gestures in place of pressing it. The new way of getting around is by using a disappearing bar at the bottom of the screen. Swiping up from it will take you back home, swiping up to the middle of the screen will launch the app switcher. Swiping down from the right of the screen offers up the control center and swiping down from the right gives you the notification center. It’s annoying for all of a day, and then you get used to it. The learning curve is not steep, trust me.
You get used to the “notch” pretty quickly
The notch—which houses the front-facing camera and allows for the Face ID feature—isn’t that big of a deal. After 10 minutes of playing with the phone, you don’t even realize it’s there. But that Samsung ad that made fun of the notch—and Apple fanboys in general—was fire, though.
Face iD is like, really good
Why did it take so long for Apple to give us Face ID? It’s not flawless, but like Touch ID, it’ll unlock your phone 9/10 times. Face ID is likely the future of Apple’s security; it’d be a great addition to the rest of its product line, like the iPad and Macbooks. It just works. The only annoying thing about it is that after your face unlocks your phone, you’re still required to “swipe up to open.” But it’s way safer than Touch ID. With that, strangers had a one in 50,000 chance of unlocking your phone, compared to Face ID’s one in a million. But by far the best use of Face ID is making yourself a moving piece of sh*t with the Animojis.
Huge improvement on the camera
The iPhone X camera is pretty similar to the one on the iPhone 8 Plus, as both have the same duel lens rear camera and recording features. The only difference is that the X has dual optical image stabilization on both rear lenses. Fair warning—all your coworkers and friends will constantly ask you to take photos of them and it gets pretty annoying, pretty quickly.
Wireless charging is lit
There’s not much to say here other than it works. It more so comes down to if you wanna shell out more bread after coughing up $1k for your fragile new toy. But how else will you stunt on all your coworkers? (Buy it.)
The Annoying Things
The battery percentage option disappeared
For me, being able to quickly glance at my screen and see how much power my battery has left is clutch. But I can’t do that anymore, because the option is no longer available. Now I have to swipe right to the widgets to see exactly how much juice I’ve got. Or I can look at the battery icon and assume I’ve got anywhere between 70 percent and 90 percent. It’s annoying, but nothing an update can’t fix.
Turning it off
One click on the side button locks or wakes the device, two clicks opens Apple Pay, and holding it down opens Siri. Simple enough. But to turn the phone off, you have to long press the side button and one of the volume buttons. If you aren’t feeling the button presses you can open the Settings app, tap “General,” then scroll down to the bottom and tap on “Shut Down.”
Apps need to catch up
Tons of apps haven’t been optimized for the iPhone X’s screen yet, so expect thick black bars on the top and bottom of most of them for the time being. But in some of its own apps, it’s as if Apple didn’t use the extra screen real estate in the best way. In the Message app for example, the keyboard is small with a ton of gray area under it. Apple may have something planned for this space in the future, but for now it’s wasted real estate.
I’m still not sure if the hefty price tag is worth it, but it’s nice to see Apple ditch a decade-old design, even if it’s playing catch up to the competition. The phone is clearly setting the tone for the next ten years of what Apple has up its sleeve, and I’m happy to have a pocketable phone again without having to sacrifice screen size.