It’s finally here. Almost two months after its original introduction back in September, the iPhone X hit the market on Friday, Nov. 3 to long lines at Apple Stores around the world with buyers looking to snap up the handset.
I was lucky enough to have preordered my iPhone X and have been using it since late Friday afternoon. After a weekend of use, I wanted to offer 10 thoughts on the future of the iPhone.
Face ID Works Fantastically Well
After two quick scans, Face ID is ready to go.
Before the iPhone X arrived, there was substantial worries from some about how Face ID would work and if it would be as reliable as Touch ID.
The good news is that any worries about the new technology are severely overblown. I spent the entire weekend trying Face ID in every situation I could imagine, and while wasn’t perfect, it works exceedingly well in every situation. I used it in complete darkness, while walking down a bright street, driving down the freeway, and even attending a live stage show of PJ Masks with blinking lights and tons of smoke machines.
As long as you keep your phone 10-20 inches away, it just works. I registered my face without glasses or a baseball hat (two of my usual wardrobe must-haves) and there has been no issues. It’s just as fast as Touch ID, and truly feels like the future.
The 5.8-inch OLED Screen is Crisp and Clear
The OLED screen is fantastic.
While Apple has used OLED screens in previous products – like the Apple Watch – the iPhone X is the first big-screen device to take advantage of the technology.
It’s obvious that everything is crisp and clear on the iPhone X screen, but I didn’t really notice how big the difference was until I looked at the screen of my iPhone 7 Plus. the older handset screen looks muddled and washed out. Everything on your iPhone will look even better.
The Notch Isn’t a Big Deal
After a bit of use, the notch fades away.
Another big “controversy” before the iPhone X arrived was the notch on the top of the screen that contains the Face ID and other technology. It bothered me for maybe a day, but has largely faded into the background, especially thanks to the wonderful screen.
New Gestures Take Time to Learn, but are Well Thought Out
If you take the plunge and buy an iPhone X, there is a learning curve. You’ll have to be prepared to learn the new gesture system, starting with the replacement for the Home button – the Home indicator bar. I spent most of the first 24 hours trying to hit a non-existent Home button, but after a few days I’m almost 100 percent fluent on the new gestures. While many are a new way of navigating the iPhone interface, Apple did a great job designing the gestures to make them feel just as natural.
The iPhone X is the Perfect Size to Hold
After three years of using Plus models, the iPhone X is much more manageable holding in one hand.
Speaking of natural, the iPhone X feels great to hold. Picking up my iPhone 7 Plus makes the older handset feel like a brick.
Animoji are Just Plain Fun
I was just a bit skeptical about Animoji. But I’ll happily admit I was wrong. They’re fun and to record and to send. Just to note, if you show any kids in your house how they work, don’t expect to get your iPhone X back.
With a quick search of YouTube, you’ll already find a ton of great karaoke videos after just a single weekend. The cute characters are sure to sell more than a few iPhone Xs. And it’s a perfect way to showcase the face tracking technology. I can’t wait to see what third-party app developers can do.
The Rear and Front-Facing Cameras Impress
Expect to see a lot more Portrait Mode selfies.
It seems to happen every year, but the iPhone X camera system is the best I’ve used. I haven’t had the opportunity to take a huge number of photos or videos, but everything I’ve done so far looks spectacular – especially the Portrait mode available on the front-facing camera.
Wireless Charging is a Nice Plus
Until AirPower arrives, Qi charging is a nice feature.
Being able to wirelessly charge an iPhone has always been high on my list, and it works well on the iPhone X. I’ve been using a few Qi-enabled pads around my house, and it’s great to just place my handset on the know it’s being charged. While we’ll have to wait until 2018 before Apple’s AirPower arrives, there are already a number of great charging pads to select from.
The Camera/Flashlight Buttons on the Lockscreen are Great
Getting to the camera or flashlight is even quicker on the iPhone X.
Another small feature I’ve enjoyed so far is that extra buttons for the camera and flashlight on the lockscreen. Those are two features most users need quick access to, and it’s a nice to be able to access those, even without unlocking your phone.
No Battery Percentage Indicator is Bothersome
I shouldn't have to charge my iPhone to see the exact battery percentage.
One of my only complaints with the iPhone X so far is a relatively minor one, but it’s still bothering me. There’s no way to permanently view the battery percentage in the status bar of the handset. Yes, there are more than a few ways to find out the exact percent, but it’s an extra step to do something that was previously always available. Hopefully Apple will figure out a way to change that.
More on the iPhone X