The first iPhone X reviews are in, and they’re highly
Reviewers have praised the £999/$999 phone’s camera and
But there are some issues with how apps look on the new
It’s just a few days until the iPhone X goes on sale, and the
first reviews are starting to pour in.
And there’s good news for Apple, and potential buyers: They’re
highly positive so far.
The iPhone X is Apple’s tenth anniversary device, and the biggest
shake-up to the iPhone line in years. It has a radical redesign
with an almost edge-to-edge screen, “Face ID” facial recognition
to unlock the device, augmented reality features — and a hefty
$999/£999 (or more) pricetag, the most most Apple has ever
charged for a phone.
So is it worth it? Here’s what some of the big reviewers are
Apple took a gamble on facial recognition tech
One of the biggest questions was around Face ID: Would it
actually work? Could it be fooled? How would it measure up to
lightning-fast fingerprint scanners?
TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino took the iPhone X to Disneyland
and came away positive about the facial-recognition tech,
“Face ID works really well. First, it’s incredibly easy to set
up. You choose to enable it and then rotate your nose around the
points of a clock twice. That’s it. Second, it worked the vast
majority of times I tried it, it never once unlocked using a
picture of myself or another person’s face and the failure rate
seemed to be about the same as Touch ID — aka almost never. As
hoped, it’s definitely faster than the first generation of Touch
ID, though perhaps slightly slower than the second gen.”
“I took a walk outside our NYC office in bright sunlight, and
FaceID definitely had issues recognizing my face consistently
while I was moving until I went into shade or brought the phone
much closer to my face than usual. I also went to the deli across
the street, which has a wide variety of lights inside, including
a bunch of overhead florescent strips, and FaceID also got
significantly more inconsistent … for now I’d say FaceID
definitely works well enough to replace TouchID, but not so well
that you won’t run into the occasional need to try again.”
Another hot topic: The notch. It’s the weird cutout bit at the
top of the screen, which houses the camera and other sensors.
When the iPhone X was first announced, some people thought it
looked hideous, while others didn’t see the problem.
Here at Business Insider, Steve Kovach has been testing out the
iPhone X, and his impressions in-person are positive:
“I don’t mind the notch. In fact, I kind of like it, and I think
it blends in nicely to the rest of the phone’s software
interface. The sides of the notch display the time, battery
status, and WiFi and cell signals. By default, photos and video
don’t bleed into the notch unless you double-tap them for a
zoomed-in view. You barely notice the notch in most cases, and it
looks especially nice when scrolling through apps like Twitter
It’s pricey — real pricey
BuzzFeed’s Nicole Nguyen, meanwhile, highlighted the heavy price
point, but said that — for some people — it will be worth it:
“I’ve been living with the iPhone X for a week, and I’ll say
right off the bat: This phone isn’t for everyone … The X
(technically pronounced “ten,” but call it whatever you want) is
really only for people who use the *heck* out of their phones.
I’m talking about a ton of photo-taking, video-shooting, social
media performative exhibiting, gaming, web browsing, etc. This is
a device for a power user, not a casual smartphoner who texts and
uploads an Instagram every once in awhile. The iPhone 7 or 8 (or,
hell, even iPhone SE) are totally sufficient for those folks.
“So far it’s the most fun I’ve had with any gadget since the
original iPhone. I’m not being hyperbolic here. There are
shortcomings. There are things I’d love to see changed. But I
can’t stop using it. The new display is beyond gorgeous. HDR is
glorious. Fluid navigation gestures are sublime. Face ID is so
fast I’m forgetting I have a passcode. Attention aware
interactivity is the bomb.”
What about the camera?
A quality camera is an essential part of any high-end smartphone
these days, and the iPhone X hasn’t disappointed reviewers.
Mashable, Lance Ulanoff said the X’s shooter outperforms the
iPhone 8 (released just weeks ago), and is comparable to many
dedicated non-phone cameras:
“The iPhone X rear dual camera is the best camera I’ve used on a
smartphone. It takes excellent wide and 2x optical zoom photos in
a wide variety of conditions. However, increasingly, the playing
field is leveling out as Samsung lowers the color saturation to a
more real-world vibe, Portrait Mode become more common, and
upstarts like Google prove they can learn from everyone else and
start off strong. No one will be disappointed with the iPhone X’s
photographic capabilities, but be prepared to get in more than
one argument about which smartphone has the best camera. I still
prefer Apple’s, though.”
Some third-party apps are proving problematic. The X’s change in
screen shape has left some apps looking distinctly odd. This, in
time, will be fixable — but for now it marrs the experience a
as BI’s Steve Kovach wrote:
“Many of my apps haven’t been redesigned for the new screen size,
so they show up with thick black bars on the top and bottom to
mimic the same aspect ratio you’d get on a regular iPhone screen.
It looks like a lot of wasted space.
“Other apps have been refitted for the iPhone X screen, but have
made a bunch of funky design choices. For example, some have
large chunks of unused space at the bottom near the home bar. And
I saw at least one app that showed the home bar bleeding into the
menu icons at the bottom of the screen.”
All in all: It’s a definite thumbs up for the iPhone X.
It’s not perfect, and the truly exorbitant pricetag will
understandably be a dealbreaker for many. But for Apple fans who
can afford it, it doesn’t sound like they’ll end up disappointed.
Here’s a longer list of reviews and first-impressions for
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