It’s been a whole week since I started using the iPhone X, and my initial impression was lukewarm at best. Well, here we are a week later and I can safely say my position on the phone has changed. If you haven’t read my initial impression click HERE, if you’re ready for my week long review let’s keep going.
So first things first, Face ID has gotten substantially better with use. It almost always recognizes me now and the times that it doesn’t it will pick me up on the second try. I have not come across a point where I locked Face ID out and had to enter my password. The speed at which Face ID works has also dramatically improved. It took me a little time to get used too but after a few days I was able to pull my phone out of my pocket and unlock it to the home screen in one quick motion. My only gripe with it so far is that I can’t set the phone to take me right to the home screen after it unlocks, I have to swipe up. To be honest, that was the largest part of the slowness of Face ID for me, I would wait till I saw the padlock open before swiping up. It turns out the phone was almost always unlocked before the unlock icon would show and after retraining my brain I’ve gotten much better at getting to the home screen, but I do still miss unlock to home screen like my iPhone 7 had. Face ID has also been implemented with most of my apps so I can unlock them without needing to put in any passwords, but I did notice if they get updated that I have to re-register Face ID? I’m not sure if that is intentional or a bug but I have had to re-enroll my face in 1 of my apps several times (multiple updates this week) and 3 of them at least 1 time after they were updated. Beyond that Face ID has worked fantastically for me, but it did take some getting used to and some patience while it learned my face.
Moving on to the chassis. I’ve read a lot of articles about the glass back breaking and the cost to replace it, trust me it has me just as worried as you do. I’ve even ordered a case for the device from dbrand for it but it hasn’t shipped yet. I will say this about the device, it is SLIPPERY if you aren’t holding it. My phone has slipped off of everything it on that isn’t perfectly level, and even stuff that I thought was level. With that being said, my phone did take a hand full of falls from about 2 feet high onto the carpet. No big deal there obviously however, it did take 1 big fall from about 4 feet high onto tile floor, bounced once, then landed face up. I thought the glass back was going to be shattered at this point, but it was not, it was perfectly intact with no damage that I could tell. I’m not saying don’t get a case, I bought one, but the build quality is top notch and you shouldn’t have many issues as long as you aren’t overly tough on it.
Next up, battery life. Battery life was excellent for me. Only one time was I able to drive the battery completely dead (phone shut off) and that was only after several hours of YouTube and phone calls. Even with that the iPhone X lasted me will over 16 hours on a single charge and would routinely get me through an entire day without having to plug in, which is much better than my iPhone 7 plus. The time from dead to full charge was also very good. It only took about an hour and a 45 minutes to charge to full with wireless and an hour and a half to charge to full with the wired charger. Overall I’d say that even with the iPhone X’s smaller battery Apple really has the optimization on point here. Without having to disable any features I was comfortably able to go through a whole day on a single charge with typical use, even with an OLED screen.
Speaking of an OLED screen, it seems to be one of the best OLED screens on the market right now. I personally did not notice a substantial difference between the X and my 7, but Devin did, and he pointed out the differences for me. When looking at the iPhone, the whites are crisp and natural while on some other devices (in our case the Galaxy S8+) they can appear blue or orange-ish. Apple spends a lot of time and effort on color correction and accuracy (it’s a high light in their press conference) and it’s no surprise here that it has great color accuracy. It is worth pointing out, the average user may not notice a difference between iPhone devices, and I personally did not. I’m also not one to pay great attention to the screen honestly. The 7 looked great and the X looks better but until someone pointed out some of the differences between the X and another device I wouldn’t have known there was a difference. Take that for what you will, if you are coming from another device you may notice a difference depending on your preference.
With as good as the screen looks, photos also look great on the X. I’m not much of a photo taker so I had to force myself to take photos to look at but when I did the photos looked great. Using the camera was easy as almost every other phone on the market. If you’re a professional you may be disappointed by the lack of native fine control on the camera but as a casual point and shooter it was easy enough to, well, point and shoot. Transitioning from the wide to the telephoto lens was fast and easy and the stabilization worked great unless I zoomed all the way in. If you want the best photo possible, get a steady surface to support the phone but if you just want to grab a quick shot of what you ate for dinner you won’t be disappointed. The positioning of the camera is a little odd with it changed to vertical but it makes sense as most people hold their phones sideways when they take a photo. The change in camera lens orientation did make it a little more difficult to charge on the wireless charger but otherwise made no difference.
Moving on to performance, I never had an issue with the phone. Moving between apps was snappy and everything worked quickly for me. Games played well and productivity apps moved fast with no obvious lag. One thing I did notice is that the phone got warm to hot while in use. The most obvious reason for this was the more powerful processor but it appeared to happen more on apps that had not been updated vs other apps. It did happen when I was multitasking as well so it may just be a fact of life with the iPhone X or it may just take a software update to get that under control. Most of my apps have updated for the new iOS and I suspect most of the apps that are still maintained will be updated soon, this should allow the developers to take advantage of the new A11 chip.
With all the being said, here’s the conclusion. As a long time iPhone user I wasn’t initially impressed by the phone but after a week of using it I’m impressed by its battery life and performance. And while the build quality on the device feels great it does have the glass back and considering its extra slippery you may have a hard time not dropping the phone. This can be easily solved with a case, unless you like to live dangerously. Overall my initial score was around a 7, maybe a 7.5 but I can safely that has been revised. I would give the iPhone X a solid 9 out of 10 and highly recommend the device to both iPhone users looking for an upgrade and Android users looking for something new.