I just camped for my 10th iPhone, meaning 10 straight years starting with the original iPhone in 2007. The iPhone X is my favorite device since the original, or perhaps the 5S. It’s hard to compare such things retroactively.
Anyway, there are many reviews and write-ups out there, but I wanted to capture a few basic thoughts for those who are considering one.
- The screen is truly stunning. The display looks like it’s on the very surface of the glass as opposed to deeper down in the phone on previous displays. And the images and text are extraordinarily clear and attractive.
- FaceID does work better than TouchID once you get used to it. The trick is to pretend FaceID doesn’t exist and to just swipe up from the bottom. You’ll naturally be looking at your phone when you do it, so don’t overthink it.
- It takes very little time to get used to swiping up instead of pressing the home button.
- The most kludgy part of the new UI is closing applications, where you now have swipe up, pause, release, long-press, and then swipe up or hit the red minus sign. That’s a lot more steps than double-clicking and swiping up. It’s a minor issue though.
- Wireless charging is fantastic, although the pedant in me wishes it were called cordless charging. Wireless implies a physical separation from hardware, whereas this implementation requires you lay your device on a mat. Still, it’s quite convenient to not have to plug the phone in.
- Paying with Apple Pay requires an additional step of double-clicking the right side button, which is there for security reasons. Basically, you don’t want to have someone walk up and swipe a reader under your phone while you’re browsing on it (which means it’s FaceID unlocked), and authorizing a purchase without any interaction.
- The size is great—halfway between the normal and the large, but with way more screen.
- No, the notch isn’t an issue. Not aesthetically or philosophically ideal, but basically unnoticeable after a couple of hours.
- The sound on the device itself is quite good.
- Even if you’re not a case person (I’m not), consider going with a case for this one. Because it’s all glass and the screen is so expensive, you might take major damage from a drop.
- A neat trick you can do is putting a magnetic mount piece inside the case (towards the top or bottom) and then using a magnetic mount for your car while still maintaining the ability to use wireless charging. The receiver in the phone is towards the center of the device, so try not to cover that up.
- Swiping side to side on the very bottom is how you move between open apps, and it’s quite fast and elegant.
In short, it’s a phenomenal upgrade, and I highly recommend it regardless of what device you’re coming from.
For the best experience, get a wireless charging pad and some AirPods. They’re magnifiers.