iPhone X First Impressions after the First 24 Hours

You probably know everything about the iPhone X, and the teardown of the new iPhones seems to have confirmed the other unknowns such as the amount of RAM and capacity of the battery.

But here are my first impressions and some interesting details about iPhone X I thought were worth sharing.

DESIGN

The all-screen design of the iPhone X is quite amazing. But it still has a small bezel around the screen, which I think isn’t such a bad thing from a usability point of view. What’s different about iPhone X is that for the first time since the launch of the iPhone, it doesn’t come with a Home button.

It didn’t take much time to get used to the lack of the Home button. The gestures are quite simple and intuitive. But I think it is going to be a little difficult for people to switch between an iPhone X with Face ID and an iPad with Touch ID. So it makes sense that 2018 iPads also feature Face ID.

The build quality as you can expect from Apple is exceptional. However, the edge where the OLED and the glass back panel meet the stainless steel is a bit rough and noticeable, which is a bit odd given Apple’s attention to details.

I have been using the Plus sized iPhone ever since launched the iPhone 6 Plus in 2015, so the iPhone X, with its long and narrow aspect ratio feels small, but I am happy to switch to it. While the Plus iPhone is a two-handed device, you can use the iPhone X quite comfortably with one-hand, except if you need to access the Control Center. iPhone X feels like a good balance between the regular iPhone and the Plus iPhone.

The notch isn’t such a big issue in apps while using them in Portrait mode, but I noticed that apps will need to be updated to handle the notch in landscape mode as it can cause weird UI issues.

DISPLAY

iPhone X’s Super Retina HD display is gorgeous. It seems as if the screen is embedded even closer to the display than before. I am not sure if it is because of the all-screen design and the lack of any buttons, or the OLED display, but iPhone X display feels a lot more immersive. The OLED panel looks crispier and more vivid. According to Rajesh, who got a chance to use the iPhone X yesterday, iPhone X’s OLED display looks better than Galaxy S8’s display, which is an irony as Samsung is supplying the OLED display for the iPhone X.

FACE ID

The setup process for Face ID was quite straightforward. In fact, I found it a lot quicker to set up Face ID compared to Touch ID. You have to register your face by moving your head in a circle twice. I hit issues with it a couple of times, where I was forced to enter the passcode but it worked most of the time.

As you can see in the video above, Face ID is definitely slower than Touch ID, but Apple has implemented it quite smartly. In the case of Touch ID, you had to place your finger on the Home button and then press it to unlock the device. In the case of the iPhone X, the device is unlocked when you look at the device. So when you unlock it, it doesn’t really need to check your face again. So even though Touch ID may be faster in the authentication process, Face ID will be a lot faster method in day-to-day use.

I also tested it in various lighting conditions such as in the dark. And it worked without any problems. Face ID also worked when I wore my spectacles, even though I had set up Face ID when I was wearing my contact lenses, which was quite impressive. Face ID also didn’t work when I put a surgical face mask.

Face ID has some limitations. It works only in Portrait orientation currently and unlike Touch ID, which allows for the registration of up to 5 fingers, Face ID currently only allows for one face. The other issue I think people are going to have with it is, it really requires attention. You really need to look at the device to unlock it.

But overall, it is a lot more seamless to use Face ID than Touch ID, and after using it for a few hours, I didn’t miss Touch ID.

INTERESTING DETAILS

  • iPhone X comes pre-installed with iOS 11.0.1, which seems to suggest that the iPhone X units were ready for shipment quite a long time back.
  • The Geekbench 4.0 app (iTunes link) confirms iPhone X comes with a 2.39 GHz A11 Bionic chip with 3GB RAM.
  • iPhone X performed even better than iPhone 8 Plus in the Geekbench score, even though they’re both powered by the same A11 chip. The iPhone X got a single-core score of 4230 compared to iPhone 8 Plus’ 4075 and an incredible multi-core score of 10,298, compared to iPhone 8 Plus’ 9148 (higher scores are better). It also makes iPhone X significantly faster than the iPhone 7 Plus, which got a single-core score of 3462, and multi-core score of 5595. The A11 Bionic chip is it comes with two high‑performance cores and four high‑efficiency cores (instead of just two in the case of the A10 chip). Apple has said that the high-performance cores of the A11 Bionic chip are up to 25 percent faster than A10 fusion, and high‑efficiency cores are up to 70 percent faster.
  • iPhone X also comes with a 5W charger. It is quite disappointing that Apple continues to ship the 5W charger even after it added fast charging feature in iPhone 8 and iPhone X. So you need to spend $49 for the 29W USB-C Power Adapter and another $25 for the USB-C to Lightning cable to use the feature.
  • The Battery percentage indicator option in Settings is missing so you can’t switch to a percentage battery indicator to get a more accurate status of the battery life remaining.

UPGRADE ADVICE

If you can afford the $999, the improvements in the iPhone X like the all-screen design, Super Retina HD OLED display, Face ID, the A11 Bionic chip, Portrait mode with Portrait Lightning in both the front and rear cameras, waterproofing are definitely worth an upgrade even if you’re using last year’s iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.

I will update the post if I find anything interesting worth sharing. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments. If you have got the iPhone X, then please feel to share your feedback about the device in the comments.