The iPhone X is the iPhone I’ve Been Dreaming About

3 minute read
| Analysis

The evolution of the iPhone, from the 6 to the 6s and then the 7 seemed microevolutionary. I was happy to have each iPhone as Apple released it, but there was nothing to get really pumped up about.

iPhone X.

Beamed from the future.

This iPhone is different. It feels like a new generation of smartphone technology, and I’m glad I bought it. Of course, for a detailed, full-length product review, see Jeff Gamet’s “iPhone X Review: Here’s What Apple Gets Right, And Wrong.” But I want to share my own, personalized thoughts.

Face ID

From a practical standpoint, Face ID is glorious. And fast. On day one, I was already accustomed to the new gestures, the app switcher, the control panel (right horn) and notifications (left horn). I already see the home button and Touch ID as a thing of the past, and I don’t miss them at all. They seem clumsy now, especially the fingerprint registration procedure. The only complaint I have is the process for a hard reboot. That is just uncalled for. C’mon Apple.

OLED Display

The OLED display is so pleasing to look at that I turned off “Night Shift.” For some reason, my eyes like the white areas at any brightness level at any time of day. Night shift just doesn’t seem necessary for me anymore.

I love the increased screen area without the iPhone X being much larger than the old iPhone 7. I’ve never been a fan of the “Plus” series. They’re just too big and unwieldy. This iPhone with a 5.8-inch display is a gorgeous compromise. I don’t ever want to go back to the 4.7-inch size.

iPhone X next to 7.

Not much bigger than 7. A lot more display.

Another thing I noticed is that I can use my Polaroid prescription sunglasses with the iPhone X. That’s because, unlike LCD displays, there are no polarization filters involved. I love it, especially when my wife is driving and I’m navigating.

One thing I’ve noticed is that, on most occasions, when I would have reached for my iPad (to benefit from a larger display), I can do what I need to do instead on the iPhone X. Remarkable.

The notch doesn’t bother me. It sinks into invisibility. What does annoy me is having to pull down the control panel to see the actual battery percentage. I can live with it.

Orientation

Some have complained that the lack of a home button makes it easy to pick the iPhone X upside down. That might be a problem without a case, but I’m using an OtterBox Symmetry clear case, and the feel of the button covers makes it instantly easy to feel which way to pick up and present the iPhone X for Face ID.

But now a new problem has cropped up for me. Thanks to the way I hold the iPhone X, it’s all too easy to touch an oily index finger to the bottom camera lens. I have to watch for that. (Some might say: “I’m holding it wrong!”)

Holding the iPhone X.

Turn it around. Oops! Careful not to touch the bottom lens!

Wi-Fi Calling

At this point, I’m not up to speed on the technical details. What I know is that Wi-Fi calling (on AT&T) is vastly superior to the 6s and 7. While Wi-Fi calling on those devices was inconsistent and felt inferior to my AT&T microcell, Wi-Fi calling on the X is rock solid and crystal clear. I greatly prefer it to the microcell. If I find out why this is happening, I’ll report in more detail.

In-Store Set Up

When I ordered the iPhone X, there was an annotation. “In-store delivery not available.” That means it had to be shipped to my house. That wasn’t a problem until, as is my custom, I took the iPhone X into my local Apple retail store for activation. And recycle of the old iPhone 7 for a gift card.

However, my Apple sales person told me that if the new iPhone is shipped to a home, I can’t recycle the old iPhone in the store. I had to use, say, Brightstar. (Or a sevice of my choice.). This was an unpleasant surprise that annoyed me greatly because I like the peace of mind when dealing with Apple directly. It’s something to be aware of for planning purposes.

Last year, when I activated my iPhone 7 and recycled the iPhone 6s, the in-store process was very tedious. I had to enter my Apple ID credentials, as I recall, about six times. This year was totally different. All I had to do was place the two iPhones next to each other, and credentials, settings and data were all synced. It was fast and painless.

Given that Apple has great tech support, the ease of paired setup, and the absence of in-store recycle for instant credit (for this model anyway), I will probably never have to depend on the in-store visit-which I’ve usually done in case I have a Big Problem.

Summary

The iPhone X has the look and feel of something that was left behind on earth by Captain Kirk. (Or Dr. McCoy.) It’s everything I’d dreamed it would be thanks to the drop-dead-gorgeous OLED edge-to-edge display, easy, sensible gestures and elimination of the oh-so crude Home button.

Wait times are very short now. If you’ve been dreaming of an iPhone that feels like it’s come back in time from the future, join me. You won’t be sorry.

5 Comments Add a comment

  1. Andrush

    Well, I have no idea what the 2018 iPhone will look like, but here’s what would have made me rush out and buy the 2017 iPhone X instead of sticking with my older iPhone ………
    The same enclosure. A display that stops at the bottom of the notch, a similar band at the lower edge that works as home button, making the display rectangular rather than a “rounded rectangle”. iPhone X owners I know say they miss the home button.
    If that’s what the 2018 iPhone will look like, count me in …..

  2. pjs_boston

    iOS 11 provides an easy way to completely shut down your iPhone without pushing any buttons.

    Simply go to ‘Settings>General’, scroll to the bottom, and tap ‘Shut Down’.

  3. pjs_boston

    I agree with Jon’s assessment of the iPhone X. A really great device that reinvents the iPhone experience for the better.

    Lucky for me, I’m a lefty – no issues with fingers touching the camera lenses!

    I agree with the minor gripe about Control Center, although I understand why Apple did what they did. Because the iPhone is used by such a wide range of users with differing levels of tech savvy, clarity of function takes precedence over other concerns. Once Apple made the choice to reserve the bottom of the screen for task switching, Control Center had to move. That said, I hope that in a future release, Apple might add an option for advanced users to swipe up from either the bottom-right or bottom-left corner to invoke Control Center.

  4. Andrush

    Now I’ve seen a few iPhone X’s in use. They do look good. Playing a video is still a rectangle, with square corners, though, and the size is not so different from the iPhone 6, 7 and 8 models. As a designer, I think what Apple designers “really, really” wanted was a phone with a display that went all the way edge-to-edge, side to side, top to bottom, with the Face ID sensors and a Home button all concealed behind the OLED display. Looks like these technologies are close, but proved not possible this year, maybe Apple will introduce them next year. We’ll see.

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