September saw Apple announce two new models to add to its successful smartphone armoury, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X; the latter a radical change of design direction, with the removal of the home button and addition of a new edge-to-edge screen, marking the ten year anniversary of the iPhone family.
With an ageing older iPhone 6, I was straight online on launch night (like a sucker) to pre-order my new X (pronounced ten), which arrived just about a week ago. Having used the phone fairly extensively for both business and leisure, including a trip to Abu Dhabi, I thought I would share my first impressions of the latest effort from the fruit-based smartphone manufacturer.
All New iPhone X
At the top of this post, I’m going to lead with a disclaimer that ultimately, to the average Joe like you and me, the iPhone X is just another iPhone. Yes, it boasts a load of new tech features and is visually cleaner than its predecessors, but it’s still an iPhone. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here – but, there are some welcome changes that are quite snazzy. Unless you’ve noticed, TwoMenAboutTown isn’t TechRadar either, so we won’t get massively over-excited about tech specs that mean little to the everyday user.
The most obvious change to the iPhone X is it’s screen, running into each corner, allowing it to fit a large screen into a normal sized iPhone. The retina-screen really pops out at you through use, it’s bright, clear and (obviously) big. Photos, videos and general web browsing looks marvellous up on that baby.
The next addition to the iPhone X that I’ve been loving is Face ID, the facial recognition system that replaces the previous Touch ID fingerprint authentication system; now, simply looking at the iPhone’s front-facing camera wakes and unlocks it. Face ID also does tons of other things too – previews of notifications on the lock screen are minimised until the phone recognises your face, whilst apps such as PayPal and Apple Pay allow authentication without the need to enter a pin. Face ID speeds up accessing your iPhone and also the need to remember or enter pin numbers when you’re at the till.
It works in the dark, it works whilst wearing glasses and it seems to work in almost every scenario I’ve thrown at it. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Removal of the home button
The removal of the home button is, admittedly, no great loss. At first, I found it a little disconcerting, but simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen allows one to jump straight to the home screen. There’s no point over dramatising the removal of the home button – it’s not really a biggie.
The camera represents another leap in the development of the iPhone, and for me, is probably the best feature. Whilst similar to the new iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X features a 12-megapixel camera and a 7-megapixel forward-facing selfie camera, making it one of the best smartphones on the market currently for taking photographs.
The introduction of ‘portrait mode’ is phenomenal; it blurs the background of photos, whilst the elements in the foreground appear in focus and detailed. Quite remarkable technology from a phone; to demonstrate, here are a few of my favourite photos that I’ve taken so far with it switched on…
Ok, you get the idea.
Putting it simply, the iPhone X’s camera is out of this remarkable, delivering photos that are rich with detail and colour. It’s now possible to achieve photographs and selfies that could easily pass as shots from relatively high-end cameras. I’m very impressed.
Is the iPhone X worth it?
At £999 for the 64GB and £1,149 for the 256GB variants, the iPhone X is NOT cheap – ultimately, it’s still an iPhone, whether you have an older model or are deciding between the iPhone 8 or iPhone X. However, the superior performance, design, convenience of Face ID and stunning camera output make it an excellent smartphone, which for me was worth the splash on a new monthly contract, given my high personal and business use.
I am very impressed and would absolutely recommend.