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Thoughts on the iPhone X
2 min read

Thoughts on the iPhone X

I tend to not do these sorts of things anymore, because, well, it all feels a bit me-too these days, with every Tom, Dick, and Harry dropping their opinions. (There were a lot fewer of us writing about smartphones in 2003.) But, it’s been 10 years since the first iPhone came out, and I just felt like I had to say something.

So anyway, here’s a few rapid-fire thoughts after a few days with the X:

  • Don’t notice the notch at all in normal use, but everyone else does — it’s a bit too conspicuous.
  • It’s just beautiful, and feels incredible in the hand. There are no edges — it’s seamless top-to-bottom, left-to-right. As Sebastian De With says, “Apple has taken 10 years of those innovations in industrial design and essentially summarized it.” I completely agree — it feels like a culmination, almost a literal compression of a decade of refinement.
  • After using a Plus for the past two cycles I can tell you that the X feels tiny. It’s great for protracted use, even without some sort of third-party grip, something I nearly always used on my Plus-sized phones. (For those wondering, the goStrap is the best one I’ve come across). It’s slightly heavier and thicker than you’d expect, but nothing you won’t get used to, and frankly, I think it adds to the luxury feel. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Further, I’ve long said I’d trade a little weight/thickness for better battery life, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here.
  • Face ID works like a charm. Truly magical. It disappears. One issue I had though is that I set it up while wearing my glasses and it wouldn’t work at all when I wasn’t wearing them. I fixed this by re-training it with my glasses off; after doing that it works perfectly with or without glasses. (It’d be cool if we could add another “version” of our face (e.g., with glasses), kind of like how we could add multiple versions of the same (or different) fingers for Touch ID.)
  • Tap-to-wake works just as you’d expect. It’s nice.
  • It’s about time iPhones got an OLED display, and boy is it beautiful (and no doubt helps the battery situation). In fact, according to DisplayMate, it’s the “most innovative and high performance Smartphone display” they’ve ever tested. Not sure what I can add to that other than to say it’s a joy to behold.
  • It took a little time to get used to all of the new no-button gestures, but now they’re mostly second nature. As others have mentioned, the new gesture that’s the hardest to remember is the pull-from-top-right-corner to get to the Control Center. It’s awkward because it’s only on one side of the notch and in the opposite direction of the old gesture we’ve all been trained on.

In summary, it’s nearly perfect and I love it.

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