It’s not easy to justify spending $1000 or more on an iPhone. Yet, millions already have. The question is no longer whether people will buy a $1000 iPhone. That question has been answered loudly. The question now is whether or not it was a good buy. After over a month of using the iPhone X, that’s the question I want to answer just as much for me as for you.
More than anything else, the edge-to-edge OLED display is what makes the iPhone X the iPhone X. Beyond that, the feature set lines up almost identically with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. So how big of a deal is the display?
For me, the iPhone X has finally married a few things I’ve wanted in an iPhone for a long time, screen size and one-handed usability. I used an iPhone 6s Plus for a year and loved the screen real estate. But every day there were situations where I wished I could use the device one-handed. So, I went back to the 4.7” display when the iPhone 7 came out. I missed the larger screen but it was great to be able to use the phone one-handed again. With the iPhone X, you get the best of both worlds. This is easily my favorite part of the iPhone X, and it is something you can’t get on any other iPhone.
The move to OLED has made more of a difference than I expected. Colors aren’t overly saturated like many OLEDs on Android phones, but they are more vibrant than any other iPhone. But where you really notice a difference is in blacks. Unlike with LCDs, which light up every pixel even when it’s not in use, OLEDs only light up the individual pixels that are being used. This means blacks really look black. I’ve been surprised how much I’ve noticed and enjoyed this when watching a video or using an app that has updated to support a truly black dark mode.
It’s no surprise the cameras on the iPhone X are the best ever in an iPhone. Starting with the rear, the dual lens setup improves on the iPhone 7 Plus. Portrait mode has come a long ways since its introduction last year. However, the iPhone X’s camera is almost identical to what you will find on the iPhone 8 Plus. The only difference is both lenses have optical image stabilization.
The real innovation comes with the iPhone X’s TrueDepth front-facing camera. Along with the 7MP camera, the array features a dot projector, dedicated infrared camera, and a Flood Illuminator. It’s a mouthful, but these components enable Face ID and some other impressive capabilities. The front-facing camera is the first to support Portrait mode, which I rarely use. What my two-year-old and I have used quite a bit is Animojis, which are lots of fun.
Since you get mostly the same camera experience with the iPhone 8 Plus, the camera alone isn’t worth spending the extra money on the iPhone X.
Face ID was the most controversial rumor surrounding the iPhone X. I’ll admit, when the rumors started, I was not happy about losing Touch ID to facial recognition. However, I should have known Apple would do facial recognition right, and they did. It only took me a week or two to completely forget about Touch ID. Now, I find myself frustrated when I have to move my finger to authenticate something on the iPad. It’s a first world problem I know, but it does say something about Apple’s ability to make a technology no one has done right so seamless.
Similar to the camera, I don’t think Face ID by itself is enough to justify the extra money over an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. However, if you consider the entire package, I think it is absolutely worth the extra money to go for the iPhone X, especially if you are already planning to spend $700-$800 on an iPhone 8 model.
After using the iPhone X for over a month, I can definitely say it is a good buy.