iPhone X Bringing Back The Joy

After spending a full week using mostly my daily tasks as a barometer (not a fan of unrealistic standardized tests), I can truly say that I’m really enjoying the iPhone X. Equipped with a super fast, custom built CPU (neural engine included), edge-to-edge display, everything HDR, and a tweaked user interface all wrapped inside a solid design, the iPhone X is a glimpse into were Apple is going and a peek at where future computing technology is headed.


Faster and Better

Face ID is getting all the attention, and rightfully so. The True Depth camera system is what makes Apple’s facial recognition possible, but it’s the A11 Bionic chip with it’s neural engine that’s the brains behind it’s speed and learning ability. It’s why Face ID has worked extremely well under a wide range of lighting conditions, 3D glasses in a darkened theater and sunglasses (even polarized) as long as they don’t block infrared light. Face ID doesn’t work in landscape mode but it has worked for me at slight off axis angles and while holding it at normal distances as I use the phone. It’s even unlocked while the phone is laying on my work desk as I sit down. So there is some leeway allowed. Although, I’m pretty sure anyone could find a situation where Face ID may stumble, but unless you’re always in that type of situation it shouldn’t be an issue as it’s designed to learn and adapt. Like Touch ID, Face ID was done right, right out the gate. It works well and with the A11 behind it, it’s fast enough that you will not miss Home button.

Using Face ID as a baseline for speed you get an idea of just how fast the A11 processor is. Designed for and with both augmented and virtual reality in mind even the heaviest of tasks from today’s applications shouldn’t be able to slow it down. General navigation of the user interface is lag free in a way that past iPhones have not been. There’s almost a liquid kind of smoothness to it, where even regular game play seems more fluid and responsive. Assisting in this is also Apple’s own in-house designed GPU. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about it, but so far I haven’t experienced any issues related to it either. It will probably take developers another year if not longer to take full advantage of all the A11 and the GPU has to offer.

Another faster but not really touched on chipset is the new Bluetooth 5.0 chipset and protocol. The improvements here are faster data transmission, increased range and better interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies. This should aid in improved connections, especially with wireless headphones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Although, it remains to be seen whether or not both devices are required to have the same version for it to work effectively. I’m also looking at how Apple and other companies choose to implement it. Currently, I’ve been using Apple’s AirPods and haven’t noticed any discernible difference but at the same time I‘ve never had any real issues with them to begin with.

While I’m on the faster and better train I thought all current devices would have been upgraded with the new W2 wireless chip like the Apple Watch 3. As far as I can tell, that’s not the case. It is possible that the watch needed it more due to its’ small size and the addition of a cellular radio whereas larger devices may not benefit from it. Either way there doesn’t seem to be anything lost by using the W1 in the iPhone X since Apple did originally introduce it as merely a simpler way of pairing Bluetooth devices. So at the moment it’s difficult to build an argument for not having the newer version.


HDR Through and Through

Another upgrade is the dual 12 megapixel camera system which is amazing. It takes beautiful pictures that are a much welcomed improvement over the iPhone 7 Plus. HDR, optical zoom and even the digital zoom has improved but I’m much more impressed with optical zoom especially since it’s now in both lenses. The iPhone X follows it’s predecessors by taking better truer to life images than I’ve seen with some other phones but it’s worthless if you don’t have the proper equipment to view them on. The inclusion of a well calibrated HDR screen insures all the details and colors aren’t lost on the iPhone’s display so you see photos taken in HDR as they were meant to be.

The display is absolutely stunning. As I’ve previously mentioned you get the full 4K HDR experience in the palm of your hands. Rich vibrant colors without them being over saturated or bleeding into each other and deep dark blacks that aren’t blown out or seeing pixelation due to information loss. This is where the calibrating of each iPhone X individually versus the batch job setup of other manufactures where they only test say 1 or 2 out of every batch truly pays off. The former insures better consistency and quality control among the product line and helps catch flaws or faulty panels before they get out to the public. It’s not full proof but it does help. It has also helped that Apple only sourced the panels from Samsung and then added in their own display technology. It’s been a full week and thankfully the display has shown no signs of burn-in or image retention which seems to be common occurrence with OLED displays. At this point while I’m no longer testing the phone I am looking forward to seeing how the display holds up as time goes on. So I will be keeping a very close eye on it.



The iPhone X has the same basic design of the past 2 generations but don’t let that be a distraction to just how good this phone is. Much like the operating system the iPhone X is designed to have a fluid look and feel. Its’ steel band sealed between two glass panels accomplishes just that while also adding functionality.

The added functionality comes in the form of wireless charging. Apple chose the 5 watt version of the Qi wireless charging standard but is promising an upgrade to 7 watt via a later software update. Although, this currently makes it charge slower than other smartphones it keeps it inline with the included USB charger. Obviously, Apple is taking its time with wireless charging it’s a start but a faster charge rate would be preferable.

Then there’s the choice of surgical grade steel. This is probably due to it being more hypoallergenic than other metals and its’ higher level of resistance to corrosive materials. The latter will aid in its ability to remain water resistant over longer periods of exposure especially to salt water. When combined with the glass panels and the IP67 standard what you end up with is a well designed and very corrosive resistant device.


Wrap Up

The iPhone X is a well designed smartphone inside and out. A faster more efficient processor with a neural engine, facial recognition, wireless charging, full end-to-end HDR, an edge-to-edge display and a tweaked user interface that takes takes another step towards a buttonless future. Everything about it says it’s better most of which you can only tell by using it. Yes, it’s expensive, but if you are the type to use your phone everyday, it has become your main computing device or you just like new technology, it just might be worth the cost. The iPhone X is Apple’s first major shift in 10 years since introducing the first iPhone and with that they’ve also brought back the fun and enjoyment that was so desperately lacking. And that is something I think most early adopters and tech enthusiast will like the most.


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