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The iPhone X

Thoughts and observations on a new(er) phone.

I ordered an iPhone X about 3 weeks ago and it came earlier this week. Here are some observations after a couple of days.

Like: The OLED Screen

The screen is beautiful. It’s bright and the colors are great. It’s even pretty readable in direct sunlight.

But the blacks.

OLED screens can turn off their backlight at a pixel level, so blacks are not just dim or even a dark gray like on most LCD panels, they are off. It’s amazing. I used to hate apps with dark modes where the background was pure black instead of a gray. But they look amazing on this screen. iOS now really needs a good dark mode.

Like: Rounded Screen Corners

I always loved WebOS, at least in theory. It looked amazing and I love that iOS is now just stealing from it wholesale. The rounded screen corners are one of my favorite things they stole this time, and they look great. Sure, it’s probably a pain for some developers, but the effect is cool and, in my opinion, worth it.

Like: Face ID

I love Windows Hello on my Surface. It’s fast and I almost never think about it. I almost never see the lock screen in Windows. Face ID’s recognition seems to be just as good and just as fast.

Like: Switching Between Apps

Swiping along the bottom edge of the screen looks and feels fantastic. Another great concept take from WebOS and adapted to just be better and more natural.

Indifference: The Notch

It’s there.

Dislike: Non-optimized Apps

(glaring at Google Maps) (Update: it updated!)

Actually it’s not very bad. The OLED screen makes the software bezels on non-optimized apps actually disappear.

Dislike: Brining Up the Multi-tasking View

While quick switching using the swipe along the bottom is great, the full multi-tasking view is annoying to bring up. The pause is awkward. Making an upside-down “L” shape is better, but still rather awkward. At this point, I stick to the quick swipes and only use the full view when I need to kill an app (which is extremely rare).

Dislike: 64GB

Coming from a 128GB iPhone 7 Plus, I’m worried that 64GB will not be enough space. I’ve made sure that I’m not keeping my entire photo library downloaded (40+ GB), so I’ll probably be fine. I still find it annoying that the base model doesn’t include more storage.

Hate: The Camera Bump

I hate it. I hate all camera bumps.

I really just want to use my phone without a case. But using it when it is laying flat on my desk (where it spends a lot of the day) is awful when the phone wobbles. I will pick up a case soon just because of that.

Overall

It’s a good phone. It’s expensive, sure, but it’s very nice. I’m not sure I buy that it is the “phone of the future,” but it is very much a step in a new direction. I’m very interested to see where Apple goes from here.