I work up at 3am on Friday, October 27, to place a preorder for the iPhone X. I promised my wife that she’d get one as soon as it was released. She had been holding on to her iPhone 6 for two years waiting for the superphone Apple was rumored to be releasing for its tenth anniversary. We heard about the rumors of production delays. Would FaceID actually work? Was the phone really worth the deluxe price? I placed my order with Verizon in the early morning, saw my confirmation that our iPhone X would be delivered by November 3, and went back to sleep.
Fast forward to the next Friday. FedEx delivered the phone before noon. Apple has always made the unboxing of its devices something special. The experience of using your new iPhone always begins as soon as you see the hero image on the front of the box.
Getting Started With iPhone X
Getting started with the phone is super easy. Turn the phone on, and swipe through a few steps. Other than needing a second try to connect to the activation server, the process was smooth and activation was painless. The FaceID setup is simple and friendly, as is setting up Siri. Overall, it was less than five minutes from opening the box, to the phone being ready to go.
Super Retina HD Display
The iPhone X is all about the screen. It’s immediately obvious how beautiful the Super Retina HD display is. The colors are sharp and there is no doubt it’s the highest-quality display on the market. It’s also amazing that the form factor is a bit smaller than the iPhone 6, but the screen size is larger.
No More Home Button
I was surprised how easy it is to adjust to the removal of the physical home button. Swipe up on the display once or twice to go to the home screen, and you’ll forget why you ever needed that round button in the first place. One thing I haven’t seen reported is that there is a thin horizontal line at the bottom of the screen that indicates where to swipe up from. It’s something of a virtual “home button” and makes the new process quick and easy to pick up.
FaceID has worked perfectly and, like the new swipe up to go home, becomes immediately familiar. It makes unlocking the phone quicker and easier than using a passcode. For all of the concerns about how well it would work, once it was set up, it’s easy to forget it’s even there. Pick up the phone, look at it, and you’re in.
The new Animojis are almost creepy in how well they capture facial expression and emotions. It’s likely that this technology is the first step towards phones being able to detect and react to emotional cues. This will open up entire new areas of AI, as the phone reacts to your moods. In the meantime, sending these little animated videos should prove really popular and was very easy to learn.
A11 Bionic Processor
The hardware feels super fast and installing and using apps is noticeably smooth and quick. While processor specs may not be the reason people buy a new phone, the A11 Bionic chip does feel like a step ahead.
We’ve only had the phone for a day, but so far the battery life seems steady. We haven’t had a chance to try the camera yet, but that’s the next big test and I’ll follow-up once we’re able to do so.
The Future Of The Smartphone
The iPhone X is a beautiful device, and clearly the premium phone on the market. Like a high-end car, or a pair of expensive designer jeans, it’s an individual choice if the extra price is worth it. But so far, the iPhone X is living up to its expectations as the future of what the smartphone will be, and using it is looking at the future of the industry.