Apple’s iPhone X review embargo lifted today, and opinions from various sites have started to come in. The consensus, generally speaking, is that the iPhone X is a major revamp that hits far more often than it misses, though there’s an important caveat here: Apple appears to have seeded the iPhone X with less than 24 hours between unit reception and review NDA lift. That’s an insanely short period of time for any device, particularly a genre-redefining phone.
Everyone seems to love the display. “At a glance, the iPhone X looks so good one of our video editors kept saying it looked fake,” The Verge declares . It describes the display as looking “like a live 3D render instead of an actual working phone.”
Opinions on the “notch”–the cut-out at the top used for Face ID–continue to bifurcate. CNN reports still being annoyed by it, and The Verge claims landscape mode is still very messy, with content also clipped at the corners thanks to the screen’s rounded bezels. This is one area where Android and Apple both seem to have trouble; robust app support for the various bezel shapes, edge displays, and now Apple’s notch seems to lag years behind when hardware manufacturers want to roll these features out. Wired, on the other hand, says that while the notch isn’t great, “ you get used to it. ” Apps that haven’t been specifically updated for the iPhone X display in what The Verge refers to as “software bezel” mode, as shown below:
Reports on Face ID are also a bit split. Wired had some initial trouble with it, CNN isn’t giving an opinion yet, and The Verge states: “The good news is that Face ID mostly works great. The bad news is that sometimes it doesn’t, and you will definitely have to adjust the way you think about using your phone to get it to a place where it mostly works great.”
So… good, maybe?
The camera is always a major feature of any smartphone launch, but the iPhone X reviews are so compressed, most salient details are missing. The Verge writes that the iPhone X camera is very similar to the iPhone 8 (not counting its cutting-edge support for sentient poop emoji), while Wired writes that the iPhone X is a “major upgrade,” but appears to compare against an iPhone 7. Generally speaking, camera technology improves year-on-year more than in different models of phone with a similar camera, and Apple clearly spent its major budget working on getting Face ID working as opposed to on outfitting the iPhone X with a radically different back camera solution. CNN doesn’t mention the back-facing camera at all.
A Tight Review Embargo Does No One Any Favors
If this review roundup seems a little brief compared with the significance of the device, it’s because most of the review coverage out today is pretty sparse. If you want to read about a giant poop emoji, well, Wired leads with it. No, I’m not sure why. Everyone else has given the phone a lick and a promise, generally noting that while it does a lot of things pretty well, the tight review timeline plus the newness of the phone’s display make it harder to truly evaluate. There are no dramatic issues with Face ID, though it’s still possible that Apple relaxed its standards to speed manufacturing without fundamentally compromising quality.
If you’ve ever (or often) picked up an iPhone and wondered what the fuss was about, the various reviews waxing on about Apple’s reinvention of ideas like the Home Button (now you use gestures) or the glorious nature of OLED screens is going to strike you as a bit myopic. “Android devices have had some of these things for literal years,” you might be tempted to shout. And you’d have a point, in many cases. Right now, the iPhone X appears to be an exceptionally well-made handset, with a number of technological firsts in an Apple device, but it’s also designed to look towards a future that takes greater advantage of AR technology, eschews buttons, and fields apps that adjust to screen dimensions more capably than what we have today. The problem with this is you don’t know which innovations will catch with customers and which will not until you try. Apple is throwing a lot of mud at the proverbial wall with the iPhone X, but we’ll have to see what sticks.
With that said, all of these reviews are more positive on the iPhone X than the iPhone 8. If you were choosing which Apple phone to buy based solely on reviews, even at this early stage, the iPhone X comes off much better.
Source: EXTREME TECH