I’ve had the iPhone X for 2 full weeks now so I figured it was time to share my initial thoughts. Even after spending 2-weeks with the device I really haven’t had enough time to fully use the phone in all situations, so this really is just my initial thoughts. I think people need to live with the phone for a few months before they can fully understand how well the iPhone X will work for them.
The iPhone X Positives:
- FaceID works extremely well. If you have any doubts about moving from TouchID to FaceID you shouldn’t.
- The phone is extremely fast. Switching from app to app especially with the new app switcher gesture (once you get used to it) is lightning fast.
- Speaking of gestures, the lack of a home button is NOT an issue. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen become muscle memory faster than I thought possible. So much so that when I use my work iPhone 6s now using the home button seems very awkward.
- The screen is really nice. Contrast and colors are jaw-dropping and having an edge to edge screen feels like walking around in the future.
- The notch. The hype around the notch has been comical if it wasn’t so pathetic. The notch (the portion of the screen that isn’t a screen because it houses the FaceID sensors and front-facing camera) is not an issue. I don’t notice the notch. In fact, the only time I do notice it is when I am using an app that hasn’t been updated to take advantage of the larger iPhone X screen. People just like to complain, especially when it come to Apple. The notch really does blend into the background over time.
- The notch brings in one feature which I really love. When on a phone call the call status bar is now a very small box in one of the horns next to the notch instead of taking up the entire width of the screen. Why is this so nice? Many apps didn’t deal well with the phone call status bar and the UIs would not work right. Now that the status bar is a small status box in one of the horns there is no interference with apps. I am on the phone for a lot of long work calls so being able to use other apps while on a call without having to worry about crappy UI issues is really nice.
- Being able to use FaceID to authenticate 3rd party apps like 1Password has been nothing short of “magical.” I can’t wait until Apple starts integrating FaceID into iPads and Macs.
- Screen size and device size is perfect. I am coming from an iPhone 7 Plus, so having about the same size screen with the device size being about the size of a regular sized iPhone feels like cheating. People coming from a Plus sized phone will be happy with the screen and people coming from a regular iPhone will get all the advantages of a bigger screen without having to carry a bigger iPhone.
The iPhone X Negatives:
- It is small and slippery. I came from an iPhone 7 Plus that I carried around without a case. The iPhone X without a case is much more prone to slipping out of my hands or even out of my pockets because it is so much smaller. As much as I love carrying around an iPhone without a case it just isn’t practical with the iPhone X. At least for now I am using a case.
- FaceID doesn’t work when my iPhone X is sitting on my car dash holder. I have to lean in so I can close enough for FaceID to see me to unlock my iPhone. Normally I just play a playlist or a podcast so I don’t have to interact with my iPhone at all, but when I do it is a bit of an inconvenience.
- Battery life seems to be a lit less than with my iPhone 7 Plus. On heavy travel days I actually come really close to running out of juice by the time I get to my hotel. This never happened with my iPhone 7 Plus. Not a huge deal since these are pretty extreme cases and I carry a battery backup with me.
- Doing a hard reset of your iPhone now takes a very complicated set of button pushes. This is going to cause a lot of confusion for people for quite some time because it is not something you have to do very often but when you do need to do it YOU NEED TO DO IT because it is the only thing that can get your iPhone working again.
- Apps that have not been updated for the larger screen and notch of the iPhone X are really annoying. Once you get used to the larger iPhone X screen you get spoiled and apps that don’t take advantage of it look pretty bad and out dated.
- By default the iPhone X screen dims and goes to sleep (locks) after 30 seconds. This is way too fast when using the phone to do things like read off and type in long passwords or make coffee from the AeroPress app. It is set this way to protect the screen from burn in, which is possibility with the OLED screen. I bumped the screen sleep time up to 60-seconds, which is much more reasonable.
- Unlike the previous iPhone 6 Plus and 7 Plus you can’t turn your iPhone 10 and get the dock to work in a vertical mode while holding the phone in landscape. Why? Because with FaceID the iPhone must be in the portrait orientation to work so Apple didn’t want to encourage people to use the phone in an orientation that wouldn’t work with FaceID (things like in-app authentication).
- It’s expensive! This is not a phone for someone on a tight budget. I even wrote an article about this and how Apple has essentially convinced people to pay them to be beta testers. It’s actually quite genius.
Problems I Encountered After Using iOS 11 Data Migration:
- Apple Music playlists were empty (and here’s how to fix that)
- My saved articles in Pocket were there but I couldn’t read them (had to delete Pocket and re-sync)
- My VPN service (encrypt.me) on my iPhone freaked out and stalled the progress of my restore (had to delete and re-install)
- Airmail (my 3rd party email client) needed me to generate new app specific passwords for my email account
- Many of my Apps needed me to login to them after migration. It was some and not all, that was strange thing.
All-in-all I got through the transition and I’ve been really happy with my iPhone X. I was expecting it to be a new product with some growing pains and it has been. But it has also been a joy to use the new FaceID technology, making security on your iPhone virtually invisible to me as user. The new form factor and new screen technology has been great and even though my iPhone 7 was only a year old it was still a decent bump up in processing speed.