Now that the iPhone X reviews and first impressions are done and dusted, quite a few tangible advantages you can get from Apple’s latest and greatest have emerged, and these are no longer marketing speak, but actual features or options that are better than what the competition has to offer.
With the iPhone X, Apple delivered not only in its usual strong areas like display, design, and camera quality, but also improved on traditionally average points like screen-to-body ratio, battery life, or pixel density.
On the flip side, a few not-so-great conclusions have emerged, and we don’t mean the price tag only. This is why we are rounding up the main reasons to actually go out and buy the iPhone X, or to skip this one, and set your sights on something else. Check them out, and sound off with your own observations below.
10 real reasons to buy the iPhone X… and a few to let it slide
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10 real reasons to buy the iPhone X… and a few to let it slide
1. True cinematic video capture
The only iPhone that has optical image stabilization on both cameras is also capable of 4K video recording with the breathtaking 60 frames per second, and has the processing power to crunch all those frames without a quip. The result? Buying the iPhone X will net you some of the smoothest, sharpest, most detailed videos we’ve ever seen from any device this side of cinema equipment that costs tens of thousands of dollars.
2. Record LTE bands support
This record-holder of an iPhone X supports no less than 27 LTE bands for a truly globetrotting experience no matter where you are.
3. The most screen in the least iPhone
Complaints about the 19.5:9 aspect ratio or the notch aside, the iPhone X still fits way more screen relative to its frame than both the iPhone 8 Plus or the iPhone 8. As you can see in our interface comparison, you can enjoy more lines of text or visual content on one screen compared to its siblings, or, where things are equal due to the iPhone 8’s superb scaling, for instance, the font will be larger and thus easier to read. As for videos – well, the screen is with the trendy ~2:1 format, so you know the drill.
4. Outdoor visibility
The iPhone X offers the brightest OLED display with the lowest reflectance, so it will excel in sunlight visibility on your next summer vacation. Don’t get fooled by the 1000+ nits peak brightness numbers of phones like the Note 8. These whopping values are only achieved for small portions of the screen area at blinding ambient lights in auto brightness mode, and it is the full screen brightness that matters most.
Our measuring equipment returned 640 nits of full screen brightness from the iPhone X, which is the highest we’ve tested on an OLED display. For comparison, the Note 8 peaked at 518 nits. When you couple the high overall brightness achievable with the iPhone X, and its record low display reflections under direct sunlight, you get the ultimate in outdoor visibility from an OLED panel.
5. Excellent battery life
It has been a recurring theme that the smaller iPhone 8 can’t hit the endurance of its Plus sibling and its huge battery, but with the iPhone X and its funky L-shaped battery pack, you can now have the best of both worlds – a battery life on par with the 8 Plus, and a footprint closer to the iPhone 8. Winning.
6. Amazing color accuracy and display contrast
While the near-infinite contrast of the iPhone X can be attributed to the OLED display technology that shows black by simply turning the pixels off, the color rendering of the phone is entirely thanks to Apple’s factory calibration, and it is the most color-accurate OLED screen we’ve seen, with a gamma value of 2.2, too, indicating a perfect amount of luminance distributed while displaying various colors and their shades. Just watch a video on the high-contrast HDR display of the iPhone X, and you’ll see what we mean.
7. Screaming fast
From simply frolicking through the interface, to scrolling complex webpages or recording 4K 60fps video, the iPhone X feels insanely fast and uninterrupted. It’s as if nothing you throw at it can cause it to slow down or stutter, and the gesture-based interface only contributes to the breezy interaction.
8. Face ID and Animojis are a thing, and will only grow from here
We are just a week away from the iPhone X launch, but there are already a number of uses for Apple’s new TrueDepth camera kit on the iPhone X – from the default Face ID biometric unlocking and Animoji chat characters, to the third-party contributions like examining which pair of glasses will fit your face best without even stepping into a Warby Parker store.
While Apple didn’t nominally boost the iPhone X volume compared to the already loud speakers of the iPhone 8 Plus, it increased the overall balance by bumping the power of the earpiece, and now the iPhone X provides an impressive stereo sound in landscape mode while watching videos, with evenly distributed mids and highs, and will continue pumping out powerful tunes even if you inadvertently cover the bottom speaker with your hand.
10. This instant classic is a value retainer
Apple is barely able to produce enough iPhone X units to satisfy the initial demand, and there are plenty of those hitting eBay or Craigslist at double the price, not to mention the traditional high resell price of Apple’s iPhones, and the X is many folks’ wet dream to boot.
If you fret about the $999 price, don’t forget that you will still be able to sell the iPhone X for $600-$700 next year around this time, provided you kept it in good condition, so even in the worst case scenario you will only be paying about $30 a month for the usage of your brand new iPhone X before you can hop onto the next best thing in the notch universe.
11. It’s fragile, and repairs are expensive
Now, the bad stuff. Glass back does crack, no matter what generation of Gorilla Glass is used in the making of the iPhone X. Like all glass phones, if it slips through your fingers and hits the pavement from even a modest height, it will crack or break. While with previous aluminum alloy iPhones you usually only had to worry about the screen, now both the screen and the back are in danger, and repairing them will cost you a pretty penny – $279 for the OLED display, and the whopping $549 for “other damages”. That’s actually less expensive than swapping a screen on the Note 8 Galaxy S8, but would still sting, so wrap it in a case, or insure it.
12. Most apps and video aren’t optimized for the new iPhone X display yet
While Apple has done a good job tailoring the iPhone X interface to fit the notch and the new 2:1 (not counting the horn pixels) aspect ratio, most app developers haven’t gotten the memo just yet, while most video on YouTube and streamers like Netflix aren’t meant for 19.5:9 screens with a cutout. These are common problems for all the tall and narrow screens that flooded the market this year, though, and both Google and Apple have issued rallying cries to developers to resubmit their apps with support for the inevitable 2:1 aspect ratio.
13. Limited color options
If we have to paraphrase Henry Ford, you can have any iPhone X hue you want, as long as it’s black (Space Gray) or white (Silver), and that’s that. Glass hues are much harder to master than painting aluminum, but if history is any indication, we feel that next year Apple might have a little something extra for those of us not suffering from smartphone Daltonism. You’d have a case on it anyway (see the point about the expensive repairs).
14. Off-angle color temperature shifts and burn-in potential
While the high contrast ratio and the eye-popping colors are a genuine advantage of OLED displays, the huge power draw when displaying white, the off-angle color shifts, and the potential for burn-in are their downsides, and the iPhone X is no exception, as its screen whites turn blueish at an angle, and the power draw when displaying all-white is the whopping 3.25W, or, three times the consumption of an LCD in the same scenario. As for the burn-in potential, we wouldn’t worry too much despite Apple’s soft warnings on the matter – you’d have to show one and the same image for days on end before even the slightest hint appears, which is not a realistic scenario.
15. Dubious design choices
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but with a camera bulge the size of Twin Peaks, the iPhone X’s rear takes away from the first impression of a very elegant, premium device, not to mention that we often found our fingers in the viewfinder, which is a common thread for all corner-positioned cameras. As for the notch – well, this one actually screams “I’m an iPhone, deal with it!”