First the headphone jack, now the home button. Apple has made some questionable changes to their phones in the past few years, some of which have definitely paid off. These positive changes are most evident in one of their most sought after phones, the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10), which was officially shipped to customers’ doors on Nov. 3, with only 3 million units available. I was one of those customers fortunate enough to get my hands on it the first day.
Apple took a risk with their removal of the home button, which motivated the switch from Touch ID to Face ID. Like many others, I was skeptical of this new security system and had a few fears myself. How well would it work if I take my glasses off versus leave them on? Would other people be able to get into my phone? Would it work in the dark? How fast and reliable would it be compared to Touch ID? Fortunately, all of these fears subsided after just a few days of using my new phone. Face ID seemed to be easier and worked faster than Touch ID ever did, and wearing glasses had no effect on my ability to open the phone. Security-wise, no one has been able to get into my phone so far, though I have heard of instances where other people’s siblings could access theirs. But, after you re-scan your face, that issue is solved. And, apparently, the software that I thought was based on a camera is actually based on 30,000 infrared dots that create a virtual map of your face. Since it projects its own dots, facial recognition is independent and can work anywhere—even in the dark.
What’s more, the removal of the home button came with an additional benefit: expansion of the screen. Apple stepped up their game even more this year by expanding the iPhone X’s screen to a 5.8 inch OLED display, which I believe looks better than any other display that they have had before.
The only downside is that there are a bunch of new gestures to learn. Those took me at least a day to get used to. Another small annoyance is the small size of the top notch, where the carrier, time, battery and Wi-Fi signals are displayed. Because there is limited space, the battery percentage isn’t visible—the only way to view it is through the control center, which I find to be a major inconvenience. Hopefully that’s a technicality Apple changes in the next update.
But aside from the aforementioned features, the phone is relatively similar to past generations, just with a much better camera, as per usual with every new phone. The iPhone X’s new camera comes with a ton of new portrait mode features that don’t always apply the blurry background perfectly, but they are a step in a very useful direction. The phone also includes a fun little feature called animoji, which allows you to use facial ID technology to control the facial movements of featured emojis.
For the most part, the iPhone X is a major improvement of the previous iPhone 7 lineup. Though there are a few software issues that could be easily solved with future updates, the most important part—the hardware—is close to flawless. To anyone thinking about buying this new phone, I would highly recommend it; I just wish you the best of luck finding one available any time in the next month.