My First Week With The iPhone X – Impressions & Thoughts

Michael Grothaus

19/12/2017 – 10:33am

Our writer gives his hot take on Apple’s latest device.

I’m going to admit it: I made fun of the iPhone X when Apple first unveiled it. It was too much money, the notch was horrible, there wasn’t enough reason to upgrade from my iPhone 6s. But then while traveling in Japan the week the iPhone X came out, I held one for the first time–and I immediately fell in love. The moment I had it in my hand was the first time in years I had experienced any excitement over an Apple device. It’s also the first time in a long time that I felt Apple had its groove back and now understood that Apple without Steve Jobs is NOT a problem. Needless to say, when I returned to America I ordered one and got it a little over a week ago. Using it for only a week is hardly enough to give a thorough verdict of the device, so instead, I’ll give you my hot take outlining the top takeaways I have on the device.

It’s The Most Beautiful Device Apple Has Ever Made

That’s not hyperbole. The iPhone X is literally the most beautiful device Apple has ever made. If you’re interested, before the iPhone X I considered the original iPod mini the most beautiful Apple device ever. But the iPhone X has exceeded that beauty and the beauty of every Apple device before and since.

There’s one thing I now know that people who haven’t held one in person need to keep in mind: the photos and videos you see of the iPhone X online do not do it justice. It’s all glass front and back, the curved stainless steel rim, and that OMG its jaw-dropping display is a work of art. Yep: not kidding. I should caveat that with the notice that I’m only talking about the silver (aka “white”) iPhone X. The same level of beauty and the impeachable design of the device looks somewhat less on the black “space grey” model. It’s why in the first time in my life I opted to buy the white model over the black iPhone.

The Notch Is NOT A Problem

Like many of you, I made fun of the notch when I first saw it. But as I said above, so many of your preconceived notions about the device change as soon as you hold it in person. The notch looks beautiful and the “horns” it forms on the display gives it a unique form factor that, without a doubt, distinguishes it from any other smartphone on the market. It also serves as a great physical reminder that swiping down from the top of the different sides of the display results in different functions being called up (Notification or Control Center).

I Don’t Miss Touch ID At All

Even more controversial than the notch was the jettisoning of the Touch ID fingerprint reader in favor of Face ID facial recognition. When Apple announced the iPhone X wouldn’t have Touch ID I thought it was the worst mistake the company had ever made. I LOVED Touch ID. But after using the iPhone X for a week now, I don’t miss Touch ID at all. Matter of fact, I’m glad it’s gone. Face ID is flawless and much faster than Touch ID. It removes the manual step of authentication by performing it automatically and sometimes it literally feels like magic that my iPhone X seems to “just know” it’s me using the phone. Face ID lets me pick up my phone and open my password protected apps and just get on with my work without doing a thing.

It’s Still Too Much Money For Most People

All of the above being said, the iPhone X is A LOT of money–and it’s still priced too high for most people. If the phone were £200-300 less, I would say it’s a no-brainer for most people to get if they want a top of the line flagship. But at £999–£1149 it is definitely a premium product that in actuality doesn’t give you any more productivity benefits than a £500 phone does. Yet I will say thanks to the screen, Face ID, and the incredible industrial design, you DO feel like the iPhone X is a £1149 device. In other words–it earns its price tag. However, a Ferrari earns its price tag too, but it’s still too much car for most people.

It Will Only Get Better

The great thing about the iPhone X is that it’s a giant leap forward into that future where our smartphones are literally just a slate of glass and nothing else. With the elimination of the home button, 99% of your interaction with the device is through the screen. And since the screen is just the physical manifestation station of the software behind it, Apple now has the ability to add completely new software features to the phone that radically alter how it works or what it does–something they couldn’t do when they were depended on a physical Home button as the main interaction point of the device. This is exactly why Jony Ive has even said that today’s iPhone X will do completely different stuff a year from now.

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