The iPhone X is an excellent phone. That does not mean, however, that there is nothing to criticize, but the positive qualities far outweigh the negative.
We cannot imagine that after purchasing this device people will be dissatisfied with how the device works. People will probably be dissatisfied with the amount that has gone out of their wallets, because the iPhone X is expensive. Really and very expensive.
Everyone can see that the iPhone X is the price, but is it also a good device? That is obvious, with this price. We looked at how good an iPhone X is actually.
Apple used the tick-tock model for years. First a new model came out (tick), after which it was improved the following year (tock). That happened with the iPhone 3G and 3GS, 4 and 4S, 5 and 5S and 6 and 6S. Since then, Apple has moved away from introducing a new design every other year, but with the iPhone X, the Cupertino manufacturer nevertheless tackles the rudder rigorously. No one will miss that, because the iPhone is almost synonymous with smartphone because of its popularity.
In addition to the design, Apple also made an important choice in terms of pricing. Never before has there been such an expensive iPhone. For the top model of 256GB you pay a fairly excessive 1197 euro at the time of writing. Of course you get a lot in return, but the relationship between price and quality is a bit questionable in advance. Of course, in this review we will look at how exactly that quality is, and in essence what kind of telephone you get when you spend so much money.
We will of course look at the performance of the camera, the software on the iPhone X, the front-filling screen and of course we also talk about the quality of the call. After all, it is also just a telephone. At the end we compare the iPhone X with other top devices, after which we summarize the key points in a conclusion.
iPhone X: Screen Display
The iPhones had an LCD screen for years. These were often excellent screens, although the resolution was sometimes a bit disappointing. While the competitor outpaced Apple in resolution and also image technology (AMOLED), the company from Cupertino stayed tight to its own displays. This has changed, because there is an AMOLED screen in an iPhone for the first time. Yay!
Let’s start with the numbers. The iPhone X features a 5.8 inch large screen, which has a resolution of 1125 by 2436 pixels. That is more than enough to show everything sharp. You have 458 pixels per inch in total to display everything. The rule is that everything from 300 and up is as sharp as you need in daily use.
As you can see, the iPhone does not have a traditional square screen. The corners are rounded and then we have not even mentioned that all-hated projection at the top of the screen. This ‘notch’ takes away some of the pixels so that there is room for the camera and the other sensors that are needed at the front. This works well in the menus on the phone and on the home screen, but that party will soon stop as soon as you open apps from third parties.
There are few companies that make good use of the space around the notch. Netflix just leaves it completely black, but also has a black bar at the bottom. You’ll find the same in YouTube and other video player apps. This also has to do with the aspect ratio; the iPhone is relatively slightly wider than the 16: 9 ratio that has a lot of video. Nonetheless, the pieces of screen next to the notch feel a bit senseless; many apps do not make good use of space, which often makes them disappear.
Finally, a few words about the AMOLED technique. This is not only a technique that guarantees a very good contrast, but the screen also skins more carefully with energy. This is all due to the possibility of the individual pixels to turn off if they have to display black. That saves energy, and therefore also has a positive effect on the contrast, because the black colour is very deep.
iPhone X: Elegant Design
Glass, glass and another glass. It is the case of the iPhone X. It looks great, and it is nice to see that Apple once again uses a refreshed design. At the back of the white version there is a kind of frosted glass with a reflective Apple logo. The camera sticks out just like in the previous iterations. It has become a single module with two lenses and a dual-tone flash. There is also a microphone incorporated in the module.
The edge around is made of chromed metal, which is easily damaged. For example, after using a case, we had a few damage to the bottom after a few weeks, whereas the case does not protect the shiny edge. The glass front and back are more scratch resistant in that respect.
At the bottom of the housing, we find the lightning connection, surrounded by speaker and microphone. On the sides are the volume rockers and the on / off button. At least, it only partly functions as such. If you hold it down, you get Siri on the phone, instead of a menu that asks if you want to shut down the phone. A short press on the button still turns off the screen, so that has not changed. If you want to switch off the device, you must press and hold the on / off button together with the volume up button.
The front is exactly the same for the black and white versions. The time that the white variant also had a white front is over with the front-filling screen. There is not that much room for a white colour anyway, so we understand Apple’s decision. It also means that when you use a case, it no longer really matters which colour you have.
That glass back is of course a lot more vulnerable, but it does have one important advantage. Well, importantly we do not want to mention it right away, but it is useful. The iPhone X namely supports, just like its cheaper brother (the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) wireless charging. That works pretty nice, but not too fast. We will come back to it later under the heading Battery.
iPhone X: Hardware and Battery
The iPhone X is equipped with four self-developed cores. Well, self-developed is a big word. Apple has at least its own badge stuck on it, because the iPhone is equipped with an A11 chip. The iPhone also participates in the AI-hype and calls its A11 chip ‘Bionic’, which in our main brings back memories of the Lego variant that is almost the same.
All marketing misery aside this A11 Bionic chip is just very smooth. You never have to wait for a long time on your phone; everything starts at lightning speed and reacts extremely quickly to your touches. You never run into the limitations of the hardware. That in itself is an achievement that you can expect from a telephone at this price level.
The storage memory on our test device is 256GB, but there is also a variant with 64GB. The price difference between the two models is pretty hefty, namely about 100/150 euros. This strategy has been used by Apple for years and it has been a fairly transparent tactic of upselling for years. It is not possible to increase the storage memory of the iPhone with a microSD card, so you are ordered to purchase a more expensive copy if you need it.
Ironically, especially people who have had an iPhone for a long time will be bothered by it. After all, they have had time to build a large media library and photo collection. It must also be stored somewhere again. You can of course opt for the iPhone X with 64GB to store that collection in the Cloud, but even there you are not safe for the tinkering Apple cash register. An iCloud plan with 50GB of cloud storage is virtually indispensable with this version. Left or right, you will pay!
The battery in the iPhone X has a capacity of 2,716mAh. That number cannot be found anywhere on the Apple website, because Apple always does a bit of fun about the capacity of the batteries in iPhones. This is not entirely strange. If you put the capacity next to that of Android phones, the Apple’s often come off badly. In practice, however, that difference is in any way noticeable, because Apple can fine-tune its hardware and software.
Nevertheless, Apple has not had a very good reputation in the battery field since the back-up scandal. It is therefore that there is now a special menu in the battery section where you can see the current state of the battery, as well as switching the clock on and off. Furthermore, the battery information is still a bit behind the standard options on Android. This is not a huge disaster, but it is clearly an area where Apple can improve.
The battery life was always a bit of a problem with previous iPhones, but that seems to be less the case with the iPhone X. Partly thanks to the OLED screen, the iPhone X is very economical with energy. If you allow a lot of apps to work in the background, you cannot expect to be too impressive battery performance. A day we usually get with the iPhone, but more than that is actually not very realistic. Many other devices do that better. It remains a humiliation that you get a perfectly smartphone in all respects, but that you cannot use all that perfection for more than a day without charging it.
iPhone X: Software features
The iPhone X runs at the time of writing on iOS 11.3, but that will probably not stay that way for too long. Apple regularly releases updates, which are then rolled out for iPhones up to five years ago. In that respect, the iPhone X is called a nice future in terms of updates. It is one of the most beautiful qualities of the software on the iPhone. You are assured of five years of updates when you buy the latest model. Come and join an Android!
That software also puts together very nice. Apple had to make some adjustments now that the iPhone X no longer has home button, and this is the most dramatic change in how you can operate an iPhone in years. The biggest change is the alternative to pressing the home button. You do this now by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. It was a day of getting used to, but once you get it, it works pretty nice.
Especially switching between apps works better with the absence of the home button. You swipe right at the bottom of the screen to scroll through your last used apps. That goes fast and is especially useful if you have to switch between more than two apps. Of course there is also the more extensive multitask menu, which you open by swiping upwards and then keeping your finger on the screen.
Discussing all software on the iPhone is probably a bit exaggerated. Instead, we continue to discuss things that are most obvious to us in daily use and that turned out to be handy, or not. Starting with the mail app. Its feels very much 2009, and not in the fun, nostalgic way. At the same time, there are also a lot of apps on the iPhone that can be found in everyday use, a surplus value. The Notes app, like the mail app, has been the same since 2009, with the difference that it still works well here.
If you have a large collection of MP3s like me, the Music app is a real blessing. Syncing via iTunes is a well-documented hell tour, but once your music is on it, the app on the iPhone crosses similar Android apps well. The app works very quickly, is well-organized, and you also get the option to completely cut out all Apple Music advertising in the settings. The majority of people, however, will just use Spotify, and of course that works just as well.
Then the Animoji. This beautiful, yet somewhat simple function is ideally suited to have fun with. Because who does not want to see himself as a talking turd? Apple is still working on the feature and introduced three new faces with the iOS 11.3 update. It remains a pity, however, that you can only send these digital freaks (and flattening) to other iPhone users. And it is completely sour for those users of an older iPhone, because they cannot even send one back.
iPhone X: Camera details
It has always been an important part of the smartphone, and at Apple they have a reputation to uphold. Over the years there were actually no iPhones that had a bad camera for that period of time. Often the penny change with the more expensive Android devices in terms of image quality. That is now the case again. The iPhone X does not make bad pictures at all, but we do not dare to call it revolutionary.
Like the previous generation, a double lens is placed on the back, with which you can photograph two different distances. One camera has a fairly wide angle, while the second camera has a tele-lens effect. You still cannot zoom in too far, but it is a lot easier to shoot something that is just a bit further away without compromising on quality.
Where manufacturers like Huawei and LG experiment with the camera, Apple remains reasonably conservative. At least, when it comes to the camera at the back then. The True-depth camera at the front is definitely a nice innovation. It ensures that Face Unlock works well, that you can send Animoji and that your Snapchat filters fit even better on your face. On the photo quality it has little influence, although we should not forget the beautiful bokeh effect. An extreme wide angle such as LG with the G6 did, or a triple camera as you can find in the Huawei P20 Pro, it is not that order.
In practice, the iPhone X makes at least excellent photos. We did not expect anything else from a device in this price category, and it’s nice to see our prejudices confirmed. As usual, the iPhone has a range of different camera modes. There is a panorama mode, a square photo mode (thanks Instagram), a mode for extra beautiful portrait photos (by the bokeh effect) and three more video modes. Normal video can shoot you in everything from 720p with 30 fps to 4k with 60 fps. Slow motion is also possible on the iPhone X, just like a time lapse. All of them no higher mathematics, with few surprises in addition.
iPhone X: Price quality
It is always one of our biggest reservations with the iPhone: the price. That is consistently higher than that of the competitors. This artificial value creation has created a thriving second-hand market, in which iPhones from 2, 3 years ago are traded for new Androids. It is almost tiring to say, but Apple does not have the best name in terms of price and quality. Admittedly, the quality is more than mustache, but if you are talking about the relation to the price you need a magnifying glass, because it is a bit of a search.
With the iPhone X, Apple has reached a new peak, in terms of price in any case. A separate iPhone X costs 1,160 euro at Apple itself. Via webshops there is still a few dozen of that, but we do not expect a real fall in prices. The model with 256GB that we reviewed, Apple has a price of 1,330 euros. From that amount you can also just buy two good Android phones.
That does not mean, however, that the competition requires very reasonable prices. The main competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S9, currently costs 799 euros. That is also a lot of money. Yet it is a slightly different order than the iPhone X. At the same time you get a smartphone that can measure itself perfectly with the Apple smartphone in many areas. So, the camera of the S9 really does not inferior to that in the X. Also the screen of this phone may be there and even has a higher resolution than that in the iPhone X. There is little left that the extra price of more than 300 euro.
The same goes for the other competition. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro , the Sony Xperia XZ2 and even the LG G6 really do not offer much less quality than the iPhone X, while they are much more favourably priced. There is plenty of choice for the consumer who wants to save a lot of money on a phone, and the iPhone X is certainly not the most obvious choice.
A final remark about the relationship between price and quality. As you have read in the rest of the review, the iPhone X is definitely a good phone. Thanks to Apple’s embedding model, it can be extremely inconvenient to switch from iPhone to Android and vice versa. Roughly, two situations can be distinguished in which you would like to purchase an iPhone X.
In the first situation, money plays no role and you just want the best phone that is available at the moment. The iPhone X will not disappoint you, although we will not claim that it is definitely the best smartphone available at the moment. In any case, it is one of the best. In the second situation, you now have an older model iPhone that you would like to replace. Then the iPhone X can be a good successor, because you can transfer everything at once with three presses of a button. You pay for that convenience, but many people are worth it.
iPhone Review Conclusion
The iPhone X is an excellent phone. That does not mean, however, that there is nothing to criticize, but the positive qualities far outweigh the negative. We cannot imagine that after purchasing this device people will be dissatisfied with how the device works. People will probably be dissatisfied with the amount that has gone out of their wallets, because the iPhone X is expensive. Really and very expensive.
It is the only real big downside to this otherwise very good phone. There are a lot of Androids going through our hands every year and they really are not of such inferior quality that the extra price that Apple asks is justified. You pay that higher price especially for the entire Apple ecosystem, which, moreover, fits perfectly together. In addition, the iPhone X is also a very good phone that actually does little wrong, but in cooperation with other iPhones (via Animoji for example) and iCloud, iPads and Macs it all works flawlessly. It is clear that Apple wants to keep you with you.
We can imagine that you are inclined to stay with Apple, once you have an iPhone. We will also not deny that the Apple phones have become a certain status symbol. For people in daily practice often enough reason to purchase an iPhone. With a tight wallet and a good dose of common sense, it is less easy to make the choice for the iPhone X.