First Impressions of iPhone X and Why I’ll Be Returning It.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an iPhone X on Saturday although I had not reserved one.  So I picked up the Space Gray 256gb iPhone X popped in my SIM card, restored from iCloud and I was ready to roll. (Apparently there was new fun way to move your old information but I didn’t see that option)

Now let me just say, these are my opinions. It’s a very capable device but I’m going to explain why in MY case the features didn’t justify the cost.

Lets stick with that idea for a moment cost.  I choose the 256gb model which is $1149 which is yes more expensive than a MacBook Air.  So after tax here in Philadelphia it comes to $1240.  Now most people get cases for their phones.  I’m not one of those people but I need to think about the longevity of the device and how I’m going to protect it.  With the back of this phone being completely glass it very well could break under the right circumstances.  Without AppleCare +, Apple’s protection plan, if that back where to crack or shatter the replacement cost int $599.  Let that sink in.

So it’s either spend an extra $199 or risk $599 to replace the device.  Ok Apple you got me.  Bringing our grand total after tax to $1,455.84 for the 256gb iPhone X.

Ok I’m sure you’ve all got a calculator (on your iPhone) so lets moved beyond the math.

Features I really liked about iPhone X:

Notifications on the lock screen accessible via Face ID – Face ID allows you to preview all of your notifications without going into the device.  This was a great when Face ID worked.  By holding the phone up to my face it went from a simple notification to a great preview.  Well done.

Animoji – I’m embarrassed how much how enjoyed playing with this feature but after about 6 hours after using the phone the novelty of this feature quickly wore off.

Display – I hesitate to even put this in my liked category but I did like the new OLED display.  But most people won’t see the difference from an iPhone 7 or newer display.  The notch on top did not bother me in the slightest that fades into the background almost immediately.

Features that fell short of expectations:

Face ID – This will be great one day but in my opinion it fell short and here is why.  There are times I like to unlock my phone without having to pick it up and point it at my face.  Face ID won’t allow you to do that.  So when you’re in that staff meeting and try to check your phone without anyone noticing… good luck.  The phone has to be pretty much pointed right at your face for it to unlock.

Dual Lens Rear Camera – As a photographer I could argue this camera is as important as my professional camera as I will ALWAYS have this camera on me.  As it’s better than my iPhone 7 camera I don’t understand the appeal of this “telephoto lens”. 2x optical zoom is almost useless.  The focal length feels like it’s going from 24 to 50mm.  To me this is missed opportunity to put an extra camera with longer focal length but I’m sure it has much to do with the AR endeavors coming to iOS 11.  I know this is not necessarily new to the iPhone X but I never owned the 7 Plus or 8 Plus so I thought it was important to include.

Portrait Lighting – This is the type of gimmick that should be left for Samsung.  These cheesy effects are sure to please the narcissistic selfie capturists but I think most people will never use this.  Creative professionals will most like cringe when they see it in action.

Battery Percentage – Why the actual fuck can’t I see the battery percentage instead of the useless battery icon.  Truth is the only way to see the percentage is to pull down control center from the top right of the phone.  Which I could not reach with one hand.  I think this will be addressed in iOS 11.x.

Lack of Included Accessories – Fast charging is an option on this device yet it still comes with at 5w charger?  This is a tragedy.  Or perhaps they’re just preparing us for the slow wireless charge speed which also uses only 5w.  No SIM card tool.  This would have costed Apple virtually nothing to include yet they choose not to.  I had to run around the city to a Verizon store (I use T-Mobile) to find a SIM card tool to properly eject the included SIM card and insert mine.

I know this seems like a total bashing from me but it’s not.  I applaud Apple for change up the design for the first time since what feels like very first iPhone.  At the end of the day it just wasn’t worth the close to $1500 price point.  There are far too many other things I’d rather spend that money on and thankfully Apple’s 14 day return policy helped me realize that quickly.

There will be tons of people that this is a great buy for.  Creative professionals with iPhone 6s or older especially.  But don’t take my word for it.  Get your hands on one and try it for yourself but if you do buy it.  AppleCare is a must.


4 thoughts on “First Impressions of iPhone X and Why I’ll Be Returning It.

  1. I or sonally didn’t see an issue with battery percentage. Yo can just slightly pull down to peek in control center.

    FaceID works and do any have to be right in front of you. A simple setting flick of turing off direct attention awareness allows you to still be secure but have a wide angle of face recognition.

    Though the Portrait Lighting is cheesy, and being a semi pro photographer as well, I still find use in the dual lenses to get some depth and bokeh effect in shots that I take quickly. Rather than pulling out my DSLR.

    I also consider price as I was able to sell my iPhone 7 Plus and get close to 500 this offsetting the price tag. It’s not for everyone, but the new power, great screen, new interface enhancements that progress the OS innovation, I feel it’s a great step forward. Yes, buggy at times. With software update it should be resolved.

    Like

  2. Jared, This is really an outstanding effort on your part. This might be the most granular review I’ve read – and I’ve looked at a ton, because, yes, great anxiousness and anticipation about this. Mostly I love the very fair and balanced tone you achieve here, especially as you draw it to a conclusion, re-emphasizing that these are one man’s opinions. Still, some of the details are indeed sobering. The seeming fragility of the phone, for instance, and thus the need to have up-front conversations about Apple Care. Semi-surprised that you didn’t rate the display higher, but that’s only because the advertising seems to lead with the display above all.

    Really appreciate the effort here. And 48 hours seems like a very fair test to me.

    Like

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