So, the iPhone X, the tenth iteration of the iconic iPhone is about to hit the stores. But how good is the X? Is it the greatest thing the smartphone world has ever seen, as Apple’s marketing team what us to believe? Or is it really like all the previous iPhones and a pretty insignificant step-up from the 8?
We should probably explain that the X is so named because it comes 10 years after the original iPhone. That would also explain why there’s no iPhone 9. There might have been a 9 model, had Apple not spent most years padding out under-powered iPhones with an S version of the same phone released a few months earlier. But that is for another day.
Rumors were rife that the iPhone X (and the 8) would have a Samsung-supplied Super Amoled display. This turned out to be true. But, in classic Apple fashion, they’ve refused to acknowledge this in the specs. They simply refer to the display as “Super Retina”, another made up name which is no longer fooling anybody. However, petty naming conventions apart, the iPhone X does look stunning due to the way the 5.8” display reaches almost edge to edge. It brings all (well, most, see below) that glorious Samsung color and definition to the iPhone at last. It’s not up to the Edge of the Galaxy range, but it’s pretty close.
For whatever reason, the 5.8” X display is not of as quite a high resolution as the same sized display on the Galaxy S8. Although better than almost any other display out there, it doesn’t look quite as glorious as the S8 does. It’s close, but there is a difference when viewed side by side.
Apple have always refused to include a MicroSD slot in any of their releases. Again for reasons that nobody is quite sure about. If one were to be unkind (but probably accurate), we’d say it was because Apple’s rampant paranoia about outsiders being able to hack iOS is still at the forefront of the decision. That, though, doesn’t explain why Apple have chosen – like with the iPhone 8 – to release just two models, in 64GB and a 256GB versions. This, at least to us, seems an awfully big gap. But Apple have priced the two only $150 apart. They undoubtedly felt there was no room for
anything in between. Oh, and we’ll get to the price soon, don’t you worry.
One massive disappointment with the iPhone X is that it only has an IP67 rating. It does not have the now more common IP68. To explain, IP67 indicates dust resistance, and water submersion resistance down to a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutes. IP68 has the same dust resistance, but is able to withstand being immersed in water up to 6 feet and for at least 30 minutes. It might seem pretty insignificant. But you can never have enough protection from rain and dust. Yet Apple’s engineers seem to be lagging behind most high-end manufacturers in that regard.
Apple’s cameras have always been pretty good, and the iPhone X doesn’t disappoint. The 12MP rear camera can record 4K video. It is also able to capture super slo-mo 1080p HD video at 240 frames per second, which is exceptional. Most devices, including the Galaxy S8 limits resolution at such frame rates to 720p. So the iPhone X is a big step up from the norm.
Everything else is pretty standard. There is a new A11 Octa-core processor on board, but this is the same as on the iPhone 8. It’s odd that Apple chose not to take the X up a notch.
So, given all that, is the iPhone X worth the cost? Frankly, if it were $749, the expected launch price of the S9 when it turns up early next year, we’d still be thinking hard about it. Apple seems to be playing a perpetual game of catch up with Samsung these days. But it isn’t $749, it’s $1149. Yes, the best part of 1200 bucks for a smartphone that does no more than half a dozen others. Yes, it looks great, but a pretty face isn’t worth a 60%+ markup. It can only be assumed that Apple know that their fans will lap it up and buy it in bucketfuls. We’re not so sure, though.
The X doesn’t go anywhere near improving enough over the 8. It is thought that the X was only ever due for a release in early 2018 but that Apple knew it was nowhere near good enough to compete with the next-gen Samsung models.
We’ll probably never know but, in all honesty, you should save your money. If you’re an Apple user and need/want a new phone, go for the 8. It’s comparable in price to Samsung, and the $400 you save will come in useful somewhere else. Once again, Apple seem to have confused style with substance. Steve Jobs must be turning in his grave at the lack of originality in the last couple of years from the designers and engineers. If we were a middle school teacher, we’d be grading the iPhone XS as a C-. Apple simply must try harder.