With each year we have at least one occasion to camp out in front of Apple stores, or at least it feels that way with a new IPhone seeing release each year since 2007 saw the original IPhone come out. As with all things ten years old, we’re beginning to see some startling changes. Apple is looking to make the IPhone X set the tone not just for the next few releases but the whole next generation of IPhones. Which has me a little bit worried. Sure apple products have always asked you to adjust to them a bit, but the new IPhone asks what could be for some a little too much. Yes Apple is asking you to adjust to spending a significantly larger amount of money for their products. So is it actually worth it to buy the IPhone X?
Personally I would say no, common sense seems to say save $200 dollars and get the IPhone 8, which is still a brand new IPhone. The IPhone X and 8 have the same iOS 11 operating system, and under the hood both phones have identical software so there won’t be any difference in performance either. They have the same A11 chips, and even the front facing cameras are functionally identical. Plus the IPhone X has different dimensions to your current model which means you also would need to get a new case, and getting a new case is highly recommended as the IPhone X has been dubbed by some gadget warranty companies as “the most breakable iPhone we’ve ever tested.” Combine that with the astronomical costs of repairing the screen ($279) or glass back ($549) to make the thought of not having a case for any period of time stressful. I mean dropping your phone is always unpleasant but this is ridiculous.
Everything isn’t bad though, what really differentiates the new IPhone from the old IPhone is what new tricks Apple can make the X do. Most noticeable of these is the Face ID feature. Which is the new system for unlocking your phone, it’s really what the whole phone is designed around since they got rid of the home button. The Face ID system is housed in a notch at the top of the screen, something we’ll come back to later because there is a lot to say about it, and now just by holding your phone up to your face you can be in. Whenever the phone is activated an IR light turns on in the notch and if the IR camera in the notch detects a face a dot projector flashes a few thousand dots onto your face to create a depth map of it. Setting up the Face ID system is also very user friendly, the phone displays a circular border around your face, and you move around until that circle turns green. Over time the depth map of your face will become more detailed and the system should become better at recognizing you as well. Best of all gradual changes will be kept track of so growing a beard won’t result in you needing to set up the whole system again. You also use Face ID for Apple Pay just double click the side button, authenticate, and then hold the phone to the reader.
The final use for the Face ID system is the new Animoji feature. Which is sure to please young and old alike, as finally when someone sends you a smiley emoji you can know that they really had to smile to send it. Essentially what it does is make a short video clip of your face, recreating facial and eye movements in the form of cute emoji characters. I’m partial to the panda, but there are all kinds of animals and even the poop emoji, because of course they would include the poop emoji.
The iPhone X also switches from an LCD screen to an OLED screen. Which is great, OLED’s have a much nicer range of blacks seeing as how OLED’s can actually turn off individual pixels, something LCD’s simply can’t do. However as with all OLED screens the iPhone X has some color shift when tilted, not a big deal, but definitely noticeable if you look for it. If I had to take a guess as to why the iPhone X is so much more expensive than the 8 this would be it, but the effect of this wonderful new screen is spoiled a little bit by the previously mentioned notch at the top of the screen. It really messes with apps and videos on the X. This will probably improve with time, as apps are updated to take the change in screen shape into account, but currently things can get a little buggy. When watching videos you’ll either get black bars on the sides of the video or you’ll have to deal with a part of your video being played underneath the notch as the expands as if it wasn’t there.
So the question you need to ask yourself when you consider buying the iPhone X is “is Face ID and dimmer blacks worth $200?” They say OLED screens will become cheaper in the future, and I would think it smarter to wait till then to get an iPhone featuring one, as the average person probably won’t care too much about the difference in display. However if you’re a diehard Apple fan and you aren’t afraid of spending a little cash to stay on the cutting edge, then you should absolutely get the X.
By Connor Sherman