REVIEW: The Phone X offers an all-screen front, improved camera and new security features that add significant value to this smartphone – if you need them.
For example, if you’re on the phone when a message arrives, the notification won’t show up until you lock and unlock the phone, which is annoying. More annoying is that it takes a couple of seconds for this to happen. With the previous fingerprint based solution, Touch ID, this happened almost instantly.
The loss of the home button, in addition to the loss of Touch ID, takes some getting used to. For the most part, it’s just as fast and intuitive to use the swiping motions that replace clicking home button, but there are some exceptions. Now, there’s a series of button presses with the side button, and in some cases with the volume buttons on the other side of the phone.
For example, summoning Siri means you have to press the side button and hold it while you talk to Siri. Shutting off the phone requires a press and hold of the side button and one of the volume buttons.
iPhone X features
There’s a series of button press combinations that you’ll have to learn for various functions. Other motions, such a showing recent apps used now requires a swipe from the bottom, which you then hold instead of a double press of the home button. You swipe up from the bottom without holding to dismiss an app or close a folder.
Apple has designed the Face ID so that your biometric data is stored on the phone in an encrypted location. This means that none of the information is being sent to Apple or anywhere else. Apple says in the information on the iPhone X that their facial recognition is significantly more accurate than the Touch ID it replaces, which an error rate of less than a million to one.
There are exceptions for twins, siblings and children where the error rate may be higher. The rate for Touch ID is approximately 50,000 to one.
The screen size of the iPhone X, according to Apple is 5.8 inches, measured diagonally, which makes it larger than the iPhone 7 or 8 Plus.
But that doesn’t really translate to more screen real estate because the one on the iPhone X is tall and narrow, giving you less usable screen area. But the screen is quite good, with a pixel density of 458 pixels per inch. The resolution is 2436 x 1125 and it works well for long lists.
But as is usually the case, whether this phone with a price starting at $1,000 is worth buying depends on whether you need the advanced features. The security of Face ID alone could be worth it for some users. For others, the quality of the camera will be the feature you need.
The phone’s quality is obvious, and while the Face ID takes some getting used to, everything works as it should. It’s an excellent phone, if you need it’s features and are willing to pay the premium price.
Originally published on eWeek