- Face ID works very well in common situations, the OLED screen is very beautiful and colorful, the design is attractive and the performance is excellent. The rear and front camera have improved promptly with new effects and better captures in low light and moving.
- The entry price is high compared to its rivals, when Face ID does not work you have to enter a code, the new gestures on the screen represent possible adaptation problems for some users, not all developers have optimized their apps to take advantage of the qualities of the device and the battery could improve.
The new Apple phone, which has an entry price of U$D 999 and went on sale on November 3, may not have the same task as the first-born phone of the apple to revolutionize the market and encourage the use of touch screen. But it does have an unprecedented obligation: to make users feel comfortable using their face as an authentication method.
This is because the iPhone X no longer has the fingerprint reader or Start button. Now, every time you try to unlock it, the phone will analyze your face through Face ID, the facial recognition technology embedded in the upper part of the screen. But to convince consumers, the iPhone X also comes equipped with a powerful processor, a double and improved rear camera, and many new software-related features… all wrapped in a new body of glass and steel that at the same time carries an air family.
TrueDepth and Face ID: Similar, but not the same
We have to start by explaining the newest, morbid and flashy of the iPhone X: TrueDepth, the marketing term that all the components behind the tab (notch) at the top of the iPhone X screen receive.
TrueDepth is the set of all the components in that space, from which those that give life to Face ID, the ambient sensor to modify the lighting of the screen and the front camera of 7 megapixels for selfies emerge. Therefore, it is important to make clear that the components that activate Face ID are part of TrueDepth, but not all TrueDepth components are used in Face ID.
The Face ID sensors are activated to recognize your face and thus unblock the cell phone, allow you to enter a blocked application, authorize a purchase in iTunes or the App Store, or want to make a payment in a physical store with Apple Pay.
In order for Apple to get rid of the front start button, TrueDepth had to exist – so the tab is present in the phone.
Face ID: Lucid and precise
Facial recognition is not something new; It has been seen in different products over the years and more recently in the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Unfortunately for Samsung, that scanner does not compare to the iPhone X in terms of reliability and much less in security.
While the facial recognition of the Note 8 has been intimidated by a supposed vulnerability and easy to circumvent when using a photo of the person, Apple promises that the possibility of someone unauthorized unlocking the iPhone X with Face ID is one in a million – a much lower probability even than with Touch ID, although it is still too early to say that some cunning will not get around the security of Face ID.
When starting to configure the iPhone X, one of the first settings is to register the face of the user with Face ID to use it as a method of unlocking and authorization. This process, surprisingly, is fast (takes about a minute) and intuitive.
Your face is safely and privately stored inside the cell phone and Apple promises that your image is not shared with third parties and that the company itself does not keep your face on its servers. It is important to note that Face ID only uses the front camera when it is configured for the first time; the times you will use it later will use only the sensors and the infrared.
And in practical use, Face ID works well for me, much better than I had expected. For eyesight problems, I have to wear ophthalmic lenses at all times except when I bathe and sleep; Even so, Face ID recognizes me almost all the time, even when I make changes in my face (during the tests I already cut my hair, I have used a cap and jackets, and sometimes I wear sunglasses).
I have discovered that the iPhone X should be placed in almost straight line to the face so that Face ID can work. But in situations where that is not the case (for example, sitting and the iPhone X reclining on a desk), Face ID may have recognition failures.
One of the features I like most about Face ID is that as long as it does not detect a face, all notifications hide its content (it only warns which application it is) and shows it until the registered face is detected; So, you can take a look at the notification without having to go to the Start screen.
At night, in a room with complete darkness, it also works very well and recognizes me in most cases without any problem and at the same speed as if it were daylight. The same thing happens when I wash my face, put on shaving cream or make normal changes to my face – Face ID does not disappoint.
The design of the iPhone X is spectacular
The iPhone X is celebrating 10 years of knowing different apple phones, and in the case of this new phone it seems that Apple took the best of each of their phones over the past decade and placed them on the iPhone X to pay tribute.
There is that look back to the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G because of its bright frame around the entire body of the cell phone. Being built of glass both front and back, the iPhone X also reminds the iPhone 4 that had just that finish. From its most recent cell phones such as the iPhone 6, we found two stripes on each side of the iPhone X and that serve to enhance the wireless signals from inside the phone.
The result is a brand-new and beautiful cell phone with the DNA of the Cupertino brand and seasoned with changes such as the front with almost no bezels or the gleaming reinforced stainless steel frame – one that Apple claims to be the toughest it has ever used.
The iPhone X is a delight to behold. Seen from the front, the iPhone X has lost its characteristic front button but still looks like an iPhone, although now it has put aside the sober to adapt to the trend of high-end cell phones with very thin bevels. This change suits the iPhone X, because now it looks more attractive and daring.
Perhaps the only weird and unfinished thing is the TrueDepth tab. While it is understood that without it Face ID simply could not be integrated into the cell phone, it is inevitable to notice it especially when viewing a full-screen image with zoom or watching a video in full screen. What is complicated are the first days of using the iPhone X, after a time you get used to seeing it – and even forgetting that it is there.
On the back, the iPhone X is still impeccable. Its totally glass body and available only in shades of white and space gray (which is not completely black) again remind me of the iPhone 4 and, just as I considered that phone at the time, I can say that the iPhone X is the Apple’s most beautiful iPhone so far.
But design is not only how something looks, but also how it feels and works.
Speaking of its feel, the iPhone X feels portable, rigid, sturdy and comfortable in the hand. Despite its 5.8-inch screen – larger than the iPhone 8 Plus – the iPhone X is about the same size as the 4.7-inch iPhone. This makes you have the feeling of having a small phone but with a huge screen.
The iPhone X has a feeling of durability in the hand that contrasts with its appearance of being delicate because it is made of glass in the back and front and with a steel contour. It is a beast within a beauty. Of course, take care of it because repairing it can cost you more than half its price
OLED screen: A visual marvel
The iPhone X releases the OLED screen in any Apple product, because although other manufacturers, especially Samsung, had used this material for their smartphones, Apple decided to wait until the iPhone X to join the fashion of these panels that promises better colors, longer duration, ability to bend as the manufacturer would like and greater battery savings.
The improvement in the quality of the screen is visible only if attention is paid and it is something that I find curious. The screen on the iPhone X has a resolution of 2436×1125 and 458 pixels per inch, but you have to pay close attention to notice the difference between your screen and the iPhone 8 Plus. And I say that I find it curious because we are facing a quality screen that can improve very little despite the change of panel, which makes it clear how good it was already the LCD screen on the iPhone 8 Plus.
Putting the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus side by side, there is a slight difference, but you have to pay close attention to notice it especially in photographs because the colors look better saturated and with greater definition, even improving the visibility of content – like photos – that was not captured with the iPhone X. The screen has the ability to play HDR, so applications like Netflix can take advantage of this. The only sad thing is not having seen ProMotion on the iPhone X, this exclusive feature (for now) of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro that updates the screen at 120Hz.
As for the characteristics of the OLED screens that tend to burn with use and time, an Apple spokesman told us that the company has taken that into account and has made both engineering and software adjustments to offer the best possible experience. with this panel technology.
The performance of the screen is fantastic. Viewing photos or videos in full screen (landscape mode) is a delight. Despite the presence of the tongue, reading is a very satisfactory experience, especially when using True Tone, the function that modifies the screen tones depending on the lighting in the environment and that is also present in the iPhone 8 and on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
The visualization outdoors (while I’m on the bus or walking down the street) is also very good. The automatic brightness and the OLED screen make viewing very pleasant no matter the conditions. There is no problem reading and viewing in any scenario, an excellent news considering that it is the first time that Apple uses an OLED panel.
Apple presumes that we are in front of a phone with a screen that is lost with its tiny metallic outline, and it is true. The fact that the screen is bigger than the iPhone 8 Plus is a wonder for those who wanted a huge screen without having a phone as big as the Plus.
Performance: Power and more power
One of my favorite aspects of Apple is the optimization achieved between software and hardware. The company does not need large amounts of RAM or an eight-core processor, much less a huge battery to make your phone fast, efficient and effective.
In performance tests, the iPhone X is carried on the street to Android phones of the high-end, despite having a 3GB RAM, a Bionic A11 processor with six cores and a battery that is unknown for now its exact capacity but that Apple says provides a duration of two hours more than the iPhone 7 (which has a battery of 1,960mAh).
Battery: Not everything that shines is gold
The iPhone X is very attractive, powerful and functional, but perhaps its greatest weakness is the theme of the battery.
In controlled tests made in our laboratories, the battery of the iPhone X offers about 12 hours and 15 minutes, a bit below other high-end phones, such as the Galaxy Note 8 that lasted – in similar tests – 17 hours and 22 minutes, while the Galaxy S8 Plus offered 18 hours and 18 minutes.
The tests are made repeatedly and an average is drawn. In an isolated case, the iPhone X gave a result of 14 hours.
In regular use, I can disconnect the iPhone X around 7 in the morning, use it all day with Bluetooth on connected to Apple Watch, use AirPods for my exercise session – about an hour – and give it a use regular check emails, surf the Internet, take pictures and maybe play a little so that at 5 in the afternoon I’m giving about 30 percent battery.
The battery in the iPhone X does not reach the same performance of the iPhone 8 Plus that it can easily reach 10-11 at night with some battery to not worry about charging it until a few hours later when I go to sleep. But I think the X is achieved with a battery performance between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, something very good considering that it has to give life to facial recognition, a 5.8-inch OLED screen with higher resolution and maintain all fluid in the execution of the operating system.
Conclusion: An iPhone for history
The iPhone X is the best Apple phone you can buy right now. That is a fact and there is no more to debate.
But is it the best cell phone for you? Paying US $ 1,000 (as a minimum) for a cell phone seems preposterous, taking into account that many of the most coveted features in today’s smartphones – such as a microSD input or hearing aid port – are not present in the brand new iPhone X and yes in its rivals with a lower price. But that’s something that fans of the brand are accustomed to continue buying the phone at rates as if it did not matter or not miss it enough to dispense with the new iPhone.
Compare the iPhone X is somewhat complicated, especially taking a look at the mobile phone offer as spectacular as they are the Galaxy Note 8, Pixel 2 XL or the LG V30. Each of these cell phones has its strengths and weaknesses, in addition to going to different segments where users already have their tastes well defined.
If you compare individually, piece by piece, the iPhone X with its competitors, there may be others with a higher resolution camera, better battery life or more RAM, but what matters is the sum of all those qualities to offer the Apple’s best cell phone.
The iPhone X has many things to praise:
A stylized steel and glass body (although the appearance is subjective for each user, its appeal is undeniable)
The simplest and easiest to use operating system that continues to attract the greatest attention from developers and has an incomparable ecosystem of services and apps
The new OLED screen, which covers almost the entire front, is a delight for viewing and consuming content
The improvements in the rear camera that make it of higher quality
The new lighting filters in the front camera
Its only ballast is the battery that would have been perfect with a greater capacity.
But the strongest reason to consider the iPhone X is its newest feature: TrueDepth and Face ID. Facial recognition works very well, better than expected, and its new sensor system and front camera opens a new door to innovation (as more complete experiences for augmented reality) and changes in the smartphone market that seemed stagnant without immediate option to substantial improvements.
The iPhone X is a nod to the future of smartphones, according to the premise of Apple. And if everything is as good as it has been up to now, the cell phone sees an encouraging picture.