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My thoughts on the iPhone X

My thoughts on the iPhone X

Apple officially unveiled the iPhone X (pronounced as iPhone TEN) last night and considering all the leaks that preceded it, there really wasn't much left to surprise. In a nut shell, the iPhone X has a 5.8-inch OLED screen in a tall aspect ratio and barely there bezels around it. It also supports wireless charging and Face ID to unlock the phone. Like the iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 8, it has a dual camera setup on the back and, obviously, it is the fastest iPhone Apple has ever made. It's also the most expensive iPhone Apple has ever made.

I haven't played with the phone in person so please don't take my comments overly seriously but I do have some opinions. Lets start with the design. Apple has a reputation of producing gorgeous hardware and based on the videos I saw, the iPhone X looks stunning. It appears to have a a very premium finish with a stainless steel frame and a glass back and front. There's a little notch on the top of the screen to hold all the sensors and cameras which could be distracting at first but I'm assuming that it will just disappear after you've used the phone for a couple of weeks.

If you're a previous iPhone user, the most striking part about the iPhone X will be its screen. The edge-to-edge display makes your jaw drop the first time you see it. The Xiaomi Mi Mix was the first phone that I saw with such a display and it was mesmerizing. Then came the Samsung Galaxy S8 which brought OLED to the mix and I was sold. Considering that the iPhone X is equipped with an OLED screen produced by Samsung, I'm assuming it will be equally impressive or possibly better with Apple's fanatic approach to color reproduction.

The second thing most iPhone users will notice is the lack of Touch ID or a fingerprint sensor. Apple is moving to Face ID which apparently  projects 30,000 infrared dots to your face and supposedly recognizes you almost instantly to unlock the phone. This sounds great in theory but it's something I'll need to use to believe. Samsung has also had Iris scanning and Face unlocking but that has either been slow or not very reliable so I've given up on that. What is worrying about the iPhone X is that we live in a conservative part of the world where a lot of women cover their faces and I'm not sure how well will Face ID work for them. The lack of a fingerprint sensor means that such consumer might have to fall back on using a PIN.

Another new hardware feature on the iPhone X is wireless charging, again something that I've been using on Samsung phones for the past couple of years. The customary "faster processors" and "better cameras" also make the list bit that's expected. From a hardware perspective, the iPhone X brings Apple to what other Android manufactures have been doing in the past year or two. And that's great, because, at the least, it gives me a reason to reconsider the iPhone as my primary phone. 

Where Apple generally wins is with its integration of software and hardware. Even with the latest specs, my Samsung Galaxy S8 doesn't feel as smooth as the iPhone 7 when it comes to navigating the UI or switching between apps or scrolling through long lists. Apple also has a great sense of aesthetics and the little tweaks that it does delight you as a customer- such as the bump you'd feel on the iPhone 7 when the notification center drops down. And I expect the iPhone X to continue down that path. Animojis are one example of that- my daughters absolutely loved that. I'm sure there will be many other little things about the iPhone X that will bring a smile to your face. 

Last and certainly not the least is the price tag- the 64GB model will retail at AED 4,099 while the 256GB model will go for 4,729. Is that a bit too much? Depends on who you ask. For many, it will be but even at that price, I'm certain that Apple will have no trouble selling as many as it can make. With the iPhone X, Apple is deliberately positioning the phone towards the big spenders. While that didn't necessarily work for the Apple Watch Edition, I don't the iPhone X will have any trouble selling out.

Abbas Jaffar Ali

Abbas Jaffar Ali

Founder of tbreak.com, Abbas has been living and breathing technology before phones became smart or clouds started storing data.

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