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iPhone X: First Impressions

Like most Apple fans I ensured I had some sort of viewing of the September Keynote. This was unlike any other keynote as it was the first to be held in the brand new Steve Jobs theatre at the newly built Apple Park. We saw the announcement of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, Apple Watch series 3, the 4K Apple TV and most importantly the iPhone X. Apple had outdone themselves with this new phone and I, like many others, was extremely excited to get my hands on it.

Skip to a few months later, shipping of the iPhone X begins and it was mine. My initial thoughts were ‘How will I get used to no home button?’, ‘Will the notch get in my way? and ‘Will the camera live up to expectations?’. A couple weeks in and these questions do not cross my mind. The dual lens system on the iPhone X is stunning, however, portrait mode could use some updating. The notch, that contains the new TrueDepth camera and sensors that enable Face ID, is barely noticeable. The new OLED screen with Super Retina display allows the phone darker shades of black and brighter, more vibrant colours. This practically makes the notch essentially disappear when the screen around it is black. Even up against a light background it is not an issue.

Not having a home button was a big concern for me. I had been using the circular home button ever since the first generation iPod touch. Apple had already begun to change up the use of the home button in the iPhone 7 when the button was a piece of glass made to feel like a button due to haptic feedback. The lack of a button makes the iPhone and the iOS experience melt in your hand. I don’t think I could go back to having a home button. The gestures are gorgeous and fast and Face ID makes the user forget Touch ID ever existed.

Face ID is possible due to the new sensors Apple have placed in the notch at the top of the iPhone X. Apple claims that it is practically impossible for someone to mimic your face with a photo to unlock your iPhone. The TrueDepth camera projects 30,000 invisible dots onto ones face to scan and recognise you. The speed to unlock the iPhone X is immense and works perfectly in low light environments. My only complaint about Face ID is the integration with Apple Pay and other purchases on the iPhone X. Before paying you are notified to double-click the new, longer lock button. When making quick purchases at a till I want to be able to access Apple Pay with ease which the iPhone X does not allow me to do.

The new rear-facing camera on the iPhone X is similar to the one of the iPhone 7 Plus and the 8 Plus. The iPhone X comes with a  dual 12 Megapixel camera system. The wide angle lens allows for a f/1.8 aperture and the second telephoto lens allows for a f/2.4 aperture. Both cameras work with Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip to create stunning photos. I do not often take very artsy photos but having these cameras has encouraged me to do so to test out the capabilities. Portrait mode using the rear-facing cameras could do with a little work especially in environments that do not have perfect lighting. The edges around a figure can sometimes become distorted blurring parts of the focus of the image into the background. Shooting video on the iPhone X is smooth and beautiful. The new image stabilisation allows you to feel less stiff when shooting a video and makes even the most mundane of videos look amazing.

iPhone X was released against two other iPhones this year and was portrayed as the more premium of the three. When considering which phone to purchase I dabbled with the idea of the 8 Plus, however, I was upgrading from the iPhone 7 and there was not enough difference in the two phones for me to want the 8. Waiting that little bit longer for the iPhone X was worth it. It has mostly lived up to all my expectations and has made me appreciate the bold choices that Apple made with this phone. The premium quality and portrayal of the X continues with every use but does not stand in the way of me using it as an everyday device. I am excited to see what is to come with future updates on the iPhone X because this device is definitely capable of more.

What are your first impressions on the iPhone X? Let us know on Twitter using @AppleMagazine.

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