Apple iPhone X review: The first of a new generation

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The Apple iPhone X was replaced by the iPhone XS which in turn has since been replaced by the iPhone 11 Pro.

Released 10 years after the original iPhone, it was the first in a new generation of iPhone, with the biggest shift in iPhone design since Steve Jobs launched that first device, It also ditched one of the iPhone’s most iconic features: the home button in favour of Face ID.

In many ways the iPhone X was a celebration of 10 years of the iPhone – hence the iPhone 10 name – but in other ways it was an ambitious step forward.

Design overhaul

  • 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm, 174g
  • Stainless steel and toughened glass design
  • IP67 water protection
  • Edge-to-edge Super Retina Display

The big thing about the iPhone X was that it was a completely new design. Featuring a glass front and back, the iPhone X comes in two colours – Space Grey and Silver – and features a polished stainless steel frame around the edge that shimmers and catches the light in the same way the stainless steel version of the Apple Watch does.

Sporting a 5.8-inch screen, the display real-estate is larger than, say, the iPhone 8 Plus, but the chassis is considerably smaller.  Those who’ve always felt the Plus was too big will be very happy with the design changes because those bezels at the top and bottom were banished, resulting in a phone that is much better proportioned than the iPhone Plus sizes ever were.

The edge-to-edge display was stunning at the time the iPhone X was introduced, with the “notch” the only thing interrupting the design. At the time of its launch, many other phones – like the Google Pixel 2 XL – still had bezel top and bottom. Even Samsung, who took things in a different direction with curves at the edges of its Infinity Display, still had space at the top and bottom of the display, while Apple introduced a uniformity to the remaining bezels – apart from the notch, of course.

This has, of course, changed now with many phones ditching bezels and notches entirely. While the iPhone’s notch remains large – due to Face ID – many Android devices launched since the iPhone X have notches that are quite a bit smaller than the iPhone X. 

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Ditching the home button lost some of the iPhone’s iconic visual design that has been with us for so long. But Apple has continued to ensure through the iPhone 8 and 2020 iPhone SE that there’s still an option for those who like a home button. 

Face ID means it’s super fast to unlock your iPhone and saves you the problem of opening your phone while wearing gloves or with sweaty hands as with the Touch ID sensor. It makes the security aspect of your phone almost invisible to you.

Super Retina display

  • 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina display
  • 2436 x 1125 pixels, 458ppi
  • True Tone, HDR10 and Dolby Vision support
  • 625 nits brightness

The Super Retina display measures 5.8-inches on the diagonal and offers a 2436 x 1125 pixel resolution for a 458ppi pixel density.

One of the big changes is a switch in aspect ratio to 19.5:9. At the time, LG used 18.7:9 and Samsung 19:9 so these are all pretty much in the same ballpark.

There is also a significant increase in resolution. The 458ppi leaps ahead of the 401ppi that you’ll find on the iPhone 8 Plus. What does this mean in the real world? It means more detail is crammed into the screen to make things sharper and look better.

That’s not only for viewing photos, but it enables crisper text and graphics, smoother curves and generally, more scope for the iPhone X to show off the other major change in its technology: the OLED panel. It’s not the highest resolution on a smartphone, though, but still has a great quality to it. 

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