iPhone X review roundup: Face ID works well but notch irritates some
by Samuel Gibbs of The Guardian
First reviews are in and the consensus is positive, particularly around the new OLED screen, but some flaws in both design and software have been noted
Apple’s most expensive smartphone, the £999 iPhone X, is almost ready to land in stores and a few publications specially selected by Apple have been given early access to the phone. So what do they think? Is the iPhone X really the “future of smartphones”?
The iPhone X has an all-screen front design with a 5.8in OLED screen, no home button and an odd looking notch at the top for front-facing camera and sensors. The rest of the device resembles the the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, with a dual camera on the glass back. When it was made available for pre-order it sold out in minutes.
This year Apple took a different approach to its distribution of iPhone X review units, giving one of the original iPhone reviewers, Steven Levy at Wired, a phone for a week before anyone else. Then Apple followed up with a slow drip of fashion videos and lifestyle magazine reviews, before selected technology sites were allowed to publish their thoughts.
The Guardian’s review of the iPhone X will be available in the next two weeks, once it has been bought and thoroughly tested. In the meantime, here’s the consensus from those who have had early access.
It’s worth noting, as the Verge’s Nilay Patel says in his review, “Apple gave most reviewers less than 24 hours with the iPhone X before allowing us to talk about it”, so the opinions below might be slightly less considered than you might expect.
Levy’s first impression of the big new feature of Face ID?
“Does it work? Pretty much. It seems reliable at fending off intruders. I have thrust my phone into several people’s faces – though considerably fewer than the million punims that Apple says I’d have to try before a false positive – and it has not fallen for any of them. I even offered up my own head shot to the camera: no go.
How it has dealt with my own real-life face is another matter. There have been times when, despite a clear view of my face, the iPhone X has ghosted me. (Apple tells me that perhaps I wasn’t making what the iPhone X considers eye contact. I wouldn’t want it to turn on every time my face was within camera range, would I?)
Eventually I devised a strategy. When waking my iPhone I think of it as De Niro’s mirror in Taxi Driver. You talkin’ to me? Well, I’m the only one here! I then see if the little lock icon on the screen has released its latch.”
Read more about the reviews: