iPhone X Is a Step Toward 'Invisible' Tech

Reviewers discuss Face ID, battery life, and the phone's legacy
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2017 11:30 AM CDT
IPhone X Is Impressive, but Not Flawless
The new iPhone X is displayed in Cupertino, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

It took only minutes for the iPhone X to sell out worldwide before any detailed reviews came in. Tech analysts don't think early adopters will be disappointed, except perhaps when it comes to cost. Forbes notes Apple's highest-priced iPhone yet—$999 for a 64GB model, $1,149 for a 256GB model—is also most expensive when it comes to repairs. Repairing an iPhone X's display will cost $279, compared to $149 for the iPhone 8, while other damage will cost $549 to repair. That's at least $150 more than a similar repair to any other iPhone. The Apple insurance policy for an iPhone X is also pricier than for other models. Now for the phone itself:

  • At TechCrunch, Matthew Panzarino aims to erase some of the skepticism surrounding Face ID. It's "incredibly easy to set up" and "almost never" fails. To boot, "it enables a whole new set of use cases and behaviors that feel organic, natural, and just plain cool" and shows "for the first time, the iPhone can actually be truly hands free," he writes.
  • Edward C. Baig at USA Today was also impressed with Face ID, especially when it worked for a colleague before and after he shaved his full beard. Baig says he was also unable to "trick the system" to unlock to a photo of his face. He also pined for the home button and found the camera notch at the top of the screen "distracting." Still, he was left with "a strong first impression."
  • Heather Kelly also wasn't pleased with the notch, which she referred to as an eyesore when watching a widescreen movie. But the front-facing camera it houses is "able to mimic the same shallow depth-of-field effect as the back camera," which is pretty cool, she writes at CNN. There's also "a ton of fun potential" in the new Animoji feature, which allows emojis to mimic a user's facial expressions.

  • What eyesore? Steve Kovach at Business Insider likes the notch, arguing it blends into the screen quite well. The screen itself has "a higher resolution, and displays colors better" than those of previous models, making it "the best part" about the iPhone X. "The biggest drawback to the extra screen space and lack of home button has been third-party app design," he adds.
  • App design is also among Nilay Patel's criticisms. He mentions, too, the missing headphone jack, a camera bump at the back, and "a tiny sharp ridge between the glass back and the chrome frame that I feel every time I pick up the phone." On the other hand, the phone "looks so good one of our video editors kept saying it looked fake," he writes at the Verge.
  • Steven Levy at Wired rounds up more pros: "Super Retina" capabilities, a telephoto lens, and increased battery life. Taken as a whole, the phone represents "a step towards fading the actual physical manifestation of technology into a mist where it's just there," he writes, adding the start of a new wave of "invisible" tech might be its legacy.
(Read more Apple stories.)

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