Launched in September 2017, the iPhone X marked a bold step forward for Apple. It ditched the iconic home button, embraced a bezel-less design, and introduced Face ID, features that still define the iPhone lineup today. But five years later, how does this once-revolutionary phone hold up in the face of newer, more powerful models? This in-depth review delves into the iPhone X’s specifications, performance, camera capabilities, design, software, and overall value proposition, offering a critical evaluation beyond the nostalgia.
Design and Construction:
The iPhone X was a radical departure from previous iPhones. The stainless steel frame and glass front and back exude a premium feel, even today. While some might find the glass back slippery, it undoubtedly contributes to the phone’s sleek and futuristic aesthetic. The absence of a physical home button takes some getting used to, but Face ID, then a pioneering facial recognition technology, offered a glimpse into the future. However, its initial implementation wasn’t flawless, and its performance under certain lighting conditions could be inconsistent.
The 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display remains impressive. It delivers vibrant colors, deep blacks, and excellent viewing angles, making it enjoyable for consuming media, gaming, and everyday tasks. While the resolution of 2436 x 1125 pixels might seem low compared to newer iPhones, it still offers sharp and detailed visuals. However, the lack of a higher refresh rate, now standard in flagships, might be noticeable for users accustomed to smoother scrolling and animations.
Powered by the A11 Bionic chip, the iPhone X was once a powerhouse. While not the latest, it still handles most everyday tasks and even some light gaming without issues. However, demanding applications and multitasking might reveal its age, and users accustomed to the blazing speed of newer Apple chips might find it lacking.
The dual-lens rear camera system (12MP wide and 12MP telephoto) was cutting-edge in 2017. It captures decent photos in good lighting conditions, with accurate colors and good detail. Portrait mode, a novelty then, remains fun and effective. However, low-light performance is subpar compared to modern smartphones, and the lack of features like ultrawide and night mode photography makes it feel outdated.
The iPhone X’s battery life is decent, but not exceptional. Moderate users might get through a full day on a single charge, while heavy users might need a midday top-up. Compared to today’s flagships with larger batteries and more efficient processors, it falls short.
The iPhone X launched with iOS 11 and has received updates all the way up to iOS 16. This ensures access to the latest features and security patches, keeping the phone relevant and protected. However, some users might notice that newer features and optimizations are prioritized for newer models, potentially impacting performance on the X.
Finding a brand-new iPhone X in 2023 is challenging, and used models vary significantly in price and condition. While the initial asking price was high, used models offer a significantly more affordable entry point into the iPhone ecosystem. However, at this price point, newer iPhones like the iPhone SE (2022) or even older flagships like the iPhone 11 offer better performance, camera capabilities, and battery life.
The iPhone X was a groundbreaking phone in its time, introducing design language and features that continue to define the iPhone today. However, five years later, it shows its age in terms of performance, camera technology, and battery life. While still functional and receiving software updates, it struggles to compete with newer, more affordable options. The decision ultimately boils down to individual needs and budget. If nostalgia and affordability are your priorities, the iPhone X might be an interesting proposition. However, for those seeking cutting-edge performance, camera capabilities, or long battery life, newer models offer a more compelling value proposition.