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Apple’s iPhone X is still king six months later

by Brandon Russell | May 6, 2018

I love the Galaxy S9’s sleek design and I think P20 Pro’s triple camera is fantastic. I also think Android fans who don’t own the Pixel 2 are seriously missing out. But I wouldn’t buy any of those devices over the iPhone X, which is still the best smartphone six months after its release.

The remarkable thing about Apple’s flagship is how it still feels like the future. Why do you think so many companies are copying the iPhone X’s design? And there are signs Google is ready to embrace the notch. Clearly, Apple isn’t the only one who believes the iPhone X is great.

There are three major things I continue to love about the device: its design, its power, and its navigation gestures.

Admittedly, the iPhone X doesn’t look drastically different from the iPhone 8 or even the iPhone 7. But Apple made just enough refinements to make the design feel unlike anything the company has made before. And the all-glass build seriously works for the device, harkening back to the iPhone 4 while ushering Apple into the future, finally supporting features like wireless charging.

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The design is highlighted by the phone’s 5.8-inch OLED screen, a crisp and vibrant panel that rivals the displays found in Samsung devices. (Part of that has to do with the fact that Samsung supplied Apple with the OLED panels.) And can we just get over the notch? Six months later and it’s a complete non-issue; it never was to begin with.

Feelings over FaceID appear to be mixed. In my experience, the technology works nine times out of ten, acting as a worthy (and more secure) replacement of TouchID. What’s so cool about the technology is how it continues to adapt to my appearance. I could wear a hat one minute and sunglasses the next, and the technology still manages to recognize me.

But others paint a completely different experience. People who I’ve talked to say the feature often doesn’t work, forcing them to use their PIN. Errors like that rarely happened with TouchID once the technology matured. I love it, though, because it means I don’t have to search for a fingerprint sensor when I pick up my phone; all I have to do is look at it.

FaceID is a pretty easy concept to understand. Learning to navigate the phone, however, takes a little more time to get used to. But once you do acclimate to the iPhone X’s navigation gestures, you’ll never want to go back to a home button. Having reviewed the Galaxy S9 and P20 Pro, I found myself missing the iPhone X’s navigation bar. That’s because they feel like the way forward in terms of design and user experience.

After all the hubbub before the iPhone X’s announcement, it turns out the home button’s absence is no big deal. The only real change I’d love to see Apple make is to find a new home for Control Center, which can be called upon by swiping down from the top right corner.

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It’s weird to think the iPhone X came out six months ago, because it still feels brand new to me. It continues to be fast as hell and battery life, while not quite as good as when I got it, is impressive. Taken as a whole, Apple’s flagship is like a device fans dreamt about but didn’t think they’d get for another few years. It’s here now, though, and it’s the best smartphone on the market.

At $999, the device is damn expensive, so most people are probably better off buying the iPhone 8. But I have no remorse about dropping a grand on Apple’s latest flagship. It’s beautiful, fast, and fun to use, substantially ahead of everything else that’s available, even if it doesn’t feature a triple-camera system or rear-facing fingerprint sensor.

My only real complaint about Apple’s flagship is with its software, which has morphed into a buggy, unreliable mess. That’s not something you typically associate with Apple software. In addition to numerous issues, some of the features Apple promised last summer still haven’t been delivered. The good news is the arrival of iOS 12 will supposedly prioritize stability, so the iPhone X could soon be even better than it is now.

Not since the original Moto X have I been so connected to a phone, and I don’t see myself replacing it anytime soon, even with the OnePlus 6 and LG G7 on the horizon. The combination of navigation gestures, design, and Face ID is unlike anything else on the market, and why the iPhone X is still king.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...


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