Using an iPhone X vs an iPhone 7

Since I’ve stopped using Twitter it’s been hard sharing news updates but here goes - I’ve been using an iPhone X.


I’m not going to go into the long and boring story of how I’m using one but suffice to say it’s been a mixed bag compared to my iPhone 7.

I want to share some thoughts on switching to an iPhone X from a 7 for those on the fence on whether to update or not.

Note: I’ve been using an iPhone X exclusively for 2 weeks, these are my thoughts in this period.

Face ID vs Touch ID

This is the first point of contention. Touch ID is simply more reliable than Face ID (for me). Yes, I had issues when I had gloves on but with the winter here in the U.K. I’m finding my gloves still come off to unlock the X. I have to swipe up.

In general use it’s pretty great and feels like I’m not using a passcode. I’d say my success rate is around 70% compared to 90% using Touch ID.

It’s definitely a step in the right direction but feels like a generation one product at this point. I’m hoping it can improve via software updates.

The duel lens camera system

It’s a game changer for me. I’ve had experience of it before when I had a plus model and always missed it when moving back to my 7. Having the best camera available to me in a form factor that works for me means I’m really enjoying taking photos with my X.

I use a DSLR but can’t take it with me all the time. Having zoom and portrait modes available to me everywhere is great.

I’ll be posting some samples soon.

In hand feel

Feels very similar to the jet black iPhone 7.

Bit wider than a 7 but been comfortable and not set my RSI off yet.

Heavier than a 7 but a nice solid feel, it doesn’t get tiresome to use.

Gesture driven iOS

It’s strange but feels like the future of iOS and reminds me of webOS (an OS I still yearn for...). Swiping up to go home is natural and app switching, once you get used to it great. Control Center sucks however, like a lot of people have already discussed in various posts and podcasts. It’s hard to reach quickly and the animation just isn’t a finished article yet. When pulling down from the right ‘ear’ it seems to go smoothly then just pop into view. I simply forget it’s there.

I’m sure this is a first attempt and will be changed in iOS 12.

The screen

It’s nice having a large screen in a smaller body. It looks like the future and the OLED used really does allow colours to pop more and blacks are, well black.

It still looks like an iPhone screen, although there is a slight colour shift off axis. This is an OLED thing not an iPhone thing. The only screen I can compare to is a Samsung one on my work provided A5, which is also OLED. The iPhone colour management is different, not necessarily better. I’d say they are both great but the Samsung seems a little more saturated than the one seen on the X.

The size isn’t used to it’s full potential though. Some of Apple’s apps (Reminders/Calendar/Mail) aren’t optimised to use it. Yes, they work and go into the ‘ears’ but with the larger screen and ‘ears’ they could be better. Reminders is the worst offender and the app animations seem broken and although I know it doesn’t get a lot of love, it just seems abandoned at this point.

Third party apps on the whole are doing a good job and all of the ones that I use on a daily basis have been used. If you are a Google user though be prepared for some hurt as Calendar and Inbox (at the time of writing) haven’t been updated.

Naked as Jony intended

I picked up Apple Care Plus for one reason, I hate cases and will most probably need a replacement within a year. At the repair costs Apple are charging it’s a must (even if you are partial to cases).

That price?

I still feel it’s on the expensive side, as I’ve said in previous posts but when I sat down and looked at the cost benefit (for me) selling other products, my freelance gadget fund and products I’m replacing these have paid for it. I initially picked it up to review, I didn’t want to completely dismiss it. As an avid photographer with some RSI issues (that a DSLR doesn’t help me with) I wanted to take a step back, calm down and open myself up to the experience. After two weeks of testing and the camera bringing a smile to my face most times I use it I ultimately decided to keep the X and sell my 7.

For me it’s all about that camera, I can’t handle a Plus (or I would be using one).

Go easy on me on this one...

So, should you upgrade?

  • If you are on a 6S, 7 or 8 and are happy with the camera you have then I would save yourself some money and stick with what you have for another year
  • If like me you can’t handle a plus and want that dual lens camera then it’ll be a good choice as long as you can justify the cost

Note: Animoji is fun but don’t buy a new phone for it :-)