It turns out I was lucky enough to have my iPhone X order bumped up from the original third week of November date to it getting delivered yesterday afternoon. Major kudos to Apple's supply chain prowess: to launch a brand-new phone simultaneously in 55 countries where initial demand is surely in the tens of millions is an astonishing feat.
Or perhaps that's just happy me who got his iPhone X way earlier that expected talking.
Nevertheless, I've had about a day's worth of use, and here are some preliminary impressions:
- Face ID is fast and works seamlessly in all lighting conditions. That said, Touch ID is still faster, which is expected as the fingerprint technology is matured while this is the first go for Face ID.
- One Face ID quirk for winter months: it doesn't work if you're wearing a mask/half the face is covered. I hope in future iterations the Face ID system will add technologies like retinal scanning to its repertoire so that it can unlock the phone under more situations.
- The OLED screen is perfection. It makes even my 5K iMac display look pedestrian by comparison: infinite contrast ratio, precise calibration, and fantastic viewing angles. I'm glad Apple waited this long to introduce OLED in the iPhone because early Samsung OLED screens were atrocious.
- With the combination of glass front and back with polished stainless-steel surround, the X is the best feeling iPhone to the hand since iPhone 4. There is no chance I'm putting a case on it; the back glass is grippy enough - an upgrade from the soap-like aluminum of iPhone 6 and 7.
- I don't miss the home button: swiping up from the bottom edge is quite natural. What isn't natural is the gesture it replaces: control center - it's now swipe down from top right. Rejiggering that muscle memory will take longer.
- Of course, apps that have yet to be optimized for the new display arrangement look awkward at best and unusable at worse. Most frustrating part is the keyboard - outdated apps don't use the new keyboard layout, and your muscle memory will hate you.
- The X is slightly heavier than the 7 Plus, even though it's dimensionally smaller. I personally don't mind it because it'll be less prone to fly out of my hands/easier to clutch.
- True-tone is so amazing that I wish all my other displays have it. I turn it off when I need to do photography work (read: instagram), but otherwise it's a pleasure on the eyes.
More in the weeks to come as I get familiar with the phone, including taking it on a trip to Taiwan during Thanksgiving week.