iPhone X: A design upgrade worth its eye-popping price tag

Apple’s iPhone X (Rs 1.02 lakh for 256 GB) dazzled in the sunlight. The silver review unit looked all chrome and glass. The power/lock switch seemed bigger and placed lower than it is on the iPhone 8/8 Plus, while the most significant change was the absence of the home button. Also, the rear dual camera setup is vertical. The all-screen phone is a little bigger and heavier than my iPhone 6s, but the 5.8-inch screen is the biggest seen on any iPhone.

I set up Face ID by scanning my face twice by rotating my head. I got a scare when I restarted the phone the first time: It wouldn’t unlock till I swiped up to get the PIN login screen, since I’d configured the phone to ask for a PIN on restarting. But one can turn it off. Face ID works most of the time, so long as you’re not wearing a helmet or balaclava. But you need to look at the phone to unlock it.

Shifting to the iPhone X meant unlearning and learning new ways to interact with the iOS. For example, a long press on the power button brings up Siri; swiping down from the top right brings up control centre; swiping up from below brings one to the home screen; and swiping up and holding brings up the open apps list, among others. But the OLED screen is the best I’ve seen on an iPhone and I had loads of fun binge-watching The Machines. 

In the limited time I used the iPhone X, the 12-megapixel (MP) rear cameras impressed with their performance in all kinds of lighting conditions. With the telephoto lens also supporting optical image stabilisation (OIS), zoom shots come out sharper and clearer. The 7-MP front camera also supports portrait mode. And you’ll fall in love with Animojis — animal faces mimicking your expression. 

I was able to get a day’s worth of use on the iPhone X, with a little bit of gaming. Also, get yourself a case for protection as well as to save the back from smudges.

The iPhone X does involve a steep learning curve, even for iPhone users. But the brilliant screen and fabulous cameras more than make up for sacrificing familiarity. 

If you want the most advanced phone money can buy and are up for the learning challenge, this is it.

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