iPhone X First Thoughts

I've had the iPhone X now for almost a week and wanted to capture my initial thoughts.

iPhone X, Mario and Cappy

The Big Screen

My first impression while I was going through the new much simpler setup process was that the screen is really big. The iPhone X isn't much wider than my 6s, but the bezel-less design really emphasizes the idea that you are holding a screen in your hand. There's almost nothing left to remind you that this is a phone. It's a fantastic look that really puts the apps front and centre.

A Thumb Workout

When it comes to the multi-tasking switcher and other new gestures adapting was easy. Almost immediately out of the box I was able to do all the new gestures successfully. I think that I was really well prepared because had I listened to so many podcasts of people discussing and adjusting to the changes.

A lot of the design changes in iOS 10 and 11 really make sense now that the iPhone X exists. "Skate to where the puck is" is what they say. I'm still not a big fan of the card style interface (see the Music App) but it feels a lot more natural on a device where the main mode of navigating is swiping. The only thing I really don't like is that you can no longer flick away apps in the multi-tasking switcher to quit them. It's going to take a while for me to remember to press and hold and wait for the red x to appear. Yes I realize that I do not need to quit apps, but sometimes things go wrong when testing and it must be done. I think this might be a deliberate design choice to dissuade people from quitting apps.

I find it impossible to reach the top right corner with my left thumb to pull down control center. This will remain a two-handed operation for me. Control center really should be part of the multi-tasking switcher like it is on iPad.

Having the Camera and flashlight on the lock screen are great but I still want to swipe it rather than use 3D Touch.

Face ID Time

FaceID is pretty impressive. There's no need to wait for Face ID to unlock the phone before interacting with the screen. Just raise the phone and swipe up. By then Face ID has already done it's job and unlocked the iPhone. Setup was so simple and easy too. It's like magic.

Animoji Are Fun

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Of course I had to record an Animoji music video using Animoji Studio. Playing with the Animoji characters is a lot of fun. The technology behind this is pretty incredible. I can't wait to see what developers come up with.

Vroom!

It's fast! Everything happens faster. I picked up the iPhone 6s today to poke at it a bit and it now feels like going back to a 4s. I don't know how many developers will take full advantage of the power that the iPhone X has to offer but the speed boost is a great quality of life improvement.

iPhone 5s, 6s and X screen comparison, 50% brightness

Unbelievable Battery Life

I had a recall battery replacement on the 6s a year ago. Even after that, my morning commute usually leaves me with about 35%-45% battery by the time I arrive at work. With the iPhone X under the same conditions I've got about 85% battery left for the rest of the day. Now I understand why people really liked the plus sized phone.

Say Cheese

I haven't had much of an opportunity for photography with the iPhone X yet but my short time with the portrait mode has revealed some great results but the new lighting effects are hit or miss. The Studio lighting effect gives really nice looking results. I find that the Stage Light option is awful and really unusable. Thankfully these effects are optional and can be changed in post. The 2x zoom is a fantastic thing to have in my pocket. I can't wait to take this phone on a trip.

Here is a photo of TrailRoc Winter Dragon Fire, also known as Bruce taken with the iPhone X's portrait mode.

Bruce!

Winter Blues?

I do have some concerns about how easy it wicill be to get along with the iPhone X in winter. Thankfully the cold-weather screen issues have been fixed in a software update. Touch ID was always a bit of a pain in the winter due to gloves or mitts. I got used to it though. I don't know how good Face ID will be at recognizing my face under a balaclava or with Ski Googles on. Even with Apple Care I'm also going to order an Otterbox case for when we are out on the trails.

And What About Mushometer

When it comes to Mushometer on the iPhone X, updating the App to support the new screen size was trivial. There's more space on the screen to see more runs. The increased battery life will be the biggest improvement for mushers. 👍 It's worth repeating, get a case if you are going to risk taking this thing out with you on the sled!

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