I recently bought an Apple (AAPL 1.62%) iPhone X to replace my iPhone 8 Plus after I had dropped the latter device and shattered its glass back. After a few days with the iPhone X, I'd say that on the whole, I'm impressed with it. In this column, I'd like to go over three positives about the device that really stand out.
Faster touch responsiveness
One way that the iPhone X differs from Apple's other iPhone models, including the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus that launched alongside it, is a dramatic increase in the rate at which the touch screen samples input.
Previous iPhone models checked for touch input at a rate of 60 times per second (60Hz). The iPhone X, on the other hand, scans for touch input at a rate of 120Hz. This improvement initially seems subtle, but when using the iPhone X and an older iPhone side-by-side, it becomes immediately obvious that the iPhone X feels smoother.
I suspect that Apple will increase the touch sampling rate to 120Hz for all of the new iPhone models that it introduces later this year, including the lower-cost model with a 6.1-inch liquid crystal display -- it'll be an upgrade that users should be able to immediately appreciate, even if they don't quite understand the tech behind it.
Beginning with the iPhone 7-series smartphones, Apple has outfitted its flagship iPhone models with truly excellent displays -- they're color accurate, they're sharp, and they can display a wider range of colors than what previous iPhones were capable of.
The iPhone X, however, is the first iPhone with an organic light emitting diode, or OLED for short, display, as all previous iPhone models used liquid crystal displays (LCD).
OLED displays are known for their fast pixel response times and effectively infinite contrast ratios -- both big advantages over LCDs which generally have slow pixel response times and relatively poor contrast ratios. After a few days with the iPhone X, the improvements in these areas compared to the iPhone 8 Plus' display became immediately apparent.
There are some drawbacks to the OLED display, of course -- there is a noticeable color shift when the display is viewed even a bit off-axis that wasn't the case on the iPhone 8 Plus' LCD. However, I'd say that in terms of image quality, I far prefer the display on the iPhone X to the one on the iPhone 8 Plus.
On top of the improved display image quality, I do enjoy the nearly bezel-free nature of the display -- the big bezels on the iPhone models beginning with the iPhone 6-series and extending through the iPhone 8-series were starting to look rather dated.
Look and feel
The iPhone X is, put simply, a gorgeous device. Although I immediately put it in a case on the day I bought it, when I have slipped it out of the case, I couldn't help but enjoy how the iPhone X looks. The glass back and space gray finish are incredibly sleek, and the stainless steel band around the phone (which is color-matched to the color of the back of the phone) looks superb.
The iPhone X is a cut above Apple's previous iPhone models in terms of aesthetics and general feeling of luxury. It certainly looks the part of a $999+ smartphone!