What have we learned so far? Most iPhone X reviewers love it, contrarian arguments are few and far between, and early adopter and manufacturing hiccups– battery swelling, green line on screen, crackling audio– seem nominal in number. After a full week of usage I have a few tips I can share and a few suggestions to make to Apple.
First up, battery life. Contrary to the screen size dimensions which are larger than iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X is more like iPhone 8 in size– and that includes screen size. Battery life is good, but there’s a way to get another 30-percent to 50-percent more juice in iPhone X. Low Power Mode. Seriously. It works big time.
Also, add a black Wallpaper to the Lock Screen and Home Screen (Apple includes a black image in the Wallpaper settings). OLED black is black because power to black is turned off and the iPhone’s new OLED display is a battery hog.
Second up, Face ID. A few reports here and there say a sibling or identical twin can unlock your iPhone X, but it’s not common. Just as we could improve Touch ID by scanning a single finger five times, Face ID learns over time. When iPhone X does not unlock via Face ID just make sure to use the password to open the phone. That helps Face ID to learn your face which makes it more likely that a sibling, twin, or doppelgänger won’t open it while you’re sleeping.
As to all the other changes in iPhone X, time takes care of most– the Notch goes away as a visible issue, the swipe here and swipe there become relearned memory muscles, but overall this is the iPhone you’ve wanted from the beginning.
Still, there are a few items I miss from my old Touch ID-enabled iPhone 7 Plus (besides the screen real estate; iPhone X has a larger display but with less usable screen space than Plus models).
First up is Raise to Open. Yes, iPhone X will unlock when you lift the phone toward your face– it’s called Raise to Waike– but I want it to open to the Home page instead. Touch ID had that and it worked well. iPhone X will unlock instantly but you still need to swipe up to get to the Home screen.
Second is Rotation Lock. Try flipping an iPhone 7 Plus to landscape mode and everything move to landscape mode. Not so on iPhone X except for media like YouTube or videos, etc.
Third is the Control Center. To get to CC now you swipe down from the battery indicator. That’s OK and you get used to it, but it would be great if CC would also show up as a page in the Switcher which you can invoke with a Swipe-Up and Swipe Over, or by swiping on the Home Indicator (that horizontal line at the bottom of most apps).
Other than differentiation, I’m not sure why Apple employed a Notch at the top of iPhone X’s display– it could easily have been a match horizontal bar that displays carrier strength, time, battery levels; you know, like Samsung– but after a day of use it becomes a non-issue. Except when viewing a movie or video in landscape mode, and then it seems out of place.
And entirely black horizontal bar would fix that. Otherwise, after one week this is the best iPhone to date. Oh, one more thing. Apple, please bring back the battery percentage indicator.