January 19, 2018

Product Note: iPhone X

Nicole Black

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York, attorney and the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase legal practice management software. She is the nationally recognized author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers (2012) and co-authored Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier (2010), both published by the American Bar Association. She also co-authored “Criminal Law in New York,” a Thomson West treatise. She writes regular columns for The Daily Record, Above the Law, and Legal IT Pros, has authored hundreds of articles for other publications, and regularly speaks at conferences regarding the intersection of law, mobile and cloud computing, and Internet-based technology. She can be contacted at niki.black@mycase.com.


iPhone X
Courtesy of Apple

 

When Apple announced the release of the iPhone X,* a revamped iPhone with, among other things, an improved camera and larger display, I was intrigued. But I had an iPhone 7 that worked fine, and I was initially able to convince myself that there was no need to upgrade.

My resolve lasted all of a few weeks before, in typical geek fashion, I caved. The new iPhone X was too appealing to pass up. So, I headed over to the Apple Store and upgraded my phone. I was already enrolled in the Apple Upgrade Program, so I traded in my iPhone 7 and received a credit toward the purchase price of the iPhone X.

I financed it through Apple’s Upgrade Program for several reasons. First, at $1,149, it’s not a cheap phone, so financing it in 24 monthly payments simply makes sense. Second, the 0 percent interest rate makes financing hard to turn down. Third, it allows me to avoid locking myself into another two-year contract with AT&T; when you finance with AT&T, you’re required to extend your contract. And finally, it spreads out over 24 months the $199 cost of the AppleCare+ protection plan, which I would have purchased anyway.

I bought the 256 GB model (in silver). The total cost was $1,348 ($1,149 for the phone, plus $199 for AppleCare+). Although the iPhone X features a 5.8” display, the phone itself isn’t much larger than my iPhone 7, which had a 4.7” display. But because of the overall redesign of the phone, the increased screen real estate makes all the difference. (For full specs and pricing details, see apple.com.)

From the very start, I’ve enjoyed the larger screen. It’s been great to have increased screen space on a phone, but because the phone is nearly the same size as my iPhone 7, it still fits comfortably in my hand. Also nice is the new OLED screen, which offers a more crisp, clear, colorful display than what I was used to on my iPhone 7. That being said, it’s not something that was immediately apparent to me, although I’ve come to appreciate it over time.

Another plus is the improved camera, which has built-in dual rear cameras. My iPhone is my primary camera, so any upgrade to its camera is a bonus for me.

Despite all the benefits, there were some drawbacks to this purchase as well. The hardest part of the transition to the iPhone X was getting used to a redesign that removed the familiar “home” button. Over time, swiping up from the bottom of the screen to unlock the phone has become second nature. But I’m still struggling with recalling the gestures needed to access the notification screen or the Control Center. It’s such a switch from the prior design that it’s been difficult to acclimate to the change.

The Face ID has been hit or miss as well. I wear glasses, and if I’m looking at my iPhone straight on in a well-lit area while wearing my glasses, it works fine. But if I take off my glasses or the lighting is dimmer, it doesn’t always recognize me, which can be frustrating. There have definitely been situations where the Face ID failed, but if I’d had Touch ID available, it would have worked seamlessly. Alas, with the iPhone X, Touch ID has been eradicated and is no longer an option.

The bottom line: Although I’m glad I made the switch, there are a few things about my old iPhone that I miss. That being said, overall, I’m glad I chose to upgrade to the iPhone X.

*Pro tip: If, after reading this review, you decide to head to the Apple Store to upgrade your iPhone, note that the “X” is intended to be the Roman numeral for “10,” so it’s called the “iPhone ten,” not the “iPhone x.”

 

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Nicole Black