Is the iPhone X the best smartphone?

13.12.2017

In case you hadn’t noticed: the iPhone X has arrived. As always when Apple markets a new product, there’s been a major buzz about the iPhone X. A lot of comparisons are being made with heavyweights Samsung, Huawei and Sony. But are the comparisons fair? Well, yes and no.


Yes, because technically speaking they are not that far apar. As a matter of fact, the iPhone X’s superior OLED screen is manufactured by Samsung.

No, because in truth they are worlds apart. Just like car enthusiasts don’t mind digging deeper into their pockets for a certain brand in case of similar kit and performance, true iPhone aficionados will go to great lengths for their smartphone brand. This means there are two worlds: that of the iPhone and that of all the other smartphones. That’s just how it works.

 

The facts

‘It’s all screen’. That’s how Apple is promoting its new flagship, the iPhone X. In itself this is nothing new, really. After all, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro also have a sloping screen. Fact is that Apple has paid more attention to design. For instance, the corners of the screen are rounded, which is one of those typical Apple details that appeals to fans. Still, there is a notch in the top bezel. Aesthetically speaking this is a compromise but it does harbour a host of additional sensors, amongst others for the Face ID feature.

 

3D face recognition

On the X, Apple is introducing a sophisticated 3D face recognition system to replace the fingerprint sensor used on the iPhone 8. While impressive, it is noticeable slower and therefore it’s a step back... Conversely, the Samsung Galaxy S8 offers a choice between both facial and iris recognition as well as fingerprint identification.

 

Goodbye home button... or not

The most remarkable feature of the X’s design is the absence of a home button. From now on your new iPhone is operated by swiping, which obviously takes a bit of getting used to. If it really doesn’t work for you then you can install your own ‘virtual’ home button on the screen. How nice of Apple. Not so nice is the fact that the X is largely made of glass, which literally makes it very brittle.

 

Just enough autonomy

As for the autonomy, the iPhone X battery is definitely not a record breaker. With an average of 9.5 hours it does only marginally better than cheaper competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 (approx. 8 hours). Just to compare: the Sony Xperia XZ1 last 13 hours. Even more annoying is the fact that only a slow 5W charger is included, which is a bit poor for such an expensive device.

 

4G slower than the competition

As far as the future-proof nature of the supported technologies in terms of 4G download speed is concerned, the new iPhone lags behind the competition. Devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro offer superior bandwidth, even with less than optimal reception.

 

Conclusion

If you’re not an Apple junkie, alternatives such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are certainly worth considering. Even (substantially cheaper) alternatives such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 are in the ballpark when it comes to certain key characteristics.

To die-hard iPhone fans, the latest and most expensive model is always the best. For those who need convincing: the design without a home button is innovative compared to older models, the OLED screen is amazing, Face ID is a technological breakthrough and iOS is obviously a fantastic operating system. The wireless charging is also a nice perk.

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