iPhone X real-life use wows me

After his first weekend using iPhone X, 9to5Mac‘s Ben Lovejoy writes, “There has been much discussion by early reviewers about the side bezels. Apple has been hyping it as essentially bezel-free, while some early reviewers have commented on the fact that bezels are still very much in evidence. My initial view is that it’s just right. The bezels are thicker in the steel and glass than they appear in photos, but I can hold it comfortably without obscuring any of the display. I’m sure even this much bezel will look old-fashioned in a few years, but right now I’d say Apple has struck the right balance.”

“I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this as I use the phone over the next few days, but my immediate impressions of the notch are that it’s cute! I think it adds visual interest to what would otherwise be a rather featureless design on the front,” Lovejoy writes. “My first impressions of the OLED screen are that the improvements are a little overblown. Yes, it’s a very, very nice display. It looks great. But, in all honesty, so does the IPS LCD screen on older iPhones. On the Homescreen, and in most apps, I’d say the difference is no big deal. But it does definitely make itself felt when viewing photos. I was relieved to see that Apple hasn’t gone down the Samsung route of cranking up saturation and contrast to cartoon-like levels: the iPhone X display pops, but still looks natural.”

Apple's iPhone X. Say hello to the future.
Apple’s iPhone X. Say hello to the future.

“I can say immediately that anyone worrying about the switch from Touch ID to Face ID can stop now. It’s fantastic. Quick, reliable, more secure and more convenient. When notifications arrive on the lockscreen, for example, the content is hidden until you look at the phone, then the content appears. Fantastic,” Lovejoy writes. “With my banking app, it asked me for permission to use Face ID, and that was it. I could then immediately use it for logon, and it’s a beautiful experience. In use, it’s as if there’s no security step at all – just open the app and view your accounts – while in reality you’re protected by something far more secure than Touch ID. I love it.”

Tons more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s the True Tone that really makes the display sing. We’re being extra careful to not leave the iPhone display active for things like turn-by-turn navigation on long drives to avoid any possibility of burn-in. The turns are on our wrists anyway via Apple Watch and, in our other vehicles, it’s displayed on the vehicles’ screens via CarPlay.

As should be perfectly obvious by now, we hate the notch. It’s a design compromise. An inelegant kludge. One of the very first things we did with our new iPhone X units was change the Home Screen Wallpaper to black. Besides the not insignificant bezels all around, the notch is glaring proof of Apple’s “it’s all screen” marketing lie. It’s simply a bad design decision to place a flap over any part of the display and to require developers to design around it. That said, we’ll learn to live with it. So will everybody who’s lucky enough to be afflicted with it. We’re not sure Notch Blindness™ will ever fully set in, but it’s not a deal-breaker. It’s just concerning that Apple would think this is their best solution (especially after recent design disasters like the Apple TV’s Siri Remote). We’re left wondering if Jony is off elsewhere (dealing with Campus architecture, the odd Christmas tree, overwrought naval-gazing coffee table books, etc.) while lesser mortals are trying to run the product design shop.

Beyond the notch, after our first weekend with our iPhone X units, with everybody who sees them wanting to hold them and ask questions, it’s already crystal clear that this is the best iPhone Apple has ever made. You can have ours after you pry them out of our cold dead hands.


  1. I hope Apple blacks out the “ears” in a (near) future iOS release. If done as such, the notch can stay… until they can figure out how to get the Face ID to work from under the screen. By the way, I have seen some nice mock ups of “blacked out ears” on this site.

  2. OMG get over the notch already. Been using mine since Friday it’s NOT a big deal at all. Someday it’ll go away. My favorite as nice as FaceID is working is the form factor. Big screen smaller size.. The plus versions grow tiresome they’re just to big.. This X has been a pleasure to use..

    1. MDN Take:

      “Beyond the notch, after our first weekend with our iPhone X units, with everybody who sees them wanting to hold them and ask questions, it’s already crystal clear that this is the best iPhone Apple has ever made. You can have ours after you pry them out of our cold dead hands.”

      If the notch is all that MDN can gripe about (rather incessantly), then the iPhone X is a true winner. Look at it this way, MDN…it gives Apple some room for improvement over the next year or two.

      As for the bezels, people need to get some perspective on life. The more of the frame that Apple removes, the greater the tendency towards fragility in bending and under impact. Life is a series of compromises…the notch, this website with political commentary by Fwhatever and botty…yet we still survive.

      I am just happy that the iPhone X rollout has not revealed any inherent design issues affecting function. I have seen articles on the potential for OLED burn-in, but that is an inherent weakness of OLED technology (just as it was with plasma), and Apple has mitigated it to the extent possible. If people find ways to crank up display brightness beyond the default maximum or leave their displays on a static image for long periods of time, then they may notice a problem. Plasma vendors largely eliminated burn-in issues with software solutions to quickly vary the image even when it was static. I am willing to be that Apple is doing something similar. Anything to let the pixels relax a bit.

      Another big issue with early OLED displays was inconsistent fading of intensity of RGB – I believe that the blue pixels faded much more quickly than the others, which affected color fidelity. I am sure that OLED technology has improved quite a bit over the last five years, otherwise Apple would not have adopted it for their flagship mobile device. But I doubt that the fading issue has been fully mitigated, yet.

  3. I considered the Galaxy 8 Note for a minute. I can easily duplicate all my iCloud functionality elsewhere.

    Then I remembered I’d purchased an Apple Watch, and it hit me. Apple Watch is the handcuff. Well played Apple. Well played indeed.

    1. How about the open Android barn door, allowing in all the smelling exploits? Call me paranoid, but I’d happily chose Apple for one reason alone: security. Fortunately, there are many other beni’s, but this is enough. Handcuffs can be good and I’m not being kinky.

  4. So, the X is wonderful, but the OLED screen means MDN no longer uses the phone for turn by turn directions.

    Great advance there, a beautiful screen that you stop using.

    1. We have not used iPhone displays for turn-by-turn direction, even in our non-Carplay-equipped vehicles, since we donned our first Apple Watches in April 2015. The turn-by-turn directions are on our wrists.

      1. Good for you. So after I get my iPhone X I need to buy a watch that I otherwise wouldn’t buy to make up for the amazing screen I can’t use like I use my 6s.

      2. Turn by turn directions are even more efficiently delivered via your centerstack or gauge cluster. I’m sorry, but using a watch for vehicular navigation is kind of ridiculous.

  5. I personally detest True Tone, and turn the feature off. To my eyes, all it does is make the whites yellow, like I’m in the house of an 80 year old chain smoker.

  6. If you find the notch overly burdensome, I have found a work around to minimize it. Choose a wallpaper background for the Home & Lock screens that is black at the top. That eliminates the notch for much of the time. If you really hate it in Apps choose Smart Invert in settings. That substantially changes the look and feel of a lot of apps though – so you’d REALLY have to hate the notch.

  7. Much ado about nothing MDN. The notch is overblown. I don’t even notice it anymore. If anything it initially reminded of Sully from MONSTER’S INC. Wouldn’t be surprised it screens were made to fill in the notch creatively. Fantastic iPhone!!

  8. Seriously the ‘ears’ aren’t an issue at all. Been using mine since Friday and if anything I’ve grown fond of them. They add character to a display that otherwise is the same as everyone else’s (quality aside).
    This is a seriously awesome phone. No wonder Samsung are scared and feel the need to lash out at the hand that feeds them.

  9. Facial ID was my biggest concern, but wow….it is so good and much better than Touch ID. I genuinely was worried, but not only does it work, I have now tweaked my notifications based on them only presenting to me and security is better. Touch ID allowed 10 fingerprints which could and did include my girlfriend…..facial ID is only me!! I am now frustrated at my (new) iPad Pro only having touch and wired charging…..upgrade next year I guess….

    Likewise my MacBook Pro is desperate for Facial ID

  10. I finally played around with an X in a shop today. It looks great and the notch seems like a non-issue. What annoyed me was that the display is narrower than the 8 plus. Compared to the iPhone 8 it’s like what the 5 was to the 4S. I wish Apple hadn’t compromised on the width. I don’t think I’ll wait, but I’ll probably get rid of my X in a year if they release a model with a 6″ or larger screen.

  11. Face ID is faster than touch ID, it works.

    Notch is a non issue: Get over it. (for those that have an issue)

    This phone is extremely fast and awesome. Screen is more or less the same screen size as the plus, but the phone is smaller and fits in my front pocket well Apple Wins again!

  12. Crotchity, Grumbling Geezer, Mr. Security Comment:

    The very BEST security would require REAL multi-factor authentication at all times.

    1) Factor One: The very best security is ‘Something You Know’, as in knowing an obscure, unguessable password for your device. In the USA, authorities can’t legally ask anyone to break their right to be silent. What you know stays in your head. Bad guys would have to use some nasty method of coercion to get it out of you.

    2) Factor Two: Something you are. That would include both your fingerprint and your face.

    3) Factor Three: Something you have. That could be a dongle with a one-time password, an individualized QR code, etc.

    For convenience, the Quick and Easy always wins. Choose to temporarily only use your face as a security factor when you require Quick and Easy access to your device.

    For maximum security, the complicated and hard to obtain wins.

    [Yes trolls. Self-sarcasm can be fun and profitable.]

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