Let’s get one thing out of the way first: the iPhone X is not a phone for the Android fan. This is a phone for someone who’s entrenched in the iPhone ecosystem and doesn’t want to leave, but has become bored to tears by the same old design from Apple for the last four years.
The iPhone X is the phone we’ve been willing Apple to make, partly so that we’ve got something new to write about, but also so those who look forward to the arrival of a new iPhone actually have something to get excited about.
‘New Phone Day’ is one of the highlights in many people’s years, and the iPhone X is worthy of the excitement.
Apple has got things almost entirely right with the iPhone X, taking all it’s learned from its past handsets and fusing them together to make a device that’s like nothing else the brand has ever produced.
See our overview video of the iPhone X below.
In our opinion, the greatest iPhone before the X was the iPhone 4, which elevated Apple from ‘poor specs but great user experience’ to a real smartphone contender, fusing strong design with decent performance.
But the iPhone X takes things in a whole new direction, offering users something they’ve never had before in the iOS world. We're annoyed it's taken this long to get an OLED screen on an Apple phone, but now that we've got one there's not a lot to fault on the iPhone X.
The selfie camera, the raw power, the all-new screen shape and the well-implemented Face ID combine impressively to create a new direction for the iPhone.
It’s interesting that Apple says the iPhone X is the future of smartphones, however, because many of its new features are already present on other handsets on the market. The X is not going to make waves in the same way the original iPhone did.
But in terms of the future of iPhones… well, this is it. Anything that’s not the iPhone X now just looks dated and slathered in bezel. The iPhone X is indeed the Apple handset of the future, and everything else it’s made is history.
Should I buy it?
Just think about handing this phone to someone who’s got the first iPhone in 2007 – that 3.5-inch-screened metal-and-plastic fusion, with a terrible camera, grainy screen, no apps and a swipe to unlock.
The iPhone X is a smooth, machined, waterproof phone with a superb high-res screen, 256GB of storage, millions of apps, lightning download speeds, AR effects, instant facial recognition, amazing speakers, sublime photos from the front and back cameras, console-level gaming… the iPhone X serves as powerful reminder to sometimes step back and see how far we’ve come.
Is it perfect? Of course not – it's so, so expensive. No matter how good the phone is, the extreme cost puts it out of reach of so many smartphone fans.
The notch on the iPhone X irks, the bezels are a little too heavy to call it bezel-less, the camera isn’t market-leading (although it’s very, very good), and despite all the technical innovation it’s impossible to look past the dizzying cost.
That said, the iPhone X is the closest to perfection Apple has ever got with an iPhone – and if you’re okay with the sky-high price, you’re going to love it.
First reviewed October 2017
Not sold on the iPhone X? Then check out these options below...
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
If you’re looking to get a new iPhone, and want to spend a lot but not quite as much as on the iPhone X, then the iPhone 8 Plus is the one to go for.
It’s got a large screen (although not as high-res, nor as premium tech), and virtually the same dual-camera setup. It’s not quite as powerful in low light as the iPhone X, but it’s certainly capable, and it’s the ‘next phone down’ on the Apple phone ladder.
If the iPhone 8 Plus size turns you off, then the iPhone 8 is the one to choose if you want something more manageable in the palm. Both phones have the old-fashioned home button you're used to.
It’s got all the incredible power of both the iPhone X and the 8 Plus, and while it scrimps on the pixel density of the screen it still has True Tone technology, and the same fast and wireless charging capabilities.
- Read our iPhone 8 Plus review
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
Samsung and Apple are taking cues from each other every new phone cycle, so to be tempted by the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus isn't too surprising. It's a nice phone too.
If you can get past the switch to Android and handle a phone with a 6.2-inch display, the S9 Plus is our favorite phone at the moment. Its curved Super OLED display and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor make it pleasing in both form and functionality. You're also going to love the photos, and the fact that it's slightly cheaper than Apple's launch price.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Okay, the chances are you’re not going to pick up an older Samsung phone if you’re looking at buying the iPhone X, but it’s definitely worth considering. It also uses OLED technology – and is pretty nifty – at it, in our opinion, and it packs an industry-leading camera.
It’s a cheaper phone too – partly due to the original price, and also from being on the market a few months and the cost declining. But few people are likely make the switch from Apple’s ecosystem to Android’s...
- Read our Samsung Galaxy S8 review
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
…Although if you are going to make the switch from iPhone to Android, and you’re looking to spend a bit more, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the one to go for. Commanding a premium that’s not too far off that of the iPhone X, it comes with an impressive dual-camera setup, an even better screen than the Galaxy S8, and the S Pen for on-screen prodding to boot.
It’s got the same longer, HDR-enabled-style screen as the iPhone X and a powerful snapper – you’re spoilt for choice this year with flagship smartphones, it seems.
- Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review
A left-field choice here, but the LG V30 is a powerhouse of a phone, if one that lacks the polish of the iPhone X.
It’s got a great mix of a longer, lower-bezel screen, a strong camera and great audio output, and still packs a fingerprint scanner. One to go for if you want something with brawn but at a touch lower cost.
- Read our LG V30 review