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IPhone X : It’s the cutest handset ever, but it’s not the best.

It’s the best iPhone ever, but not the best smartphone. We expected more from the top of Apple, but we also surprised ourselves with the animoji, the new gestures and the battery for a whole day.

They saw the four stars at the top of this review and probably the reaction is: so the iPhone X is not perfect, incredible and the best thing ever? Quick answer: No, it’s not. OX, released on November 3, is without a doubt the best iPhone ever, but there are better phones with more features and above all best price. Are they as beautiful as the iPhone X? No, but beauty is not everything.

There is no doubt that Apple has created an innovative smartphone that captures the attention of anyone. During the week we looked at the iPhone ten – yes, ten, the X is Roman – it was rare the moment we took it out of the pocket and there were no curious looks with the phone. It is a smartphone that gives the sights. The screen, the design and the size make the iPhone X a device that at the same time has class and is futuristic.

The most beautiful smartphone is empty of substance: it comes with facial recognition, a corner-to-corner screen that dispenses the menu button, A11 bionic artificial intelligence (IA) processor, wireless charging and with what we like most: the animojis. However, it also has some annoying things: it has no headphone jack, no fingerprint sensor, it slows down with background applications, sometimes it warms up more than it should. It is fragile, the top of the screen has a border that cuts the image and … it is expensive, very expensive. It costs at least 1,180 euros.

The annoying: headphones, why do I want you

The future may be wireless but we still live in the present. As convenient as cordless phones , pairing a Bluetooth headset can still give you headaches, more times than is desirable. When it works it’s great, but getting into a car with the hands-free system and then re-using the phones that were paired still creates connection problems, among other things. A headphone jack easily solved this problem and saved precious minutes to make a call. Apple puts in the iPhone X case an Earpods(wired Apple headset) with its own special input to facilitate, but still have the same problem that the iPhone 7 already had. Or go with adapters to use phones with standard 3.5 mm jacks or else spend even more money on headsets with compatible audio outputs when you leave those at home because they are not that common. And charge the phone while listening to music? More adapters. One thing is certain: both with wires and without, the sound quality of the headset is great on the iPhone X.

The fingerprint sensor is also missing a lot. Facial recognition works at 80% and when we have the phone on the desk – especially at those meetings where we discreetly want to see messages in Whatsapp – is not useful. If before we just needed to put a finger on the menu button, with the iPhone X, in the horizontal position, the camera angle can not recognize the face. Even if we make a move to put the camera’s face in the angle of the camera, it was rarely the case that it worked.

When we took the iPhone out of pocket, for example, this functionality was frustrating. When it works, it’s fast and it’s the best option for unlocking a phone. But it frustrates the user when he does not recognize the face and asks for the six-digit code. It is an action that should be fast, but that takes more time, because we spend more time looking at a smartphone of more than a thousand euros. We liked this functionality when in fact it worked, but the problem is that, given the price, it is not justified that it only works 80% of the time (especially when those 20% correspond to times when we wanted to respond quickly to an email or an SMS).

Another irritating point is the ridge that cuts the top of the screen. It was one of the first design flaws pointed by critics with the announcement of the iPhone X, even for us when we received the smartphone in the newsroom . Irritates, but after a few days a person forgets that it is there. Apart from the time when we’re viewing full-screen videos or using the many apps that are not optimized (or poorly optimized) for this new format, the boss we thought was going to be the most annoying thing on iPhone X was over for being the least. Knowing how Apple works, the issue of app optimizationis going to be solved by the programmers and until then, this question is not a complete no to the iPhone X (but it helped not to have the five stars).

On the left is the right image printscreen made on iPhone X. The border cuts the top of the image. Bad optimization makes it difficult to load the user’s orange icon.

Another downside is the speed of some apps on the iPhone X. The smartphone comes with three gigabytes of RAM, while direct competitors come with at least four gigabytes . With several applications open or while we used functions that pull more by the device, it jammed and even shut down apps . Note this issue especially to use animojis. It takes five minutes for the application of messages to start getting stuck and to hiccup.

The only justification found for this failure is lack of RAM. With five applications open in the background (Gmail, Safari, Contacts, Photos, and Watcher) the one that was in use on the main screen was also starting to slow down. We are talking about the top of the range Apple, this is not supposed to happen (we had even a few applications installed on the iPhone while we were analyzing it).

The most annoying thing is the price. Apple is already known for the high prices. Do you pay, in addition to the brand, the quality? It pays, but it’s still very expensive. We are not saying that the smartphone should be much cheaper or that it did not have the same price, but for the minimum amount requested, it should arrive with more functionalities, like the competitors (which are cheaper). Example: How to connect to a screen and become a desktop-style computer , be much more resilient (just pick up the phone to realize that the rear glass is fragile) and keep options like fingerprint sensor to unlock.

The captivating: well-behaved Super Retina

Not everything on the iPhone X is annoying. Truth be told, the smartphone has more captivating things than irritants. We say it is the most beautiful smartphone and we do it because it is really a unique mobile phone. If there are some who defend that beautiful is a subjective concept is because it has not yet been with the iPhone ten in the hands. Apple has accustomed us to sleek design in recent years and does not seem to want to change. With the iPhone X risked, it changed the winning formula again and again had a victory: the design is innovative, disruptive and captivating. It’s heavy compared to other smartphones(174 grams), but for a screen of 5.8 inches is the ideal weight. And size surprises anyone. It is almost the same as the iPhone 7. That is, the iPhone X has all the advantages of a smartphone plus, but with a normal size thanks to the screen corner (not even Samsung got the same facet with the Galaxy S8).

The iPhone X compared to the iPhone SE, which is considered a small smartphone.

And it’s not just the design that dazzles, it’s also the construction and components of the device. We are talking mainly about the columns. It was the first time we grabbed a smartphone horizontally, with hands to cover the sound outlet and the quality was not affected. Columns are one of the highlights of iPhone X, whether in videos or in songs. Even in a room with some noise, the columns of the iPhone X were heard.

Image quality also accompanies sound quality. The Super Retina HD OLED screen (which Apple buys from Samsung) is a treat for the eyes. Vivid colors that adapt to ambient light like we’ve never seen on another smartphone. Even the touch of the screen is smooth, gliding with the fingers on the display feels almost no friction.

As for the operating system, we see on iPhone X what Apple wants from iOS 11. If the first moments we used X, we missed the menu button, it took us a day to get accustomed to the new interface gestures. Switch applications, go back to the start menu, see the notifications or go to the shortcut menu is strange, but then it goes to the point of not wanting anything else.

And if we liked the system, we liked the battery even better. It gives, without problems, for more than a whole day and this with intensive use (even the hotstop of Wi-Fi during periods of more than half an hour throughout a day). Unfortunately the charger that comes with the iPhone X is not fast charging (you have to buy it separately). Also the wireless charging option needs an accessory purchased as an extra. Although wireless charging takes up to 100% more time to charge your smartphone , it deserves the extra investment if you purchase this device.

The dual rear camera is the only protrusion on the back of the iPhone X and achieves better images than the iPhone 8.

It is thanks to the artificial intelligence chip and the dual rear camera that this is Apple’s most prepared phone for augmented reality. The applications that we have chosen show the use that this tool can have in the near future ( mainly with the IKEA app ) and the iPhone X has been, so far, the best augmented reality smartphone we had in our hands. It still can (and should) improve, but one notices the bet and highlight that Apple has given to this new technology.

The front camera also has above average quality, but mainly for selfies . In darker environments it is noted that the double rear camera is clearly the main , far exceeding the quality of the photographs taken with the front. The more complex uses of the front camera are for animoji, but in this aspect there is plenty of room for Apple to improve (especially in low light, not the best camera).

Finally, the best: the animojis. The front camera of the iPhone X can replicate the movements of a person’s face in an animation and the results are usually hilarious (animoji). With so much news, animoji should be a minimum thing on iPhone X.

To use them is not even fast. You need to open iMessage with a contact from someone who has iPhone, click on the Store icon and then open the animojis (there are ten, like a chicken, a pig, a unicorn and even a coconut). You can only record ten-second messages and if you do not send them soon it’s too easy to miss the recording (just choose another animoji or go back). Even with these limitations is the best thing that Apple has created lately. We used it with dozens of people and fascinated each one of them. And not only children, the supporters were mostly adults. The only thing missing on iPhone X is an app for these animojis and more applications that give more use to this idea of ​​Apple.

Final verdict: Animojis did not make up the price

If it were possible to give 4.5 stars to the iPhone X that was the rating it had. However, not being possible, it was unfair this smartphone to have a perfect rating as a Samsung Note or the Galaxy 8 deserve. Above all, reason is price. In the cheaper version of 64 gb, this smartphone costs 1180 euros in Portugal. 150 euros more than any of the competition.

As much as the camera, the image quality and even the animojis are incredible, facial recognition fails more often than is supposed, is too fragile, overheats with normal use, and slows down with some background applications. For a smartphone of this range, more is expected and required. The iPhone X is the best iPhone in the market, but not the best smartphone .

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