Apple iPhone X reviews note 'journey' of Face ID, user experience, may preview a longer upgrade cycle

The new design of the iPhone X may mean that tech buyers actually want to buy Apple's latest trio of iPhones in person and to do a bake-off and return-on-investment check.

Video: iPhone X: Nine can't-miss new features

Don't count out Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus just yet.

Apple's iPhone X is being described as a journey not a impulse buy as a bevy of reviewers weigh in on facial recognition, the lack of a home button, an OLED screen and Animojis. If these initial takes are correct, it's will be worth watching how this iPhone upgrade cycle plays out.

CNET's Scott Stein went through his initial takeaways in a living review and noted:

I think the X is in the sweet spot that the older iPhone sizes could never perfectly be. It's a good-feeling phone with a nice, large screen. The shift to Face ID and the removal of the home button feel like changes that some might be fine with, and others will find unnecessary. I'm still learning the X's design language...This is the beginning of our iPhone X journey, not the final word.
iphone-x-user-background.jpg
(Image: ZDNet)

Other reviews sounded off on similar themes.

If iPhone X is a journey not a sprint then some analysts think tech buyers are going to hold off a bit to see all the new iPhones in person. Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White said:

The massive shift to pre-ordering new iPhones online has dampened the tradition of standing in line for a new iPhone; however, we wonder if curious consumers will want to visit Apple (or a carrier) this Friday to try out the new iPhone X in person. Moreover, those consumers that are on the fence between buying the iPhone 8/8 Plus and the iPhone X will likely want to compare the new models in person at a store.

Given the iPhone X's price of $999 to $1,149, it's likely technology buyers will look a bit more before pulling the trigger on a purchase. The first wave of buyers have already preordered and would have paid any price for a new iPhone.

Related: iPhone X or iPhone 8? Price, size, camera all factor in your buying decision | iPhone X vs Galaxy Note 8: Which phone has better business specs? | iPhone 8 Plus Review: Bigger is better, but not for much longer | Apple's iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X to kick off mainstreaming of augmented reality | Does Face ID make the iPhone X more secure? Depends who's asking

But most of us aren't early adopters. Add it up and this new iPhone trio may fuel an upgrade supercycle, but may be slower than usual.

Why? The iPhone X will take a bit of getting used to. And that's ok. What's more interesting to me is how similar the facial recognition takes on the iPhone X sound like my experience on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Facial recognition is interesting, but a fingerprint is more intuitive in many use cases.

Here's why the stakes are high for the iPhone X upgrade cycle.

apple-iphone-revenue.png

The contrarian view: iPhone X: Sorry Apple, but I just can't face using Face ID | Apple's iPhone X gamble shows signs of backfiring | The iPhone X is basically Samsung's Note 8 plus Animojis

Reviewers have noted some weird UX choices on the iPhone X (similar to Samsung's flagships), technology that is nice to have but far from necessary and an overall experience that's good. Call me crazy, but perhaps Apple has taken a turn to be Samsung. That reality wouldn't be surprising since Samsung supplies enough components to the iPhone X to benefit if Apple does well.

TechRepublic: iPhone 8 or iPhone X: Which one should CIOs prefer for their users? | Cheat sheet: iPhone X for the enterprise | How to get your company to pay for an iPhone X | CNET: Best cell phone trade-in options for iPhone, Android and Windows phones

For Apple, the iPhone X storyline and the preorders leading up to the Nov. 3 arrival of the device is clearly a turn for the better. Last week, many outlets were talking about how the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were duds. My take: The iPhone 8 Plus is a fine choice for anyone wanting to save some dough, get a serious camera upgrade and refrain from learning new iPhone X tricks.

One thing is certain: Apple's iPhone upgrade cycle is going to be interesting to watch. When you factor in a new design, facial recognition and a premium price don't be surprised if the iPhone 8 Plus gets some love.

TechRepublic: Photos: The best iPhone X cases for business and personal use | Photos: Useful tech accessories for iPhone X

PREVIOUS AND RELATED COVERAGE

Face ID is so good you won't miss the Home button

The removal of the iPhone's Home button has required some tradeoffs, but the superior usability of Face ID sets a new standard for secure access.

After the iPhone X: Predicting the future of the smartphone

What does the next ten years hold for the smartphone? Here's a few ideas.

Thanks, Apple: You saved me from an expensive mistake (buying an iPhone X)

I did not need to make a decision about buying a new iPhone this year. By botching the purchase process, Apple did it for me.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All