Thoughts on the iPhone X

The new iPhones are here. They are glass, metal; sublime. They are technological magic wrapped up in a marketing miracle. There were three phones released but the iPhone X has received the most attention.

I would lie if I said that I wasn’t snared by the X. I was hypnotized by the swirly colors floating on the OLED screen like the swirly colors from Kaa’s eyes. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t sit through the whole Apple event. Watching it on my TV like a kid looking into a candy store. But even through the presentation, I had a nagging feeling. The iPhone X did not convince me.

Since the unveiling, I have read various articles and posts. Some people love it. My best friend is gaga over it. One headline read, “I used the iPhone X, and I can already tell it’ll be worth its $1000.” Sure it sounds great. OLED. Better Camara. Bigger screen. Smaller Frame. etc.

And then there are the few naysayers. One article from Tech Crunch that particularly struck a chord with me was Matt Burns’ “I don’t want the new iPhone X and I can’t be alone.”

“FaceId sounds great in theory and perhaps I’ll change my tune after the bugs are worked out. After watching the system fail during the first public demo, I knew this wasn’t something I wanted to beta test for Apple.”

That article opened up the floodgates of negativity. The spell was broken. I like my current iPhone 6s Plus. I like its size, its weight, its screen. I hate that it is 16GB. I hate that I cracked the screen about a year ago and have been waiting for this moment ever since. I want to replace it. It is time.

However…

The FaceID hiccup definitely scared me. They stressed that it would work in low-light conditions, but will it need some light? It doesn’t convince me. I like TouchID. It is simple. Elegant. Flawless.

Oh, and there is the privacy concerns. One article mentions:

“Look at this. Is this yours?” he asks.
Before you can respond, a tiny infrared sensor in the phone has scanned your face. Matching those readings against the copy of your face that is stored in its archive, the phone concludes that its owner is trying to unlock it. The device lowers its defenses, surrendering its contents in moments to the law enforcement officer holding your phone.”

We can debate police ethics or laws or search warrants but that works on an individual basis, and without getting into that debate, let’s remember the nurse who was arrested for upholding a patient’s constitutional rights. If you are of a certain shade. Look a certain way. Well, FaceID might make resisting an illegal police action even harder. I might sound alarmist, but with a last name like Garcia, in this political climate—where pardons are given out to cops who racially profile people for how they look(i.e. Latin, Mexican, whatever)—or where they attack people while they innocently drive, walk, or buy skittles safety and security is a major issue for some of us.

Then, there is the rest.

I don’t need OLED. If it was something I really needed I would’ve jumped ship to an Android phone years ago. I live in the 40–50% brightness level to begin with. Sometimes super lower than that. I don’t care about the two-hour battery bump. I already had that with the Plus. Maybe more. The iPhone 8 Plus will probably have an hour extra over the X. The cameras are basically the same as the other two new phones. The stereo speakers are now universal. The processors are the same across the new iPhones.

Also, the bezel-free nature of the phone scares me. I have serious reservations. I accidentally open up apps on my current iPhone and it has huge bezels. I can only imagine the X will have software to deaden accidental taps and touches but it scares me.

I hate the cutout. One of the clinchers was watching that video on the commercial. Yuck. Why can they just cut out the corners? Give me a rectangle, please. It’s all I want.

When it’s all said and done, it was easier than I thought. It’s a no on the X. I’m saving myself the money and getting an 8 Plus.