The iPhone X is special in so many ways. The anniversary one. The first with an all-screen front. The premiere of the Face ID. The Home key slayer. The start of a new iPhone generation built from the ground up by Tim Cook's team. But it is also the most controversial iPhone to date, for better or worse.
The iPhone X excels in design and build, it has one of the best smartphone screens, unmatched performance, and top-notch camera experience. It also aced our audio lab test and has one of the best stereo speakers right now. The Face ID exceeded our expectations and the mini Kinect inside the notch works great and may as well become the next industry standard. Apple did great in picking and packing the hardware for the iPhone X.
It's iOS where Cupertino failed to deliver for the first time in years. Everything in the custom iOS 11 feels last-minute, rushed, so un-Apple-like. There is no sign of Apple's unmatched attention to detail, only remnants of things which could have been great but were not given enough attention. Instead of embracing the notch and the new wide screen, Apple barricaded those like obstacles instead of features. The result is illogical gestures, weird interactions, and most of all - wasted potential of the 3D Touch while it finally could have had a more prominent role in the user experience.
We are sure Apple will work things out with iOS and the X exclusive gestures, and eventually all the pieces will come together. But right now, the iPhone X feels like a rushed product with beta software, overhyped and overpriced. Not to mention it only comes in one screen size which would mean users looking for a proper large-screen experience hardly have an option in Apple's portfolio.
The Galaxy S8 is the logical Android alternative as it has a similar bezel-less screen, curved, and notch-free. It's one of the fastest Androids and the only thing it lacks is a dual-camera. But not everybody needs bokeh shots, right? And it's almost half the iPhone X price, so there is that.
If Samsung's display is a must, but also a dual-camera, then there is the Note8 for you. In addition to one of the best AMOLEDs and a great telephoto camera, better than the X's, you'll also get the magic of S-Pen. And for less money than the iPhone X, that's for sure.
The Android purist should check the Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5. They both come wrapped in metal, pack the latest Qualcomm chips, and offer dual-camera setups on the back. Much cheaper than the X, those two are surely some sensible offers to consider.
Another pure Android is Google's own Pixel 2. It has a regular AMOLED screen, fast processor, and a great single camera on the back, which can do most of the things the iPhone X can do with two (like the Portrait mode).
Huawei Mate 10 Pro and LG V30 are some of the best Androids out there with great almost bezel-less OLED screens, unique dual-camera setups, and highly customizable Android OS. If you like the idea of native monochrome shots, or super wide-angle photos, then you may want to check the Mate 10 Pro or the V30.
Finally, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. If the screen is not your cup of tea you can always grab the iPhone 8 Plus. It's pretty much the same phone sans the AMOLED screen and the Face ID. If the Plus is too big for you, then the iPhone 8 is your only option, but no Portrait mode for you.
It's an iPhone, a special edition at that, so it will sell in millions, break records, and score some impressive revenue for Apple. And there is not a single test, video, review, or an opinion online to change that. Unless it battery starts exploding, the X is bound to be a blockbuster. Bound by blood if you will even.
Make no mistake, the iPhone X is an excellent iPhone. It has every technology breakthrough available right now and then some. It offers an enjoyable experience and the best specs on an iPhone yet. But it's an imbalanced experience, one thats not yet found the equilibrium between embracing the new and jettisoning the old. We guess, in due time we will get used to its UI quirks and content letterboxing but we'd rather not be beta testers - not at this price point anyway. As far as iPhones go, the iPhone 8 family delivers better value at a lower price point - not to mention a better choice of screen sizes.
So if the iPhone X is indeed the start of a new generation of iPhones, we already can't wait to see what's next. That's the thing about it - the unrealized potential and the promises it holds for the future are much more exciting than the product we have in our hands today.