Shout out to my X
Before the iPhone X came along, the ‘Apple tax’ meant paying over the odds for a handset that couldn’t do as much as an Android.
Now it’s paying more for the same stuff at least, and that feels like a much better deal. Well, for the people who can afford it.
But you know all this already, right? So for the purposes of this supertest the iPhone X is best considered as a benchmark from which to judge its many rivals. Which phones can live up to its lofty ideals for less? Such is the all-round quality of the X that only two come close: Samsung’s S9 and the Huawei P20 Pro.
Even then, neither of them has a little thing called Face ID in its corner. The Galaxy S9 has an equivalent feature with biometric unlocking, but it’s nowhere near as streamlined or efficient as Apple’s fantastic Face ID. While it can get in a tizz at night-time, and the novelty of re-imagining yourself as a cartoon unicorn quickly wears off, it remains the most innovative thing Apple’s done in ages. When it works, it’s magic, and that’s the kind of wow factor Apple has lost in recent years – not least since Android has crept closer and closer to parity with iOS in terms of apps and ease of use, even though you can still feel the rough edges here and there with Google’s OS.
Judged on purely its own terms, the iPhone X is an indisputable success as a status symbol first and a phone second. In other words, it’s a very nice thing for those with the cash.