I wrote something more extensive about dictation on another thread here somewhere; but, in short, the vastly faster processing power over my 5 and SE, and even my iPad Air 2, is very noticeable in generating faster and more accurate application of text to a document. This can be true whether or not I’m using the same headset or just the native microphones. I understood the dictation to be taking place online, rather than off-line, as is possible on the Mac, so I’m not entirely sure why the local native processor makes such a difference, but it does.
Face ID is a game changer. I find I’m willing to pull my phone out of my pocket and use it more often, because I don’t have to worry about a faulty Touch ID, a gloved or damp finger, or being asked to enter a six digit or longer passcode just to perform a simple operation. Additionally, Face ID for everyday operations on secure websites and native applications that I have enabled additional face ID security on, is leaps and bounds faster and more convenient than Touch ID, especially when on the move trying to safely use one hand. I love being able to just look at the screen and be logged in to whatever I’m trying to do.
The 120hz (touch input) OLED screen is also a game changer for these aging eyes; and the accuracy of touch input is night and day over the SE. Yes, the retina displays are pretty damn good, but you don’t know what good is until you experience a Super Retina Display. It’s not the size, as much as it is the crispness of typefaces and the pure pure black and incredible contrast and gamut that it provides. I don’t care if the screen won’t last as long and will experience burn-in eventually; it’s just that good.
Relatedly, the many apps that have created true Dark Mode themes for iPhone X, as opposed to the simulated dark grays that were made to look best on IPS LED, Have also given me a great amount of relief from eyestrain, and not only at night; I find these dark mode themes considerably easier to read even in daylight. And I’m not opposed to the battery savings they provide either.
I find myself willing to do more communication and more task work using only the iPhone X, as compared to my older iPhones, where I would quickly get frustrated (especially now that my manual dexterity is rapidly succumbing to Parkinson’s) and reach for my iPad or go back to my Mac.
Haptic feedback and 3D Touch functionality, along with additional Accessibility features not available on previous iPhones are already helping me begin to prepare for the coming worse.
I also spoke at greater length on another thread here recently about how Apple Watch and Siri have changed my game with adding events, appointments, reminders, tasks and more; this of course is in tandem with the iPhone itself; further, as a long time automation geek, using URL callbacks and Workflow.app, now the new Shortcuts.app, it is amazing to see the workflows one can create and execute via Apple Watch or iPhone where previously a Mac and a keyboard was required.
Still, I truly miss and adore the size and weight of the iPhone SE, and especially my beloved iPhone 4. I thought the latter was the most gorgeous piece of iOS technology-as-art Jonny Ive ever created. I still pull it off its charger dock now and then just to fondle it while using it as an iPod and to triage mail.
There’s plenty more tech in the iPhone X that make the entire experience better (e.g., the camera is so great I rarely use my flatbed scanner anymore; true all day battery life; vastly superior LTE radios and data speeds; stereo sound; 256GB filled with much more lossless music; never running out of space for videos and images; more) and plenty of it, if not most of it can of course be found in this year‘s iPhone XR, and of course plenty more in the iPhone XS and terribly named Excess Max. I’m sure plenty of it was able to be experienced in the hideously large and awkward 7 and 8 and Plus series of the past two years and the 6 before it, but I just hated the sizes and the feel of the rounded edges. If I want to hold a waffle next to my face, I’ll go to iHOP.
As for the bad, as said, the iPhone X is heavier and larger than I would like, and the Control Center is just too far out of reach for even my very large hands (yes I know how to activate the short reach feature or whatever it’s called; it’s still inconvenient); I hate the camera bump, but I got the Apple leather case on sale for 25 bucks and it solves that problem neatly, even though I generally dislike all cases and prefer the naked device. I take a dozen accidental screenshots a day trying to silence my ringer, so I was sad the S and R keep the same lousy button orientation.
Mostly though, my decision was based on that my SE was mysteriously absconded with in Summer of ‘17, and my 5 would not run iOS 11 in the Fall, so I had to buy something a year earlier than I wanted to. I had given much thought to holding out till April May June hoping for an iPhone SE update, but my (now proven) sense told me it was likely not coming, and even if it did, it was most likely to have one or two or three-year-old technology again.
I almost bought a used SE to see me through, but I just decided to take advantage of the liberal 14 day return policy and try the iPhone X to get a taste of the future. By the time day seven rolled around, despite the size and other annoying issues, I knew I wasn’t going to send it back. I was just incredibly nervous that I was going to regret buying the first generation of its technology; but other than a vastly more powerful A12 processor, and some other unimportant-to-me camera improvements, I don’t feel like this S track year has made me feel like I should’ve waited, I’m like in previous generations.
If Apple does revive a 4 inch class iPhone sometime next year, my expectation is that it will have at least some of the technology of the X series; namely I expect that we will be soon seeing the end of touch ID in almost everything not Mac; Face ID is definitely the future, and I embrace it.
If what they produce ends up not being too much a second-class citizen, or worse a third class citizen, I will consider buying it and whatever loss I take on this iPhone X to be a worthwhile rental. Otherwise I intend to shoot for four years out of this crazy-expensive, but worth it, landmark iPhone.
Holy cow, I’ve dictated a novel. Sorry. I’m not even sure I’ve begun to enumerate all the little things that have me using it more. There’s nothing at all wrong with my iPad Air 2, but I can’t wait to replace it with a 120hz/120hz OLED screen with Face ID.