Average Joe’s Final iPhone X Review #illumedati 1

Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. It’s been awhile since I did my impressions of the iPhone X, back in mid September. Well, the pre-order happened and I managed to snag 2, one for my wife and one for me. And now, it’s time for Average Joe’s Final iPhone X Review.

iPhone X

From apple.com

First things first:

I don’t want people to think I can just blow $1150 on a phone (twice!) whenever I feel like it. This is certainly not the case. Our last phones were iPhone 6 Pluses, which we bought back in October 2014, 3 years ago. 3 years in smartphone years is basically end of lifecycle. With the update of iOS11 and the 7 and 8 having significantly better cameras than the iPhone 6 Plus, it was time to upgrade. In my prior post, it was really just a matter of iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X.

It may seem kind of weird, but after buying a new phone, I consciously put away about $40 a month (per person) to “save” toward our next phone. So it kind of boils down to saving $80 a month. We’ve done that for the last 3 years, or 36 months. So $80 x 36 = $2880. If we had upgraded last year to the 7 Plus, then it would be $80 x 24 = $1920. So, kind of either way, we’re covered to upgrade using this easy to understand, albeit somewhat random, method. The money is there for a purpose.

Ok , so let’s move on now:

Average Joe’s Final iPhone X Review

There have already been a million iPhone X reviews. 24 hour reviews, 2 week reviews, etc.

My review is for people who don’t have it and are wondering if its worth it.

The answer is: it depends.

If you remember my post about the Product Adoption Curve, I’m definitely not an early adopter. I’m probably more close to the late majority. As such, I am not the target market for the iPhone X (and neither is my wife). However, we were in the unique situation of needing to upgrade our phones when this division between iPhones occurred. Do you stick with old faithful, the iPhone 8 Plus which is “evolutionary” or do you move forward to the iPhone X which tries to be “revolutionary”?

I will try to answer that question now.

For reference: Twitter was definitely against me buying an iPhone X – with 64% saying no:

Ok let’s go over each aspect of the iPhone X:

Form Factor

The iPhone X feels significantly smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus. The ability to recover the space from the top and bottom with the nearly edge-to-edge display has helped make the form factor smaller. It’s still considerably bigger than my old iPhone 4s, but it’s smaller than the Plus while not giving up too much screen real estate. I think this isn’t as apparent as it should be and not many reviews seem to give it too much importance. Unlike the iPhone 6 Plus, which my wife had to wedge into her front pocket, the iPhone X fits pretty easily.

I would recommend anyone really considering buying the iPhone X to go to an Apple Store and actually hold one. It feels right.


The screen is really nice. It’s definitely way better than my 6 Plus. The colors are vibrant without feeling oversaturated. It’s also very easy to read in direct sunlight. While I know that Android users prefer to tinker with their screens to make them “just right”, I am ok with the out-of-the-box calibration that the iPhone provides.

“The Notch”

There was a lot of talk about “The Notch” and how ugly it is. Then there was more talk about intrusive it was, etc. etc. I honestly don’t see the problem and I never thought it would cause a problem for me or my wife. My iPhone 6 Plus had two distinct, thick white bars along the top and bottom of the phone. A little black notch on a screen which is usually black is nothing to me.

As expected, I didn’t (and still don’t) really notice it. The only time I notice it is when I use Face ID since that’s where I look.

Face ID

Honestly, when I first heard about this “feature” I wasn’t a fan at all. It seemed dumb and I thought it would be cumbersome and I would probably not even use it.

However, that is simply not the case. I set up Face ID and haven’t had any problems with it. It still recognizes me with glasses on and whether I’ve shaved or not. Otherwise it opens my phone and my apps without any problems at all. The only time it has problems recognizing my face is when I wake up in the morning with my eyes half-closed.

Overall, it’s been a pretty natural change and is just as quick as TouchID for me.


I’ve probably had too much fun with Animoji. In my previous first impressions, I thought this was kind of gimmicky. However, it’s actually well done and pretty fun to use.

Here’s the first one my daughter ever made:


The iPhone 6 Plus battery normally drains almost 100% by the end of the day for both my wife and I. There is a charger in our kitchen that my wife uses to charge her phone as soon as she gets home from work. However, the iPhone X battery is significantly better. She comes home from work without needing a charge and I don’t think she has used the kitchen charger since we got the phones. Obviously, I don’t have hands on with the battery life of the 7 Plus or 8 Plus, so I assume they are better than my 6 Plus.

However, from what I’ve heard the battery for the iPhone X is pretty darn good overall, and able to carry enough charge for a whole day.


To be honest, this is the main reason I wanted to upgrade our phones. Our 6 Plus camera was really good back in October 2014. However, the 6s Plus and 7 Plus received progressively better cameras. My in-laws both have the 7 and you can tell their pictures and videos are just so much better than ours.

I was also excited about being able to shoot video at 4k now, since that wasn’t available on the 6 Plus. So this weekend my daughter had her first hula presentation and the camera did very well. The pictures came out very nice and the movies (which I shot at 4k) came out great as well. It also does way better in low light settings as well. The quality is significantly better than the 6 Plus. However, I’m not sure if it is that much better than the 7 Plus or 8 Plus.

Like I said before, the main difference between the iPhone X and 8 Plus is:

  • aperture
    • X has f/2.8 while the 8 Plus has f/2.4
  • optical image stabilization (OIS)
    • X has OIS on both rear cameras, 8 Plus has it on only one rear camera

Overall, my wife is happy to be able to get great pictures of our kids again. So I call it a win.

Wireless Charging

I don’t have a wireless charger yet so I can’t comment on it. However, I think it will be nice to have a “charging pad” so both of our iPhone Xs can charge at the same time. Maybe one for the kitchen and one for the bedroom.


Like I said before, I’m not an early adopter, so I’m waiting for a few more options to come out before I decide on which one to buy.


It’s an iPhone with a glass back. Drop it and it’ll crack. In other news, water is wet.

You can watch all the drop tests you want. However, in real world, when you drop your phone, it’s really a matter of luck about whether it’ll crack or not. It all depends on what surface you dropped it on, and which corner/side/etc. absorbs the majority of the impact.

Everyone seems to be opting for AppleCare this time around. However, we aren’t. We’ve used cases on our iPhones since forever and never had cracked screen or anything. So as per usual, I had cases and tempered glass screen protectors ready for when our iPhones arrived. For those who care we decided on:


In case you were wondering, this case has a good size lip along all 4 sides (for drop protection). However, this does not affect swiping at all. It works perfectly with the case on.

No Home Button

Maybe I’m just weird but I had virtually no problem with not having a home button. Once I learned the swipes and gestures necessary, it was intuitive.

Some people have discussed that removing the home button is a UI/UX disaster. While I do agree that there is beauty in simplicity, I really don’t think the different types of swipes are very difficult at all. While this could be because I’m a radiologist, but I can adapt to different UI/UXs relatively easily since I’ve used many, many different ones during the course of internship, residency, fellowship, and as an attending.

Easy and simple doesn’t necessarily equate to better.

To be quite honest, I prefer gestures and swiping to a physical home button. I guess the argument is “we shouldn’t have to learn”, the UI/UX should be so easy that we should just be able to understand what to do intuitively without being taught. I understand that and that’s what the iPhone 8 Plus is for, it’s for people who “aren’t ready”.

What’s the Verdict?

If you’re an early adopter, you already have an iPhone X and you don’t need this review at all.

If you’re an early majority or late majority like me, then it kind of depends on which phone you currently have:

If you have the 6 or lower like me, then you really need to upgrade at this point, it’s just a matter of iPhone 8 versus iPhone X. For this particular group, I think you should really look at the difference in form factor. I would also go to an Apple store and try the interface. How does the new gestures and swiping feel to you? Other than form factor and lack of the home button, the remainder of the features the iPhone X has above the 8 isn’t that huge. However, I do believe that the iPhone X model of no home button will be the future.

If you have a 7 currently, I don’t see any really compelling reason to upgrade at all. If I had a 7, it would be a 7 Plus, which already has a pretty great camera and everything I would use. I see no compelling reason to upgrade to the 8 Plus. If you really want to upgrade, strongly consider getting the X. Like I said above, I really do think it’s the future. However, if I had a 7 Plus currently, I would wait for the next iPhone (the 11?) since it will be the 2nd generation of this new kind of iPhone.

What about you?

iPhone 8 is evolutionary, iPhone X tries to be revolutionary.

Overall, it’s not quite revolutionary, but it’s definitely different enough to be considered “the next generation”.

Like I said, I’m not an early adopter, so I’m not the target market for the iPhone X.

So it’s nice and all but eesh that price tag is so high. However, it does what I need it to do and the pictures/videos it takes are great, significantly better than the my old 6 Plus. Additionally, the 256 GB of storage should be enough for my wife to take a lot of pictures and videos of our kids for a long time. Like I said before, I prefer the lack of the home button, and my wife got used to it right away as well, although she did need me to tell her how to take screenshots.


iPhone 8 is evolutionary, iPhone X tries to be revolutionary.

Overall, it’s not quite revolutionary, but it’s definitely different enough to be considered “the next generation”.

If you’re an early adopter, you already have it. (Buy a case and screen protector!)

However, if you’re early or late majority, it will depend on your current phone I think.

6 or older, you need to upgrade, and the iPhone X does have some neat new features – if you can afford the price tag.

7 or newer, I’d probably wait for the iPhone 11, since I prefer 2nd generation.

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei


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