One reviewer takes the iPhone to Disneyland. Another sees whether mosquito bites on her eyelids will stump FaceID. Many established tech writers obsess on obscure statistics, post photos of their phone, or shoot videos of the phone in action. And one well-known Apple pundit throws a series of unbecoming tantrums and whines about fashion writers and millennials and other bloggers getting review units before he could. So it goes.
But the truth is this: strip away the quirky personal language, detailed specs, and selfies, you’ll see that pretty much everyone is posting the same information over and over again.
Say “iPhone Ten,” not “iPhone X.”*
It’s for power users. Everyone else needs an iPhone 7 or 8.
The screen is about the same size, diagonally, as the iPhone 8 Plus, but slightly narrower and taller.*
The phone, overall, is easier to hold and carry.
It’s all screen, except for a tiny notch at the top. You notice it at first. Then you don’t.*
The screen is very nice, but if you hold it at an angle you’d never use when looking at it normally and squint your eyes just so, colors on the screen will look a little bluer.
Because other phones with OLED screens suffer from burn in, people are worried about burn in, but no one has actually seen burn in on an iPhone yet.
Because it’s all screen, there’s no home button, and there are many new swiping gestures. You struggle with these at first, and then you don’t.*
Using FaceID to unlock the screen works really well, in a variety of conditions.*
FaceID doesn’t work so well if you wear IR-blocking sunglasses.
The same front-camera sensors let the phone know when you’re looking at it, which makes cool things possible, like more detailed alerts (only when you’re paying attention) and the screen not going blank while you’re reading it.
Portrait mode selfies are nice, but having more than one person in the shot can result in oddly blurred shots.
The best thing about the magical front-facing camera, though, is its ability to transform your face into an animated unicorn, monkey, or pile of poo.*
The rear camera is really good, with photos that are richer and better balanced than the competition, even in low light or when zooming.*
Battery life continues to improve as the iPhone evolves, and every little bit helps.*
* Items marked with an asterisk aren’t really news, as we’ve known about them since the Apple iPhone X launch event.