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Apple iPhone X Smartphone Review

Patrick Afschar, Klaus Hinum, Andreas Osthoff, Daniel Schmidt, Manuel Masiero (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 11/24/2017

No revolution. Apple launches the iPhone X for the iPhone's 10th birthday, which is sold in addition to the "regular" iPhones. The highlight is obviously the OLED screen with very slim bezels. The concept works really well in practice, and we did not miss the Home button.

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For the original German review, see here.

We already knew that Apple would show something special for the 10th birthday of the iPhone. There have been multiple leaks ahead of the announcement, so the iPhone X (pronounced "iPhone 10") was not a big surprise. The two regular models iPhone 8 as well as the iPhone 8 Plus were launched a few weeks ago, and now you can also get the anniversary model. We ordered both color and storage variants from the Apple store and will check them thoroughly.

The highlight of the new iPhone X is obviously the screen. While the regular iPhone 8 models continue the design of the recent years (included thick bezels), the front of the new model is now almost completely made of glass. However, we have already seen the trend towards slimmer bezels on many other smartphones this year. There has also been some criticism about the notch for the sensors and the front camera immediately after the announcement, because it occupies some screen space. We will obviously check how this affects different apps and how the first OLED screen on an iPhone compares against previous LC displays.

There is another big topic related to the new screen, because there is no more room for the Home button with the integrated Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Instead, the manufacturer from Cupertino now uses facial recognition called Face ID. After problems with this method on the Samsung Galaxy S8, we are curious to see how the technology works on Apple's smartphone.

The performance center called Apple A11 Bionic is already familiar from the other two iPhone 8 models, but we are not disappointed thanks to the enormous performance. The anniversary model still has advantages in terms of camera equipment and charging technology, because both sensors support optical image stabilization. Thanks to the new case with the glass rear panel, the iPhone X can be charged wirelessly. Fortunately, Apple uses the popular Qi standard, so you can use many popular charging products.

All of this naturally comes at a price. The small 64 GB SKU retails for 1149 Euros ($999); the bigger 256 GB model for 1319 Euros ($1149). You should also consider purchasing Apple Care+ for 229 Euros ($199) after the announcement of horrendous repair costs.

Apple iPhone X (iPhone Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
, Samsung LPDDR4x
Display
5.8 inch 2:1, 2436 x 1125 pixel 463 PPI, Capacitive, Apple True Tone Super Retina HD, HDR, Super AMOLED, Scratch-resistant glass, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 64GB or 256GB, 58.7 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: Lightning port, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Lightning
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, and 2100 MHz), LTE (FDD band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, and 66; TDD: 34, 38, 39, 40, and 41), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.7 x 143.6 x 70.9 ( = 0.3 x 5.65 x 2.79 in)
Battery
2716 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 21 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 60 h
Operating System
Apple iOS 11
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix Dual 12 MP, f/1.8 & f/2.4, 2x optical zoom, quad-LED flash, [email protected]/30/60fps, [email protected]/60/120/240fps
Secondary Camera: 7 MPix f/2.2, [email protected], [email protected]
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Virtual, EarPods with Lightning Connector, Lightning to 3.5 mm stereo jack Adapter, Lightning to USB cable, USB power adapter, brochures, 12 Months Warranty, Face ID, wireless charging (Qi), IP67 certification, Head SAR: 0.98 W/kg, fanless
Weight
174 g ( = 6.14 oz / 0.38 pounds), Power Supply: 46 g ( = 1.62 oz / 0.1 pounds)
Price
1000 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The most noticeable parts of the case of the iPhone X are the ones missing compared to previous generations. Apple has removed the Home button including fingerprint scanner. The wide bezels at the top and bottom of the screen are mostly gone as well, so the anniversary iPhone finally has a decent screen-to-body ratio. 81.14% is a very good result, but still falls behind other smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, for example, manages more than 83%. The Essential Phone is at the top of this list at almost 85%. For comparison: The Apple iPhone 8 only manages meager 65.6%, even though its case is just a bit smaller than the X.

Which brings us to the dimensions. In terms of size, the iPhone X is sitting between the regular iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It has the biggest screen size at 5.8 inches, but the chassis is more compact compared to the 16:9 display of the iPhone 8 Plus thanks to slimmer bezels and the 2:1 aspect ratio in particular. The X measures 143.6 x 70.9 millimeters (~5.7 x ~2.8 in) with a height of 7.7 millimeters (~0.3 in). However, you must not forget the camera bump. It is pretty visible with both sensors and the flash. It is not implemented horizontally, but vertically. This is not as noticeable on the dark model, but a bigger issue on the white SKU. Compared to the iPhone 8, the X is 5.2 millimeters (~0.2 in) longer, 3.6 millimeters (~0.14 in) wider, and 0.4 millimeters (~0.01 in) thicker. The difference is similar to a slim silicone case. This is a good way to imagine the size difference: The "naked" iPhone X is about the size of the iPhone 8 with a silicone case. The additional weight of 26 grams (~0.9 oz; 174 grams/~6.1 in) compared to the iPhone 8 is definitely noticeable when you hold it in the hand, but the 8 Plus is still the heaviest smartphone from Apple.

Apple has already returned to rear glass panels for the iPhone 8 models – thanks to the Qi standard. Wireless charging also works on the iPhone X, so it has a glass rear panel as well. The color choice is limited to Space Grey and Silver this time. The dark model is surrounded by a black metal frame; the Silver model by a chrome frame. The rear panel of the Space Grey model actually looks like very dark glass, whereas the silver one looks like it has a matte white or light gray rear panel.

This does not change the choice of materials and the build quality, which is once again excellent. The X leaves a sophisticated impression, has no gaps or protruding edges, and is also very torsion-resistant. A slightly thicker smartphone does not only have disadvantages after all. Apple has also managed to create a very good transition between the surrounding metal frame and the glass panels at the front and rear. Sensitive users will still feel a slightly rough edge. The SIM tray on our test model did not fit perfectly either, unlike the implementation of the case buttons, which are conveniently sized, feature a perfect pressure point, and are well integrated. The power button is much bigger compared to the iPhone 8 models, most probably because it has got additional functions after the removal of the Home button.

Apple has not changed the protection against water and dust; the iPhone X is also certified according to IP67. The same limitations apply as well: The water temperature has to be "normal", and a wet device must not be charged.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Apple calls its anniversary smartphone the 10th iPhone generation, but it shares most of its connectivity features with the iPhone 8 models that have been available for about two months. This is especially true for the technology with the latest Apple chip called, which we will test in the Performance section. As with the iPhone 8 Plus, Apple has equipped the X with 3 GB of RAM, only the smaller sibling iPhone 8 is limited to 2 GB.

The port situation is quickly covered for Apple smartphones nowadays. Since the iPhone 7 generation you only get the Lightning port at the bottom. It is used for charging, to attach headsets, and to transfer files. Apple still uses USB 2.0 for the iPhone X so many users will probably switch to wireless data transfers. You also get NFC, barometer, 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor.

The facial recognition, Face ID is new compared to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It uses a new front camera called TrueDepth with multiple sensors, but we will talk about it later in the review.

Bottom: Stereo speakers, Lightning port
Bottom: Stereo speakers, Lightning port
Top: No connectivity
Top: No connectivity
Left side: Volume buttons, mute button
Left side: Volume buttons, mute button
Right side: Power button, Nano-SIM slot
Right side: Power button, Nano-SIM slot

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Software

iOS 11 was introduced with the iPhone 8 models and is obviously the operating system for the X as well. However, Apple has already launched several smaller updates, so the current version is 11.1.2. The optional fast-charging is also available by now, and Apple has fixed some problems with the battery runtime and the stability of the Bluetooth connection. It appears as if Apple has simply removed the Beta status of iOS 11 with the last update. Our test sample ran very well, and hardly anything has changed about iOS 11 since our reviews of the iPhone 8 models. Users of the iPhone still have to get used to some new things. We will talk more about that and the main new feature, Face ID, below. All other information about iOS 11 is available in our reviews of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

The Home button is gone, and with it the corresponding actions as well as the fingerprint scanner, Touch ID. Let us start with the latter. After we used the iPhone X for a few days, we do not miss Touch ID. The facial recognition, Face ID works so reliably that you almost forget the fingerprint scanner. Almost, because you have to put your face in front or above the display. This does not make it easier when the iPhone is sitting on a table. Otherwise, the recognition also works from an angle. The typical looking down position on the couch is no problem for the sensor, the same as hats, glasses, or a changing beard. This changes however when the face is partly covered or when you pull faces. The unlocking process usually happens without a delay, but it often takes one or two seconds longer in the dark. It is still reliable most of the time. This is, however, anything but a long-term study, and not all colleagues had the same good experiences. Subjectively, however, Face ID is faster and more reliable compared to Touch ID.

Despite all of this, the Home button is still gone. Apple has removed the swipe gesture to unlock the smartphone with iOS 10, so what happens on the iPhone X? Correct, a swipe gesture. But Apple does not return to the old and proven stuff. Instead of a gesture from left to right, you now have to swipe from the bottom to the top. You get used to it very quickly, since this is a common gesture for the control of the iPhone X. Returning to the Home screen works like this as well. If you keep your finger on the display after the gesture, you will enter the App switcher. Another long push on the app lets you stop the app via symbol, even though the familiar swipe to the top still works. You will also have to learn new commands for screenshots (now Power + Volume up), turning the device off (Power + Volume down) as well as other things such as zoom. Instead of three taps on the power button, you now have to push the power button (which is now called side button). 

The notification center is now hidden in the upper left corner and can no longer be accessed from the entire top edge. There are two reasons: First, there is the notch in the top center and secondly, the control center is now accessed from the top right corner.

Lock screen
Lock screen
Virtual Home button
Virtual Home button
Face ID settings
Face ID settings
Control Center
Control Center
Notifications
Notifications
App switcher
App switcher

Communication and GPS

As with the iPhone 8 models, the anniversary model is also equipped with modern communication modules. This includes fast Gigabit LTE – probably Cat. 16 – with numerous LTE bands, just like the WLAN standard 802.11ac with support for 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. Thanks to the MIMO technology, the WLAN module can reach more than 1 Gbps in theory, but the practical values are obviously lower. Here we can see similar results to the regular iPhone 8 models: The iPhone X manages a new record of 939 Mbps in combination with our reference router Linksys EA8500 when it receives data. It even beats the previous record result of the iPhone 8, but the iPhone X cannot beat its siblings when it acts as a server. 456 Mbps is still a respectable result, but only average in comparison. Both the range and the stability of the connection are very good.

The iPhone X is also up to date when it comes to near field communication. Bluetooth 5.0 is still reserved for a handful of smartphones, but the X still cannot drive more than one audio component, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S8+, for example. NFC with typical Apple restrictions is included as well.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone X
939 MBit/s ∼100%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
914 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Sony Xperia XZ1
489 MBit/s ∼52% -48%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
338 MBit/s ∼36% -64%
Samsung Galaxy S8
329 MBit/s ∼35% -65%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy S8
651 MBit/s ∼100% +43%
Sony Xperia XZ1
500 MBit/s ∼77% +10%
Apple iPhone X
456 MBit/s ∼70%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
374 MBit/s ∼57% -18%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
225 MBit/s ∼35% -51%

Legend

 
Apple iPhone X Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 8 Plus Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa, ARM Mali-G71 MP20, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei Mate 10 Pro HiSilicon Kirin 970, ARM Mali-G72 MP12, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Sony Xperia XZ1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash

Almost all Apple smartphones in the past have been very convincing navigation devices. Only the iPhone 7 struggled a bit with extremely bad weather, which was visible in the recorded track data. The situation was much better for the iPhone X. The sky was cloudy, but it was not too bad. But first things first: The initial satellite fix takes only a few seconds on the anniversary iPhone. The connection even works indoors as long as you are not too far away from a window. We also took a small MTB tour to check the practical capabilities and compare the results with the special navigation device Garmin Edge 500. We use the MTB app from Runtastic to track our bike ride.

The iPhone X performs very much like its siblings 8 and 8 Plus. This is not surprising, since the specifications are identical. The new iPhone even records a slightly longer track compared to the Garmin Edge 500, and there are no unnecessary additions. The quality of the recording is just higher or it includes more waypoints. The accuracy of the track, however, is better on the specialized device. The iPhone often puts us slightly next to the actual track, and it looks as if we fly across the water instead of taking the bridge. All in all, the iPhone X still works very well as a navigation device, both on and off the road.

Apple iPhone X: Overview
Apple iPhone X: Overview
Apple iPhone X: Forest section
Apple iPhone X: Forest section
Apple iPhone X: Bridge crossing
Apple iPhone X: Bridge crossing
Garmin Edge 500: Overview
Garmin Edge 500: Overview
Garmin Edge 500: Forest section
Garmin Edge 500: Forest section
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge crossing
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge crossing

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

We were not fully convinced by the voice and sound quality during calls of the previous two iPhone generations. Voices sounded rather tinny, especially in 3G networks. There were also occasional dropouts. The iPhone X shows the same behavior, but not as pronounced. There is absolutely no criticism for the quality at the earpiece when you make calls via LTE or WLAN. Quite the opposite: The quality on our side is excellent. The recipient also confirms that the ambient noise suppression works well. Only the wind is a challenge for the iPhone X, because the system will sometimes filter full words. It was admittedly very windy though. Once again, the performance of the speaker during calls is an issue. Voices do not sound as tinny as on the iPhone 8 models, but the constant background noise was also a problem on the iPhone X.

Cameras

Apple iPhone X: Picture with the front camera (cloudy sky)
Picture with the front camera (Portrait mode)

The specifications of the 7 MP camera at the front of the Apple iPhone X are similar to those of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It features an f/2.2 aperture, automatic HDR mode, electronic image stabilization, 1080p video, and all the other things we know from the previous models. Unlike the current iPhone 8 models, the front camera on the X can also be used for the portrait mode, which still has a beta status. It works pretty well, but the transition between focused and blurry areas is noticeably harder. The camera takes decent pictures in general. It also works in combination with the TrueDepth camera for the so called Animojis, but they still need some work. Not all facial expressions are captured by the software. The eye is not really closed when you wink and a kissing mouth lacks pointed lips. A stuck-out tongue is not recognized in the first place.

The dual camera at the back uses Apple's own ISP (Imaging Signal Processor), which was introduced with the iPhone 8 models. The Californians have not changed the basic principle of the camera: Main camera with 28 mm wide-angle lens, while the second lens with 52 mm simulates a 2x optical zoom and takes care of depth calculations for the Bokeh effect in portrait mode. Apple has improved the aperture of the tele lens, which captures more light at f/2.4 this time (iPhone 8 Plus f/2.8), but it is still smaller than the wide-angle (f/1.8). Both lenses are now equipped with an optical image stabilizer.

The quality of the pictures is really good and there is no criticism, especially in daylight. The camera is very fast and has a good automatic HDR mode. We see pleasantly sharp images, but the edges are softer compared to the Galaxy Note 8, and some details are lost. Google's Pixel 2 XL also captures more details in our sample shots. However, the colors are better and the whole image looks more natural in our opinion. The iPhone X is good in low-light situations, but not as good as the competition. Pictures appear very bright at first, the white point is very natural, and the typical warm color temperature is missing. A closer look reveals that picture noise is well suppressed, but the details are already quite blurry. You can even see pixel fragments on fonts and fine lines.

Apple's iPhone X records videos in Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second; 1080p videos are even possible at up to 240 FPS. The compression is very high, so one minute of 4K video at 60 FPS "only" needs 400 MB storage space. The video material looks really good, despite the high compression. You can also select different frame rates, which is handy.

The handling requires some compromises, because Apple does not include many settings. RAW pictures can only be taken with third-party apps, and there is no manual mode either. However, there is currently no other smartphone with such a good combination of picture and video quality.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

We had another look at the main camera of the Apple iPhone X under controlled lighting conditions. We check the color accuracy with the X-Rite ColorChecker passport. The smartphone picture is a bit too saturated and colors are slightly brighter. The grayscale on the other hand is very close to its ideal value and only reveals a slight blue hint, so the results are a bit on the cool side. We would have preferred warmer images.

The picture of the test chart shows a very balanced performance of the main camera with good sharpness in the center. Even small details are visible and there is only a minor sharpness drop towards the edges. We can see small issues for dark fonts on dark color gradients or areas. The fonts fray a bit, but this is only visible when you zoom in.

Test chart main camera iPhone X
ColorChecker Passport: The target color is displayed in the bottom half of every patch.

Accessories and Warranty

Apple offers only a 12-month warranty period for the iPhone X. It is also possible to purchase Apple Care+, but the price is high at 229 Euros ($199). It covers two repairs, which require an additional service fee of $29 for a display damage or $99 for any other damage. You might want to invest the money if you use your smartphone a lot or are a bit clumsy.

The scope of delivery has not changed for some generations, so we cite the review of the iPhone 8: The box contains a meager 5-watt power adapter, a Lightning headset, an adapter from Lightning to stereo jack, a small SIM tool as well as some brochures for the set-up, warranty and safety information.

Apple offers a huge number of accessories in its shop, even from third-party vendors. There is a new category of wireless-charging products. Apple sells corresponding charging stations at prices starting at 65 Euros (~$76). The Californian manufacturer uses the popular Qi standard though, so you can also use any other inexpensive solution.

Input Devices & Handling

One-hand mode
One-hand mode
One-hand mode
One-hand mode

The handling of the iPhone X has changed quite a lot compared to the previous models. You need to rethink some things and learn new gestures due to the lack of the Home button. We have already talked about them in the Software section, so we will make it short here: You get used to the new gestures and the changed handling after a few hours, and you will only notice something has changed when you go back to an older iPhone or an iPad.

Nothing has changed in terms of precision and gliding capabilities of the touchscreen. However, the operation with one hand is tricky due to the long display, especially since the Control Center is now located at the top. The one-hand mode from the Plus models is available here as well, but its activation is not quite as intuitive as on devices with the Home button. You can activate it with a down swipe at the lower display edge. The gesture for the search is unfortunately very similar, so it usually requires more than one attempt to activate the one-hand mode. Unlike the Plus, the content on the Home screen does not switch into landscape mode, which would have been nice.

One more word about the case buttons: Perfect, nothing else to say.

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Talk about the new Apple iPhone X and you will most probably mention the display first. Sure, the central element of the anniversary smartphone has changed quite a bit. Apple has changed almost everything compared to previous models: Panel technology, resolution, aspect ratio – there are no similarities to the old models. Apple calls the new display Super Retina HD. It is a 5.8-inch OLED screen with an aspect ratio of 2:1 or 18:9. The panel supports HDR and features a pixel density of 458 PPI, which is about 10% higher compared to the iPhone 8 Plus and its 1080p panel. The resolution on the iPhone X is 2436x1125 pixels, so the Galaxy S8 still has the edge here. Its screen has 1960x1440 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 568 PPI. The new highlight in terms of resolution is Sony's XZ Premium, the first 4K smartphone, with a pixel density of 801 PPI.

Apple has once again implemented the True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts the color temperature to the ambient lighting conditions. We already liked the feature on the iPhone 8 models. Apple also says the display of the iPhone X is the best OLED screen on the market, and any other statement would have surprised us. So let us start with the measurements.

There are at least no superlatives on paper for the display of Apple's anniversary model. Smartphones from Cupertino managed great test results in the past, and the previous LC displays performed really well, especially in terms of color accuracy, while competitors with OLED screens usually performed better when it came to the luminance and contrast ratio. Now we have a new competition since Apple uses an OLED screen as well. And the measurement results are good. The panel manages a maximum luminance of 629 nits on a pure white picture without the ambient light sensor, and the average value is still good at 606 nits. Apple promises up to 625 nits, which is very precise. The iPhone X also performs very well compared to other OLED smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Sony XZ Premium, and Huawei Mate 10 Pro. The iPhone 8 Plus is also clearly beaten. The luminance even exceeds 750 nits when just 25% of the screen is white. The light sensor did not increase the brightness even further, which was often the case for the competition. Still, there is no criticism for the luminance of the iPhone X, especially since the brightness distribution is very even at 94%.

You will notice one characteristic feature of the OLED screen as soon as you turn the smartphone on: The excellent contrast ratio, which is infinite in theory, when the white Apple logo appears on the black screen. While you could still see a "glowing" black on the previous models, there is just pure black on the iPhone X. OLED screens have no background lighting, but self-emitting pixels, so the pixel in a black area is just not illuminated. The result is an absolute pure black with an impressive contrast ratio. Apple's iPhone X does not have to hide behind rivals from Samsung, Sony, and Huawei in this respect.

We almost forgot to talk about the notorious notch at the top of the screen. There is even a corresponding Notchgate for the black stripe, which covers the TrueDepth camera, speaker, and ambient light sensor. There are also apps that bring the notch to Android smartphones. We have a rather pragmatic approach: Yes, there is a notch. Yes, it is annoying – for about five minutes. After that, we almost forgot it.

629
cd/m²
603
cd/m²
596
cd/m²
622
cd/m²
600
cd/m²
594
cd/m²
624
cd/m²
598
cd/m²
590
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 629 cd/m² Average: 606.2 cd/m² Minimum: 1.87 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 600 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.2 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 1.6 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
99.3% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.23
Apple iPhone X
Super AMOLED, 2436x1125, 5.8
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Samsung Galaxy S8
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 5.8
OnePlus 5
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
IPS, 3840x2160, 5.5
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
OLED, 2160x1080, 6
Screen
-6%
-52%
-23%
-48%
-17%
Brightness middle
600
559
-7%
566
-6%
426
-29%
578
-4%
629
5%
Brightness
606
538
-11%
564
-7%
431
-29%
568
-6%
636
5%
Brightness Distribution
94
90
-4%
94
0%
93
-1%
92
-2%
94
0%
Black Level *
0.38
0.62
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.2
1.3
-8%
2.7
-125%
1.6
-33%
2.8
-133%
1.7
-42%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3
2.7
10%
5.4
-80%
4.1
-37%
5.1
-70%
3.6
-20%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.6
1.8
-13%
3.1
-94%
1.7
-6%
2.8
-75%
2.4
-50%
Gamma
2.23 99%
2.25 98%
2.15 102%
2.25 98%
2.15 102%
2.15 102%
CCT
6707 97%
6797 96%
6335 103%
6329 103%
6728 97%
6337 103%
Contrast
1471
932
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
81.57
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.87

* ... smaller is better

Color accuracy has always been a strong suit for Apple smartphones in the past, and the X is no exception. The grayscale performance already shows that Apple has once again put some effort into the calibration. All the deviations are below the visible threshold, and the average DeltaE is excellent at 1.6. The color temperature is just a bit on the cool side at 6700K, but there is no blue cast. The gamma curve also follows the ideal value except for one outlier at the 10% mark. The panel is not illuminated at 0%, so the relative brightness increase up to the 10% mark is obviously too high. This is represented by the gamma curve: a relative view on the brightness increase between the individual levels.

The accuracy of primary and mixed colors compared to the sRGB reference color space are just as good. Except for two mixed colors, which primarily consist of blue and green, all deviations from the sRGB reference are smaller than 2, and the average result is just 1.2. Outstanding results. The sRGB reference is also covered for the most part according to our measurement software. As with the previous models, Apple once again claims the coverage of the deeper P3 color space for the iPhone X, which should be helpful for movie playback in particular.

Before this section ends in adulation, we have to talk about a small disadvantage of the OLED screen on the anniversary iPhone. Colors appear much cooler and tend towards blue from flat viewing angles, especially from below, while they drift toward purple from above. This impression is even a bit stronger with the activated True Tone technology. We would still use the display with True Tone, because it is just much more comfortable for the eyes. We also measured the display with True Tone in warm ambient lighting. White almost looks intense orange in this scenario and you cannot talk about a color cast in this case anymore. However, this is not annoying in practice, just as bigger color deviations in the measurements.

Subjectively, the OLED screen of the Apple iPhone X leaves a great impression. The content is crisp and colors are natural without looking too rich. You will appreciate the excellent contrast when you look at pictures or watch videos, but the cooler image from flat angles is immediately noticeable, especially with bright contents.

Grayscale sRGB
Grayscale sRGB
Colorspace sRGB
Colorspace sRGB
ColorChecker sRGB
ColorChecker sRGB
ColorChecker sRGB True Tone
ColorChecker sRGB True Tone
Color spectrum
Color spectrum
White performance (45 degrees from top)
White performance (45 degrees from top)

The PWM brightness regulation is another typical characteristic of an OLED panel, and this is the case for the iPhone X as well. We can measure a comparatively low frequency of 240 Hz as soon as the luminance is at 50% or below. Sensitive users should get the iPhone 8 / 8 Plus with an LC display, where we did not determine PWM. In addition to the 240 Hz PWM, we can also measure a slight flickering at 60 Hz (see screenshots below) at higher brightness levels (even at the maximum).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 240 Hz ≤ 100 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 240 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 100 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 240 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8773 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Fast response times are another advantage of the OLED technology. The changes between grayscale and black values are faster than 2 ms, so there is no tearing or other effects on the display.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
1.7 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 0.85 ms rise
↘ 0.81 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 0 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
2.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 1.4 ms rise
↘ 1.4 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 0 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

The measurements already suggested that the Apple iPhone X works well outdoors. The high luminance in combination with the great contrast is obviously an advantage here. However, the glossy touchscreen – like almost every other smartphone – is a problem under direct sunlight.

The iPhone X in the shade
The iPhone X in the shade
The iPhone X in light autumn sun
The iPhone X in light autumn sun

OLED – this technology is synonymous for great contrast ratios and very wide viewing angles. Models such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Huawei Mate 10 Pro deliver very convincing results. These flagship models also show OLED typical color casts from very flat viewing angles, which usually tends towards green. On the iPhone X, however, we can see a shift towards blue-purple. You can see the shift much sooner on the iPhone X compared to the rivals. This is no problem when the content is dark, but it is more visible on brighter contents. Sure, this is moaning on a high level, but since this is the "best OLED screen on the market" …

ColorChecker directly from above
ColorChecker directly from above
ColorChecker 45 degrees from the bottom
ColorChecker 45 degrees from the bottom
ColorChecker 45 degrees from the top
ColorChecker 45 degrees from the top
Viewing angles reference image
Viewing angles reference image

Performance

The iPhone X is equipped with the Apple A11 Bionic SoC, which is already familiar from the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The processor has six cores consisting of two performance and four efficiency cores. You also get 3 GB of RAM as well as a GPU developed by Apple. The SoC is manufactured in a modern 10nm process, which promises high performance and improved efficiency.

The CPU performance is similar to the other two iPhone models with the same SoC and beats all the other Android smartphone flagships by quite a margin when you look at the Geekbench scores. 3DMark's Physics scores are another indicator for the processor performance. The iPhone X is at the top of the comparison group in the older Ice Storm Unlimited test, but this changes in the more challenging Sling Shot Extreme test, where the latest device from Cupertino is only average and on par with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Exynos 8895). Sony's Xperia XZ1, Google's Pixel 2 XL (both Snapdragon 835), and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Kirin 970) perform better in this test.

Looking at the GPU performance, we see that the iPhone X is dominating quite clearly and manages very high frame rates in GFXBench or the challenging Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal. Only the iPhone 8 models manage higher onscreen scores thanks to the lower display resolution.

The system performance of the test model is also very good, and minor stuttering is very rare. iOS usually runs extremely smooth.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
197851 Points ∼79%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
218158 Points ∼87% +10%
LG G6
151751 Points ∼60% -23%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
173997 Points ∼69% -12%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
177341 Points ∼71% -10%
Sony Xperia XZ1
167748 Points ∼67% -15%
Google Pixel 2 XL
166151 Points ∼66% -16%
OnePlus 5
177156 Points ∼71% -10%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
173403 Points ∼69% -12%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
1682 Points ∼83%
LG G6
1073 Points ∼53% -36%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
1235 Points ∼61% -27%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
1234 Points ∼61% -27%
Sony Xperia XZ1
1181 Points ∼58% -30%
Google Pixel 2 XL
1186 Points ∼58% -29%
OnePlus 5
1287 Points ∼63% -23%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1239 Points ∼61% -26%
Graphics (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
9248 Points ∼32%
LG G6
5138 Points ∼18% -44%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
6121 Points ∼21% -34%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3657 Points ∼13% -60%
Sony Xperia XZ1
5923 Points ∼21% -36%
Google Pixel 2 XL
6142 Points ∼21% -34%
OnePlus 5
6144 Points ∼21% -34%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
6045 Points ∼21% -35%
Memory (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
1219 Points ∼19%
LG G6
1930 Points ∼31% +58%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3095 Points ∼49% +154%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
4142 Points ∼66% +240%
Sony Xperia XZ1
1752 Points ∼28% +44%
Google Pixel 2 XL
2927 Points ∼47% +140%
OnePlus 5
4423 Points ∼70% +263%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3444 Points ∼55% +183%
System (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
10281 Points ∼62%
LG G6
3646 Points ∼22% -65%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
5308 Points ∼32% -48%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
5244 Points ∼32% -49%
Sony Xperia XZ1
5840 Points ∼35% -43%
Google Pixel 2 XL
5914 Points ∼36% -42%
OnePlus 5
5902 Points ∼36% -43%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
5857 Points ∼36% -43%
Overall (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
3737 Points ∼44%
LG G6
2496 Points ∼30% -33%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3338 Points ∼40% -11%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3147 Points ∼37% -16%
Sony Xperia XZ1
2909 Points ∼34% -22%
Google Pixel 2 XL
3351 Points ∼40% -10%
OnePlus 5
3790 Points ∼45% +1%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3506 Points ∼41% -6%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
LG G6
7080 Points ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
8310 Points ∼19%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
8572 Points ∼20%
Sony Xperia XZ1
7979 Points ∼18%
Google Pixel 2 XL
7568 Points ∼17%
OnePlus 5
8005 Points ∼18%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
7881 Points ∼18%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
10255 Points ∼28%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
10558 Points ∼29% +3%
LG G6
4369 Points ∼12% -57%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
6744 Points ∼19% -34%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
6792 Points ∼19% -34%
Sony Xperia XZ1
6493 Points ∼18% -37%
Google Pixel 2 XL
6253 Points ∼17% -39%
OnePlus 5
6799 Points ∼19% -34%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
6491 Points ∼18% -37%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
4265 Points ∼67%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
4263 Points ∼67% 0%
LG G6
1831 Points ∼29% -57%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2028 Points ∼32% -52%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
1898 Points ∼30% -55%
Sony Xperia XZ1
1856 Points ∼29% -56%
Google Pixel 2 XL
1916 Points ∼30% -55%
OnePlus 5
1973 Points ∼31% -54%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1904 Points ∼30% -55%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
2361 Points ∼56%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
2109 Points ∼50% -11%
LG G6
1955 Points ∼47% -17%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2346 Points ∼56% -1%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2871 Points ∼69% +22%
Sony Xperia XZ1
2928 Points ∼70% +24%
Google Pixel 2 XL
3028 Points ∼72% +28%
OnePlus 5
3026 Points ∼72% +28%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1628 Points ∼39% -31%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
3463 Points ∼64%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
3069 Points ∼57% -11%
LG G6
2980 Points ∼55% -14%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2661 Points ∼49% -23%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2844 Points ∼53% -18%
Sony Xperia XZ1
3961 Points ∼74% +14%
Google Pixel 2 XL
3872 Points ∼72% +12%
OnePlus 5
3757 Points ∼70% +8%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3723 Points ∼69% +8%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
3138 Points ∼66%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
2781 Points ∼59% -11%
LG G6
2669 Points ∼56% -15%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2584 Points ∼55% -18%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2850 Points ∼60% -9%
Sony Xperia XZ1
3673 Points ∼78% +17%
Google Pixel 2 XL
3646 Points ∼77% +16%
OnePlus 5
3566 Points ∼75% +14%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
2895 Points ∼61% -8%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
LG G6
1961 Points ∼47%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
2342 Points ∼56%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
2896 Points ∼70%
Sony Xperia XZ1
2564 Points ∼62%
Google Pixel 2 XL
2995 Points ∼72%
OnePlus 5
3012 Points ∼73%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
1574 Points ∼38%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
LG G6
4121 Points ∼50%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3928 Points ∼47%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3353 Points ∼40%
Sony Xperia XZ1
6057 Points ∼73%
Google Pixel 2 XL
5856 Points ∼70%
OnePlus 5
4765 Points ∼57%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
5107 Points ∼61%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
LG G6
3282 Points ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
3414 Points ∼53%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
3239 Points ∼50%
Sony Xperia XZ1
4649 Points ∼72%
Google Pixel 2 XL
4831 Points ∼75%
OnePlus 5
4219 Points ∼65%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3407 Points ∼53%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
25633 Points ∼32%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
25641 Points ∼32% 0%
LG G6
22335 Points ∼28% -13%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
22829 Points ∼29% -11%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
22629 Points ∼29% -12%
Sony Xperia XZ1
23046 Points ∼29% -10%
Google Pixel 2 XL
20233 Points ∼26% -21%
OnePlus 5
19411 Points ∼25% -24%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
13800 Points ∼17% -46%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
112489 Points ∼21%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
113380 Points ∼21% +1%
LG G6
32128 Points ∼6% -71%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
36807 Points ∼7% -67%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
34008 Points ∼6% -70%
Sony Xperia XZ1
47857 Points ∼9% -57%
Google Pixel 2 XL
54156 Points ∼10% -52%
OnePlus 5
58001 Points ∼11% -48%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
52358 Points ∼10% -53%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
64169 Points ∼30%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
64405 Points ∼30% 0%
LG G6
29276 Points ∼14% -54%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
32399 Points ∼15% -50%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
30590 Points ∼14% -52%
Sony Xperia XZ1
31618 Points ∼15% -51%
Google Pixel 2 XL
39456 Points ∼19% -39%
OnePlus 5
40229 Points ∼19% -37%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
32302 Points ∼15% -50%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
177.4 fps ∼1%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
166.9 fps ∼1% -6%
LG G6
75 fps ∼1% -58%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
105 fps ∼1% -41%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
112 fps ∼1% -37%
Sony Xperia XZ1
111 fps ∼1% -37%
Google Pixel 2 XL
112 fps ∼1% -37%
OnePlus 5
115 fps ∼1% -35%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
109 fps ∼1% -39%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
59.4 fps ∼2%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
119.4 fps ∼4% +101%
LG G6
46 fps ∼1% -23%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
59 fps ∼2% -1%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
60 fps ∼2% +1%
Sony Xperia XZ1
60 fps ∼2% +1%
Google Pixel 2 XL
59 fps ∼2% -1%
OnePlus 5
60 fps ∼2% +1%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
60 fps ∼2% +1%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
88.2 fps ∼1%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
71 fps ∼1% -20%
LG G6
38 fps ∼1% -57%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
51 fps ∼1% -42%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
54 fps ∼1% -39%
Sony Xperia XZ1
56 fps ∼1% -37%
Google Pixel 2 XL
59 fps ∼1% -33%
OnePlus 5
61 fps ∼1% -31%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
47 fps ∼1% -47%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
58.5 fps ∼2%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
79.2 fps ∼2% +35%
LG G6
27 fps ∼1% -54%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
38 fps ∼1% -35%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
56 fps ∼2% -4%
Sony Xperia XZ1
52 fps ∼1% -11%
Google Pixel 2 XL
35 fps ∼1% -40%
OnePlus 5
56 fps ∼2% -4%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
46 fps ∼1% -21%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
48.9 fps ∼1%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
49 fps ∼1% 0%
LG G6
29 fps ∼1% -41%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
42 fps ∼1% -14%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
37 fps ∼1% -24%
Sony Xperia XZ1
41 fps ∼1% -16%
Google Pixel 2 XL
41 fps ∼1% -16%
OnePlus 5
42 fps ∼1% -14%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
35 fps ∼1% -28%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
44.1 fps ∼1%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
56.4 fps ∼2% +28%
LG G6
16 fps ∼0% -64%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
23 fps ∼1% -48%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
38 fps ∼1% -14%
Sony Xperia XZ1
42 fps ∼1% -5%
Google Pixel 2 XL
20 fps ∼1% -55%
OnePlus 5
41 fps ∼1% -7%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
37 fps ∼1% -16%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
31.8 fps ∼1%
LG G6
20 fps ∼1% -37%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
25 fps ∼1% -21%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
21 fps ∼1% -34%
Sony Xperia XZ1
24 fps ∼1% -25%
Google Pixel 2 XL
24 fps ∼1% -25%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼1% -21%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
23 fps ∼1% -28%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
27.7 fps ∼1%
LG G6
11 fps ∼0% -60%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
13 fps ∼0% -53%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
22 fps ∼1% -21%
Sony Xperia XZ1
25 fps ∼1% -10%
Google Pixel 2 XL
13 fps ∼0% -53%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼1% -10%
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
25 fps ∼1% -10%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone X
1702 Points ∼32%
LG G6
647 Points ∼12% -62%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
1295 Points ∼24% -24%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
788 Points ∼15% -54%
Google Pixel 2 XL
853 Points ∼16% -50%

Legend

 
Apple iPhone X Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 8 Plus Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
 
LG G6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 Pro, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa, ARM Mali-G71 MP20, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei Mate 10 Pro HiSilicon Kirin 970, ARM Mali-G72 MP12, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Sony Xperia XZ1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Google Pixel 2 XL Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
OnePlus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Sony Xperia XZ Premium Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

We use the preloaded Safari Mobile 11.0 for the web tests on the Apple iPhone X. Subjectively, you can browse the web very smoothly and even complex sites are quickly loaded. The benchmarks support this impression; the scores are excellent, similar to the other 2017 iPhones, and only the iPhone 8 Plus is just ahead in WebXPRT 2015.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Apple iPhone X (IOS 11.1.1)
224 Points ∼100%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
223.5 Points ∼100% 0%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
71.6 Points ∼32% -68%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Samsung Browser 6.0)
69.57 Points ∼31% -69%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
65.846 Points ∼29% -71%
Google Pixel 2 XL (Chrome 62)
64.709 Points ∼29% -71%
Sony Xperia XZ1 (Chrome 61)
61.335 Points ∼27% -73%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
56.63 Points ∼25% -75%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
56.628 Points ∼25% -75%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPhone X (IOS 11.1.2)
35255 Points ∼100%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
35209 Points ∼100% 0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Samsung Browser 6.0)
13265 Points ∼38% -62%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
12941 Points ∼37% -63%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
11945 Points ∼34% -66%
Google Pixel 2 XL (Chrome 62)
11308 Points ∼32% -68%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
10406 Points ∼30% -70%
Sony Xperia XZ1 (Chrome 61)
10096 Points ∼29% -71%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
9113 Points ∼26% -74%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
3590.6 ms * ∼100% -400%
Google Pixel 2 XL (Chrome 62)
3434.1 ms * ∼96% -378%
Sony Xperia XZ1 (Chrome 61)
3267.9 ms * ∼91% -355%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
2621.7 ms * ∼73% -265%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
2464.2 ms * ∼69% -243%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
1886.6 ms * ∼53% -163%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Samsung Browser 6.0)
1876.8 ms * ∼52% -161%
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
719.7 ms * ∼20% -0%
Apple iPhone X (IOS 11.1.2)
718 ms * ∼20%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
362 Points ∼100% +2%
Apple iPhone X (Safari Mobile 11.0)
354 Points ∼98%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
194 Points ∼54% -45%
Google Pixel 2 XL (Chrome 62)
194 Points ∼54% -45%
Sony Xperia XZ1 (Chrome 61)
170 Points ∼47% -52%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
161 Points ∼44% -55%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Samsung Browser 6.0)
159 Points ∼44% -55%
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Chrome 61)
158 Points ∼44% -55%
LG G6 (Chrome 57)
122 Points ∼34% -66%

* ... smaller is better

iPhone X: 64 GB version
Passmark: 64 GB
iPhone X: 256 GB version
Passmark: 256 GB

The storage options of the Apple iPhone X are similar to those of the iPhone 8 models. The Californian manufacturer offers a 64 and a 256 GB version and probably fast NVMe storage, which is suggested by the benchmark results. Besides the storage capacity, the modules also differ in terms of performance. The 64 GB model is slower and manages read speeds of 1179 MB/s and write speeds of 178 MB/s in PassMark Mobile. The 256 GB version is significantly faster when it writes data at 618 MB/s in the same test, while the read performance is very similar at 1240 MB/s.

You will still have a hard time to notice the difference when you use the device, unless you copy large amounts of data onto the smartphone.

Games

We have already tested Apple's own GPU in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The GPU has three cores, but we basically do not know any other specification details. The performance is extremely high, but the component has to handle the higher resolution of the Apple iPhone X, which results in lower frame rates in theory and the benchmarks. However, it is not really an issue in practice, because the results are still very high, so there should not be any limitations when you play games.

This is supported by our gaming benchmarks. The racing game “Asphalt 8” delivers a constant 30 FPS and there is no problem with “Dead Trigger 2” (59 FPS) either. Other visually demanding game such as “Warhammer 40.000: Freeblade” (59 FPS) or “Shadow Fight 3” (59 FPS) run just as smoothly, but create a bigger workload for the graphics unit. The former results in an average load of 77%, and the latter in 55%.

Not all games have been adjusted to the new 2:1 aspect ratio yet, so there can be black bars at the sides. The black stripe at the bottom, which marks the spot for the "Home" or "App Switcher" gesture, is a bit annoying. The sensors on the other hand work very well; the iPhone X executes movements very precisely and the two speakers create a decent sound.

Shadow Fight 3 on the iPhone X
Shadow Fight 3
Asphalt 8 on the iPhone X
Asphalt 8
Warhammer 40.000: Freeblade on the iPhone X
Warhammer 40.000: Freeblade
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high59 fps

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures were always okay during our tests. The iPhone X stays comfortably cool while idling (at 20 to 21 °C/~68 to ~70 °F ambient temperature). It depends a bit on the load when you stress the smartphone. Most 3D games such as “FIFA 18” do not result in high temperatures, not even with the leather case. The challenging Relative Benchmark results in up to 45 °C (~113 °F) at the back after a while. The front warms up to 38.1 °C (~101 °F; both values measured via contact probe and thermocouple, the infrared values on the glass are ~1 or 2 °C lower).

Load front
Load front
Load rear
Load rear
Idle front
Idle front
Idle rear
Idle rear
Apple iPhone X: GFXBench Battery Test T-Rex (Metal API)
T-Rex
Apple iPhone X: GFXBench Battery Test Manhattan (Metal API)
Manhattan

We use the GFXBench Battery Test to check how the iPhone X performs under sustained workloads. Unfortunately, the OpenGL version of the app refused to work on the iPhone X, so we can only use the results of the Metal version.

The performance is steady for a surprisingly long time in the simpler T-Rex test and it only starts to drop after the 25th run, but not by more than 9%. We are still surprised by the big difference in the number of generated frames compared to the iPhone 8 Plus. While the X manages 3358 frames at best, the 8 Plus never drops below 6000 frames. This trend continues in the more challenging Manhattan test, even though the difference is smaller. The performance curve drops sooner and by a bigger margin. The worst point is reached after 15 runs, when the iPhone X lost 42% of its original performance. The remaining performance is still more than sufficient, so you should not notice the throttling in daily situations.

Max. Load
 34 °C
93 F
37 °C
99 F
35 °C
95 F
 
 34 °C
93 F
38 °C
100 F
37 °C
99 F
 
 33 °C
91 F
39 °C
102 F
38 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 39 °C = 102 F
Average: 36.1 °C = 97 F
37 °C
99 F
45 °C
113 F
44 °C
111 F
36 °C
97 F
37 °C
99 F
39 °C
102 F
33 °C
91 F
35 °C
95 F
35 °C
95 F
Maximum: 45 °C = 113 F
Average: 37.9 °C = 100 F
Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini, AMPROBE TMD-50
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.1 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the bottom side is 45 °C / 113 F, compared to the average of 34.3 °C / 94 F, ranging from 22 to 326 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.4 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Apple has equipped the iPhone X with stereo speakers and the concept is similar to the HTC U11 or the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. While the more powerful speaker is located behind the metal grille at the bottom edge of the chassis, the other one is sitting in the ear piece. Apple manages a good balance between the two components with a comparatively clean performance for mids and high tones, but the volume drop towards the bass is a bit too big, so the result does not sound very rich.

It is also possible to transfer the sound wirelessly via Bluetooth 5.0 or wired via Lightning port. The wireless version works perfectly and delivers rich sound without any transfer issues, even when the iPhone is sitting in your pocket or a bit further away. The provided headset can be attached at the Lightning port and the sound is decent, but not sufficient for music enthusiasts. The headset of the HTC U11, for example, is superior to Apple's model. If you want to use the standard jack, you need the provided adapter. It is not very nice or practical, but gets the job done and provides a clear signal without much noise.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2039.638.22533.633.13131.232.14030.832.15030.734.36334358030.939.410028.736.412526.247.91602651.920025.354.82502557.231523.359.640022.362.550021.164.863020.167.780019.568.1100020.166.2125019.669.3160018.87320001874.8250017.877.3315017.676400017.675.5500017.773.5630017.873.880001871.41000017.765.41250017.853.51600017.848.5SPL31.285.3N1.661.7median 19.5median 66.2Delta3.29.231.635.825.440.125.335.532.931.933.631.631.638.928.433.82727.220.828.62236.421.342.620.851.521.258.619.465.719.571.417.770.717.968.317.870.717.370.317.462.516.760.817.258.318.265.317.967.817.672.417.770.617.871.517.97318.164.518.249.33081.41.351.2median 17.9median 65.31.310.635.237.832.934.237.235.631.737.139.64028.327.927.32626.924.326.723.72433.420.941.220.951.919.551.218.560.317.55617.555.915.755.115.865.716.669.515.874.215.47715.574.91673.315.870.41670.816.373.116.372.916.273.516.468.816.455.828.684.41.154.7median 16.4median 65.72.110.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseApple iPhone XHTC U11Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Apple iPhone X audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.3% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 6% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 90% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 33% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 61% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HTC U11 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.1% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 18% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 70% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 49% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 42% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Mate 10 Pro audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 54% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 74% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkboxes select/deselectable!)

Average THD and THD+N results with the headset adapter
Average THD and THD+N results with the headset adapter

Battery Runtime

Power Consumption

The results in the consumption measurements leave us with some unanswered questions for the Apple iPhone X. This starts with the steady consumption of 0.66 watts when it is turned off. It only "calms down" after about 30 minutes, when it starts to fluctuate between 0.1 and 0.6 watts. We can observe a similar behavior during standby: The consumption levels off at 0.18 watts, but our measurement device occasionally jumps to the "off" value at 0.66 watts. Maybe this is some kind of trickle charging, even though iOS shows a battery capacity of 100% and there is no sign of a charging process.

The idle results are roughly on par with the Apple iPhone 8 Plus, but the lowest value of the iPhone X at 1.03 watts is much higher compared to the sibling. On the other hand, the iPhone X is much more efficient under load, where we measure 2.96 (average) and 6.6 watts (maximum). However, these values are not really coherent with the battery runtimes in the next section, because the runtimes should be longer based on this consumption. The important thing is still the real-word usage, where our runtimes are a very good indicator.

Apple also ships the anniversary model with the familiar 5-watt power adapter, so the battery discharges under high workloads, even when the PSU is attached. We recommend the iPad charger, which also supports quick charge. Apple promises a battery capacity of 50% after 30 minutes. We cannot quite confirm this with the iPad charger, but you can get expect 1% per minute between 20 and 70%. A full charge from 0 to 100% takes about 2:20 hours.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.66 / 0.18 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.03 / 2.4 / 2.6 Watt
Load midlight 2.96 / 6.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

The battery of the Apple iPhone X has the biggest capacity of current iPhones at 2716 mAh. The display size is sitting between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but the OLED panel technology is new for Apple. Both aspects have an effect on the runtime. The other specifications are mostly identical. We start with the practical runtime. Our WLAN test opens a new website every 30 seconds at an adjusted luminance of 150 nits and all wireless modules except WLAN are turned off. The iPhone X lasts 9:24 hours – a decent result, but nothing more. It is just behind the iPhone 8 (4%), but the 8 Plus has a bigger advantage (16%). However, the iPhone X cannot compete with other rivals. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro outlasts the anniversary iPhone by 45%. Our video test is also very important. We play a loop of a 1080p H.264 video and the luminance is once again adjusted to 150 nits, while the wireless modules are turned off. The result: 10:34 hours is within 10% of the iPhone 8 and the difference to the 8 Plus is 16%. It is interesting that the other flagships are not so far away in this test. Quite the contrary: The new iPhone and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are basically on par.

Maximum load shows similar results to our WLAN test. We use the very challenging Relative Benchmark at the maximum luminance and activated wireless modules. The latest Apple device falls even further behind the competitors and only lasts three hours. The bright OLED panel certainly affects the result compared to the iPhone 8 models, and the higher resolution takes its toll as well.

So far, the results of the Apple iPhone X are still decent, although not long enough for a high-end smartphone. The idle result is even disappointing. The OLED iPhone lasts only 21.5 hours in the Reader's Test at the lowest luminance and deactivated wireless modules except for WLAN. The iPhone 8 Plus manages 61% more, and it is not a result of a higher minimum luminance of the iPhone X, because it is even lower compared to the iPhone 8 models. The technology is very similar, so it can only be the display. We suspect that a slightly illuminated pixel consumes more power than a heavily dimmed background illumination. The higher resolution will have an effect as well.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
21h 32min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 24min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 34min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 00min
Apple iPhone X
2716 mAh
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
2691 mAh
Apple iPhone 8
1821 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
3500 mAh
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
4000 mAh
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
3230 mAh
OnePlus 5
3300 mAh
Battery Runtime
28%
13%
30%
62%
29%
12%
Reader / Idle
1292
2085
61%
1629
26%
1565
21%
1744
35%
1754
36%
1534
19%
H.264
634
733
16%
698
10%
742
17%
929
47%
802
26%
623
-2%
WiFi v1.3
564
657
16%
585
4%
736
30%
818
45%
695
23%
518
-8%
Load
180
211
17%
202
12%
275
53%
398
121%
236
31%
247
37%

Pros

+ great display with True Tone
+ powerful SoC
+ nice design
+ great build quality
+ fast Wi-Fi performance
+ Bluetooth 5.0
+ many supported LTE bands
+ very good dual-camera
+ IP67

Cons

- comparatively heavy
- storage cannot be expanded
- only 12 months warranty
- NFC functionality heavily limited
- no stereo jack

Verdict

In review: Apple iPhone X
In review: Apple iPhone X

The specifications and features of the Apple iPhone X are very similar to the iPhone 8 Plus, but this is not a bad thing. The differences are important and they concern the visuals. Apple not only uses a 2:1 panel for the first time, it is also the biggest panel in an iPhone so far and the first one based on the OLED technology. The display is very good, but the rather unusual design is certainly a matter of taste.

The lack of a Home button and Touch ID is the second big change. Both have been replaced by Face ID. It scans the face, but considering the possibilities if the data is misused, the feature should be seen critically from a privacy standpoint. Apple says the information is only stored on the iPhone and apps can only make queries whether the identity is correct, but in the end it is a question of trust. This scepticism was also a topic when the fingerprint scanner was launched, but no one cares about that now because this feature makes our lives easier. Face ID is actually very comfortable and already works really well. 

Powerful technology, new design, and Face ID – this is the iPhone X. But that is not enough for the smartphone crown.

You also get a good camera, which takes decent pictures and is certainly the reference when you want to record videos with your smartphone. Apple is currently the only manufacturer with Ultra HD recording at 60 FPS. The smartphone also manages a good screen-to-body ratio and the iPhone X is not as bulky as the iPhone 8 Plus, but still heavy. Otherwise, you get all the specifications you expect from a modern high-end smartphone. You still cannot expand the storage, but we did not expect it. There are also more and more Android smartphones without a microSD slot. We think the battery runtimes have the biggest room for improvements. You will manage a day, but there is not much headroom. The iPhone X is also last in our comparison group. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro, for example, is much better in this respect.

Then there is the price. The iPhone X starts at 1149 Euros ($999), and you have to pay 1319 Euros ($1149) for the 256 GB version. For comparison: Apple sells the base iPhone 8 for 799 Euros ($699), and the 8 Plus for 909 Euros ($799). In the end, Apple charges a hefty premium for a new design and Face ID, but this does not justify an upgrade from the iPhone 8 or 7 models.

Apple iPhone X - 11/22/2017 v6
Patrick Afschar, Klaus Hinum, Andreas Osthoff, Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
92%
Keyboard
72 / 75 → 96%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 73%
Weight
90%
Battery
92%
Display
92%
Games Performance
68 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
78 / 70 → 100%
Temperature
84%
Noise
100%
Audio
65 / 91 → 71%
Camera
89%
Average
81%
90%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Apple iPhone X Smartphone Review
Patrick Afschar, Klaus Hinum, Andreas Osthoff, Daniel Schmidt, 2017-11-24 (Update: 2018-02- 4)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.