Apple provokes extreme reactions from what I call the smelly socks brigade – those who, I believe, find excellence, seamless functionality and stellar design offensive. Before I got my hands on the iPhone 10th anniversary model, the X, I found the following on the ask-any-question site I love, Quora. Someone asked what Steve Jobs would make of the iPhone X. “I think [he] would puke all over himself at what a piece of crap Apple has made of this invention,” some guy wrote, before launching into a heap of abuse.
Well, all I can say is that after a couple of weeks of using the iPhone X, when I returned to the 7 Plus (yes, the one I said here just over a year ago was a masterpiece) it was like an antique. The X is simply superb. It packs a screen the size of a big phone into the body of a regular phone and with no home button – either physical or virtual – all operations are done by finger swipes. Its power makes this new and very different way of using the phone incredibly smooth, but also so instinctive that you internalise it within hours. And the face-recognition method of getting into the phone – which seemed a gimmick too far – is flawless.
Aesthetically, even with the slightly odd “ears” arrangement at the top of the screen, the iPhone X makes Samsung’s wraparound, curved edges – which I used to think unbeatably futuristic – appear dated.
You may have read derisory comments about the animated emojis feature, but try it and you will understand – so long as you’re not into smelly socks – that they are a gateway to a coming world of augmented reality.