Camera & selfie portrait mode

Considering the humongous camera bump on this iPhone, it better have a spectacular camera!


The iPhone X features a 12 MP dual camera, where the secondary one serves a 2x zoom function. In terms of shooting experience, there's nothing out of the ordinary here – it's the same camera application that's available on all other iPhones, complete with portrait bokeh mode, and the new portrait lighting effects. Actually, there's one new mode on the iPhone X, and that's portrait bokeh mode for the selfie camera. Sounds exciting? It sure is, although as you'll see in the sample galleries below, the results are far from ideal.

Image quality with the iPhone X's camera is consistently great. There are some occasions that involve trickier lighting conditions, which sometimes result in off-looking shots, but most of the time, you can count on the 12 MP camera to produce superb photographs.


Out in the day, photos obviously tend to be sharp and vibrant and full of life, maybe even a tad exaggerated, but the real fun starts when you launch portrait mode and get to take some dramatic, artsy portraits of your loved ones. We find portrait mode on the iPhone X to be sufficiently reliable, rarely introducing imperfections that would cause too much annoyance.

If you go out in the evening and attempt to shoot some pictures with the iPhone X, you should be mostly happy with the results. After all, this is one of the very best smartphone cameras you can get right now. However, if we specifically talk low-light photographs, the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 continue to offer the superior quality, with better sharpness and overall fidelity.

Selfie pictures with the X are superb – the front-facing snapper offers a great balance between accentuating the subject and including some of the scene in the back for added context. However, when capturing selfies, you might want to stick with the normal mode, because the new portrait selfie one is not quite ready for prime time. Compared to the regular portrait mode of the rear camera that we already know, portrait selfies are way more susceptible to unsightly artifacts around the subject, plus they take a couple of seconds to get processed and stored. It appears like the camera gear in the notch isn't quite up to the challenge to produce impeccable portrait photos with bokeh just yet.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 1.3
1.8
No data
No data
Apple iPhone 8 1.16
1.91
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy S8 1.2
1.3
281
261
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 1.7
1.96
996
765
LG V30 1.6
2.15
641
649
Apple iPhone 7 1.13
1.49
No data
No data

The iPhone X, along with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, is the first phone in the world allowing you to record 4K video at 60 frames per second. And while those videos look super-fine and extremely smooth, there's a very good reason why you might want to revert to recording in 1080p, and that's Apple's Cinematic video stabilization, which is only available when recording in 1080p or 720p. Cinematic video stabilization is a killer feature – it makes recorded footage look incredibly nice and fluid, successfully removing almost all camera shake. Besides, 4K videos, especially those recorded in the new, 60 fps mode, have incredibly large file sizes. Just for comparison, a 1:30min 4K 60fps video recorded with the iPhone X weighs in at about 1.2 GB, while a 1:30min 1080p 30fps video recorded with the same phone, has a file size of just 200 MB.

Camera takeaway: It's just a superb, versatile camera that can take wonderful pictures and video in a variety of conditions. The secondary zoom lens is very useful, while the wonderful portrait mode seems to have gotten even better. However, we feel let down by the selfie camera portrait mode, which doesn't live up to Apple standards.



Multimedia: the notch can't quite ruin the show


We've already established that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have the best loudspeakers on any phone; and obviously we wouldn't expect the more expensive iPhone X to be a step back. And it isn't: it sounds about the same as the iPhone 8, which means very loud and with remarkably tolerable quality.

Inside the box of Apple's top smartphone, you'll also find EarPods headphones, which connect using the Lightning/charging port. As always these feel incredibly convenient, unintrusive, and sounds amazing for what they are. Really some of the very best earphones you can find.

When it comes to the music service that you can use to listen on these cutting-edge speakers and earphones, you're basically free to choose whichever you like: Apple Music is pre-loaded, but you can also install Spotify or Google Play Music – there are no unnecessary limitations here.

YouTube generally looks OK – if you're watching a video with a traditional, 16:9 aspect ratio (still most video out there), it'll look good, with some pillarboxing around it, which happens to be enough to conceal the notch. Wider videos, such as those often produced for hit singles, do reveal the notch, as well as just a section of the curved screen corners, and thus don't look perfect. It's not a terrible experience, but something has to be done about it in the future.

Performance

It's the world's fastest phone (together with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus).


We really don't need to talk much about system performance on the iPhone X. Like with all other recent iPhones, it's best in class. Everything moves without a hitch, with such immediacy and fluidity that can rarely be observed on any other computing device.

The new Apple chipset is called A11 Bionic, and it's the same thing that's found inside the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, so in this regard, the iPhone X doesn't offer anything extra. One of the great strengths of Apple's chipsets is that in addition to leading CPU performance, they also excel in terms of graphics processing. If there's ever been such a thing as a perfect smartphone for games, it's the newest iPhone. Although Razer may have something to say about this.

So, everything moves in a swift and efficient manner, but how much stuff can you store on this thing? We wouldn't worry too much about this: the $999 version comes with 64 GB, while the even more premium $1149 iPhone X bumps that to 256 GB – plenty of storage even for the most extreme camera buffs.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 224538
Apple iPhone 8 215075
Samsung Galaxy S8 166646.66
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 175439
LG V30 174456
Apple iPhone 7 168795
JetStream Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 218.98
Apple iPhone 8 225.79
Samsung Galaxy S8 55.503
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 67.884
LG V30 55.338
Apple iPhone 7 144.71
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 58.75
Apple iPhone 8 60
Samsung Galaxy S8 41
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 39
LG V30 19
Apple iPhone 7 59.1
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 3916
Apple iPhone 8 4226
Samsung Galaxy S8 3201.66
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 3422
LG V30 2690
Apple iPhone 7 3355
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 4244
Apple iPhone 8 4239
Samsung Galaxy S8 2008.33
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 1877
LG V30 1903
Apple iPhone 7 3464
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 10401
Apple iPhone 8 10405
Samsung Galaxy S8 6575
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 6552
LG V30 6495
Apple iPhone 7 5605


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163 Comments

171. jamal1001

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 30, 2018

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169. Kashton

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 31, 2018

I basically had already made my mind up that I was just going to stick with my iPhone 8 my exclusive 4.7 inch design and display that I’ve exclusively used since day 1 of the iPhone 6. In fact had Apple not changed that design I would have been perfectly fine. I loved the second gen Touch ID and of course I found the regular iPhone 8s smaller design to be the perfection of what a smartphone should be. You have a easy to use, carry around, one handed phone that still allowed you to consume media or read articles browsing the web. Zero complaints. So I really never bought in on the hype surrounding the iPhone X or 10 rather. Then came release day which I ignored. Then I was signing up for Xfinity internet and cable one day right around the launch of the 10. They gave me information about their new mobile side that they were offering to existing customers and then offered me a nice money Visa card to sign up so I took the special offer and then all the sudden I found myself having this new found interest in the iPhone 10. I finally was able to get one with Xfinity after a month and half of solid trouble and a huge mess I suppose since they were a new mobile company. I can tell you I’ve not touched my iPhone 8 since the day my 10 arrived and had I not actually experienced the 10 there would be no way to ever convince me that it would totally become my favorite iPhone to date. As for the reoccurring mentioning of the notch in this article unless you’ve not actually used a 10 on a daily basis I feel like you’re really not entitled to say the notch ruined the 10 when in fact it simply hardly made any negative user experience. Sure I noticed the first day or two but seriously anyone who’s used the 10 day in day out 99 percent of those users would tell you the notch really isn’t a big deal to them and I’m the exact same so I feel as if this article was written by someone who might have used the 10 for a day or a few hours then wrote the article because the entire article was simply created and based off the notch at the top of the iPhone 10s display. I don’t in any way what so ever even care nor do I view content on my 10 in full screen mode and not once have I ever thought to myself that I hate that notch and it’s becuase like the majority of other 10 users out there do. They and I just really don’t even see it because it’s simply not big enough to in the slightest ruin any type of media consumption as this articles states over and over until the last summary even. So I recommend that any writer which I write professionally myself, actually personally use the product I’m which they write about then the article will in fact become actually credible. That’s why as a writer and reviewer that I must personally myself use the product if I’m going to actually review and write about it. So to summarize, the iPhone 10 is simply amazing and is the perfect blend of screen size and perfect one handed form factor packed all into one device.

162. lightyears

Posts: 69; Member since: Aug 24, 2015

Whoever launch their phone, the clear winner of this season is undoubtedly S8 and Note8. They are still the phones to beat.

160. lightyears

Posts: 69; Member since: Aug 24, 2015

The insecurity of Face ID already exposed. Speakers are excellent is a joke. Exciting new form factor? good joke. Apple could have done much better but lost the opportunity.

159. Sotikon

Posts: 27; Member since: Aug 23, 2017

It’s a shame Google’s new Pixel line did not get a higher score than Apple’s gang of products this year. Proves how bias writers on here are.

158. GrosseFatigue

Posts: 211; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

And it still managed to get a 9 to Samsung Note 8 8.9. This place has 20 years reviewers who grew up with Apple. They never understood the Note. Now all flagship screens are 6".

157. GrosseFatigue

Posts: 211; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

I look at this ugly duck and his uglier brother the 8 and what it tells me is that the Note 8 is cosmetically exceptional and underrated by comparison. The Note 8 is a mature product, a work of art. The screen of the X is not even working properly. Apple is a good one generation behind Samsung in smartphones design. Wait until we read everywhere that it brakes all the time.

153. androiduser

Posts: 575; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

the iphone x 64gb starts at 1800 dollars in my country

149. hellhr

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 25, 2016

I am not happy with that screen, regarding black bar and color shift from angle... Heck, even Apple didn customise native aplications for new screen format. Go figure

148. RiyaJain

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 10, 2017

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147. jackyhao78

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 01, 2017

iPhone X (iPhone 10) with a slim 5″8 inch OLED screen, FaceID 3D recognition, chip Bionic A11, the camera supports Portrait mode both before and after, the frame around the body of Iphone X is made of polished metal, wireless charging QI. Great!

145. Diego!

Posts: 880; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

OMG... I'm shocked... iPhoneArena.com rated iPhone X (10) with a 9. This is too much. The end of an affair? What happened?? xD xD

144. tedkord

Posts: 17529; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

"DESIGN TAKEAWAY: The iPhone X is nice, but the notch prevents it from being a work of art. It is by and large a utilitarian design in a contemporary, premium package. Even with the Galaxy S8 being a six-month old device at this point, the iPhone X feels more like a gap-closer than anything else – it fails to convince it was worth all the wait." Score:9 Nine is the floor of the curve on which Ray grades iPhones.

143. techbuttcheex

Posts: 205; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Isn’t amazing how the Galaxy S6 had better color accuracy? Lol. Apple is the biggest failure in the industry.

142. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Wow , no con on price. No con on how easy the screen will crack. No con on things taken away. No con on notch. And why did you delete posts iPA

140. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Hmm, a fair iPhone score. Peculiar...

137. RoyalMike unregistered

The swipe ruins the phone, they could easily add an always on 3d touch home button like Samsung did in S8.

134. Bozzor

Posts: 248; Member since: May 02, 2012

A 9.5 score is too high for the phone at this point, simply because the apps are not optimized and - let's face it - there has to be some sense of value. $1,000 has to demand incredibly strong performance across the board. Apple comes close, but the lack of optimized apps is a big limiting factor at this time. That will change over the next few months though...

132. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

125. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

If you look back over past Phone Arena reviews there has been strong criticism of many aspects of non-iPhones, that are ignored in iPhone reviews. One that particularly comes to mind here is the operating system itself. It is not easy to use anymore, not consistent across its range, the apps are not optimized for the screen and RAM management is awful as demonstrated by the may "real world" speed tests. Add to the fact that there is still no expandable storage or adequate upgrade options (no 128gb), inferior wireless charging and waterproofing, no fast charger in the box, the camera bump is simply bad design and not to forget all the new iPhones are the most fragile yet. For a phone that is mainly a "catch-up" addition compared to its peers overall, it is far from revolutionary either. A score of 9 is extremely generous and reflects the Apple bias which sadly does exist on PA.

121. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Right below title "AN IPHONE X-PERIMENT" TEN-PERIMENT? /s

116. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

This seems like one of the fairer reviews I've seen for sure. I tried the X in store and even though i had only a few moments with it I'd agree with most of the conclusions presented. Good write up. Shame Apple is charging customers $1000 to essentially beta test the future though... I'll be grabbing an iPhone 8 in Dec probably. The future can wait IMO.

106. ImperialDynamics

Posts: 84; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

benchmarks are not the whole story. Performance in practice is more important. For example the Note 8 has better performance in practice than the iPhoneX ( proof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-Vn0h8Wfo0 ). And the Note 8 is not even the fastest Android. That title now belongs to the Razer Phone. Speaking of the Razer Phone, that also surely beats the iPhoneX when it cames to speaker quality so consider removing the "best in class speakers" from the pros list above.

104. wando77

Posts: 1172; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

The iris scanner on my note 8 works fast andperfect....... (even in the dark or with my oakley sunglasses with purple lenses). Maybe it's cause you have specs??.....samsung mentions it doesn't work with those

103. midan

Posts: 3272; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

First time ever i have difficulties to pick a colour. I always choose black and in my opinion all tech and gadgets looks best in black. Ordered space gray when preorders started, but seeing the silver version in real life i have to say it looks very very good! I Haven't yet seen the space gray in real life. What colour you guys got?

102. aasifmaqsood

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 30, 2015

Notch on front. Camera bump on back. This is X for you..

100. YeahYeah

Posts: 254; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Am i dreaming? was expecting 9.9 rating.. wasn't expecting 9.0 rating.

99. Tech-shake

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

I swear no matter what score the author gives this phone, he will always get someone complaining about it being too high too low. Like guys seriously this is just the reviewers personal opinion you are welcome to take it or leave it no one is forcing to do anything!

98. poptart574

Posts: 223; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

The real score should have been an 8.5 at most. The excitement is there yet the execution is not.

95. tleskiv

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 07, 2016

It's a good phone and fair rating. Just the back glass is garbage. Scratches really easily.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPhone X
  • Display 5.8 inches
    2436 x 1125 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A11 Bionic, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2716 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x

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