Hardware

Mobile Phone

Long-term Practical Test: 15.12.2017–20.09.2018


Apple iPhone X

Photo: Apple iPhone X original box

Picture 1: Original box Apple iPhone X, 256 GB, colour space-grey, top side from the left

Photo: Apple iPhone X original box

Picture 2: Original box Apple iPhone X, 256 GB, colour space-grey, top from right side

The Anniversary Model: iPhone X

This is already my fourth test of an iPhone. Enjoy reading!

Ordering Process

Favourable Price thanks to Contract Extension

12.11.2017: My Telekom MagentaMobil XL Premium mobile tariff comes with a heavily discounted top-of-the-range smartphone every year if I extend the contract.

Actually, I am very satisfied with the iPhone 8 I have already bought and have read a lot of bad things about the iPhone X. I am very happy with the mobile phone contract.

Since I'm very happy with the mobile phone contract, I'm extending it and ordering an iPhone X with 256 GB of storage in the space-grey colour version. If I don't like it, I can return it or sell it via a sales platform like wirkaufens.de without any loss.

My reservation ticket, which I received long before, is supposed to guarantee preferential delivery, which I don't believe Telekom. That was a joke when I bought the iPhone 7 Plus (ordered on 04.10.2016, received on 16.12.2016).

Despite Reservation Ticket Delivery only shortly before Christmas

15.12.2017: Would I have to wait a few more weeks without a reservation ticket? No! Many new customers and also existing customers received their iPhone X without a reservation earlier than I did!

As a premium customer with a reservation, I can only pick up my iPhone X today!

Conclusion: Telekom's reservation ticket is a very lousy marketing ploy.

Box Contents

  • Apple iPhone X with iOS 11.1.2
  • Apple EarPods
  • Lightning-to-USB-Cable
  • USB Power Supply
  • Tool for opening the SIM card drawer
  • Documentation

Image 3: Opened box with Apple iPhone X

Picture 3: Opened box with Apple iPhone X. Underneath the iPhone are the USB power supply, Lightning cable and EarPods.

Tech Specs

Model: A1901 (MQAF2ZD/A)

Colour: Space grey (also available in "silver")
Storage capacity: 256 GB (also available with 64 GB)
Dimensions and weight: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm, 174 g

Display

Super Retina HD Display with 3D-Touch
5.8 inch All-Screen OLED Multi-Touch (14.7 cm diagonal)
HDR display, resolution: 2436 x 1125 pixels; 458 pixels per inch
Typical contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1, maximum typical brightness: 625 cd/m²
Colour standard: P3, dual-domain pixels for wide viewing angles
Grease-repellent coating, display zoom, one-hand mode, true tone display

Processor

A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, neural architecture, integrated M11 motion coprocessor
Main memory (RAM): 3 GB

Cameras

12-megapixel camera with wide-angle and telephoto lens
Wide angle: aperture f/1.8
Telephoto lens: aperture f/2.4
Optical zoom, up to 10x digital zoom
Portrait mode
Image stabilisation for wide angle and telephoto
Panorama recording up to 63 megapixels

Sapphire crystal lens cover
Body and face recognition
Automatic HDR for photos
Continuous shooting mode
Self-timer
Image formats HEIF and JPEG

7 megapixel camera (front camera)
Aperture: f/2.2
Portrait mode
Animoji
1080p HD video recording
Retina Flash
Automatic HDR
Body and face recognition
Automatic image stabilisation
Continuous shooting mode
Self-timer

Wireless Technologies

LTE (frequency bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 66)
TD-LTE (frequency bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41)
UMTS/HSPA+/DC‑HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

802.11ac WLAN with MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC with Reading mode

Locating function

Assisted GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS
digital compass, WLAN, mobile radio, iBeacon micro-location

Audio Calls

FaceTime Audio Calls
Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
Calls via WiFi

Video Calls

FaceTime Video calls via WiFi and Mobile Telephony

Audio Playback

Supported Audio formats: AAC‑LC, HE‑AAC, HE‑AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC‑3), Dolby Digital Plus (E‑AC‑3) und Audible (Formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX and AAX+)

TV and Video

Supported Video formats: HEVC, H.264, MPEG‑4 Part 2 and Motion JPEG
High Dynamic Range (HDR) with Dolby Vision and HDR10 Contents
AirPlay Mirroring, Photos and Video output on Apple TV (2. Generation or newer)
Video Mirroring and Video output: Support for up to 1080p via Lightning digital AV adapter and Lightning to VGA adapter

Assistant Siri

Use your own voice to send messages, make calls, create a reminder and more.
Get predictive suggestions, hands-free calling, listen to and recognise songs.

Source: https://support.apple.com

Power Supply

Picture 4: Apple Lightning-to-USB-Cable

Picture 4: Apple Lightning-to-USB-Cable

Picture 5: Apple 5-watt power supply unit (with socket for Lightning-to-USB cable)

Picture 5: Apple 5-watt power supply unit (with socket for Lightning-to-USB cable)

Experience from daily Practice

On the next pages I describe my own experiences.

The alphabetically sorted Topics

Battery Performance

Battery Life, Useful Life, Battery Saving, Charging Time

Battery Life (Time after Battery Charge until next Charge)

Very individual, difficult to compare. Everybody defines infrequent users and frequent users differently, not to mention the term normal user.

Useful Life

Little use: 2 days (Siri Assistant, a few emails, a few iMessages, calendar, notes, 3 h listening to music, minimal web).
Heavy use: 1 day (reading a book [Kindle app], Siri, some emails, iMessages or SMS, calendar, notes, calls, 5 h listening to music, 3 h web).

Battery Saving

In order to protect the battery, which cannot be changed by the user, I rarely push it to its limits, as this wears it out unnecessarily.
With about 30 % remaining charge, it is charged up to about 70 %. Deviations only occur when I check on the iPhone too late.
If you let the battery get almost empty and charge it up to 100 % (e.g. overnight), you stress it and use up a full charging cycle.
Modern lithium-ion batteries can withstand 300 to 500 charging cycles. In practice, these are reached within 2 to 5 years, depending on the treatment.
The relatively slow charging on the notebook does not bother me – on the contrary! The battery does not get hot during charging.

Charging Time

This list should give you an impression of the loading times to expect.

Charging time on USB 2.0 socket: 2:24 h (at 32 % residual charge up to 71 %)(Notebook Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X)
Charging time with 36-watt mains adapter: 0:32 h (with 36 % residual charge up to 71 %)(Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger)
Charging time with large Akkupack: 0:43 h (at 31 % residual charge to 70 %)(Anker PowerCore Edge 20,000 mAh)

If you're dizzy from all the columns of figures, skip to next topic: call filter …

Battery Protocol 2017

Measured Value Acquisition

The basis for this series of measurements are our own screenshots and calendar records, as Apple does not offer a device monitor.

The relative energy consumption of apps in percent, battery status shortly before charging, at the start of charging, after charging was recorded with a screenshot. This makes it possible to give a relatively accurate indication of battery performance. This is strongly influenced by the quality of mobile phone reception, the frequency of cell changes and the intensity of use.

Use on weekdays

On weekdays, I don't use my iPhone much (e-mails, Internet, calendar data maintenance, SMS, iMessage, listening to music in the evening).

Use in leisure time

On weekends, holidays and holiday, I use the iPhone more often (reading books, emails, taking photos, internet, listening to music, calendar, texting).

Energy-Saving Mode

Apple's iOS operating system automatically activates power-saving mode when the battery has 20% remaining charge and deactivates it when the battery reaches 80%. I will never treat the battery this badly without need (it's pure stress for the battery)! Unless otherwise stated, I usually only charge to 70%. If there is not much time, I like to use the energy-saving mode to reduce the charging time.

Logged Measurement Data

16.12.: Charge on the Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X notebook up to 70 % (iOS version 11.1.2).
Remaining charge: 55 % at 01:10. Battery life: irrelevant after start-up
Charged: 70 % at 01:44 hrs. Charging without power saving mode.
Result: 15 % in 0:34 h.

16.12.: Charged to 70 % on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 53 % at 13:00 h. Battery life: 11:16 h.
Charged: 70 % at 13:18 h. Charged without power saving mode.
Result: 17 % in 0:18 h.

16.12. Charging on notebook Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X to 70 % (iOS version 11.2.1)
Remaining charge: 31 % at 20:10 h. Battery life: 6:52 h.
Charged: 70 % at 23:05 h. Power saving mode from 16:59 h to 23:05 h.
Result: 39 % in 2:55 h.

17.12.: Charging on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger up to 67 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 48 % at 12:56. Battery life without power save mode: 13:51 h.
Charged: 67 % at 13:15 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 19 % in 0:19 h.

17.12.: Charged on notebook Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X up to 69 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 33 % at 19:43 h. Battery life: 6:28 h.
Charged: 69 % at 22:47 h. Charged without power saving mode.
Result: 36 % in 3:04 h.

18.12.: Charging on the Anker PowerCore Edge 20000 mAh up to 70 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 42 % at 22:48 h. Battery life without power saving mode: 24:01 h.
Charged: 70 % at 23:18 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 28 % in 0:30 h.

20.12.: Charging on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger up to 60 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 44 % at 08:30 h. Battery life without power save mode: 33:12 h.
Charged: 60 % at 08:45 h. Charged with power-saving mode.
Result: 16 % in 0:15 h.

21.12.: Charging on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger up to 71 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 36 % at 08:27 h. Battery life without power save mode: 23:42 h.
Charged: 71 % at 08:59 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 35 % in 0:32 h.

22.12.: Charging on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger up to 63 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 46 % at 08:44. Battery life without power save mode: 23:45 h.
Charged: 63 % at 08:59 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 17 % in 0:15 h.

23.12. Charging on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger up to 73 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 58 % at 13:21 h. Battery life without power save mode: 28:22 h.
Charged: 73 % at 13:38 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 15 % in 0:17 h.

24.12.: Charging on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger up to 66 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 41 % at 13:04 h. Battery life without power save mode: 23:26 h.
Charged: 66 % at 13:27 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 25 % in 0:23 h.

25.12.: Charging on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger up to 70 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 41 % at 11:35 a.m. Battery life without power save mode: 22:08 h.
Charged: 70 % at 12:02 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 29 % in 0:27 h.

26.12.: Charging on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger up to 73 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 49 % at 13:00 h. Battery life without power save mode: 24:58 h.
Charged: 73 % at 13:23 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 24 % in 0:23 h.

26.12.: Charged on notebook Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X up to 78 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 37 % at 20:56 h. Battery life without power saving mode: 7:33 h.
Charged: 78 % at 23:23 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 41 % in 2:27 h.

27.12.: Charge on notebook Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X up to 69 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 42 % at 19:34 h. Battery life without power saving mode: 20:11 h.
Charged: 69 % at 21:16 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 27 % in 1:42 h.

28.12.: Charged to 70 % on the Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB charger (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 57 % at 13:33 h. Battery life without power save mode: 16:17 h.
Charged: 70 % at 13:48 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 13 % in 0:15 h.

28.12.: Charged on notebook Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X up to 72 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 44 % at 19:59 h. Battery life without power saving mode: 6:11 h.
Charged: 72 % at 21:51 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 28 % in 1:52 h.

29.12.: Charged on notebook Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X up to 71 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 32 % at 20:21 h. Battery life without power saving mode: 22:30 h.
Charged: 71 % at 22:45 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 39 % in 2:24 h.

30.12.: Charging on the Anker PowerCore Edge 20000 mAh up to 70 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 31 % at 20:16 h. Battery life without power saving mode: 21:31 h.
Charged: 70 % at 20:59 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 39 % in 0:43 h.

31.12.: Charged on the Anker PowerCore Edge 20000 mAh to 78 % (iOS version 11.2.1).
Remaining charge: 28 % at 17:57 h. Battery life without power saving mode: 20:58 h.
Charged: 78 % at 18:52 h. Charged without power save mode.
Result: 50 % in 0:55 h.

Call Filter

Do not disturb (DND)

This is what Apple calls its rudimentary call filter.

Allow Calls

This is configured in the Do Not Disturb/Allow Calls settings menu:

  • Anyone (put callers through unfiltered)
  • None (block calls completely)
  • Favourites (finely adjustable positive list, only put friends/acquaintances/relatives through)

Favourites = Anonymous callers and troublemakers get busy signals or voicemail

Callers with a suppressed call number immediately receive a busy signal or are dropped on the mailbox if “DND” is switched on.

Time Frame for eternally Stubborn and Stubborn who are nevertheless dear to us

Stubborn acquaintances and relatives who do not want to have the free call number transmission switched on by the network operator can still reach you at certain times if you do not activate “DND” for the whole day, but e.g. only 20:00-18:00. In this way, everyone would be let through between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., even if callers with a suppressed call number cannot be assigned to an address book entry.

You could formulate the announcement text of your mailbox accordingly ("... landed on the mailbox due to suppressed call number, ... please deactivate Calling Line Identification Restriction (ask your provider)!").

Alternatively, activate a rough Positive List

If anonymous callers, stalkers, diallers and wrong-dialling fax machines are to be warded off, but otherwise every contact stored in the iPhone address book is allowed to call, you will find the ideal solution further down in the DND/Allow Calls settings menu:

Groups

  • All Contacts

This option allows selection from contacts/groups

  • All (Contacts from added mail accounts, each mail account separately selectable)
  • Collected Addresses
  • Contacts

As soon as diallers of dubious advertising callers start ringing at short intervals without interruption and suppress your own telephone number or display a fake, constantly changing telephone number, “DND” must remain active, otherwise you are no longer reachable for serious callers!

If you want to create more groups and do not have an Apple computer, you need an app for this. Recommendation: Groups by Thomas Kroll.

Assistant Siri

History, Use, Scope of Functions

Most technology enthusiasts and sci-fi fans would like to operate their computers by voice like in the sci-fi series Star Trek.

History

  • In 2007, the company Siri Inc. had started developing a digital assistant
  • In 2010, Apple bought the company Siri Inc. in April with all rights to the products and the iPhone 4s became the first smartphone with the digital assistant called Siri

Since then, the iPhone can be controlled by voice. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs had decided to let the very powerful software work online in a much slimmed-down way. angry
The original software could run on the iPhone without an online connection to the data centre and would not be as restricted as we know it!

Usage

I see the main purpose of a digital assistant as being to operate the smartphone without having to pick it up. Users of a Bluetooth headset are particularly happy about this option, because it means the iPhone can stay protected in the pocket as often as possible!

With most headsets, voice control is started with a long press on the answer button. If you use a headset on an Apple iPhone from version 4s upwards, the assistant Siri is also addressed via it and instead of saying “Hey, Siri!” you immediately state your wish. Siri answers questions about the weather, can send dictated messages, dial phone numbers, read out received messages, remind you of appointments, wake you up in the morning, play your own music, tell you the artist of a current music track and the scores of sporting events, etc.

Scope of functions

A few practical examples …

Stock Exchange

  • Share price of [name of the share]
  • How is the DAX?

Telephone and Contacts

  • Call [Name]
  • Call [Phone number]
  • Redial
  • Start FaceTime with [Name]

Find Friends

  • Where is [name]?
  • Who is near me?

Messages

  • Send a message to [Name]
  • Send an iMessage to [Name]

Mail

  • Write a mail to [name] with the content: [content]

Appointments

  • When is my next appointment?
  • Appointments today? (short: appointments?)
  • What appointments do I have tomorrow?
  • Create an appointment tomorrow at [time]
  • Move today's appointment from [time] to [time]

Reminders

  • Remind me on [date] at [time]: [content].
  • Remind me of [content] as soon as I get home.

Notes

  • Note: [...] shop

Time and Alarm Clock

  • What time is it?
  • What is the date?
  • Set alarm clock to [time]

System

  • Battery charge iPhone? (this is the only way Siri understands that the phone is meant)
  • Battery charge? (indicates remaining charge of the connected BT headset in %)
  • Switch [Function] on/off.
  • Is Wi-Fi on?

Maps & Navigation

  • Where am I? (Siri used to name the street, now only the place)
  • Start navigation from here to home
  • When do we arrive?
  • Exit navigation

Music

  • Play Blue Monday by New Order
  • Play My Playlist [Name]
  • Play anything by Yello
  • Pause

Weather

  • Do I need an umbrella?
  • Humidity?
  • How cold is it now?
  • How warm is it now?
  • What will the weather be like tonight?
  • What will the weather be like tomorrow morning? (max. 24 h forecast)

Sport

  • Name the current football results

Hey, Siri!

This way, you call the assistant and immediately attach the question or request to it when you hold the iPhone in your hand or have it on the table.
Siri understands freely formulated questions/instructions and also answers some questions with a comment …
Example: When asked “How cold is it now?”, Siri replied: “It's 6 degrees now, but I don't think it's cold at all, Michael”.

By the way: Siri finds less than 4 degrees bitterly cold, anything above that Siri comments with “… but I don't think it's cold at all”.
And since iOS 10 was distributed, Siri comments on all temperatures above about 20 °Celsius with “hot”.
The question “How warm is it now?” is then answered with “20 degrees, ... hot!”
If Siri wants to be funny, she says beforehand: “No matter how warm it is outside – it's always room temperature inside. Just kidding”.

Cons

  • Because foreign languages do not have the same priority at Apple, Siri is not yet as quick-witted and witty in German as she is in her mother tongue.
  • Siri does not yet understand multi-part questions.

There is a separate database for each language.

Data synchronisation with your local Computer

Media Content

Screenshot: Import pictures and videos

Picture 6: MS-Windows 7 Pro: After plugging in the iPhone, Windows offers to copy the media content to the hard disk.

To keep media content (books, photos, music, videos) on the iPhone in sync with a local computer, Apple's desktop software iTunes or third-party software is required.

For data protection reasons, German business people must avoid Apple's iCloud.
Instead, you should use iTunes with a USB cable (but without backing up to the iCloud!). Security-conscious private users should do the same.
After establishing the USB connection with a Windows computer, Windows will ask the user whether the pictures and videos found on the iPhone should be displayed in the Explorer window or copied to the hard disk (see adjacent illustration). Without iTunes, this is the only way to at least get pictures and videos from the iPhone onto the Windows computer. For the iCloud, Apple mainly uses foreign data centres!

Apple iTunes

Regular Data Backup

Illustration: Optimal backup setting for iTunes

Bild 7: When I recharge the battery at the USB port of the notebook in the evening, I automatically create an encrypted backup on SSD and copy it to an external hard drive. I also use iTunes to synchronise music from an external hard drive with the iPhone

E-Mail, Addresses, Contacts, Tasks, Notes

An iCloud email account can, but does not have to be created!
PIM data such as email, addresses, contacts, tasks and notes can be easily synchronised with your existing email accounts.

For this purpose, the EAS protocol is also supported, which works with Microsoft's Outlook, but also with 1&1 Mail Business, for example.
Advantage of EAS: easy to set up and all data is available at any time while on the move (older mails are only reloaded from the server if required when "entire period" is selected for synchronisation).

Security Tip

For transport encryption, set “SSL/TLS” with the appropriate port!
Those who have Microsoft Outlook installed locally can keep it in sync with the iPhone via iTunes (not tested myself).

I created my own account. iCloud was already preset, which I severely limited:
  • iCloud (Find my iPhone) only in an emergency for iPhone search
  • Posteo (Mail, Notes, Address Book and Calendar)
  • 1&1 Mail Business (Calendar only – to manually delete duplicates and move them to the Posteo calendar)

New Software Version

Even before I bought my first iPhone (6s Plus), I had installed iTunes to see if it would work with my Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X notebook.

If that hadn't worked out, I wouldn't have been able to buy an iPhone, because without iTunes most Apple products are useless if you value privacy. The iCloud runs mainly in foreign data centres (Google, Amazon) and that's why I avoid storing personal data in their “clouds”. The transport encryption has been improved somewhat, but it is still nowhere near good enough.

The new iPhones 8/8 Plus and X require iTunes version 12.7 or higher, otherwise they will not connect to the computer.
If iTunes refuses to install the update on your Windows computer, do not experiment. Solution:
First make a backup!
Do not change anything in the folders and files or the registry!
Uninstall iTunes 12.6 via the control panel, do not delete any personal data.
Then install iTunes 12.7 (downloaded directly from the Apple website!).
The setup programme recognises the folders of the previous version including configuration files and applies all settings.
At least that's how it works for me.

iTunes Version Query

Click on “?” in the menu bar, then “Info …” and you will get the result as shown here (just a sample photo from my first iPhone test):

Screenshot: iTunes version 12.3.3.17 64-bit for MS-Windows

Picture 8: iTunes version 12.3.3.17 64-bit for MS-Windows

High End Music Player

Music Player in Glass Housing with Stainless Steel Frame and Chassis

31.12.2017: Just listening again to my favourite album The Best Of The Art Of Noise (1992), 2nd track: Yebo (Mbaqanga Mix).
This is ideal for testing the low bass reproduction! Another play tip: 7th track: Legacy.

This is synthesiser sound, which – taken alone – is not objectively suitable for testing the sound quality of a music player. Electronic music sounds good on any device. But I know this album inside out and have listened to it very often on various MP3 players (constant quality encoding; dynamic data rate up to max. 320 kbit/s).

For the objective test of the sound quality, I used music titles with acoustic instruments and very often heard musicians' voices.
The listening test CD of the hi-fi magazine Audio was also very helpful for the objective test of the acoustics.

Linear smooth frequency response

The Apple iPhone X can really show that it has a ruler-like frequency response down to the low bass range. Otherwise, the bass would not be so abysmally deep, undistorted and clear (unfortunately, I can't measure it).
gsmarena.com always tests and publishes the frequency response diagram!
The trade magazine connect also tested the iPhone X in issue 1/2018 and printed the frequency response very tiny. The frequency response is consistent with gsmarena.com – from 18 hertz to about 19,000 hertz linearly smooth. My hearing is confirmed. Laughing Smiley
The signal-to-noise ratio is also excellent. By the way: because iPhones have extremely low latency, they are also very popular at musicians and DJs.

Conclusion: one of the best high-end music players – but not with the included Apple EarPods!
These have too weak a bass response, but offer an otherwise quite linear reproduction (writes the press).
Since I don't think much of such gimmicks, I didn't even unpack the EarPods this time.

My audio test equipment: As headphones, I use the Sony MDR-EX90LP.
These studio monitor quality in-ear headphones offer quite pristine reproduction.

But this time it's not plugged into the Samsung Level Link Bluetooth audio transmitter, because it won't pair with the iPhone X.
I had to take the Lightning to jack adapter out of the box and listen to music via cable.

Messaging Machine for frequent Writers

iMessage protects Privacy through End-to-End Encryption

iPhone Users use iMessage to chat when Privacy is important to them …

But: as soon as the iCloud is used, the chats and data encrypted end-to-end until then are no longer protected because they are stored in the iCloud unencrypted or the key to the iCloud is already available to the American authorities.
Those who observe the EU-DSGVO and respect the privacy of family, friends, colleagues, customers etc. avoid the iCloud!

Alternative: Threema

The use of Threema is much more secure. It works without providing personal data such as telephone numbers, etc. The Threema ID is enough!
With Threema, you can chat end-to-end in encrypted form and make tap-proof calls.
Please also read my article on instant messaging …

Telephony

Long Phone Calls are Fun thanks to the best Acoustics

The Apple iPhone X offers excellent sound quality and supports HD-Voice (Plus) – even with Voice over LTE (VoLTE).
If the person you are calling is also using UMTS or VoLTE with HD-Voice (Plus), you will experience much better sound quality than via ISDN in the fixed network!
You recognise callers (and their state of mind) immediately by their voice and conversations remain more relaxed because there is no more annoying noise.

GSM and 3G mediocre – good Reception only with 4G

Many smartphones offer comparatively poor reception quality, especially when using UMTS and LTE. At best, the GSM frequencies can be received in satisfactory quality. Those who live and work in the big city and rarely spend time in more rural areas will hardly notice this. Most smartphone users hardly ever make private phone calls anyway and use instant messaging services instead.
Apple's anniversary model is the first to offer only mediocre GSM and UMTS. And LTE is also only “good”.

That's why it didn't make the top 10 in the 1/2018 issue of the trade magazine connect, but came in behind its sister model, the 8 Plus!

Nevertheless, globetrotters benefit from the larger frequency band selection compared to many competing models.

Reliability

Hardware

Since the commissioning on 15.12.2017, the hardware has not caused any problems so far. Should that change, I will document it here.
I normally never switch off my iPhone, but I always use it discreetly …
Before going to bed, I switch the iPhone to flight mode, which consumes 0-2 % energy within 8 hours.

Software

The apps are also running completely smoothly on my iPhone X so far.

iOS (Apple´s Firmware)

iOS-Versions, Updating documented

  • 15.12.2017 shipped with iOS version 11.1.2
  • 16.12.2017 updated to iOS version 11.2.1

Details

  • 16.12.2017: Initial setup and software update
  • 00:24: Switched on for the first time (iOS version at delivery: 11.1.2).
  • 02:34: Restart after software update to iOS version 11.2.1, system build 15C153.

Software (Apps)

Integrated Apps (non-erasable)

Stocks, App Store, Files, Settings, Reminders, FaceTime, Photos, Find Friends, Health, Home, Calendar, Camera, Maps, Compass, Contacts, Mail, Find My iPhone, Music, Messages, Notes, Podcasts, Calculator, Safari, Siri, Voice Memos, Phone, Tips, Clock, Wallet, Watch, Weather, iBooks, iCloud Drive, iTunes Store

Free Apps from Apple

Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, iTunes U and Clips are pre-installed.

Highly recommended Apps in the Apple App Store

  • CalenGoo Calendar by Dominique Andre Gunia
  • Cesium Music Player by Mike Clay
  • Date & Time Calculator by Thomas Tsopanakis
  • DB Navigator by Deutsche Bahn
  • Annual Leave by Tobias Knieper

For a full list of all the apps I have personally tested, see Mobile Apps.

Missing Software

  • App for automatic location-dependent volume control and if not possible, then at least time-controlled volume control!
    Practical main application: as soon as I reach the workplace, the iPhone should switch to silent and back again after work
  • serious call filtering solution as used on other smartphone platforms such as Symbian OS, Android OS and BlackBerry 10 OS for years

High-quality Hardware

Acoustic Properties

The acoustics are excellent! The frequency range is straight as a ruler from 18 Hz almost to 20 kHz – and the headphone output is hardly different!
Thanks to high signal-to-noise ratio, good channel separation and low distortion, the fidelity is outstanding!

Glass Housing with Stainless Steel Frame and Chassis

The excellently crafted case feels very good and is a pleasure to hold.

The high-resolution 5.8-inch Display shows Photos and Text sharply and in natural Colours

The size of the screen is enough to be able to work on this website on the go. I even watch some episodes of TV series on this small display.

The A11 Bionic Processor is one of the fastest Smartphone Processors on the World Market

I had read it before I bought the iPhone, but now I notice every day that it's true.
Normal “daily business” leaves it completely cold, everything runs smoothly and the case never gets very warm.
It's a pity that Apple no longer provides an interface to evaluate the temperature of the processor or the battery.

Face ID replaces Touch ID – convenient and secure Unlocking

Your face is now used to secure your personal data on the iPhone X. The fingerprint scanner of older iPhones does not recognise its user as reliably as the infrared camera in the new iPhone X. Depending on the weather (humidity?!) and the condition of my skin, my iPhone 6s Plus/7 Plus/8 sometimes did not recognise me and I then had to type in my very long password. My iPhone X only doesn't recognise me if I accidentally hold it too close to my face. Children and twins should do without Face ID because they could otherwise unlock each other's devices. Hand on heart: do children need such a sensitive iPhone X with a glass casing?

In the truest Sense of the Word: outstandingly good Camera

Apple's designers ignore all criticism and continue to let the lenses of the main camera on the back of the device protrude a little from the housing. There is a reason for this: good optics consist of several lenses with the appropriate spacing and they need space! Apple's designers ignore all criticism and continue to let the lenses of the main camera on the back of the device protrude a little from the housing. There is a reason for this: good optics consist of several lenses with the appropriate distance between them and they need space!

A flat back, for example, is provided by a leather cover, which Apple calls a „Leather Case”.

It has an opening for the lens bulge that fits exactly, so the back is completely smooth. This camera really takes outstandingly good photos. In low light they are a little noisy, but in sufficient light the quality is on a par with compact cameras.
I don't have a lab to prove it, but the trade press agrees that the iPhone X and Samsung's Galaxy 8 offer the best cameras.

Localisation via GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and QZSS

Thanks to the use of four satellite systems, localisation is always possible, provided there is a clear view of the sky.

Photo: Apple iPhone X 256 GB in space-grey, right side

Picture 9: Apple iPhone X 256 GB, Space Grey colour

No new Smartphone without Leather Sleeve by fitBAG

When I buy a new smartphone, I also buy a leather case from fitBAG (made in Germany) for it …

Photo: fitBAG Nappa leather bag

Picture 10: Black nappa leather bag from fitBAG (one side)

Photo: fitBAG nappa leather sleeve

Picture 11: Black nappa leather bag from fitBAG (other side)

Stainless steel and glass are susceptible to scratches. That's why I protect my iPhone with a black nappa leather case from fitBAG.

Leather Bag or Leather Case – or both?

Glass and Stainless Steel need good Protection

You want to protect an expensive iPhone from damage. Some use leather cases, others foils. Foldable flip cases made of genuine leather are also a popular solution. The disadvantage of these products is that you can hardly feel or see the beautiful case directly with your hands. Another solution are cases from which you take the smartphone out to operate it.
I like fitBAG bags the best and that's why I've been a regular customer there for years.

Who wants to feel naked Glass with Stainless Steel Frame

Bags from fitBAG are not expensive despite being made to measure!

If you want to feel naked glass with a stainless steel frame in your hand, you can save the money for an Apple leather case (a whopping 59 EUR!). Instead, buy a fitBAG leather case for a third of the cost. Specify the iPhone model and its case dimensions +3 mm so that it doesn't get too tight and the iPhone can be removed comfortably. After a few weeks of use, the case will widen a tiny bit, but by then the outer buttons would be heavily stressed, which is too risky for me (I'm very fussy). From many years of experience, I can assure you that fitBAG's nappa leather cases are made exactly to customer specifications.

Optimum Protection through Combination

Apple's leather case makes a beautiful leather back with no protruding camera lens!
If you want double protection, specify the dimensions of the Apple leather case +3 mm when ordering the fitBAG.
For transport, put the iPhone Xs in Apple leather case into fitBAG's leather case.

Apple´s Leather Case for iPhone X

Even when I bought my first iPhone (6s Plus), I liked Apple's saddle brown “Leather Case”: a thin plastic shell coated on the outside with genuine cowhide, into which the iPhone is carefully pressed. This protects the case well all around. The shell protrudes slightly at the edge of the display so that the display does not get scratched when placed on a smooth surface.
I have now also bought a leather case for the iPhone X and use it in combination with the fitBAG Nappa Leather Bag I bought for the 6s Plus.

Photo: Apple's leather case – saddle brown

Picture 12: Original box of Apple's leather case for the iPhone X, colour: saddle brown

Photos and practical Tips

Photo: Apple leather case in the colour saddle brown

Picture 13: Apple Leather Case for iPhone X

A leather cover alone does not provide comprehensive protection as a Leather Sleeve. The underside and display are unprotected. If you handle the iPhone carefully, you will not need an armoured case or a screen protector.

Then a nappa leather bag by fitBAG will suffice for transport with the dimensions 16.5 x 8 x 1 cm, that I had bought like this for the iPhone 6s Plus.

The iPhone X in Apple's leather case fits perfectly in this black nappa leather bag.

Photo: Apple's leather case – view of left inside behind the volume buttons

Picture 14: View of the left inner side behind the volume buttons

Photo: Apple leather case – view of the right inside behind the standby button

Picture 15: View of the right inside behind the standby button

Pros

  • Tempered glass front and back – buy Apple's leather case if you prefer a leather back
  • Stainless steel housing frame in surgical quality
  • absolutely flawless processing quality
  • Very efficient coordination of software and hardware
  • Good reception performance when using LTE
  • excellent noise-free sound quality when making phone calls (supports HD-Voice and HD-Voice Plus = EVS)
  • supports VoLTE (extremely fast connection establishment, battery-saving, HD-Voice and HD-Voice Plus = EVS)
  • outstandingly good acoustics even when playing music, with a linear-smooth frequency response from 18 Hz to almost 20,000 Hz
  • Reliability and stability of the operating system – no crashes or unwanted reboots since activation
  • Storage with secure hardware encryption
  • Apple Messenger iMessage for chatting with end-to-end encryption
  • Face ID quickly unlocks the iPhone, can also be used for purchases in the App Store (if desired, no compulsion)
  • Software keyboard with intelligent word suggestion algorithm – BlackBerry converts discover the ingenious role model!
  • Display with excellent performance in resolution, brightness and colour fidelity
  • 3 GB RAM
  • Model with 256 GB internal memory also available in Germany (other manufacturers like Samsung allow German customers max. 64 GB)
  • very user-friendly
  • Webbrowser Safari with very fast page loading
  • very good camera with full automatic and few, but very useful functions
  • ideal for smartphone testers: screenshot by pressing the right side key and upper volume key simultaneously
  • no bloatware ex works

Cons

  • Reception characteristics with GSM and UMTS only average
  • Apple's calendar app only allows appointments in 5-minute increments (unusable, I recommend CalenGoo) (1)
  • Apple's music app has been broken-optimised (impractical, many use Cesium Music Player for this reason)
  • switching to silent mode only with mechanical switch, that's really old-fashioned!
  • No automatic location or time-dependent switching of ringtone volume possible
  • Memory not expandable via memory card slot
  • not available with 512 GB memory
  • Models with a storage size suitable for everyday use and future-proof are very expensive (256 GB is a must because of the lack of expandability!)
  • No exchangeable battery – battery cannot be exchanged by the customer without tinkering and loss of warranty
  • No access to the file system, new app “Files” only allows access to cloud storage and as before to app file locations
  • Release of the programming interface “Core NFC” grants only minimal access to the near field communication chip (2)

Notes

(1): Impractical workaround for this error: tap the dial, then it switches from 5-minute intervals to 1-minute intervals

(2): Just one of many practical NFC applications that unfortunately cannot be used with the iPhone:

eTicket (local public transport season ticket) via the RMV app to check the expiry date of the ticket subscription.
Until Apple comes to its senses, this function is reserved for Android users.

Conclusion: Limited recommendable

Because of some Apple peculiarities, no blanket recommendation is possible.
If you are willing to compromise and accept the Cons (perhaps even because of the unbeatable Pros), you will get a very nice and solid smartphone!

But not everyone is willing to Compromise

Enough Storage Space only for a hefty Surcharge

The maximum memory expansion is worth the extra price to me – with less memory, an iPhone is completely unusable for me!
I generally use smartphones as a jukebox for my large and still growing music collection and, since they have quite decent cameras, also as an always-on camera. And with the right app, the iPhone is also perfect as a document scanner. But the memory is not expandable, so the model with the largest built-in memory is a must.

High Surcharge for better Service in Case of a Warranty Claim

Despite Apple Care+ insurance, in the event of a claim there are allegedly no new devices, but repaired used devices. That's why I no longer take out insurance.

Alternatives: similar models and successors

  • Apple iPhone Xs – Glass casing, stainless steel frame, 4 GB RAM, max. 512 GB storage, 5.8-inch OLED display, dual camera (tele/WW)
  • Apple iPhone Xs Max – Glass casing, stainless steel frame, 4 GB RAM, max. 512 GB storage, 6.5-inch OLED display, dual camera (tele/WW)
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro – Glass casing, stainless steel frame, 4 GB RAM, max. 512 GB storage, 5.8-inch OLED display, triple camera (tele/WW/SWW)
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max – Glass casing, stainless steel frame, 4 GB RAM, max. 512 GB storage, 6.5-inch OLED display, triple camera (tele/WW/SWW)

Memory expansion impossible – don't save at the wrong end

Expansion of the internal memory is not possible – there is no slot for a memory card!

64 GB is a bad joke these days, because:

  • the smartphone camera takes excellent photos in high resolution
  • the MP3 music collection grows and grows
  • eBooks and audio books also need space

If you underestimate the amount of memory you need, you will not be able to use your iPhone for long as intended, then it will limit you and become virtually unusable.

Only if you want to use an iPhone as a luxury phone without collecting pictures or music will 64 GB be enough in the long run.
If your interests change later and you do want to store music collections or photo albums, you're screwed …

But there is the iCloud, isn't there?

Storage outsourcing to a cloud requires a reliably available data connection so that required data can be quickly downloaded and uploaded for storage at any time. Without a WLAN connection, this will be more expensive in the long run than the extra price for an iPhone with enough memory, as real mobile flat rates are very expensive in Germany.

Talking about extra charges: 5 GB are free you have already paid for with the price of the device – they are hardly enough for backups or long enough for further data collections. 0.99 EUR/month (50 GB) or 2.99 EUR/month (200 GB) are not expensive; this encourages the population to upload their personal data!

But you should care that the NSA has access to the iCloud at virtually any time – for business use (EU-GDPR) and also to protect privacy, the iCloud is therefore absolutely taboo!

Also bear in mind that iMessage conversations are only encrypted absolutely securely as long as no backup is made to the iCloud! As soon as the iCloud is used even for a backup, these iMessage conversations are immediately available to American authorities in a decryptable form!

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