Jason Snell: One week with the iPhone X

Jason Snell:

My Apple review unit is silver; on Friday the Space Gray iPhone X I bought with my own money arrived. With both of them here, I have to admit that I may have made the wrong choice.

My 2 cents? Though I’ve always preferred Space Gray, I think the silver iPhone X is stunning.

Look at the picture Jason took at a football game, about 20 rows back. That’s amazing detail, especially considering how far away he was from the field.

And this comment, on using the iPhone X laying flat on a table:

I’m loving iPhone X in almost all the places I use it. The gestures are becoming second nature to me. But there’s one use case where it doesn’t really work: laying on a table. And it doesn’t work there for several reasons. The sizable camera bump makes the whole thing unstable. Facing straight up, the Face ID camera can’t see me, so I can’t unlock my phone without leaning way over the table or picking the phone up. And attention detection can’t detect me, so after 30 seconds the screen dims.

Worth noting. I’m wondering if there’s a fix for this. If not, perhaps Apple could add a mode that detects laying flat on the table, or a gesture to temporarily disengage attention detection.

Great review from Jason, per usual.



  • Janak Parekh

    I’m betting there is no great fix. You can either turn off attention detection or use a passcode. I don’t think Apple wants to turn off attention detection just by placing it on a table, because there are security implications to it. Arguably, this may be the one big loss from touch ID.

    In practice, I’m betting this will subtly change how (at least some fraction of) users use their phones. Or, it’ll be like my wife, who just subconsciously punches her passcode in if touch ID fails her and doesn’t even think about the hassle.

    Unless… you make a front camera bump that lets it get more angles, or some other amazing hardware approach. 🙂

  • Luke MacWalker

    As for the unstableness, I have always wondered why the iPhone enclosure is not trapezoidal instead of rectangular when looked on the side, like MacBook were: it would eliminate the bump and it would probably not be very noticeable. Or it could have another small bump on the right too… Well, I guess if using the iPhone on a table is common, one has to use an iPhone case to make it stable like an iPhone 5S was…

    • Mo

      Hm. I think I could handle a wedge.

  • yeah I returned my space gray for silver for this one. it’s really stainless steel and a white back. the shiny stainless steel band is just more striking visually.

    • James Hughes

      Really? Returned it huh? I ordered the space gray, now I am wondering…

  • Mo

    I haven’t seen any of these yet, but I’m averse to the idea of a white back, as much as I’d probably like the silver.

  • Sigivald

    I’m wondering if there’s a fix for this.

    Apple sells one for the “unstable” case – a … case.

    OR for that matter, “buy a stand”; “flat on a table” is one way I’ve never used my phone for any length of time, with or without a bump or a case, so I’m not sure it’s an important consideration.