iPhone X: You have questions, we have answers

We asked for your iPhone X questions on Twitter -- and you asked some great ones. Here are the answers, based on our time with the phone so far.


I was fortunate enough to receive a review sample of the iPhone X on Monday, and I've been putting it through its paces ever since.

Just minutes after posting my initial impressions, I asked what you wanted to know:

And not surprisingly, I got plenty of questions. Here are some of the notable ones, along with my responses.

We haven't done drop tests yet -- we're hoping to do that as soon as Friday. But Apple is making similar claims, as far as we can tell, about the iPhone X glass versus the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. We tried dropping those at CNET: the front glass shattered at about 5 feet. TL;DR: Buy a case, as always.

The iPhone 8 has greater value as a pure performance-and-camera-quality phone, in my opinion. But it'll feel a step behind the premium design of the iPhone X. In my opinion, the X beats the Pixel 2 XL -- the iPhone X OLED display is just far and away better than the P-OLED one on the 2 XL. But I would note the best iPhone X competitor is really the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Good question! I didn't have luck with Face ID and costumes. But yes, regular passcodes are always a backup option instead of Face ID. Or, you could try retraining Face ID to work with your costume and see what happens -- but then it might not work when you're prosthetic-free.

The positioning is similar: The keys are similar in size to the iPhone 8's, but the keyboard is moved up off the bottom to match the level of the 8 and 8 Plus. Two changes: The emoji and dictation buttons now live below the keyboard on the left and right.

No. You need to swipe up after face unlocking, which is annoying if you're dreaming of a fully hands-free iPhone X.

Nope. That trick some people use of scanning in their partner's thumb as "finger No. 2" won't work. Just one face per phone, at least for now. 

I've been testing this out and, simple answer is it's smaller. The keys feel more compressed like the iPhone 8 and 7. The weirdest thing is that there's a lot of unused space below the keyboard. The keyboard's position feels ergonomically sound for my thumbs, though. The emoji and dictation buttons now live below the keyboard all on their own. Maybe this keyboard could have been better laid out to add more features or leave more space above it for the document you're working in?

My review unit is silver, which has a white glossy back and bright silver steel sides. Space grey has a black glossy back and more of a hematite-colored metal finish on the sides. Both silver and space grey have the same front: almost all screen, with black accents. The space grey feels more like a seamless slab. I like silver, though: it feels more like a futuristic throwback to the original iPhone or the iPhone 4.

No, weirdly enough. It's annoying, because I love checking battery percentage. If you swipe down to the Control Center, however, battery percentage levels are shown. There isn't even a toggle for it in Settings anymore.

There are a lot of new gestures and shortcuts to learn on iPhone X (guide coming soon!). Screenshots are one of them. On the iPhone 8, screenshots happen when you hold the power button and home button. On the X, you have to press the side Siri/screen lock button and the top volume button together. New moves everywhere!

Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

Good question. Hard to tell how the future will be for games on X. Games right now that aren't X optimized for that new differently-shaped screen end up being cropped to something close to iPhone 8-size. The Witness currently does this. Other games, like Mini Metro, cut off part of the interface at the moment. Apps are all being updated to work with X, but your favorites might not necessarily make the cut. The Plus, I think, will stay the best universal option for flawless screen optimization for games. You might want to wait it out.

I'll be adding more questions and answers in the days ahead of the Nov. 3 launch of the iPhone X. Check back here soon, and follow my live tweets as I continue to document my experience with the phone.

This piece originally published Oct. 31 and will be consistently updated with new questions and answers all week.

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