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Apple iPhone X Smartphone Camera Review

We put the Apple iPhone X smartphone's dual lenses to the test to see if image quality is as good as its rivals.

| Apple iPhone X in Camera Phones

Apple iPhone X Smartphone Camera Review :

The Apple iPhone X marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone but with an asking price that's not far off £1000, we're hoping you get a lot of bang for your buck, not only in the specs the smartphone has to offer but in how it performs as a tool for photographers. So, come with us as we put the iPhone X's camera to the test to see if it's a high-end smartphone that's worth investing in. 


Apple iPhone X Features

Apple iPhone X Smartphone Camera Review :

As photography is our thing, we've really got to start by talking about the iPhone X's camera which builds on the dual camera of the iPhone 7 Plus, but features updated cameras, with both the wide-angle (28mm equivalent) and telephoto (56mm equivalent) lenses now featuring Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), a brighter aperture for the telephoto lens (f/2.4 instead of f/2.8), and a larger sensor. Both dual cameras feature 12-megapixels, same as the iPhone 8 Plus, and the wide-angle lens features an f/1.8 aperture which along with the brighter aperture for the telephoto lens should improve low light performance, something previous iPhones have struggled with. 

As well as the large sensor which Apple says has been re-engineered, there's a new image signal processor built in to improve the quality of colours and textures in images. 


Apple iPhone X Smartphone Camera Review :

The front 'selfie' camera has 7-megapixels as well as an aperture of f/2.2 and you can use Portrait Mode to create 'bokeh' in the background of your self-portraits, adjust the lighting of the scene or cut yourself out so you appear on a black background. As there's no fingerprint recognition on this model, the front camera also uses Face Recognition which is handy for self-portraits but it's also used to unlock the phone. Other modes found in the camera app include panorama, slo-mo, square aspect ratio and there are a few digital filters built in. 

Some other features worth mentioning include the 5.8" super retina HD screen which is surrounded by a smaller bezel so the smartphone remains a reasonable size, a water and dust resistant design and those who capture video can now do so in 4K up to 60fps. As with previous iPhone models, there's no headphone socket. 

Wireless charging has been added to the iPhone X and the battery is a non-removable Li-Ion 2716 mAh battery that gives up to 21 hours of talk time (and plenty of photo-taking time).

The iPhone X is available in space grey or silver, features a glass back and front as well as a stainless steel frame and comes in 256GB or 64GB options. 


Key Features

  • 12mp rear camera sensors
  • Wide-angle f/1.8 lens, with OIS
  • Telephoto f/2.4 lens, with OIS
  • 7mp selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture
  • Quad LED True Tone Flash with slow-sync
  • Portrait lighting effects
  • 4K video at 60fps
  • FullHD slow motion at 240fps
  • 5.8inch, 2436x1125 pixel screen, wide colour / HDR 
  • A11 processor, iOS 11
  • Wireless charging
  • Water and dust resistance


Apple iPhone X Handling

Apple iPhone X Smartphone Camera Review :

The iPhone 10 has the familiar rounded shape iPhones have but there's no home button and the bezel is much smaller so the phone can feature a large screen while still remaining compact. In fact, the overall body size is smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus but the screen is much larger, giving you a better viewing experience without taking put even more room in your bag (or pocket if you have deep ones). We had no problem navigating the iPhone X with one hand but we do recommend using two hands when taking photos just for added stability.

The steel and glass design makes the iPhone 10 feel expensive and weighty but not in a bad way. It actually weighs less than the iPhone 8 Plus but when you hold it, the solid build makes it feel heavier in the hand than it actually is and just really sturdy. Although, saying that, the front and back are constructed from glass so you may want to pop it in a case to protect it. This will also stop fingermarks appearing all over the glass which can be really annoying and is something the iPhone X is definitely prone to. 


Apple iPhone X Smartphone Camera Review :

The phone unlocks really quickly thanks to it using face recognition and the camera app can be loaded just as fast. There's no home button so gone is fingerprint recognition but you can use the number pad to enter an unlock code should you not want to use your face. Those who want to access the camera without smiling at the iPhone X first can do so by swiping from the homescreen. 


Apple iPhone X Smartphone Camera Review :

Anyone who has owned an iPhone previously will know how basic the camera app is and there's been no real improvement in the iPhone X's camera app either apart from a few portrait modes are now available.

To access the limited camera functions you swipe left or right and there's a digital shutter button you press to capture a photo (you can also use the volume keys found on the side to capture an image). To use the 'selfie' camera, you press the camera icon that has arrows inside it. Towards the top are options for adjusting the flash, shooting live photos (photos which move), setting the self-timer and for adding filters. 

The default photo mode is probably the option you'll use most of the time but there are options for capturing square, portrait and panorama images. Plus, there are time-lapse and slo-mo options as well as the basic video mode. There isn't an HDR icon anymore as the iPhone X captures HDR images by default but you can switch this off in the main setting menu. 

To switch between the telephoto and wide-angle lens you just need to tap the small icon that sits towards the bottom of the camera app's screen. When it says '1x' you're using the wide-angle lens while '2x' is the telephoto. Digital zoom is built in but as you'd expect, it's generally best avoided.

The phone feels quick in use and the camera is very responsive. Plus, if you hold the digital shutter release button you can shoot in burst mode at roughly 10 frames per second. 

That's pretty much it for the actual camera app (we told you it's basic). If you do want to access more advanced functions such as the ability to shoot in RAW, shutter speeds, ISO, white balance etc, you have to use a third-party app to do so. There are some really good free apps out there but they're not as convenient to access as the native camera app is which can be simply opened from the home screen with a swipe. These advanced features are also something many of Apple's competitors are now offering as standard (the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is bursting with them) in their own native camera apps so it's slightly annoying Apple hasn't built them in yet. 

Viewing images and video on the iPhone X is a pleasure with colours appearing much more saturated than on previous models and just generally, more pleasing to the eye. The brightness can also be cranked up so the screen is easy to view outdoors and viewing angles are also good. 

We ran a number of benchmarks to see how the Apple iPhone X compared to some other premium smartphones:

AnTuTu: 202,000
Geekbench: 4204 (single core), 10104 (multicore) 

The AnTuTu score is similar to that of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus but it beats the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as well as the Samsung Galaxy S8. The Geekbench score is also impressive, beating quite a few of the smartphones we've previously reviewed. 

Battery life - Battery life is what you expect nowadays for smartphones, with it needed a charge after a full day's usage but this does include using maps, watching videos, taking photos, making phone calls and sending text messages. The 2716 mAh battery is non-removable so you will need to use an external charger if you run out of power on the move.

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Photographs taken using the Apple iPhone X


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miptog Avatar
miptog 17 3.6k 68 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2018 5:40PM
Does the iPHONE X record video in stereo or is it still mono?
NikitaMorris Avatar
18 Jan 2018 8:08AM
The speakers are stereo on the iPhone X.
miptog Avatar
miptog 17 3.6k 68 United Kingdom
18 Jan 2018 11:49AM

Quote: The speakers are stereo on the iPhone X.

Thank you for the response. But does it record video in stereo?
NikitaMorris Avatar
18 Jan 2018 12:50PM
It offers stereo playback but not stereo recording.

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