Apple iPhone X in 2021: Better than a mid-range Android?
When the iPhone X was released, it was one of Apple’s cream-of-the-crop type of smartphone. It was new in all aspects and offered new technology that some smartphone manufacturers can’t keep up with. I’ve been using the iPhone X as my daily driver for almost a week already, and my experience, so far, has been surprisingly good. You can cop a brand new iPhone X for around PHP28,000, but if you were to get it second hand — you can get it for as low as PHP15,000. So it got me thinking, is it a better choice than a current-gen mid-range Android smartphone? Continue reading to know more.
The iPhone X has a pretty small form factor but with a full view display, thanks to its drivers tucked underneath the display to achieve this edge-to-edge panel. It feels premium and sturdy because of its stainless steel build. Compared to some mid-range smartphones these days, most of them are made out of polycarbonate material that can sometimes feel flimsy.
Thanks to its full-view display, the iPhone X can still provide an immersive media-consuming experience thanks to its OLED panel that provides deep contrast with vibrant colors. The display might not have those flashy 120Hz refresh rates, but this kind of OLED quality is something you cannot find in a mid-range Android phone.
The iPhone X was second to the last iPhone with Apple’s 3D touch technology. Like what I said with my iPhone 6s revisited video, I am missing this feature. Sure, the newer iOS version integrated the same feature called “Haptic Touch,” but 3D Touch feels faster since it reacts to your finger’s pressure compared to just tapping certain buttons and waiting for it to trigger.
Aside from the display, it also has stereo speakers, a front-firing one, and a down-firing one, rare to find in mid-range Android smartphones. This setup produces more balanced highs and mids with an ample amount of bass.
The iPhone X packs an A11 Bionic chipset with Apple’s three-core GPU, coupled with 3GB of RAM. Back when it was released, Apple promised desktop-grade computing capabilities, and the iPhone X’s performance was terrific blazing-fast performance. It can do everything you throw at it; Of course, it’s an Apple flagship. The A11 Bionic can still keep up and even outperform mid-range chipsets like the Snapdragon 750 5G and MediaTek Helio G90T.
Apple iPhone X
AnTuTu – 232,787
Geekbench 5 – 4,250 (Single-Core), 10,530 (Multi-Core), 14,664 (Metal)
3D Mark – 3,324 (Sling Shot Extreme)
Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
Antutu – 293,432
GeekBench 5 – 653 (Single-Core), 1,839 (Multi-core), 1,231 (RenderScript)
3DMark – 2,801 (OpenGL) 2,799 (Vulkan)
Infinix Zero 8
Antutu – 291,491
Geekbench 5 – 523 (single-core) 1,636 (multi-core)
3D Mark – 2,495 (OpenGL) 2,578 (Vulkan)
But the real advantage here is in software support. Look at the Samsung Galaxy S8 or even the S9 — these devices were iPhone X’s head-to-head contender back in the day. Aside from a quick price drop, these devices were at least two years behind the new Android versions. On the other hand, the iPhone X still got three more years of Software Updates support and runs on iOS 14 without any significant issues.
I ditched my iPhone 11 Pro Max for a week and used the iPhone X. To my surprise. It can handle everything, from lightroom editing, doing pub mats, video editing to playing graphically intensive games. This device is still a beast when it comes to performance.
The unit I got has 64GB of storage, which might be small to some other people, but it is enough for me. I can store all my basic photo and video editing tools and my other work-related apps. Cloud storage solutions like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, Google Photos are also a no-brainer nowadays, which can further help save space.
The iPhone X was the first iPhone to have FaceID as a form of biometrics, and even today, FaceID is the golden standard for facial recognition. Granted, it doesn’t work very well with face masks.
However, it works just as intended when I’m at home. The scope is not as wide as my iPhone 11 Pro Max’s, but it still unlocks fairly quickly.
Powering the iPhone X is a 2,716mAh battery with support for a 15W PD fast charge. Unfortunately, this is one aspect where the iPhone X cannot compete with modern mid-range Android smartphones. Using it to do heavy tasks drains the battery quickly, and I need to charge it at least every 4 to 5 hours.
This is bad considering that this iPhone still has 91% battery health. Compare that to a modern mid-range Android with 5,000mAh batteries and 60W fast charging. This made the iPhone X a little behind the competition.
For the camera, the iPhone X has a 12MP f/1.8 main camera coupled with a 12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens at the back and a 7MP f/2.2 selfie camera.
Note: Apple iPhone X on the left, iPhone 11 Pro Max on the right
Comparing these two images, the iPhone X’s photo looks slightly more contrasty with a dark color than the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s bright and colorful images. On the other hand, the dynamic range is better on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but the iPhone held up pretty well.
Note: Apple iPhone X on the left, Huawei Nova 7 5G on the right
Checking out Huawei Nova 7 5G vs. the iPhone X’s photos, images look more vibrant and contrasty on the Nova 7. Simultaneously, there are scenarios where the iPhone X also produces the same, but it gives more true to life colors than the latter.
Note: Apple iPhone X on the left, Samsung Galaxy A42 5G on the right
Moving on to the iPhone X vs. Galaxy A42 5G, image quality comes a little bit pinkish on skin tones and a little pale or oversaturated colors in some scenarios because of the post-processing going on the Galaxy A42 5G. On the other hand, the iPhone X doesn’t overdo the images, resulting in more accurate color.
The iPhone X’s camera produces decent images with accurate colors and an ample amount of dynamic range. This device might not have fancy features like Night Mode or an Ultrawide lens, but the iPhone X can still produce quality images. Plus, it can record 4K up to 60fps, which is impressive.
For pricing, again, the iPhone X will set you back PHP 27,999 for a brand new one, but if you don’t mind getting a 2nd hand unit, prices can go from PHP 20,000 to even as low as PHP 15,000, which is a steal. In my experience, the iPhone X can still perform pretty well in 2021, and although there are some occasional lags and slight battery life issues, it is bearable. So, is it better than a mid-range Android device? It’s a mixed bag.
Yes, because compared to Android software support, iPhones have the advantage of keeping you updated on the latest iOS version for at least 6 years. Compared to the 2 years, you typically get on a lot of mid-range Android smartphones. You get a decent camera — no flashy features like night mode or an ultrawide lens, but it can still give you quality images. And, of course, a performance that is up to par by today’s standards.
But at the same time, no, because it may not be as future-proof as mid-range devices with 5G connectivity and a better battery capacity with much faster-charging speeds. But at the end of the day, the decision is yours to make.
What do you think about the iPhone X? Are you willing to trade your brand new mid-range Android smartphone for a 4-year-old flagship? Let us know in the comments section below!
With additional inputs from Joey Maceda