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Early Impressions: first in-depth iPhone X review

We’re just days from the official release of the iPhone X (or weeks, if you didn’t get lucky when pre-orders opened) but already a handful of reviewers have had the chance to spend some time with the device.

One particular review caught our attention: the first first impression of the iPhone X has come from none other than Steven Levy, one of the few pre-release reviewers of the original iPhone way back in 2007.

In a long-form review, Levy muses that it’s difficult to explain to non-techy folk what exactly justifies the expense of iPhone X. Though it has a new design, many technical improvements, and flagship functions like Face ID, Levy found himself defaulting to Animoji to best represent the march of technology. Mapping facial movements to emojis might seem unremarkable, but it actually represents the result of some incredible advances in machine learning, image recognition, and processing power.

Levy is overall positive about the iPhone X, praising in particular features like the Super Retina display and improved battery life. He considers the device to be a landmark in the smartphone’s evolution, but believes that many of the changes here are setting the foundations for a better tomorrow rather than significantly improving things today. It’s what third-party developers do with this technology over the coming months that will be really interesting.

The piece is a great read, also touching on his early experiences with Face ID and augmented reality. You can check out Levy’s impressions in full over at WIRED.