iPhone XS iPhone 7 / 8 > iPhone X / XS

Dreamliner330

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 1, 2011
603
147
Serious. Not trying to troll.

I "upgraded" from a 7 to an XS and do not like it. While I still do not like the notch, it isn't the main thing I do not like. Here are my biggest frustrations:

1) Face ID: It works great when your walking around but laying down or in bed, it's garbage. I've had to enter my passcode more in the last 4 days than in the 5 years I've had Touch ID, serious. Touch ID should have been built into the power button like other phones have done.

2) Use of Screen Space: The XS has a taller screen than the 7 and I figured that'd translate into lots of extra screen space for content. Instead, there is just a ton of padding on the top & bottom. Compare iMessage side by side, almost no extra content. The Podcast App Currently Playing screen is stretched way out, etc.

3) The Notch: It does actually get in the way. Apple directs developers to pretend it doesn't exist, problem is, it does. Look at photos in portrait mode with Facebook Marketplace, the notch cuts right into photos. Gross. Apple violates it's own rules with Safari and pads out the screen in landscape to avoid the notch.

4) AMOLED: A complaint I've had for awhile is the non-uniform subpixels and subpixel sharing of AMOLED leads to a "grainy/fuzzy" image that persists regardless of resolution. (One LCD pixel is a square made up of an equal Red, Green and Blue subpixel of the same size. This is not true with AMOLED and is the fundamental basis of this issue). I genuinely prefer lower resolution LCD with uniform subpixels to much higher resolution AMOLED. XR > XS, XS Max. RGB AMOLED exists but is extremely rare and I don't think I've seen it since the original Note. The best thing about AMOLED is the black level, but that's it. Heck, the fantastic black level makes all that banding and compression on YouTube highly visible, and it is ugly.

I do like the home and app switching gestures, very natural. I also think the phone a bit quicker in day to day activity than the 7 but not immensely so. All of these issues are completely separate from price, even without price considered at all, there are a lot of compromises the X/XS makes, at it's price-point, it seems a bit silly.

I was going to simply go back to the 7, but instead got my hands on an 8. It will be here soon. The only thing the 7 has on the 8 is durability. The glass backs on these new phones make me nervous. Apple wanting $550+ to fix the back on the XS is absurd but didn't quite make my list.
 

preppy

macrumors member
Nov 8, 2010
84
10
ColoRADo
Thanks for sharing. I'm still on my 7+ and keep hearing how many people miss the home button no matter how long they've had the newer X_ phones.
 

bambooshots

Suspended
Jul 25, 2013
1,414
2,889
Sorry it didn’t meet your needs nor expectations.

I don’t miss TouchID and I must have gotten a defective model because FaceID works for me when I’m lying in bed.

iPhone X
 

Dino F

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2010
3,396
1,444
Croydon, South London, UK
I have to disagree with everything you say...!!!

I have an iPhone XS, which is my first ever 'X' model iPhone. I previously had an 8 Plus and I love the smaller form factor of the XS. Face ID works for me 100% of the time - granted, I've never used my phone in bed but can't see this being an issue.

I can honestly say, I do not miss the home button whatsoever - I thought I would, but I don't as its just not needed.

The Notch - thought it would bother me but in actual use, it doesn't. Many of my apps have a dark background so I don't really notice it.

Everybody is different....!
 

Dreamliner330

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 1, 2011
603
147
Glad to be back on the 8. It feels every bit as snappy as the XS. I do miss the home gestures, I think that's the best part of the XS. TouchID is so much better, that's for sure, its faster and works ever time. I also really like the smaller feel of the 8, it's noticeably smaller.

Looking side by side, the super small text is crisper on the XS but that AMOLED grain is still there and I really don't like that.

The 8 is snappier than the 7 and the speakers are louder too.

I think the perfect phone would be XS power in a full screen iPhone SE body. I have an iPad so I prefer a small phone. The 5/5S/SE was perfect sized, I just want more battery, more storage, faster speed and a bigger screen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nouveau_redneck

Brandonjr36

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2016
1,621
556
Joplin
Exact reason I sold my iPhone X and bought a cheaper iPhone 7 for now. I’m getting the galaxy s10 when it comes out. Fingerprint sensor under the screen.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,753
2,634
East of Eden
I had a 7 from launch until late December. The LTE issues finally caught up with that phone and it would stay stuck on 3G. But that was at least the sixth 7 I've had. I went through at least five before that, all of which had poor to practically zero LTE reception, all replaced by Apple. IMO - and you can find probably thousands of posts here, maybe more, raising the same issues - the 7 was a great iPod/pocket computer but a terrible phone. It also had probably the least accurate GPS of any recent iPhone. I loved it for its size and battery life, but as I said, it was a terrible phone. I had really wanted to get to the iPhone XI this fall with that 7, but I can't say I miss it at all.
 

timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2008
1,805
1,514
Portland
I tried the XR, it's a good device but ultimately wasn't for me. Face ID worked but I definitely prefer Touch ID. I'm using an 8 now which gives me true tone and wireless charging in a classic design. I wish Apple would have made an 8s with the A12, that would have been what I would've picked up instead.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,384
35,515
Exact reason I sold my iPhone X and bought a cheaper iPhone 7 for now. I’m getting the galaxy s10 when it comes out. Fingerprint sensor under the screen.

Definitely interested to see and have hands-on with the finger print reader under the display. If they do include a fingerprint sensor under the display with the S10, Samsung will definitely have a foothold for that phone alone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brandonjr36

Falhófnir

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2017
4,702
5,193
4) AMOLED: A complaint I've had for awhile is the non-uniform subpixels and subpixel sharing of AMOLED leads to a "grainy/fuzzy" image that persists regardless of resolution. (One LCD pixel is a square made up of an equal Red, Green and Blue subpixel of the same size. This is not true with AMOLED and is the fundamental basis of this issue). I genuinely prefer lower resolution LCD with uniform subpixels to much higher resolution AMOLED. XR > XS, XS Max. RGB AMOLED exists but is extremely rare and I don't think I've seen it since the original Note. The best thing about AMOLED is the black level, but that's it. Heck, the fantastic black level makes all that banding and compression on YouTube highly visible, and it is ugly.
Agree. Really, until they can sort the lifespan issues and allow for full RGB stripe sub-pixels I won't consider OLED a mature technology. The aliasing effect is still pretty noticeable at 450ppi if you know what you're looking at. Maybe a much higher resolution (4K at something like 800ppi?) would finally make it negligible, but until that point it's still a consideration, for me anyway. I did note, though, that Apple use a panel with a greater fill ratio (i.e. less black between the sub pixels) than is standard for OLED screens, so that's something. PWM dimming is also something I wish they'd address - don't suffer from it personally but still feel they need to do better.
 
  • Like
Reactions: timeconsumer

Dreamliner330

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 1, 2011
603
147
Agree. Really, until they can sort the lifespan issues and allow for full RGB stripe sub-pixels I won't consider OLED a mature technology. The aliasing effect is still pretty noticeable at 450ppi if you know what you're looking at. Maybe a much higher resolution (4K at something like 800ppi?) would finally make it negligible, but until that point it's still a consideration, for me anyway. I did note, though, that Apple use a panel with a greater fill ratio (i.e. less black between the sub pixels) than is standard for OLED screens, so that's something. PWM dimming is also something I wish they'd address - don't suffer from it personally but still feel they need to do better.
I had just heard of PMW dimming a couple days ago. Quite interesting there is a defect or "manufacturing limitation" that I hadn't noticed before. Quite happy to not notice a flaw for once.

It is quite astonishing ZERO people talk about these issues with AMOLED. I've dealt with Pentile screens (Motorola Photon 4G) and AMOLED screens (Motorola RAZR & RAZR HD) and I saw the sub-pixel display anomalies clear as day when I first bought them, never got used to it and hated it every single day. It felt like I needed an ice scraper to get rid of the layer of fuzzy film on the display.

The XS isn't as bad and the higher PPI the better but LCD is significantly clearer at the same PPI. The only benefit I see with AMOLED is black level. Brightness and clarity are both significantly better with LCD.

It's just amazing to hear top tier reviewers parrot each other and say things like "the new XS is AMOLED so it's way better." I don't know if their ignorant or deceptive but it's certainly frustrating.
 

Brandonjr36

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2016
1,621
556
Joplin
Definitely interested to see and have hands-on with the finger print reader under the display. If they do include a fingerprint sensor under the display with the S10, Samsung will definitely have a foothold for that phone alone.
Yeah we will see what happens. All the leaks are leaning towards one being on the phone.
 

puma1552

Suspended
Nov 20, 2008
5,559
1,945
The thing I find funny about people on this forum praising and swearing by the OLED display as so much better looking is the complete failure to acknowledge that it's still just spec'd to the same specs Apple requires of all its displays, LCD or otherwise - same 625 nits max brightness rating, same 6500K white point, same P3 color gamut, etc. In other words, whether LCD or OLED, it should and does more or less look the same, minus slightly better black levels on OLED, but those black levels come with tradeoffs such as PWM, etc. Better PPI, but there's all that debate about sub pixels, etc resulting in a true PPI much lower, but nonetheless either way, PPI is an Apple spec and has nothing to do with either screen technology.

My wife has an Xs, I have an 8. Put them side by side and other than black levels and being slightly sharper due to the PPI, they more or less look the same, specifically because Apple spec'd them to more or less be the same. I wish I could say her OLED just blows mine out of the water with way better colors, brightness, whites, etc., but the reality is, it simply doesn't because it isn't designed to - it's designed to look the same. The only improvement inherent to the technology is the black levels.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,011
12,171
Gotta be in it to win it
...It's just amazing to hear top tier reviewers parrot each other and say things like "the new XS is AMOLED so it's way better." I don't know if their ignorant or deceptive but it's certainly frustrating.
LCD isn’t perfect either. Pick what type of display has the most positives and the least negatives. And remember the comparison of displays will be different based on the viewing environment.
The thing I find funny about people on this forum praising and swearing by the OLED display as so much better looking is the complete failure to acknowledge that it's still just spec'd to the same specs Apple requires of all its displays, LCD or otherwise - same 625 nits max brightness rating, same 6500K white point, same P3 color gamut, etc. In other words, whether LCD or OLED, it should and does more or less look the same, minus slightly better black levels on OLED, but those black levels come with tradeoffs such as PWM, etc. Better PPI, but there's all that debate about sub pixels, etc resulting in a true PPI much lower, but nonetheless either way, PPI is an Apple spec and has nothing to do with either screen technology.

My wife has an Xs, I have an 8. Put them side by side and other than black levels and being slightly sharper due to the PPI, they more or less look the same, specifically because Apple spec'd them to more or less be the same. I wish I could say her OLED just blows mine out of the water with way better colors, brightness, whites, etc., but the reality is, it simply doesn't because it isn't designed to - it's designed to look the same. The only improvement inherent to the technology is the black levels.
I said above the comparison of the displays will be biased based on the viewing environment. However Apple did a very good job on the OLED and IMO I can tell the difference between an iPhone 8 display and my max.
 

Motionblurrr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2008
617
327
The thing I find funny about people on this forum praising and swearing by the OLED display as so much better looking is the complete failure to acknowledge that it's still just spec'd to the same specs Apple requires of all its displays, LCD or otherwise - same 625 nits max brightness rating, same 6500K white point, same P3 color gamut, etc. In other words, whether LCD or OLED, it should and does more or less look the same, minus slightly better black levels on OLED, but those black levels come with tradeoffs such as PWM, etc. Better PPI, but there's all that debate about sub pixels, etc resulting in a true PPI much lower, but nonetheless either way, PPI is an Apple spec and has nothing to do with either screen technology.

My wife has an Xs, I have an 8. Put them side by side and other than black levels and being slightly sharper due to the PPI, they more or less look the same, specifically because Apple spec'd them to more or less be the same. I wish I could say her OLED just blows mine out of the water with way better colors, brightness, whites, etc., but the reality is, it simply doesn't because it isn't designed to - it's designed to look the same. The only improvement inherent to the technology is the black levels.

This is why I love Apple displays - everything is as accurate as possible in terms of calibration to view pictures, videos, etc. And the true tone addition really stepped the game up BIG. Having near perfect color accuracy in all lighting situations? Awesome.

Samsung phones for example, remind me of TV settings at Best Buy that are set to VIVID. It just isn't appealing from day to day use--maybe on the sales floor but certainly not everyday.
 

Dreamliner330

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 1, 2011
603
147
Quick update: The reason Face ID didn’t work when laying down is because I’m blind as a bat without my glasses and the phone was too close to my face to work, so holding the phone further away to unlock worked!

I’ve spent the last few weeks switching between the 8 & XS. I like the 8 better. It’s smaller, the screen gets brighter, screen space is used better, no AMOLED grain (sub pixel limitation).

The thing I miss most is home gestures, especially the left-right-swipe-app-switch.

If they roll out an “iPhone 9” with a 6/7/8 frame I’ll buy it, otherwise I’m sticking with the 8 for a long time. I was content to keep the 7 I had so I predict the 8 will go at least 2 years or longer.
 

vivek28

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2013
156
78
Serious. Not trying to troll.

I "upgraded" from a 7 to an XS and do not like it. While I still do not like the notch, it isn't the main thing I do not like. Here are my biggest frustrations:

1) Face ID: It works great when your walking around but laying down or in bed, it's garbage. I've had to enter my passcode more in the last 4 days than in the 5 years I've had Touch ID, serious. Touch ID should have been built into the power button like other phones have done.

2) Use of Screen Space: The XS has a taller screen than the 7 and I figured that'd translate into lots of extra screen space for content. Instead, there is just a ton of padding on the top & bottom. Compare iMessage side by side, almost no extra content. The Podcast App Currently Playing screen is stretched way out, etc.

3) The Notch: It does actually get in the way. Apple directs developers to pretend it doesn't exist, problem is, it does. Look at photos in portrait mode with Facebook Marketplace, the notch cuts right into photos. Gross. Apple violates it's own rules with Safari and pads out the screen in landscape to avoid the notch.

4) AMOLED: A complaint I've had for awhile is the non-uniform subpixels and subpixel sharing of AMOLED leads to a "grainy/fuzzy" image that persists regardless of resolution. (One LCD pixel is a square made up of an equal Red, Green and Blue subpixel of the same size. This is not true with AMOLED and is the fundamental basis of this issue). I genuinely prefer lower resolution LCD with uniform subpixels to much higher resolution AMOLED. XR > XS, XS Max. RGB AMOLED exists but is extremely rare and I don't think I've seen it since the original Note. The best thing about AMOLED is the black level, but that's it. Heck, the fantastic black level makes all that banding and compression on YouTube highly visible, and it is ugly.

I do like the home and app switching gestures, very natural. I also think the phone a bit quicker in day to day activity than the 7 but not immensely so. All of these issues are completely separate from price, even without price considered at all, there are a lot of compromises the X/XS makes, at it's price-point, it seems a bit silly.

I was going to simply go back to the 7, but instead got my hands on an 8. It will be here soon. The only thing the 7 has on the 8 is durability. The glass backs on these new phones make me nervous. Apple wanting $550+ to fix the back on the XS is absurd but didn't quite make my list.

OP, I like your views.. I somehow always find myself getting back to iPhone 7 :)

It wont shatter from the back , has perfect size and is thin and light and plenty fast on ios12.

I tried 8 but experience was almost similar to 7. Battery, Camera were only slightly better.

X and XS.. I am not sure about the eye strain but they are indeed heavy and big devices compared to 7. But I really like the full screen gesture and faster app switching.. and folks love it too (American Psycho anyone ?) But they are prone to shattering lol and so expensive at full retail price ;)
 

dotzero123

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2018
303
200
Philadelphia Suburbs
I upgraded from 7+ and love my xs! I was on the fence for a while but went for it and won't look back. For me, the screen is vastly improved, the face recognition works well and the speed is much better. Different strokes, I guess, but my only regret is not getting it in September.
 

apolloa

Suspended
Oct 21, 2008
12,318
7,798
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
I would say if you have a 7 or 8 that they are still more then capable for use. But over the X and XS I only think they offer the zoomed screen mode as a plus over the X and XS. Otherwise they lose out, apart from physical size. I half agree with FaceTime as it’s not as convenient but a plus is the swipe gestures, swings and roundabouts with that one really.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,011
12,171
Gotta be in it to win it
I had just heard of PMW dimming a couple days ago. Quite interesting there is a defect or "manufacturing limitation" that I hadn't noticed before. Quite happy to not notice a flaw for once.

It is quite astonishing ZERO people talk about these issues with AMOLED. I've dealt with Pentile screens (Motorola Photon 4G) and AMOLED screens (Motorola RAZR & RAZR HD) and I saw the sub-pixel display anomalies clear as day when I first bought them, never got used to it and hated it every single day. It felt like I needed an ice scraper to get rid of the layer of fuzzy film on the display.

The XS isn't as bad and the higher PPI the better but LCD is significantly clearer at the same PPI. The only benefit I see with AMOLED is black level. Brightness and clarity are both significantly better with LCD.

It's just amazing to hear top tier reviewers parrot each other and say things like "the new XS is AMOLED so it's way better." I don't know if their ignorant or deceptive but it's certainly frustrating.
I disagree with your assessment as I find the oled screen on the Max to be subjectively better than the iphone 7. People say the lcd is brighter but apple calibrates it's displays to 625 nits. Clarity is better with oled, imo.

To each their own I guess, I find the lack of backlight bleed to be a nice touch of oled, not that it bothered me in the least.
 

dmillar74

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2011
207
115
Livonia, Michigan
The only thing I dislike is Face ID. I really like my iPhone XS Max. I came from a 7 plus. Being severely nearsighted, when I got to bed without my contacts, I have to hold the phone closer to my face. Because if this, Face ID cannot read my face that close. I love reading articles and such when I go to bed and in the morning before I put my contacts in. Other than Face ID, I really do enjoy the MAX. Like another person said earlier, it would’ve been nice to have a Touch ID on the larger power button.
 

Dreamliner330

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 1, 2011
603
147
I disagree with your assessment as I find the oled screen on the Max to be subjectively better than the iphone 7. People say the lcd is brighter but apple calibrates it's displays to 625 nits. Clarity is better with oled, imo.

To each their own I guess, I find the lack of backlight bleed to be a nice touch of oled, not that it bothered me in the least.
It isn't the OLED that makes it clearer to you, it's the Pixels Per Inch (more pixel density). The XS & MAX have significantly higher PPI than the regular 6/7/8. The clarity is higher but you can see the subpixel grain if you look closely. When comparing to a 6+/7+/8+, you'd be able to see the LCD is objectively clearer. At the same PPI, the only benefit AMOLED has is black level. I really wish AMOLED would use uniform subpixels like LCD, it would look much better.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,011
12,171
Gotta be in it to win it
It isn't the OLED that makes it clearer to you, it's the Pixels Per Inch (more pixel density). The XS & MAX have significantly higher PPI than the regular 6/7/8. The clarity is higher but you can see the subpixel grain if you look closely. When comparing to a 6+/7+/8+, you'd be able to see the LCD is objectively clearer. At the same PPI, the only benefit AMOLED has is black level. I really wish AMOLED would use uniform subpixels like LCD, it would look much better.
I compared all these phones in the Apple store for much time before I plunked down $1500 for the max. While oled is not the reason I got the max the display on the max to me is subjectively better then than 7+/8+ and objectively clearer. We can certainly debate objectively vs subjectively but that is my personal findings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jagolden

Dreamliner330

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 1, 2011
603
147
I compared all these phones in the Apple store for much time before I plunked down $1500 for the max. While oled is not the reason I got the max the display on the max to me is subjectively better then than 7+/8+ and objectively clearer. We can certainly debate objectively vs subjectively but that is my personal findings.
I just looked at the 6+/7+/8+ is 401 PPI and the X/XS/MAX is 458 PPI. I suppose you might be able to see that with the right conditions (the 'retina' PPI was always marketing malarkey). Quick question though, if you are able to see the difference between 401 PPI and 458 PPI, can you also see the 'grain' created by the the non-uniform subpixels on the OLED? Does it not bother you or can you not see it?
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.