It’s been more than 4 years since the release of the iPhone 5S, the device that Apple liked to describe as the most “Forward Thinking” phone in its campaigns. It truly was a great phone for the time.
The inclusion of Touch-ID turned out to be the key element of the iPhone 5S that not only changed Apple’s fate* but also of the entire smartphone industry. Reading a fingerprint has improved so much since then that its a default addition on almost all the new phones except few phones like the iPhone X.
The iPhone X not including a fingerprint reader is a big deal because it shows a sea change in terms of phone’s security features but the alternative method Apple implemented with the X is just not perfect and not as easy as the Touch-ID in most conditions.
Apple usually sticks to its plans, and the future looks full of face readers but it’s just not convenient. Well, technology usually improves but it takes time. It can be said that even “Touch-ID” had issues in the beginning but they were not as big as the “Face-ID”.
The iPhone X’s face reader doesn’t work in most cases when the phone is placed more than 15 inches apart, the phone can’t be unlocked if you peek at it after pulling it out of your pocket, you’ll have to bring it closer to your face. Also, the reader struggles under sun and some fluorescent lights.
Apple looks very determined to make Face-ID the best, it has made huge bets on it and even made some big claims. The process of reading the face works using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence(AI). Machine learning is something that continues to improve over time with use, so in the future the Face-ID will likely be much better and may even beat Touch-ID at the game of biometric authentication(it already does in some way but not entirely).
However, at present, the Touch-ID is the most convenient way to authenticate purchases or unlock the iPhone. That’s the reason the huge bezeled iPhone 8 is still around and it actually may be a better choice compared to the iPhone X.
iPhone X is sort of an experimental phone. It’s the first generation iPhone that ditched bezels, introduced a lot of new software elements and of course the new authentication system. So, it would actually be better to hold on for another year rather than shelling $999 or more on the iPhone X.
If you are using an iPhone older than the 6S and due for an iPhone upgrade, then you should seriously consider the iPhone 8. It’s an incremental upgrade to the iPhone that has features that are tested and proven by the masses. Of course, it sports an old design but if you’re willing to compromise then this is the best choice.
However, if you can hold onto to your current iPhone until September then that’s what you should do because it would mark one year of iPhone X which means the bezel less concept would be out of the experimentation stage. Also the fact that reports by reputed Apple analysts strongly suggest that Apple will ditch the iPhone X for completely different models is another reason to hold off buying the iPhone X.
*fate here refers to how cheap and common the fingerprint reading tech has become