Display notch and potential screen burn: Apple’s iPhone X earns mixed reviews

Apple’s iPhone X has earned mixed reviews [Image: Copyright Apple]

Apple’s new iPhone X has seen a return to the levels of excitement consumers felt about the first smartphones the company released, with people queueing overnight to be the first to get their hands on the new device.

The iPhone X sold out online within minutes, triggering concerns over whether Apple could meet demand. It is also the first smartphone to break through the £1,000 barrier. Buyers are therefore expecting a lot from what Apple has called “the future” of the phone.

However, there have already been some bumps in the road for the tech giant. Following on from rival Google’s admission that its new Pixel 2 XL is suffering from so-called ‘screen burn’, Apple has had to confess to the same problem.

The iPhone X marks the first time the company has produced a smartphone with an OLED screen, with Apple previously preferring LCD. This could be seen as an attempt to keep up with competitors that have been using variations of OLED displays for a while.

In a support article titled ‘About the Super Retina display on your iPhone X’, Apple said: “If you look at an OLED display off-angle, you might notice slight shifts in colour and hue. This is a characteristic of OLED and is normal behaviour.

“With extended long-term use, OLED displays can also show slight visual changes. This is also expected behavior and can include ‘image persistence’ or ‘burn-in,’ where the display shows a faint remnant of an image even after a new image appears on the screen.”

Apple has insisted that it has “engineered the Super Retina display to be the best in the industry in reducing the effects of OLED ‘burn-in’”.

One positive has been the new Face ID feature. Rhiannon Williams, writing for iNews, said she found its accuracy “truly impressive”. Meanwhile, the Independent’s David Phelan said it “works with glasses on, glasses off, contact lenses, even with some sunglasses”.

The notch in the display that houses the front-facing camera has been one of the more controversial aspects of the iPhone X. In his review for the Verge, Nilay Patel said: “It’s ugly, but it tends to fade away after a while in portrait mode. It’s definitely intrusive in landscape, though – it makes landscape in general pretty messy.”

He went on to add that the bottom and side bezels are “less ignorable” since they’re “actually quite large”.

Most of the reviews have tended to agree that a change in design is a good decision for Apple. Whether consumers feel the same way – and whether it can justify the high price tag – remains to be seen.