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Original iPhone early reviewer Steven Levy heralds iPhone X as kicking off Apple's next decade

One of the first four reviewers of the original iPhone has been granted permission to publish his assessment of Apple's effort 10 years down the road —the OLED iPhone X.




Writing for Wired's BackChannel, Steven Levy was one of the first to get his hands on the device —in part, because of his history with Apple reviews. Levy was quick to point out a centerpiece of the phone —all of the systems in the device that make Animoji possible.

"Animojis actually draw on some of the most technologically sophisticated advances of the iPhone X," wrote Levy for Wired. "The traits that make it unique: facial recognition, exotic sensors, an advanced camera, and powerful chips that drive graphics and machine learning."

There has been much said about the "notch" at the top of the screen since the device was released. Levy doesn't see the notch containing all of the iPhone X sensors at the top of the screen as much of an issue for users, calling it little more than an "aesthetic setback."

"You get used to it, like watching a play when someone with big hair is off-center in the row ahead of you," said Levy. "A tiny distraction in your peripheral vision that you eventually get past."

Apple's Face ID took a little getting used to, according to Levy. After a brief period of adjusting behavior to suit the feature, Levy appreciated Face ID integration into Apple Pay, and called it "a clearer way to do transactions."

The device that Levy did most of his comparisons with was his personal iPhone 7 —as such, the camera assessments he made for the device were related to that device, and not the iPhone 8. Levy called the camera in the iPhone X a "major upgrade" —but deferred to others to determine if it was "claiming the mobile photo crown."

Levy heralded the integration of augmented reality beyond Animoji into the iPhone X. All in all, Levy believes that the iPhone X "might be a halfway point" to the post-smartphone era, and may be remembered in a decade as "kicking off a new wave of apps that take us a step closer to making technology truly invisible."

The review of the original iPhone by Steven Levy was published by Newsweek on June 25, 2007. He called the nascent technology "pretty close to justifying the bombast" surrounding the device at the time, and a "wake-up call" to Apple's competitors to improve their own slate of products.