The iPhone X is Apple’s latest and greatest smartphone. It is loaded with features that most rivals can only imagine (or copy in the near future). The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are merely seen as the inferior siblings of the iPhone X. But experts at Consumer Reports have ranked the iPhone X below the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. As if that wasn’t surprising enough, all the three iPhones released this year are placed below Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in Consumer Reports’ ranking.

iPhone X Consumer Reports
Image Source: ConsumerReports.org (screenshot)

iPhone X sits on 9th spot in Consumer Reports’ list

Consumer Reports has published its iPhone X testing results. Unsurprisingly, they have given the anniversary iPhone a recommendation. What’s really surprising is that the iPhone X is placed in the 9th spot in the list of ten recommended smartphones. So, why did the iPhone X fare poorly against the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8? Let’s find out.

Consumer Reports found that the iPhone X isn’t as durable as the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. In the drop tests emulating real-world drops and fumbles, the experts at CR dropped each phone 50-100 times. All three new iPhones have a glass body, but the iPhone X suffered the most damage. Out of the three iPhone X units they tested, two had screen defects while the third one was seriously damaged.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus got only minor scrapes. The front panel of all three iPhones was unscathed at the end of the test. Richard Fisco, the head of smartphone testing at Consumer Reports, said if not for the damage in durability tests, the iPhone X would have been ranked above the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The publication praised the anniversary iPhone’s OLED display and the Face ID technology.

Richard Fisco said the iPhone X had the best rear camera CR had ever tested. Can you guess which phone has the second-best camera? It’s the iPhone 8 with a single camera, not the iPhone 8 Plus, which has a dual camera system. CR added in its report that many consumers would also appreciate the physical home button on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

If you want to buy an iPhone X, CR “highly recommends” a protective case for the device. Another major complaint about the iPhone X was about its battery life. In Consumer Reports’ battery tests, the iPhone X lasted 19.5 hours. By comparison, the Galaxy S8 lasted 26 hours, and the Galaxy S8 Plus delivered 21 hours of battery life on a single charge. The iPhone X packs a 2716mAh battery, which is smaller than the Galaxy S8’s 3,000mAh and the S8 Plus’s 3,500mAh.

Overall, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus continue to occupy first and second spots in Consumer Reports’ ranking, mainly because of “their superior battery life.” The iPhone 8 Plus was ranked third, followed by the smaller iPhone 8. All the four devices have an overall score of 81 out of 100. They are followed by the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 Active, Galaxy S7, LG G6, and then the iPhone X. They have a score of 80/100, though the iPhone X was placed on the 9th spot.

iOS loses market share due to delayed iPhone X release

Kantar Worldpanel points out in its new report that the delayed iPhone X launch cost Apple some market share in key markets. The iOS market share declined in the US, Europe, Japan, the UK, and other markets during the October quarter as consumers held out for the iPhone X. The anniversary iPhone hit the store shelves on November 3. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus that went on sale in September had received only a lukewarm response from consumers.

During the October quarter, the iOS market share slipped to 32.9% compared to 40.6% in the same period a year ago. The iOS lost 8.5 percentage points in the UK, 6.9 percentage points in Japan, and 2.1 percentage points in Europe. It gained 0.5 percentage points in Urban China, the only bright spot for Apple during the October quarter. Android gained share in all markets except China in the same period.

Apple starts selling unlocked iPhone X

Apple has started selling the SIM-free, unlocked version of the iPhone X through its website, Apple Store app, and offline stores. The unlocked device gives you the freedom to choose and switch carriers any time you want. Previously, Apple’s website would give buyers only four carrier options: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Now there is a fifth option “Buy without a carrier.”

The unlocked iPhone X supports both the CDMA and GSM networks, and has the same specifications as the other iPhone X models. It doesn’t ship with a carrier SIM card. It’s the go-to choice for people who often travel internationally or want the freedom to switch carriers any time. At the time this writing, the SIM-free iPhone X’s shipping time is only five days in the US.