Although the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch display is bigger on paper than the iPhone 8 Plus’s 5.5-inch screen, the iPhone X is the same width as the iPhone 8—the X’s screen is just a little taller because it goes all the way to the top and bottom edges of the phone. (The only break is a notch at the top of the screen for the TrueDepth camera system—this notch makes the screen look like it has two “ears” or “horns.”) The result is that in apps that focus on text, the physically smaller X shows about the same amount of content as the 8 Plus—less horizontally, but enough vertically to make up the difference. In apps and media that scale to the screen, however, the X feels more like the standard iPhone 8. For example, photos and video look the same size on the X as on the iPhone 8, and smaller than they do on the 8 Plus. And if you tend to increase the size of text on your phone, that text will feel a bit more crowded on the X—just as it does on the 8—than on the 8 Plus. If you’re coming to the X from a Plus-size phone, you may be surprised that the screen seems smaller in some apps.
That said, the new OLED display (Apple calls it a “Super Retina” display, because it has even higher pixel density than Apple’s Retina LED displays) looks excellent, with blacker blacks and support for HDR video. If you have an iPhone 8 or 7, you probably won’t immediately notice the difference unless you look at them side by side—all recent iPhones have had very good screens—but the display experts at DisplayMate call it “the best smartphone display,” describing it as a “superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display!!” (Yes, two exclamation points.) OLED displays do have some downsides, though, and the iPhone X is no exception. When you’re looking at the screen from an angle, rather than straight on, the screen can look somewhat blue. And burn-in is a concern: If an image is left on the screen for a long period of time, it can leave behind a faint shadow. (We’ll keep an eye out for burn-in issues during long-term testing.)