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Apple’s iPhone X Includes Innovative Features You May Even Find Useful

Wayne Rash is senior correspondent for eWEEK and a writer with 30 years of experience. His career includes IT work for the US Air Force.

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REVIEW: The Phone X offers an all-screen front, improved camera and new security features that add significant value to this smartphone – if you need them.

The level of hype surrounding the iPhone X is enough to make anyone feel a little disappointed when the first see the device in the flesh, so I’ll set the stage up front. This phone does not have magical powers. It will not change your life.

On the other hand, the iPhone X is a very nice phone that does a lot of things well, and some of its features are innovative indeed. Its communications functions perform very well. It’s secure in its other life as a camera, the iPhone X is particularly impressive indeed. If you take advantage of this device’s advanced features, it’s worth its cost.

But when you first see the iPhone X, you’re probably not going to be impressed. The phone looks about the same size as an iPhone 7 or 8. But a more careful examination shows the important differences.

iPhone X

iPhone X Review

First it’s larger than those other phones and second, there’s no fingerprint reader/home button. When you first turn it on, the differences become clearer because the entire front of the phone is all screen.

Or I should say, it’s almost all screen. A notch has been cut out of the top of the handset for sensors and a speaker. This is where Apple placed the infrared floodlight and the dot projector for the facial the recognition system. Then there’s a TrueDepth camera that does dual duty for facial recognition. It also serves as a selfie camera.

Because the 7-megapixel selfie camera is able to recognize depth, Apple has added the capability to use the portrait mode for selfies, which means that you can get a photo that places the background out of focus. You can also use Portrait Lighting, which can add a dramatic look to your photos.

The two 12 megapixel cameras on the rear of the phone can also be used in portrait mode, as they were in the earlier Plus series iPhones. The two cameras include optical stabilization, one of them is a telephoto camera, the other a wide-angle. They handle a limited range for optical zoom and a longer range for digital zoom.

Both cameras are optically stabilized, which will go a long way in helping your photos stay blur free.

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The cameras on the rear come with a number of useful settings including the portrait mode as well as slow-motion, time lapse and video settings. The quality of the images is quite good it’s been said that the  TrueDepth camera on the front made FaceTime images look “Almost three-dimensional.”

Of course there’s more to this device than the camera, and the one feature you’ll encounter most frequently is the Face ID facial recognition. The need to unlock the phone happens frequently, and each time you do that, you’ll need to look at the front of the phone while the facial recognition decides whether it’s you or not.

Most of the time, the whole process takes place quickly enough that you don’t notice, but that’s not always the case.

Originally published on eWeek