Apple has revealed the iPhone X, an all display handset with face-tracking technology and features that should appeal to professional users.
Apple has taken the wraps off the iPhone X, an all-display handset with face-tracking technology and multitasking features that should appeal to professional users.
Pronounced ‘iPhone 10’ the handset resembles something akin to a cross between the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Essential Phone, with an glass front and back mixed with aluminium alloy sides.
Nearly all of the phone’s front is taken up by the screen, which means Apple’s somewhat iconic home button has finally been removed, with a single swipe up gesture designed to function in the same way the hardware button does in the iPhone 8.
The initial standout feature of the iPhone X is its 5.8 inch OLED display that sports a 2436 x 1125 resolution and a pixel per inch density of 458. Dubbed the Super Retina Display, it is Apple’s most pixel dense iPhone display to date.
By using an OLED rather than LED display, the iPhone X can display high dynamic range (HDR) content, supporting both the HDR 10 and HDR Dolby Vision standards. Like the newly revealed iPhone 8 handsets, the iPhone X’s display features True Tone tech to provide better display performance tailored to ambient light conditions.
Aside from the high resolution, the most noticeable part of the screen is the rectangular notch in its top section. This cutout houses not only the front facing camera but also a microphone, speaker, infrared camera, proximity sensor, flood illuminator, dot projector, and an ambient light sensor.
The bevy of sensors and cameras help scan the user’s face to enable a range of features on the software side, but notably its Face ID technology, which replaces the Touch ID fingerprint scanner on other iPhones.
Apple spent a good deal of time showing how its Face ID tracking tech could be used with animated emojis called Animojis, using it TrueDepth face analysing technology.
But business users will be more interested in the security capabilities of Face ID which uses the sensors to map the unique geometry of a person’s face combined with a neural engine on the iPhone X’s A11 Bionic chip, the same six core chipset found in the iPhone 8, to allow for rapid unlocking of the handset and Apple Pay authentication, without relying on a fingerprint scanner or home button.
Apple is championing Face ID to be more secure than Touch ID, noting it has a one in a million chance of being spoofed; it can also work in the dark, which should be a boon for midnight phone gazers.
Speaking of business users, the screen size and the gesture orientated interface appears to unlock a good degree of multitasking; iOS 11’s Control Centre is now accessed with a swipe down from the top of the display, somewhat akin to Android Oreo. A side button activates Siri for people who like Apple’s virtual assistant in their lives.
For smartphone photography fans, the iPhone X has a dual camera array, both with 12MP sensors, but one offering a colour f/1.8 aperture lens, with the other uses a telephoto lens sporting an aperture of f/2.4; each camera comes with optical image stabilisation designed to give a boost in iPhone photography.
Machine learning capabilities courtesy of the A11 Bionic chip also lends a helping hand to snapping photos with the smart technology aimed at improving the lighting in photos.
Speaking of lighting, the front facing 7MP camera contains what Apple calls a Portrait Lighting mode which can replicate the affects of studio lighting when taking selfies, as well as blurring the background to create pseudo professional affects.
Will You Get An iPhone X?
- No, never (46%)
- No, but maybe in the future (27%)
- Yes! Shut up and take my money now! (20%)
- Yes, when my contract is up (8%)
The rear dual cameras, which are now mounted in a vertical rather than horizontal module also serve as a means to tap into the augmented reality potential of Apple’s ARKit, one of the standout features of iOS 11, which the iPhone X comes loaded with.
Alongside the gamut of main features, the iPhone X also comes with wireless charging compatible with the Qi standard, which Apple plans to adopt for its AirPower wireless charging pod slated for release next year.
Water and dust resistance is also present and correct, and Apple has boosted the battery life to have two more hours of power over the iPhone 7, which it claimed is needed due to the powerful A11 Bionic chipset.
The iPhone X will come in just two colour options, Space Grey and Silver, and will be released November 3 with pre-orders going live on October 27.
Deep pockets will be required to get your hands on the iPhone X as it starts at $999 for a 64GB model, with the UK price rather unfairly set at £999. A 256GB model will cost a heavy $1,149 or £1,149 in the UK, which means it is a good deal more expensive than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.
Apple has definitely pushed the envelop of its smartphones with the iPhone X; the sensor technology is genuinely interesting and the potential for multitasking as well as augmented reality is arguably tantalising for users and developers alike.
However, Apple is in a market where the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 has already brought a big, impressive yet easy to handle display to the market. And the price is steep even for an iPhone.
Time will tell if the iPhone X is a true contender for the smartphone crown beyond the desires of Apple fans, but Tim Cook and the Cupertino crew are in with a fighting chance.