iPhone X: a phone of the future or more of the same?

Apple have released their shiny new iPhone packed to the gills with new features and fancy tricks, but is it worth £999?

13th September 2017
iPhone X: a phone of the future or more of the same? © Apple

It’s not every day that a new phone comes out that revolutionises the way we communicate. Apple did it once with the original iPhone and hope to do it again with the new iPhone X (that’s 10, not “ex”). It probably won’t, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t shaping up to be a very good phone nonetheless. Here are a few things about the iPhone X that we think look pretty darn amazing, despite the ridiculous price tag.

It looks good

Apple iPhone X © Apple
© Apple

It hardly seems like saying, but the new iPhone X looks like everything we’d expect from the stylish folks at Apple. The all-glass front and back ditches a bezel altogether so you have an OLED screen (a first for Apple) that completely covers the 5.8-inch Super Retina display. Yes, it’s not the first time we’ve seen an “infinite” display (for example the Samsung Galaxy 8), or an OLED for that, but then things you’ve seen somewhere else are a bit of a theme with Apple’s new flagship phone. Speaking of that Super Retina screen, the HDR display supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, so videos and pictures should look fantastically crisp and bright, but the 2436x1125-pixel resolution is less than many phones out there like the Sony Xperia XZ Premium or the Google Pixel XL, though it probably won’t be noticeable at that screen size (we’ll not know until we get our mitts on one). Regardless, Apple screens tend to be some of the best in the business anyway.

No going home

Apple iPhone X © Apple
© Apple

You’ll notice that with a full-screen display there is no space for a home button any more – it’s disappeared, kaput, gone the way of the headphone jack. Instead, to access your apps you need to swipe up from the bottom (which all sounds very Android), and you wake the phone with a tap or lifting it. What about unlocking it? Well that is one of the big new features Apple are pinning their hopes on. FaceID captures a 3D scan of your face and unlocks or approves Apple Pay just by looking at it. Apparently it’s 20 times more secure than TouchID and will be able to tell the difference between photographs, wearing glasses and even high-quality masks. As a beardy man and self-appointed hipster I’d be intrigued to see how it handles my frequent facial flourishes (ranging from twirly moustache to freshly shorn visage), but Apple are confident enough it’ll do the job, even despite Apple exec Craig Federighi’s demo that failed live on stage.

It’s got the power!

Apple iPhone X © Apple
© Apple

Ok, the A11 Bionic Chip with Neural Engine sounds like something that powers the Terminator, but fortunately the new Apple chip isn’t likely to bring forth the destruction of mankind. Instead Apple say it will speed up graphics on the iPhone X by 30 per cent, processor speeds by 70 per cent and extend battery life by two hours. Speaking of battery life, it also include Qi wireless charging so you can ditch power cables altogether. Of course this too is another thing we’ve had before on other phones, so again this is Apple playing catch-up rather than breaking the mould, but at least you won’t have to change all your cables if you decide to switch operating system.

Snap happy

Apple iPhone X © Apple
© Apple

iPhone cameras tend to be exceptional, so we expect nothing less from the iPhone X. Like the iPhone 7S it has two cameras, one of which is a 2x telephoto lens, meaning you’ll be able to get some glorious depth of field from your photos, as well as a number so special filters that you’ll probably never use, giving you a very Appley experience. Both front and rear cameras come with Apple’s True Depth system, which on the back is key to Apple’s mixed reality ambitions in the battle against Google in the AR space, and on the front analyses 50 different facial features to power the FaceID system. It also means you can create “animojis”, which are 3D emojis that respond to your facial expressions that you can send to other iMessage users. Like any good millennial we love a good emoji (check out our Twitter feed for proof), so we’re a little sad they aren’t cross platform, but we’re not entirely surprised given Apple’s history keeping that walled garden closed.

iPhone X animoji unicorn

So the new iPhone X ticks all the boxes for what we want from a premium phone, and premium it is, dropping in at £999 for the 64GB model, and despite nothing really setting the world on fire with new features (Android unveiled face unlock back in 2011, not that it was especially good), it’ll still no doubt fly off the shelves. If your pockets will struggle to carry that many shiny new £1 coins you can always grab the new iPhone 8, which is essentially an updated iPhone 7 but with better cameras, wireless charging and is mercifully cheaper starting from £699. With the jump from iPhone 8 to iPhone 10, sorry, iPhone X, it does leave us wondering what happens when the iPhone 9 pop into existence, but we’ll just have to wait a year before we get an answer to that little puzzle.

 


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