Apple held their massive 2017 event on Tuesday, September 13, announcing their next generation of mobile products. Amongst a redundant smart watch to a wireless charging pad, the biggest news are the new iterations of the iPhone. In addition to two normal iPhone 8 sizes, the Cupertino company unveiled their special 10th-anniversary device. This is the iPhone X, and it is the iPhone both iOS and Android fans have been waiting for.
The iPhone X (that’s pronounced iPhone TEN) is a large, bezel-less, all-glass futuristic device that is aimed squarely at the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. In fact, the similarities are uncanny, but we won’t get into that now. First, let’s run through the most important specs and features!
The iPhone X Display
As is the case for just about every flagship smartphone in 2017, we just have to talk about the screen first. This is the very first iPhone to rock an OLED display, à la Samsung and LG. Speaking of Samsung screens, many reports point to the Korean chaebol manufacturing Apple’s new displays.
The device features flass on both front and back, with a metal frame in-between. The screen is 5.8 inches across, at 2436×1125 pixels. It stretches from edge to edge, with a notch at the top. With the same True Tone tech announced in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, it will adjust the white balance according to the user’s environment. It also sports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, so that’s pretty exciting for display snobs. I’m talking about you, guy-who-stands-in-front-of-the-TV-wall-in-Best-Buy-for-way-too-long.
The iPhone X drops the home button by default. You can’t have a bezel-less design and still have a “chin” for a round button at the bottom, right? Instead of pushing down, you now swipe up to unlock or go to the home screen. To multitask, swipe up and pause. Then, when your open apps show up as cards, move your finger from side to side to scroll through them.
That aforementioned notch is something else all right. It crams a selfie camera, flood illuminator, proximity and ambient light sensors, speaker, microphone, dot projector, and infrared Face ID camera that promises secure unlocking.
Essentially (hehe get it?), this screen does more than any other spec or feature to bring the iPhone into 2017. Just look at the Galaxy S8 Plus, the LG G6 and V30, and of course the Note 8. This is the year of the bezel-less phone, and one could argue that Apple is late to the party. One could also argue that had the iPhone’s release schedule been any different, they could have been right on time.
After the very aesthetic experience of the display, we can take a quick look at the geeky bits.
iPhone X will be powered by the new Apple-designed A11 chip. Yes, it’s bionic and has a total of 6 cores. 2 are dedicated for performance and 4 are high-efficiency. A neural engine ensures that Face ID works every time. 3GB of RAM sounds light when compared to Androids, but Apple has proven they really don’t need more than that. This promises a continuation of what Apple does best: optimization and synergy between hardware and software. We should expect plenty of speed and power, with the smooth fluidity that has been the benchmark for a decade.
It wouldn’t be flagship device without the magic tricks, right?
Face ID promises to be more secure and will have a 1 in 1 million chance of someone else unlocking your phone. It scans the three-dimensional characteristics of your face, so maybe someone can’t use a photo to get into your iPhone X. It’s also supposed to be so quick that you can just lift up your phone and be able to swipe to unlock instantly. With Face ID, your process for using Apple Pay will be different as well. We will see how it measures up to Samsung’s iris scanner.
Apple seems to have dismissed virtual reality and is going after augmented reality full-force instead. Using the cameras and new gyroscopes, AR is supposed to be the best we’ve ever seen on a phone. By integrating AR into iOS, it will also be the largest platform for the tech. Expect more silly animations added to your videos and plenty of marketing campaigns directed at iPhone users. In addition to ads, gaming will definitely benefit the most from AR, as proven by Pokemon GO.
With its glass back, iPhone X will finally feature wireless charging. Support for the Qi standard means it will work with just about everything, including Starbucks‘ super convenient integrated charging stations. This might just be the thing I am most excited about, believe it or not!
Arguably, the most sought-after feature in a smartphone these days is a great camera setup. The dual camera combination from the iPhone 8 Plus gets turned sideways and improved. Both cameras are 12 megapixels and have optical image stabilization. The wide lens has an aperture of f/1.8 and the telephoto comes in at f/2.4. The quad LED True Tone flash should also have great, even light distribution. Portrait Lighting will analyze your image and change the look of the lighting on your subject’s face accordingly.
These cameras will record 4K video at 60fps, and feature 1080p slow motion at 240fps. That’s just nuts in a phone. Basically, expect the great performance we’ve come to expect from iPhone – turned up to ten. Maybe it will be 11 next year.
This Android Fan us Impressed
I’m not being bitter when I say that the iPhone has finally caught up. Apple has delivered a screen design that will hold its own up against Samsung, LG, and the upcoming Google Pixel XL 2. Those seemingly silly little features that I love have finally made their way to an iOS-powered device. The A11 promises to be a total rockstar in the SoC world, and the hardware looks unbelievable.
Starting at a whopping $999, it just edges out the Note 8 in price. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Apple will sell a boatload of these phones. It’s “only” $200 more than the iPhone 8 Plus, which equates to a difference of under $9 a month on a carrier payment plan. Will it be enough for Android nerds to stop thumbing their noses at Apple?
Let us know what your favourite new feature is (please don’t say animoji), and whether or not you’re set to preorder Apple’s pièce de résistance!