Okay it’s their 10th year anniversary, and apple decided to surprise their fans, and what did they do? They launched 3 devices at once – iPhone 8, 8+ and a very special edition called the iPhone X. The announcement was made at an event on the Apple Campus in the Steve Jobs Theatre by Tim Cook.
Today we are going to be talking about the iPhone X (pronounced 10). Cook said the new iPhone was “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.” It’s not pronounced iPhone X, by the way — it’s the iPhone “Ten,” and the screen takes up the whole of the phone’s front panel. It’s made from surgical-grade stainless steel, with glass on the rear panel. It’s water and dust resistant, and available in only 2 colours, space grey and silver.
Below is a quick summary of the specifications of the device;
- 5.8in Super Retina (2436×1125) OLED edge-to-edge display
- Bezel-less Screen with no home button
- New ‘all-glass’ design with IP67 certification
- 143.6×70.9×7.7 mm, 179g
- Wireless charging support
- Apple A11 chip with Apple-designed GPU
- Face ID
- iOS 11 with improved Siri, P2P payments
- Vertical 12MP dual cameras with OIS, 7MP front-facing camera
- Support for LTE speeds up to 450Mbps
- Wireless charging/fast charging support
- Battery life quoted at 21 hours of talk time
- 64GB/256GB storage
The OLED display — (the first in an iPhone) — is called the Super Retina Display and measures 5.8 inches, with a resolution of 2,436 × 1,125 pixels. Apple says it has cured problems with brightness and color accuracy that sometimes plagued OLED screens in the past, and has added Dolby Vision and HDR10 support for stunning video playback. It also features TrueTone dynamic white-balance adjustment, a feature also seen on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the new iPhone 8 models.
No Home Button – The device is designed to be intuitive to use, despite having no button on the front, due to the screen’s size. It’s a swipe up to reach the home screen, or you can use raise-to-wake, or just tap on the screen to get started. These gestures work across the operating system, for multi-tasking, and to leave apps. Siri is still activated by voice, or by using the larger side button. A double tap on the side sleep/wake key activates Apple Pay.
Face ID – I would dwell alittle more on this because not only is it new, it is highly controversial. To unlock the iPhone X without a home button, Apple has introduced facial recognition, which it calls Face ID. It works using the TrueDepth camera system, hidden in the notch at the top of the display. Glance at the phone, and it illuminates your face, making it ready for an infrared camera to identify it. It works even in the dark. Using the A11 Bionic chip, a neural engine processes the image in real time, and has been built specifically to mathematically map the shape and contours of your face.
It is worthy to also note that apple addressed the concerns of people by stating clearly that the Face ID technology is not confused by hairstyles, or whether you’re wearing a hat, or if you decide to grow a beard. According to Apple software chief Craig Federighi, the iPhone will be able to recognize your face through “most” sunglasses too, as long as they let through enough infrared light. Protections against masks and pictures are in place, and face data is stored in the secure enclave inside the A11 Bionic chip.
“Don’t worry about Face ID being less secure than other biometric systems; it’s not,” says Apple. The chance of someone other than you unlocking your phone with Touch ID is one in 50,000, but for Face ID it’s one in a million. Apple Pay requires you to look at the phone when you go to pay, and it works with existing apps that use Touch ID for authentication. In fact, developers won’t even have to worry about implementing it — if an app uses Touch ID, it will automatically also use Face ID.
One cool thing I noted is this, Apple has implemented some software protections against people stealing your phone and simply holding it to your face to unlock it. If you don’t stare at the phone itself, it won’t unlock. Also, if you grip the buttons on both edges of the phone, the device will temporarily disable facial recognition. Now that is a badass innovation if you ask me!
Camera – The iPhone X comes with a dual-lens 12-megapixel rear camera, with dual optical image stabilization, made up of a wide-angle f/1.8 aperture lens and a telephoto f/2.4 aperture lens. The front camera (7-megapixel) now supports Portrait mode, and has auto image stabilization and exposure control. Apple’s new image signal processor provides advanced pixel processing, and a new color filter. Both cameras use the new Natural Lighting effect introduced on the iPhone 8, and the new augmented reality features. Video has also been improved with 4K resolution movies at 60fps now possible, plus slow motion video at 240fps.
Animoji – This is a combination of animations with emoji. It mirrors your facial expressions quite accurately. Animoji has taken Apple’s taking emoji to the next level, utilizing its TrueDepth camera to mirror your facial expressions on an animal other creations… like the poo emoji. The camera would be able to track like 50 of your facial muscle movements.
Other Features – The iPhone X retains the A11 Bionic chip from the iPhone 8, a 64-bit super-efficient processor with a new Apple-designed graphics unit, which has 30 percent more speed than the existing unit. It has six cores, and a way better performance than the A10 Fusion chip (25% speed increase, and a 70% core boost). Inside is a battery that will deliver two hours more use than the iPhone 7 Plus, and supports wireless charging. The new Apple wireless charger called AirPower would be introduced, a set of AirPods, and an Apple Watch at the same time.
Price and availability – The iPhone X is expected to be sold at $1,000. It will be available in either 64GB/256GB ROM and will be available to pre-order on October 27, with deliveries beginning on November 3. Apple will sell the iPhone X in 55 countries around the world.