“This is the iPhone X – the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”
That’s how Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, described the much-anticipated tenth edition of the iPhone, soon after unveiling the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Pronounced as iPhone 10, and not iPhone ‘Ex’, the newest offering from the Cupertino giant brings a radically new design, a gorgeous display, loaded internals, and powerful cameras along with marking several firsts for the series… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Of course, it goes without saying that Apple might not be the first to bring these features for the first time ever in the world of smartphones, but it’s also a well-known fact that the brand’s implementation is always top notch. If you are wondering why we’re gushing so much about the Apple iPhone X, we’ll give you 10 impressive features of the iPhone X to convince you. Let’s begin.
An all-screen front
Of late, bezel-less or bezel-free terms have become quite common in the world of smartphones. The Xiaomi Mi Mix kickstarted the trend last year as the first mainstream handset, showing how a device with just a screen at the fascia can be made possible. LG and Samsung become the major manufacturers earlier this year to offer the same with the S8 twins (review) and G6 (review) respectively, and then phones like the Micromax Canvas Infinity (review) and LG Q6 (review) brought the same feature to the affordable segment. And now, Apple is boarding the bezel-less bandwagon with the iPhone X – shaving off the bezels towards the sides and the bottom, leaving just a cutout for sensors and the front camera (among other things) up top. So all you get is a large 5.8-inch display in the front, but the overall footprint of the phablet is same as a 5.5-inch smartphone. But that’s not all that’s changed when it comes to the design of the iPhone X, which brings us to the next point…
Instead of a metallic unibody design, the Apple iPhone X sports shiny-yet-durable glass at the front as well as the back. Adding to the strength is the frame of stainless steel. To ensure that the glass doesn’t catch fingerprints and smudges, it’s protected by an oleophobic coating. Available in two colour choices of space grey and silver, the new iPhone is also dust- and water-resistant, similar to the previous iteration.
The best display ever
The bezel-less display isn’t the only thing going for the iPhone X in the visual department. After countless rumours and speculations, Apple has finally opted for an OLED panel measuring 5.8-inches for the iPhone X, which means better contrast and brightness levels. It also offers the highest resolution on an iPhone with 2,436 x 1,125 pixels – dubbed as Super Retina HD display. Thanks to True Tone technology, the ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the white balance to match the colour temperature of your surroundings, which ensures natural colours. Did we tell you that the Apple iPhone X also supports HDR content with the compatibility to Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards?
Your face is the password
With the bezel-less design of the iPhone X, the brand has ditched the home button at the front. That also means that there’s no Touch ID for unlocking the device or making payments through Apple Pay. In lieu of that, the phone will be using Face ID, which authenticates the user by their face. Now face recognition tech has been present in phones since long – with Android offering it way back in 2012 with v4.0 JellyBean and most recently, the S8 duo and Note8 feature the same. But Apple aims to make the process as accurate and seamless as possible. The tiny notch above the display at the front houses a TrueDepth camera system, which comprises an IR camera, a Dot Projector and a flood illuminator. Setting it up is extremely easy as the projector throws 30,000 invisible IR dots on your face to create a precise depth map. The best part is that the brand claims that it works even at night, thanks to the flood illuminator. It can also adapt to your changing face attributes with time, or even if you wear glasses or change your hairstyle. The Face ID can also be used to make payments.
Faster than ever
The iPhones are never known for their core specs, but geeks know that Apple’s SoCs working in tandem with the optimised iOS is the primary reason they’re so smooth. The Apple iPhone X utilises an A11 Bionic chip, which features two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, which is claimed to be 25 percent and 70 percent faster than their respective counterparts in the A10 Fusion chipset. Inside the A11 SoC also resides the first-ever GPU designed by Apple, which is not only 30 percent faster than the A10, but also promises lower power consumption. Paired with a 3GB RAM, it’s evident that the iPhone X will be able to handle everything thrown at it. The SoC also plays an important role in enabling the aforementioned features such as Face ID and better camera performance as it has a neural engine that can process 600 billion operations per second.
Brings Portrait Mode (and more) to selfies
Apple has also given some love to the selfie capabilities of the iPhone X. The TrueDepth camera system also includes a 7MP snapper for selfies. While the resolution might not have increased from the last time, the new Portrait mode adds the depth-of-field effect to your self-portraits. There’s also Portrait Lighting mode (currently in beta), which offers lighting effects such as Natural Light, Studio Light, etc. to enhance your selfies.
The Portrait Mode also works in conjunction with the Clips app, which lets you replace the actual background with the Selfie Scenes feature. The good thing is that you can capture a 360-degree animated clip in this manner.
Upping the ante with primary cameras
Last year, the brand took the plunge and incorporated dual cameras at the back of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. And with the iPhone X, they’ve become even better. The pair of 12MP sensors follow the same wide-angle (f/1.8 aperture) and telephoto (f/2.4 aperture) configuration, but this time around, both of them are optically stabilised, which means less blurry shots, improved low-light photos and smoother videos. The setup lets you optically zoom on the subject up to 2x, along with offering the Portrait Mode, which now works well even in low light. Similar to the front shooter, the rear cameras also get Portrait Lighting mode to get studio-like lighting effects. Apple’s new ISP also optimises the photo even before you click the shutter button, and promises faster autofocus and better HDR capability.
It’s also an ideal smartphone for videographers as it supports 4k video recording at 60fps. Slow-mo video can be recorded in full HD resolution at 240fps.
Last year, Apple removed the headphone jack to take a first step towards the wireless future. This time around, it’s bringing the much-awaited wireless charging support to the iPhone X. Thanks to the support for Qi open wireless charging standard, you can juice up the phone by putting in on compatible chargers. It also showcased AirPower mat, which can charge multiple devices like the iPhone X, AirPods and Apple Watch 3 together. But the AirPower will only be released next year.
Bringing AR to the masses
Augmented reality has been the buzzword for quite some time, but hasn’t been able to reach mass adoption yet. Apple aims to change that with the inclusion of ARKit SDK for iPhones. While previous devices in the series also support it, the iPhone X makes the experience more fluid, thanks to the powerful A11 chip. The demos showcased at the event, like The Machines game or the ability to see player’s info real-time in the Major League Baseball were quite compelling, and Made with ARKit already suggests that the possibilities with AR are endless.
Gestures to interact with the iPhone
The removal of the home button also means that it’ll change the way we use the iPhone. And for that, Apple has introduced a couple of features. Want to jump to the home screen? Simply swipe up from the bottom irrespective of which app you’re in. To access recently accessed apps you just need to swipe up the from the bottom, and pause. To go to the control center, you’ll need to swipe downwards from the top right, while swiping from the top left will bring down notifications.
Since there’s no physical key, there’s an elongated side button towards the right, which is now multi-functional instead of just acting as a power switch. It can activate Siri by a long-press or enable Apple Pay by a double tap.
Emojis are passé – make way for Animojis
The fact there’s actually a movie called The Emoji Movie suggests that emoticons have become an important way to communicate with each other. But Apple wants to change that with Animated Emojis or Animojis, as it prefers to call them. By making use of Face ID, you can create customised versions of emojis that mimic your facial expressions. Currently available with the Messages app in iOS 11, you can also record your voice with these Animojis.
That’s not all, the iPhone X also promises up to two more hours of battery life in contrast to the iPhone 7 Plus. Overall, the iPhone X is an expensive proposition – almost touching the Rs 1 lakh mark in India (Rs 89,000 for the 64GB model, and Rs 1,02,000 for the 256GB variant), but it seems to be bringing quite an innovative package for the price. Which feature(s) are you excited about the most? Do share your views in the comment box below.