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iPhone X: Apple’s take on an all screen smartphone

iPhone X 10 officially launched

The iPhone X (pronounced as iPhone 10) is most anticipated iPhone by far. With the manufacturers being obsessed with bezel-less phones with an all-screen display, Apple has finally responded with a futuristic phone of its own.

While the iPhone 8 uses the same traditional design for 4 years in a row, the iPhone X marks their biggest reinvention in 10 years.

The first thing you’ll notice is the display. It gets a 5.8″ Super Retina Display that does 2436×1125 pixels resolution with a pixel density of 458 ppi (pixels per inch). Not quite Quad HD (2560×1440) but it’s pretty close. For the first time, Apple uses an OLED panel which is customised to overcome the shortfalls associated with typical OLED screen. It boasts a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio (iPhone 8 Plus – 1,300:1) and it also supports HDR. Like its high-end iPad Pro series, it also has True Tone display which adapts its white balance depending on ambient light for a paper-like viewing experience.

On the implementation of an edge to edge display, the iPhone X gets a black tab at the top, leaving just enough space around the top corners to display the time, signal bars and battery life. While it looks ok while holding up straight, it looks quite weird to see black spaces on the left while in landscape mode.

It is kinda like the Essential Phone but Apple manages to stretch the bottom of the screen further on the lower chin. Because of its screen to body ratio, the iPhone X size is somewhere between the 5.5″ iPhone 8 Plus and the 4.7″ iPhone 8. It’s also slightly thicker at 7.7mm (iPhone 8 Plus: 7.5mm).

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With this approach, Apple has also gotten rid of its TouchID. In fact, they have gotten rid of fingerprint sensors completely in favour for its new facial recognition. So there’s no under-screen fingerprint sensor that we hoped for.

To replace the iconic home button, the iPhone X relies on gestures to get around. Waking up the screen can be done by lifting up the phone or by tapping on the screen. To return to home, just swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen. For multitasking, just swipe up halfway to reveal your other apps that are currently running.

In terms of build, Apple now turns to glass which is necessary to support wireless charging while the side comprises a stainless steel band that seamlessly fuses the glass panels together. The glass surface uses a seven-layer process and you can get the iPhone X in either Silver or Black. Whichever colour you pick, the front is black which is better in hiding the edges of the display.

Powering the iPhone X is a new 6-core A11 Bionic chip that boasts 2 high performance and 4 efficiency cores that are faster than the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion chip by 25% and 70% respectively. It also gets a dual-core Neural engine for machine learning and an M11 motion co-processor.

In terms of battery life, Apple doesn’t officially disclose its battery capacity but it reckons it can last 2 hours more than the iPhone 7. You probably get slightly longer battery life on the iPhone 7/8 Plus models. Keeping up with the trends, the latest iPhones now ship with a minimum of 64GB and the only next option is 256GB of storage.

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The iPhone X also gets the best cameras yet on an iPhone. Although it still gets a dual 12MP camera set up, like the Galaxy Note8, it features dual OIS for sharper photos even while getting closer with 2X Optical zoom. Apple says that the image sensors are all new and it can shoot 4K videos at 60fps as well as 1080p slow-mo videos at 240fps.

The primary 12MP wide-angle camera still has a f/1.8 aperture lens but the secondary camera now uses f/2.4 instead of f/2.8 that’s found on the both the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus. This gives it 36% more light when the seconday lens is in use. So that you won’t mistaken the iPhone X for a mainstream iPhone, the camera bump is now placed vertically.

Apple has also taken its Portrait mode a step further with Portrait Lighting which adds various lighting effects to your glamour shots. This new mode will be initially released as a beta.

Another big new feature is located at the front. Instead of just a typical Facetime HD camera, the iPhone X gets a TrueDepth Camera that’s used for its new FaceID recognition and it’s more sophisticated than your usual Face unlocking you’ll find on other phones. Since it has depth sensing, the front camera on the iPhone X also supports Portrait mode.

The little black tab on the top of the phone houses an array of sensors to enable Face ID. The dot projector can project 30,000 invisible dots around your face to create a precise facial map. It also uses an infrared camera and infrared light so that it will work in the dark. For better reliability, it uses machine learning to adapt to the gradual changes to your face. It’s so secure that Apple claims that it’s better than TouchID and the chance to break FaceID is 1 in a million. As a comparison, the chance of someone fooling Touch ID is 1 in 50,000. Authentication for Apple Pay is also done via Face ID as well.

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Apart from wireless charging (Qi Wireless standard), the iPhone X finally supports fast charging via lightning cable. With the right charger, it claims to do 50% charge from zero in just 30 minutes. During the keynote, Apple has also introduced an AirPower which is a charging pad that can charge your iPhone X, your Apple Watch and even the AirPods (using a wireless supported case) at one go. This saves you the hassle of plugging in multiple devices before you go to bed. Like the previous iPhone, it also has IP67 rated dust and water resistance plus stereo speakers using both the earpiece and down firing loud-speaker.

Overall, this is the refresh that everyone has been waiting for and it comes with a hefty price tag. The iPhone X is officially priced from US$999 (about RM4,200) in the US and in Singapore, the 64GB model is going for S$1,648 (about RM5,146) while the 256GB option is priced at S$1,888 (about RM5,895). Pre-orders will begin in first wave countries on 27 October and it will be officially released on 3 November 2017.

AD: Our sources tell us that U Mobile has some interesting new plans for iPhone coming soon. Keep checking u.com.my for updates.



Alexander Wong