It’s been exactly ten years since the first iPhone was unveiled by Apple to an unsuspecting crowd. The first iPhone has wowed us and it has since revolutionized mobile phones and even mobile computing in general. It’s therefore special that the newest iPhone, called the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10), has just been announced by Apple.
Apple’s iPhone X has been extensively leaked heading to the actual reveal, so there was little surprise when the actual thing was presented to the audience. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were also announced but the star of the entire event was really the iPhone X. So what does the iPhone X offer and how is it different from previous iPhones?
Edge-to-Edge Display and Glass Back
As far as iPhones go, the iPhone X is revolutionary. Its design is a radical departure from previous iPhones as it features an edge-to-edge display that occupies practically the entire front of the phone. The only space not occupied by the display is a black strip on top that houses the camera and the sensors which are responsible for the other awesome feature of the iPhone X – the Face ID.
The display of the iPhone X has a sized of 5.8 inches but since the display occupies the entire front, the entire phone is smaller next to the iPhone 8 Plus. The screen has been labeled by Apple as a Super Retina display, a label that certainly means it is better than Retina. For an iPhone, the display on the iPhone X has the highest pixel density (458ppi) and has a resolution of 2436 x 1125. It is also an OLED display, another first on an iPhone. Apple claims that it has addressed all issues commonly attached to OLED display and it has used what it calls True Tone display technology on the iPhone X.
The iPhone X has glass on both the front and the back, not a first for an iPhone but certainly the best looking in terms of implementation. The glass melts seamlessly into the sides of the iPhone X which, by the way is made of “surgical-grade” stainless steel.
What the iPhone X offers that is new to iPhones is Face ID. It’s a technology that allows the iPhone X to be opened by simply scanning your face using the host of sensors on top. Face ID combines an IR system with the front camera and a flood illuminator that beams a light at your face so it can be recognized. The iPhone X has a built-in neural engine which enables Face ID recognition to work real time, without the need of sending data to an external server.
With the introduction of Face ID, the iPhone X no longer needs a home button, physical or on-screen, for unlocking the phone. It also no longer needs a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The way it was demonstrated was impressive. You pick up the iPhone X, you look at it and it opens instantly. Less physical interaction with the phone, and according to Apple, it is more secure than Touch ID. The new face authentication will also work with Apple Pay and all third-party apps that already supported Touch ID.
Without a home button, Apple also changed how you activate the phone. You just need to flick the screen upwards. Multi-tasking is also easier. You flick the screen up but hold it a bit and the stacks of opened apps appears.
The iPhone X has dual 12-megapixel rear cameras. The layout is different since the lenses are stacked vertically where in the iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone 8 Plus, they were stacked horizontally.
Both rear cameras on the iPhone X are equipped with optical image stabilization, a marked improvement over the iPhone 7 Plus. The main camera of the iPhone X has an f/1.8 aperture while the telephoto lens has an f/2.4 aperture. Apple claims that the sensors on the rear cameras are both larger and faster than previous generations. In between the two cameras is a quad-LED True Tone flash that provides better scene illumination. The iPhone X is now capable of 4K video recording.
A11 Bionic Chip
The iPhone X uses Apple’s new A11 Bionic Chip, a hexa-core SoC that’s almost entirely designed in-house by Apple. It has two performance cores, four high-efficiency cores, and the first Apple-designed GPU. It’s the same chip used on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Apple has optimized the A11 chip for better internal processing and optimized the imaging hardware for augmented reality application. The demonstration from Apple on how augmented reality applications can be done on the new iPhones is impressive. We should see this feature on new iPhones being extensively used as compatible apps and games become widely available.
The iPhone X supports Qi wireless charging. This is not an Apple exclusive since Qi wireless charging is also available with other flagship phones like those from Samsung and LG. However, it’s nice to know that Apple has adopted the technology as it is convenient compared to the standard wired charging. Apple announced the new AirPower wireless charging pad which charges all compatible Apple products simultaneously.
The iPhone X is expensive, not because it’s a product from Apple, but because of the technology packed into it. It’s the most expensive iPhone to date, with a starting price of $999 for the base model with 64GB of storage, while the price for 256GB is $1,149. The price of these phones in the Philippines will be around Php 50,000 and 5,8000, respectively but if you take taxes into account, the price of the iPhone X could even be higher.
The iPhone X will be available in only two colors – space gray and silver. It will come with Apple’s new iOS 11 out of the box.
Availability in the Philippines
Pre-orders for the iPhone X in the US opens on October 27 and shipping will start on November 3. For the Philippines, new iPhones become available around November. But since the iPhone X will have availability much later than the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, we could expect availability of the iPhone X in the Philippines around December.