iPhone X first look
By Edward C. Baig
The amped up, much-anticipated $1,000 iPhone X is finally here. The top-of-the-line among the three new iPhones Apple introduced Tuesday, it certainly looked intriguing shown off from the stage of the new glass-topped Steve Jobs Theatre. And I'm still intrigued after picking the phone up for the first time, in a crowded hands-on demo area. There's little doubt iPhone fans, many of whom have held off purchasing while waiting for this one, will want it.
They'll have to wait until 3rd Nov. CEO Tim Cook didn't explain the delay, but the bet here is that much speculated supply constraints are in play. Pre-orders start 27th Oct.
It's a showstopper, the first iPhone with a beautiful edge-to-edge 5.8-inch OLED display, with either 64GB or 256GB storage, starting at $999 or $1,149 for the higher capacity. Apple calls the high resolution (2436 by 1125) screen a 'super retina' display. The phone, which has a glass front and back, will come in silver or space gray.
As was expected, Apple removed the home button in favour of the ability to unlock the device through a biometric method known as Face ID. Apple claims this is so secure, the chance that any other person could unlock your device is 1 in 1 million, compared to one in 50,000 for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
The company made mention of the fact that you won't be able to trick Face ID with a photograph. And Apple says Face ID will work whether you're wearing glasses, a hat, or whatever.
Cook has been at pains to show Apple under his watch can extend the design innovation that made Apple devices the most sought after on the planet. In this particular feature, Apple is far from the first.
Rival Samsung lets you unlock certain Galaxy models by gazing at the screen with your iris. In my experience, Samsung's approach works most of the time but not all the time, so it'll be interesting to see how Apple's Face ID compares.
With Touch ID having gone AWOL with the disappearing home button, you'll be able to use Face ID, Apple says, to purchase stuff through Apple Pay. It'll be critical to work well. If there are hiccups with the feature, that could turn people who off who are still reluctant to use Apple Pay or who find (as I do) how easy it is currently with a fingerprint.
The absence of the home button means you'll have to break other habits. On the new phone you navigate home by swiping up from the bottom of the display, which in turn means changing the way you access Control Centre, and for that matter how you access multitasking. On the X, you'll be able to summon Siri by pressing a side button (or as now by using a "Hey Siri" vocal command).
The second thing you might try is a fun feature: using your face to create what are animated emojis or animojis. I got to do just that. Make an angry face and your animated emoji copies your facial expression. Show a surprised look instead. Again, the emoji responds in kind. You can add audio, too. Is it practical? No. Will it be a crazy hit? I'm guessing yes.
The iPhone X also should benefit from improved cameras, along with a portrait lighting feature that launches in beta. It promises studio lighting effects to bolster the backgrounds on the portraits you take, and will work on both the front and rear cameras of the iPhone X. Also coming to the iPhone X is wireless charging (through charger accessories that adhere to a standard known as Qi).
Apple is late to wireless charging but better late than never. And perhaps because rivals including Samsung got to wireless charging first, Apple provided a sneak peek at something it calls AirPower. It's an accessory coming next year that will let you charge three devices you plunk down on a pad simultaneously, including an iPhone, Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple AirPods.
Speaking of the battery, Apple claims battery life on the X last two hours longer than on the iPhone 7.
Apple also introduced a new all-glass iPhone 8 with a 4.7-inch Retina display and an 8 Plus with a 5.5-inch display, both of which add advanced camera photo skills, wireless charging and other features to the iPhones they appear to be modeled after, last year's 7 and 7 Plus.
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