Ap­ple raises bar again with su­perb iPhone X

Face ID only start of revo­lu­tion of 10th phone

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - GADGETS/GAMES LIFE - MARK FURLER

TEN years ago, Steve Jobs promised to ‘rein­vent’ the phone when he un­veiled the first iPhone with its 8.9cm dis­play, 320 by 480 res­o­lu­tion and two megapixel cam­era.

In re­al­ity, Ap­ple did a lot more than that – chang­ing for­ever the way we go on­line, in­ter­act, take photos, watch videos, play games and pay for things.

The iPhone X takes that revo­lu­tion to a whole new level with Face ID, an in­cred­i­ble TrueDepth cam­era, aug­mented re­al­ity and an­i­mated emo­jis.

The iPhone X’s neu­ral en­gine is ca­pa­ble of 600 bil­lion op­er­a­tions a sec­ond.

The beauty of most of its so­phis­ti­ca­tion, how­ever, is you don’t need to know the mind­numb­ing pro­cesses go­ing on un­der the hood. It just works. Very quickly and ef­fi­ciently.

Much has been writ­ten about its Face ID sys­tem, which projects 30,000 dots each time you open your phone. But that’s only part of the story.

The TrueDepth cam­era – and the op­por­tu­ni­ties it opens for de­vel­op­ers – is ar­guably the un­sung hero of the phone.

The iPhone X fea­tures 12MP dual cam­eras with beau­ti­ful por­trait ef­fects on the front and rear cam­eras. The tele­photo cam­era, with its f/2.4 aper­ture, is bet­ter than that on the iPhone 8.

Por­trait light­ing uses fa­cial land­scap­ing and depth maps to cap­ture por­traits with shad­ows and spot­light ef­fects. The blurred Bokeh ef­fect is now avail­able for self­ies.

That same clever tech­nol­ogy pow­ers the ex­pres­sive An­i­moji – char­ac­ters that move as your face does and al­low you to send very cute mes­sages to fam­ily and friends.

That fa­cial ‘map­ping’ also al­lows you to su­per­im­pose your­self into scenes from around the world – not quite as fun as trav­el­ling there – but a lot quicker and cheaper.

When it comes to ev­ery­day han­dling, the iPhone X is easier to hold than Sam­sung’s Note8, yet still packs a 14.7cm su­per retina dis­play.

The dis­play is more nat­u­ral look­ing than that of many ri­val phones with truer skin tones. But on some things, such as watch­ing Net­flix, the Note8 is a tad more ex­cit­ing.

Sam­sung and An­droid fans have mocked Ap­ple for only ‘catch­ing up’ with its tech­nol­ogy, par­tic­u­larly the curved full screen dis­plays, which have been out for many months.

Ap­ple ar­gues it has gone fur­ther with its OLED screen with an HDR dis­play with a mil­lion to one con­trast ra­tio and the in­dus­try’s best colour ac­cu­racy.

The loss of the Home but­ton means you have new ways to in­ter­act with the iPhone, some­thing that took me less than a day to get used to.

To open it, you sim­ply raise your iPhone and look to­wards it and then swipe up from the bot­tom. The same swipe ac­tion re­turns you to home base.

Open­ing your con­trol cen­tre is just as easy – you just swipe down from the top right edge.

Ap­ple Pay is just a dou­bleclick on the side, and Siri is also a but­ton press away.

To scroll through apps al­ready open, you slowly swipe up from the bot­tom edge, paus­ing to show the app switcher – some­thing that takes a lit­tle longer to get the hang of.

With an up­front price tag rang­ing from $1579 to $1829, the iPhone X is ex­pen­sive.

But so is any­thing that is at the top of its class.

10 YEARS IN THE MAK­ING: The iPhone X fea­tures a stun­ning OLED dis­play and al­lows you to send fun an­i­mated mes­sages.

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