iphone x

Meet the iPhone of the fu­ture, with a stun­ning all-screen de­sign, 3D face scan­ning, and lap­top-beat­ing power

T3 - - Gadget Guru -

Su­per shooter

The iPhone X has dual 12MP cam­eras (one 2x tele­photo, one wide an­gle), just like the 7 Plus, ex­cept now both lenses fea­ture op­ti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion, and the sen­sor is much im­proved, let­ting in 83% more light, for sharper pics with less noise. And now Por­trait Mode lets you change the light­ing of a per­son’s head­shot dig­i­tally, which is just bonkers.

Goes up to A11

Ap­ple’s new pro­ces­sor is called the A11 Bionic, and in­cludes a ded­i­cated neu­ral pro­ces­sor, which sounds a bit Ter­mi­na­tor- y. Most im­por­tantly, it in­cludes a six-core pro­ces­sor that, in early bench­marks, beats this year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro for per­for­mance. Boom. It also in­cludes Ap­ple’s first ever self­de­signed graph­ics chip.

Swipe right

The iconic Home but­ton is gone. You now swipe up from the bot­tom of the phone to go back to the home screen – or pause while swip­ing to see re­cently-used apps. You can also just swipe left to right at the bot­tom to switch to your last-used app, hand­ily.

Face time

Ap­ple’s Touch ID fin­ger­print sen­sor is gone, re­placed with face recog­ni­tion for se­cu­rity, in­clud­ing un­lock­ing your phone, and Ap­ple Pay. Face recog­ni­tion doesn’t have a great rep on phones, but Ap­ple’s tech is more ad­vanced (see across), so we’ll have to see if it’s re­ally bet­ter when we can try one at length. The 3D tech is also used to add Por­trait Mode to the front cam­era, and it can do live fa­cial cap­ture to an­i­mate emo­jis…

Edge of to­mor­row

In typ­i­cal Ap­ple style, there’s a spe­cial name for the edge-to-edge dis­play here: Su­per Retina HD . Push­ing the all-screen en­ve­lope even fur­ther than Sam­sung’s S8, Ap­ple’s dis­play is a 5.8-inch, 1125x2436 beauty. That’s lower-res than the S8’s, but it’s still su­per-sharp at 458ppi. It’s OLED , with HDR sup­port and a 1,000,000:1 con­trast ra­tio. It’s also True Tone, so the colours ad­just to match the am­bi­ent light­ing of the room you’re in.

The iPhone X is the most rad­i­cal re­design of an iPhone yet, ty­ing to­gether in­dus­try trends and adding that Ap­ple level of polish. And it needs to be a lot of polish for the £999 price tag Ap­ple is ask­ing when it comes out on Novem­ber 3rd.

It’s a knock­out from the mo­ment you try it, though. It’s hard to over­state how beau­ti­ful the screen is – deep, rich and smooth, draw­ing level with Sam­sung in the qual­ity stakes eas­ily. The rear, which is now glass, doesn’t feel as pre­mium as the al­most-ce­ramic metal of pre­vi­ous mod­els, but it still feels solid and se­cure in the hand. The edges aren’t sharp, in­stead fold­ing into the palm in a way that’s pleas­ant to hold.

We weren’t able to test the face un­lock, which is a shame, be­cause it’s the area we’re most un­cer­tain about – in the var­i­ous demos we’ve seen, it seemed to strug­gle for con­sis­tency. Ap­ple says it learns your face bet­ter over time, and when it worked, it was re­ally fast and slick, so we’ll re­serve fi­nal judg­ment for a full re­view.

Us­ing ges­tures in­stead of the Home but­ton is in­tu­itive and works well, al­though you do have to get used to bal­anc­ing the phone in your palm. The Con­trol Cen­tre is now at the top right, and that needs a lit­tle more dex­ter­ity to hit – you’ll have to use two hands for that gen­er­ally.

The gen­eral tech of the cam­era up­grades this time around are im­pres­sive, but it’s depth-sens­ing that steals the show. The cam­era on the back is bolted on ver­ti­cally, rather than hor­i­zon­tally, show­ing that Ap­ple wants you to hold the phone in land­scape rather than por­trait mode. This is also on ac­count of the front True Depth cam­era, which takes up so much space and is needed for Face ID. The front cam­era is ex­cel­lent at sens­ing your sur­round­ings and your face, and the abil­ity to map a mask, or trans­form you into an an­i­mated emoji is gen­uinely joy-fill­ing. There’s some­thing amaz­ing about be­ing able to make an on-screen pig frown, or be­ing trans­formed into a holo­gram. Silly, but true.

The cam­era it­self felt good, very sim­i­lar to pre­vi­ous it­er­a­tions, with some ex­tra speed from the new chip – in short, this was all about be­ing able to sense the sur­round­ings rather than tak­ing bet­ter pho­tos, which was in­ter­est­ing. How­ever, the ma­chine learn­ing in­side should be able to bet­ter work out what you’re snap­ping and al­ter the set­tings to match – and the Por­trait Light­ing, which in­tel­li­gently learns what is the sub­ject and what isn’t, and can al­ter the ef­fect of the photo ac­cord­ingly, is re­ally stun­ning as a fea­ture.

Ap­ple says this gets two hours bet­ter bat­tery life than the 7 Plus, which is great, though we couldn’t test it strongly yet. Wire­less charg­ing seems to work re­ally well, and will be great for top-ups when you need them.

So, some ques­tions marks re­main, but there’s no doubt that the iPhone X is the fu­tur­is­tic iPhone from Ap­ple that we’ve been wait­ing for. Just be ready to pay a hefty sum for it.

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