Ap­ple iphone X A thou­sand-pound phone or just grand lar­ceny?

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The iphone X is pro­nounced ‘iphone 10’, and costs £999 – yes, nine hun­dred and ninety-nine pounds. To pro­tect your in­vest­ment, Ap­ple has made it en­tirely out of glass. The front is glass. The back is glass. There’s a bit of metal in be­tween, but that won’t help if you drop it on the floor. It’s not fully wa­ter­proof, ei­ther – just splash-re­sis­tant.

Ap­ple charges £286 to re­place the screen. Any other dam­age, in­clud­ing a cracked back, costs £556, if it can be fixed at all. Al­ter­na­tively, when you buy your iphone X you can pay an ex­tra £199 for Ap­ple­care+, which re­duces th­ese costs to £25 and £79. Or you can sign up for Ap­ple’s iphone Up­grade Pro­gramme, which gives you in­ter­est-free credit for 20 months, free Ap­ple­care+, and the op­tion to up­grade to next year’s iphone. It’s bet­ter value, but you have to go to an Ap­ple store for a credit check.

This doesn’t feel like £1,000 of phone. The screen doesn’t go right to the edges like Sam­sung’s, and al­though it’s great that there’s no bor­der at the bot­tom, there’s a weird notch at the top, where the cam­era, speaker and Truedepth aug­mented re­al­ity sen­sors live. It’s not quite as slim as an iphone 8 Plus, yet the sim­i­lar dual-cam­era sticks out a mile. The tele­photo lens is a bit bet­ter in the X, and its op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion im­proves on one of the best ever phone cam­eras – but it’s still not great in low light. The front cam­era is very good, too, and now has its own Por­trait (blurred back­ground) mode thanks to Truedepth, but it doesn’t work re­li­ably. We liked the ‘an­i­moji’ car­toon char­ac­ters that lip-sync your voice.

Ap­ple’s first OLED screen looks fan­tas­tic, and the tall, nar­row shape is easy to hold and slip in a bag or pocket. There’s bags of pro­cess­ing power. The ba­sic 64GB of stor­age is prob­a­bly enough (and it can’t be ex­panded), while the face- ecog­ni­tion sys­tem, which re­places fin­ger­print read­ing, is less an­noy­ing than we feared, if rather awk­ward when us­ing Ap­ple Pay. How­ever, the bat­tery lasted just nine hours and 22 min­utes in our video play­back test. Over­all, this is just a good phone, not a sell-your-grand­mother phone. Ap­ple has hinted that more Truedepth clev­er­ness will en­hance it later. Well, OK. We’ll wait, and start sav­ing.

VER­DICT: If you have an arm and a leg that you don’t re­ally need, this is a good phone, al­beit a rather frag­ile one. Oth­er­wise, for­get it

★★★☆☆

AL­TER­NA­TIVE: Sam­sung Galaxy Note 8 £785 Deep dis­count­ing is making Sam­sung’s top phones look at­trac­tive, and this huge one no longer catches fire

A good-look­ing if frag­ile phone, but is it re­ally worth £999?

Google’s Home and Home Mini smart speak­ers com­pete di­rectly with Echo. Ap­ple is work­ing on a sim­i­lar box for Siri, called Home­pod (pic­tured), but it has been de­layed un­til next year. Each of th­ese de­vices can de­liver news, sports re­sults, weather fore­casts and so on, as well as travel di­rec­tions, which you can for­ward to apps on your phone. You can even or­der an Uber taxi or a pizza, and Alexa makes it par­tic­u­larly easy to buy from Ama­zon through the de­vice, which may be of in­ter­est if you sub­scribe to Prime for free de­liv­ery. You can pro­tect this fea­ture with a PIN so your kids or your par­rot can’t ac­ti­vate it. Google, on the other hand, is bet­ter at un­der­stand­ing ran­dom ques­tions. Alexa’s strength is in its ex­ten­sive sup­port for smart light­bulbs and other home au­to­ma­tion prod­ucts, and the Plus takes this even fur­ther. We’ll have to see if Google and Ap­ple catch up.

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