Guide to iPhone X

To­mor­row’s smart­phone is al­most here, and it’s called the iPhone X. Mac­world staff re­veal what all the fuss is about

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iPhone X. It’s real, it’s here, and it’s very ex­pen­sive. Af­ter months of ru­mour and spec­u­la­tion, fol­lowed by the big­gest pre-launch leak ever, on Ap­ple fi­nally re­vealed the iPhone X dur­ing the com­pany’s an­nual au­tumn press event in Septem­ber.

This is a rad­i­cal de­par­ture from the form fac­tor of ev­ery other iPhone out there, in­clud­ing the brand-new

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. It comes with a jet-black edgeto-edge OLED screen topped by a TrueDe­tect cam­era sys­tem that en­ables a brand-new Face ID un­lock­ing sys­tem and An­i­moji fea­tures.

Pre-orders don’t start un­til 27 Oc­to­ber, and we won’t know ev­ery­thing about the phone un­til we can get our hands (and faces) on it. For now, we’re here to an­swer all of your ques­tions about the new iPhone X.

Price, colours, stor­age

The iPhone X starts at £999 for 64GB of stor­age, which is the high­est start­ing price of any iPhone to date. 64GB: £999 256GB: £1,149 To com­pare, the just-an­nounced 4.7in iPhone 8 is £699 for the same stor­age. The iPhone X will be

avail­able in sil­ver and space grey (sorry, gold fans – that fin­ish is re­served for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus).

Re­lease date and pre-or­der in­for­ma­tion

Pre-orders are sched­uled to be­gin on 27 Oc­to­ber, and will ship on 3 Novem­ber (the fol­low­ing Fri­day). Ru­mours are sug­gest­ing that it will be in limited sup­ply, so if you want to get one early, we sug­gest you pre-or­der as soon as Ap­ple makes it avail­able.

Key spec­i­fi­ca­tions

Dis­play: 5.8in di­ag­o­nal all-screen OLED Multi-Touch dis­play, fea­tur­ing 2436x1125-pixel res­o­lu­tion at 458ppi and True Tone tech­nol­ogy. Di­men­sions: 143.6x70.9x7.7mm Weight: 174g

Bat­tery life: Ap­ple claims that the iPhone X’s bat­tery will last up to 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7. That should net you: Talk time (wire­less): Up to 21 hours In­ter­net use: Up to 12 hours Video play­back (wire­less): Up to 13 hours Au­dio play­back (wire­less): Up to 60 hours

Rear-fac­ing cam­era: 12Mp wide-an­gle and tele­photo cam­eras (Wide-an­gle: ƒ/1.8 aper­ture; Tele­photo: ƒ/2.4 aper­ture). It has an op­ti­cal zoom, and a dig­i­tal zoom up to 10x. It also fea­tures Ap­ple’s Por­trait Mode, which

made its de­but in the iPhone 7 Plus and is also found in the iPhone 8 Plus. You can also test out the Por­trait Light­ing beta on the iPhone X.

Front-fac­ing cam­era: 7Mp TrueDepth cam­era, also com­pat­i­ble with Por­trait Mode. It’s the only cam­era com­pat­i­ble with Ap­ple’s new An­i­moji fea­ture. Video record­ing: 4K video record­ing at 24-, 30-, or 60fps 1080p HD video record­ing at 30- or 60fps 720p HD video record­ing at 30fps

Splash, wa­ter, and dust re­sis­tance: Rated IP67 un­der IEC stan­dard 60529, which means it can be sub­merged un­der­wa­ter for 30 min­utes at a depth of 1m. Pro­ces­sor: A11 Bionic chip Charg­ing com­pat­i­bil­ity: Charg­ing com­pat­i­bil­ity: Light­ning port, wire­less (Qi com­pat­i­ble) For all other spec­i­fi­ca­tions, check out Ap­ple’s iPhone X tech specs page at

Key fea­tures Face ID re­places Home but­ton

With­out a home but­ton for Touch ID, how does one un­lock the iPhone X? With your face! Face ID uses a TrueDepth cam­era-and-sen­sor sys­tem along the top edge of the iPhone X to de­tect your face quickly, even in the dark – and even with glasses on.

Face ID uses more points of comparison than Touch ID, and the iPhone X uses depth sens­ing so you shouldn’t be able to fool the sys­tem with a pho­to­graph or even a high-qual­ity mask. You have to ac­tu­ally look at the iPhone too – if your eyes are closed or you’re look­ing away, it won’t work. So, no, your chil­dren can’t un­lock your iPhone while you’re asleep. (And they could do that with Touch ID)

TrueDepth uses a whole ar­ray of sen­sors to get this done, in fact. In­frared sen­sors can de­tect your face in the dark. The dot pro­jec­tor helps cre­ate a math­e­mat­i­cal model of your face and com­pare it to the stored model. A ma­chine-learn­ing neu­ral en­gine is even built into the iPhone X’s A11 Bionic chip to process Face ID in real time, right on the de­vice. But be­cause Touch ID is so fast, Ap­ple re­ally has a high bar to clear with Face ID.

To ac­cess the home screen or mul­ti­task­ing menu, you just swipe up from the bot­tom edge of the screen. Swipe up quickly to go to the home screen, like you’re sweep­ing the app off the screen, or pause mid-swipe to in­stead go to the app switcher. You can even swipe be­tween apps if you swipe along the very bot­tom edge of the screen. You can sum­mon Siri by say­ing “Hey Siri”, or just by press­ing and hold­ing the Sleep/ Wake but­ton on the side of the iPhone X.

Ap­ple Pay also uses Face ID to au­then­ti­cate trans­ac­tions. Apps can use the Face ID sys­tem too, just like they could use Touch ID al­ready.

New cam­eras for AR and An­i­moji

Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone X sports two 12Mp cam­eras on the rear, only this time the lenses are stacked ver­ti­cally. They still pro­trude from the back of the phone just slightly, but it’s hard to mind when you con­sider the specs: dual op­ti­cal im­age sta­bi­liza­tion, larger sen­sors for lower-light per­for­mance, higher dy­namic range, zero shut­ter lag, and an im­proved quad-LED True Tone flash.

Cou­pled with iOS 11’s Cam­era app, the iPhone X sup­ports Por­trait mode and the beta Por­trait Light­ing fea­ture, which de­tects the dif­fer­ent planes of a per­son’s face and ad­justs the light­ing on each one to make ev­ery­one look their best. In fact, even the TrueDepth cam­era on the front of the iPhone X sup­ports Por­trait mode and Por­trait Light­ing – best self­ies ever.

On the front of the iPhone X, the TrueDepth fac­ere­c­og­niz­ing cam­era sys­tem has more tricks than just Face ID. A new fea­ture in Mes­sages called An­i­moji can

mimic your mood and ex­pres­sion. They track 50 fa­cial mus­cles to sync the emoji with what you’re say­ing, and then send your ‘talk­ing head’ to a friend. You get a dozen op­tions at launch, in­clud­ing the pooh emoji.

Yes, your dreams of turn­ing your­self into an an­i­mated talk­ing lump of ex­cre­ment are fi­nally com­ing true.

A11 Bionic chip

In­side, the iPhone X sports an A11 Bionic chip, which Ap­ple says is 70 per­cent faster than the A10 Fu­sion in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. It has six cores, two for high­per­for­mance com­put­ing that are 25 per­cent faster, and four ef­fi­ciency cores to save bat­tery life dur­ing lower-in­ten­sity tasks. A per­for­mance con­troller can even com­bine all six cores at once.

Ap­ple even de­signed its own GPU, a three-core ver­sion that’s up to 30 per­cent faster than the GPU in the iPhone 7. Graph­ics per­for­mance is use­ful for more than just big-name games, though – the iPhone X needs it for aug­mented re­al­ity apps and ma­chine learn­ing too.

Wire­less charg­ing with Qi

iPhone X sup­ports wire­less charg­ing with the Qi stan­dard, and Ap­ple will of­fer ex­ist­ing Qi charg­ing so­lu­tions in its re­tail stores. Next year, Ap­ple will even sell its own ex­tra-wide Air­Power charg­ing pad that can si­mul­ta­ne­ously charge an iPhone X, an Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3, and even a set of AirPods once you spring for a new charg­ing case that sup­ports Qi.

iPhone X: FAQ Why is it called the iPhone X?

Ap­ple hasn’t said, but pre­sum­ably it’s a ref­er­ence to 2017 be­ing the tenth an­niver­sary of the hand­set (it’s even pro­nounced as the num­ber ten). Re­mem­ber, Ap­ple shifted away from the ‘X’ brand­ing last year in its Mac op­er­at­ing sys­tems, switch­ing from OS X El Cap­i­tan to macOS Sierra, so there won’t be any con­fu­sion with the desk­top. And be­sides, X is a su­per-cool let­ter.

Why is the OLED dis­play a big deal?

The iPhone X is Ap­ple’s first OLED phone, mean­ing that each pixel di­rectly pro­duces light rather than be­ing back­lit like an LCD dis­play. As we’ve seen in An­droid phones from Sam­sung, Google, and oth­ers, OLED colours are more vi­brant with deeper blacks, greater bright­ness, and su­perb con­trast. In case you’ve never

seen a Galaxy phone, you can see the ben­e­fits of OLED on the Ap­ple Watch screen. The iPhone X’s dis­play has a res­o­lu­tion of 2436x1125, for a shock­ing pixel den­sity of 458ppi. Ap­ple’s call­ing it Su­per Retina. Like the iPhone 8, it sup­ports TrueTone to ad­just the colour tem­per­a­ture to the am­bi­ent light around you.

There are also bat­tery ben­e­fits. With OLED screens, black pix­els don’t pro­duce any light, so the phone ac­tu­ally con­serves en­ergy by us­ing dark colours. Ap­ple claims the iPhone X will get two ad­di­tional hours of bat­tery life over the iPhone 8. Ob­vi­ously, this is some­thing we’ll test in our re­view, and bat­tery life varies based on how you use your phone, but Ap­ple’s es­ti­mates are usu­ally re­li­able.

One draw­back, how­ever, might be sup­ply. OLED screen are more dif­fi­cult to man­u­fac­ture, and Ap­ple is go­ing to need a lot of them. Re­cent ru­mours sug­gest there may be a long wait be­fore the iPhone X gets into cus­tomers’ hands.

Will the cam­era notch get in the way of apps?

While the notch juts into a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the top of the screen, it won’t ac­tu­ally us­able space. The sta­tus

bar splits it­self into two equal parts, with the time to the left of the notch and the cel­lu­lar sig­nal, Wi-Fi, and bat­tery in­di­ca­tors to the right.

So, while the back­ground colour and im­age ex­tend to the top of the screen, it’s re­ally just for looks – all us­able space is be­low the notch.

How will the notch work in land­scape mode?

The screen will ori­ent it­self just short of the notch, so you’ll have two thin bars on ei­ther side of the screen to prop­erly frame the app or video.

How will I use Touch ID with­out a home but­ton?

Ap­ple has ditched Touch ID in the iPhone X for a new sys­tem called Face ID. You can also use a swip­ing ges­ture paired with a pass­code.

What’s Face ID?

Face ID is Ap­ple’s new bio­met­ric sys­tem for un­lock­ing the iPhone X and for con­firm­ing Ap­ple Pay trans­ac­tions on the de­vice as well. It will likely uti­lize a new 3D cam­era for ac­cu­rate and se­cure scan­ning. In the iOS 11 GM, de­vel­oper Guil­herme Rambo found the full Face ID setup process, com­plete with tog­gles for us­ing it to un­lock, pay, and aut­ofill; a screen that de­scribes how it works; and au­then­ti­ca­tion an­i­ma­tion.

Will I be able to use my fin­ger­print to un­lock my iPhone X?

Sadly, no. If Touch ID is a fea­ture you can’t live with­out, it’s still avail­able on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

So, how will I get back to the home screen?

iPhone X fea­tures a new ges­ture-based nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, so there will be a learn­ing curve. In­stead of tap­ping the home but­ton to get back to the home screen, you’ll find a new nav­i­ga­tion bar on the bot­tom of the iPhone screen. Pulling up from the but­ton of the screen will now bring you back to the home screen, and a longer pull will bring up the new app switcherCon­trol Cen­tre combo.

How will I ac­cess Siri on iPhone X?

In ad­di­tion to set­ting up ‘Hey Siri’, you can sum­mon Siri by hold­ing the sleep/wake but­ton.

Are there any iPhone X-only fea­tures?

Yes. Face ID is an iPhone X-only fea­ture, but the phone’s TrueDepth cam­era that packs the Face ID sen­sors also al­low for an­other fun iPhone X-clu­sive fea­ture: An­i­moji. Users will be able to cre­ate cus­tom an­i­mated mes­sages that use your voice and re­flect your fa­cial ex­pres­sions us­ing the iPhone X’s 3D cam­era to an­a­lyse the move­ment of your face and ap­ply your ex­pres­sion to your emoji of choice. You’ll have 12 emoji to pick from at launch – yes, in­clud­ing that one. If you’ve ever wanted to send a poop emoji that is an­i­mated with your per­son­al­ity, you might need to get an iPhone X.

Will AirPods be in­cluded in the iPhone X box?

Sadly, no. How­ever, a new AirPods con­tainer will be re­leased soon, and it will sup­port wire­less charg­ing just like the iPhone X.

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