Tenth-An­niver­sary Roundup

A walk­through of Ap­ple’s new re­leases and what they mean for you.

iPhone Life Magazine - - Contents -

Pun­dits have spec­u­lated for years that Ap­ple has been hold­ing out on in­tro­duc­ing new fea­tures with its last few iPhone re­leases in prepa­ra­tion for its tenth-an­niver­sary re­lease. Based on the no-holds-barred ap­proach Ap­ple took with its new pre­mium iPhone X (pro­nounced “iPhone Ten”), I'd say the pun­dits were right.

The iPhone X fea­tures an edge-to-edge dis­play that's larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus (at 5.8 inches vs. 5.5 inches) and a form fac­tor that's com­pa­ra­ble to the iPhone 7 in size. The X fea­tures a glass back and sur­gi­cal-grade stain­less steel sid­ing, and has the same wa­ter and dust re­sis­tant fea­tures as the 7. How did Ap­ple achieve its most ex­pan­sive screen in such a com­pact form? By re­mov­ing the bezels found in older iPhones and by re­plac­ing Touch ID and the Home but­ton with fa­cial iden­ti­fi­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy. Face ID, which un­locks your phone when you look at your screen, doesn't re­quire any screen real es­tate, in­stead us­ing a hy­brid of cam­eras and sen­sors (in­clud­ing an in­frared cam­era, flood il­lu­mi­na­tor, dot pro­jec­tor, and prox­im­ity and am­bi­ent light sen­sors) to de­tect and scan your face from any an­gle, even in the dark. Ap­ple de­moed new ges­tures that re­place Home but­ton func­tions for the iPhone X, like swip­ing up from the bot­tom of the screen to re­veal the app switcher and press­ing the side but­ton to sum­mon Siri. Not only is the iPhone X dis­play larger and the body smaller, but Ap­ple also packed in a faster A11 bionic pro­ces­sor and an

OLED dis­play. OLED has many mer­its: it de­liv­ers bet­ter color vi­brancy, pro­duces deeper blacks, and con­sumes less bat­tery since it isn't back­lit like LED. Sam­sung has used OLED in its smart­phones for years, and you may have no­ticed their higher con­trast and more color-sat­u­rated dis­plays. In the past, Ap­ple has dis­par­aged OLED for its in­ac­cu­rate color rep­re­sen­ta­tion and its bright­ness lim­i­ta­tions that can make it dif­fi­cult to see in out­door light­ing. How­ever, Ap­ple ex­ec­u­tive Phil Schiller re­as­sured us that the iPhone X's OLED “Su­per Retina” dis­play has ad­dressed these down­sides by in­cor­po­rat­ing tech­nol­ogy like HDR and True Tone.

Ap­ple heard our prayers and fi­nally added wire­less charg­ing to its new smart­phones (in­clud­ing for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus). This is a long-awaited fea­ture that Ap­ple has likely been sit­ting on, as other smart­phones have had this ca­pa­bil­ity for years. This also ex­plains why Ap­ple chose to build its new iPhones with glass backs; while more frag­ile, it al­lows for faster charg­ing with less fre­quency in­ter­rup­tion. Ap­ple says it will take only 30 min­utes to charge your iPhone up to 50 per­cent. What I found most sur­pris­ing is that Ap­ple used Qi wire­less charg­ing (pro­nounced “chee”), an open stan­dard that com­pa­nies like Belkin and Mo­phie, not to men­tion dozens of car brands, use. This means you won't be forced to use Ap­ple's own pro­pri­etary (and likely more ex­pen­sive) charg­ing op­tion. It also means that in the fu­ture we may be able to charge all our per­sonal elec­tron­ics, whether An­droid or Ap­ple, uni­ver­sally in pub­lic spa­ces like air­ports and malls.

Fi­nally, the iPhone X has a fancy new selfie cam­era that in­cludes the Por­trait Mode fea­ture first found in the rear cam­era of the 7 Plus and an even newer Por­trait Light­ing fea­ture that lets you repli­cate stu­dio light­ing for more flat­ter­ing self por­traits. It also in­cludes an ex­clu­sive An­i­moji fea­ture that lets you turn your face into an an­i­mated emoji, such as a uni­corn head or an alien. This may sound like a triv­ial fea­ture, but it brings Pixar-level an­i­ma­tion within con­sumer reach.

If you're con­sid­er­ing pur­chas­ing the iPhone X, you'll own a smart­phone with an in­cred­i­ble dis­play that uses less space and en­ergy than any other iPhone. How­ever, you'll be tak­ing a chance on the new Face ID tech­nol­ogy, in­stead of the triedand-true Touch ID. Schiller re­as­sured us that photos and even pro­fes­sion­ally made masks won't be able to trick Face ID, but it's still an emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy. You'll also have to pay ex­tra for OLED, which was ru­mored to cost Ap­ple $125 per panel, a cost that's in­evitably passed on to you. The X's $1,000 price tag and de­layed re­lease also make the X very ex­clu­sive and in­evitably a sta­tus sym­bol, for bet­ter or worse. If you're only in­ter­ested in wire­less charg­ing, buy an 8 model and save your­self the cash.

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