IPHONE X A FANCY, PRICEY SHOWSTOPPER
Facial recognition, wireless charging among highlights
CUPERTINO, CALIF. The amped up, much-anticipated $1,000 iPhone X finally is here.
The top of the line among the three new iPhones Apple introduced Tuesday, it certainly looked intriguing shown off from the stage of the new glass-topped Steve Jobs Theater. And I’m still intrigued after picking up the phone for the first time, in a crowded hands-on demo area. There’s little doubt iPhone fans, many of whom have held off purchasing while waiting for this one, will want it.
They’ll have to wait until Nov. 3. CEO Tim Cook didn’t explain the delay, but the bet here is that much speculated supply constraints are in play. Preorders start Oct. 27.
It’s a showstopper, the first iPhone with a beautiful edge-to-edge 5.8-inch OLED display, with either 64GB or 256GB storage, starting at $999 or $1,149 for the higher capacity. Apple calls the high-resolution (2,436 x 1,125) screen a “Super Retina” display. The phone, which has a glass front and back, will come in silver or space gray.
As expected, Apple removed the home button in favor of the ability to unlock the device
As expected, Apple removed the home button in favor of the ability to unlock the device through a biometric method known as Face ID.
through a biometric method known as Face ID. Apple claims this is so secure, the chance any other person could unlock your device is 1 in 1 million, compared to one in 50,000 for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
The company made mention of the fact you won’t be able to trick Face ID with a photograph. And Apple says Face ID will work whether you’re wearing glasses, a hat or whatever.
With Touch ID having gone AWOL with the disappearing home button, you’ll be able to use Face ID, Apple says, to purchase stuff through Apple Pay. It’ll be critical that it works well. If there are hiccups with the feature, that could turn off people still reluctant to use Apple Pay or who find (as I do) how easy it currently is with a fingerprint.
No home button means you’ll have to break other habits. On the new phone you navigate home by swiping up from the bottom of the display, which in turn means changing the way you access Control Center. On the X, you’ll be able to summon Siri by pressing a side button (or like now by using a “Hey Siri” vocal command).
The second thing you might try is a fun feature: using your face to create what are animated emojis or animojis. Make an angry face and your animated emoji copies your facial expression. You can add audio, too.
Is it practical? No. Will it be a crazy hit? I’m guessing yes.
The iPhone X also should benefit from improved cameras, along with a portrait lighting feature that launches in beta. It promises studio lighting effects to bolster the backgrounds on the portraits you take and will work on both the front and rear cameras of the iPhone X.
Also coming is wireless charging (through charger accessories that adhere to a standard known as Qi). And perhaps because rivals including Samsung got to wireless charging first, Apple provided a sneak peek at something it calls AirPower, an accessory coming next year that will let you charge three devices you plunk down on a pad simultaneously, including an iPhone, Apple Watch Series 3 (also announced Tuesday) and Apple AirPods.
Peter Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, talks about the camera in the iPhone X, which will start at $999. Preorders start Oct. 27.
Apple also introduced a new all-glass iPhone 8 with a 4.7-inch Retina display and an 8 Plus with a 5.5-inch display.