Apple iPhone X
Apple iPhone X
The iPhone X is the most exciting iPhone since… well, the first iPhone. Much of that is due to its new bezel-less 5.8-inch Super Retina HD OLED display. The 5.8-inch display has a 2,436 x 1,125-pixel resolution (~458ppi), but because of its tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio, it’s not actually that big. In fact, the iPhone X is closer to the iPhone 8 in size than it is to the 8 Plus, and if you watch regular 16:9 aspect ratio content on it, there’ll be big black bezels on either side, so it will appear about the same size as a phone with a 5-inch display.
While the bezel-less display is the focal point of the new iPhone, it’s not the only shiny new thing on the X – quite literally. The X has a new stainless-steel band that runs around the sides of the phone; on the Silver model it’s a gleaming chrome finish, while the Space Gray X gets a DLc coating that is equally reflective, but not quite as flashy.
Like the 8 and 8 Plus, the back of the X is glass, which enables wireless charging. The X also boasts a dualrear camera setup like the 8 Plus, only this time, both 12MP cameras have OIS. The wide-angle lens is the same f/1.8 lens you’ll find on the 8 Plus, but the telephoto lens is an upgraded f/2.4 shooter (the 8 Plus has an f/2.8 telephoto lens). The benefit of both lenses being optically stabilized is that there’s now no downside to shooting in zoom mode.
Okay, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the display notch. Some apps use iOS’s auto-layout system and fill the entire screen, but will often have content disappearing behind the notch, or will be cut off at the sides due to the unusual aspect ratio. Other apps that don’t fill the screen instead have huge black borders at the top and bottom. Now, I understand that eventually these problems will go away as more app developers update their apps for the X, but for now it’s an
annoyance, and it spoils my enjoyment of an otherwise amazing display.
The other big new feature on the X is Face ID. Everything on the X revolves around Face ID: it’s how you unlock your phone, it’s how you use Apple Pay, it’s what enables Animoji, it’s the whole reason the notch in the display exists.
So does Face ID work? Yes... for the most part. The technology behind Face ID uses an IR light, a dot projector, and a IR camera, collectively called the ‘TrueDepth camera’ all tucked into the notch at the top of screen. When you turn on the display, the IR light turns on, and if the IR camera detects a face, the dot projector flashes a pattern of 30,000 dots. The camera then takes a 2D photo, which gets turned into mathematical depth model, sent to the secure authentication chip, and matched against the stored value. This all happens in under a second, and in theory, it’s just as fast as Touch ID.
Generally speaking, Face ID works great. Raise the phone, look at it, and your screen unlocks. But it’s not perfect and sometimes, it takes longer than usual to unlock. It also requires you to look at the phone from a mostly head-on angle, and it doesn’t work if your phone is sideways or upside down.
Like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the iPhone X uses Apple’s new A11 Bionic processor. As expected, benchmark performance on the X was class-leading, and it easily blew away every Android competitor. As for battery life, the X lasted 12 and a half hours on our video looping benchmark, which is nearly two hours longer than the iPhone 8, but slightly shorter than the 8 Plus.
The iPhone X is the iPhone we’ve been waiting for, and finally delivers an ambitious and forward-facing take on what an iPhone can be. But like a lot of first-generation hardware, it’s not without flaws. Face ID works, but it’s not the finely-tuned perfection that is Touch ID; the new Super Retina HD display looks amazing, but it’s spoiled by that notch.
New things come at a price too: the iPhone X is extremely expensive. If you’re still on the fence, stick with whatever iPhone you already have, or go for an 8 or 8 Plus instead. Wait for Apple to fine-tune Face ID and work out how to cram all of those TrueDepth camera sensors into a smaller package.
The iphone you’ve been waiting for, but it’s not perfect.
The rear cameras on the iphone X are vertically orientated.
The aluminum frame has been replaced with a shiny stainless steel.