Opinions about a gadget depend on liking or disliking the same, which further depends on various factors. In the last 10 years since the first iPhone, Apple has continuously evolved the design of what is its most significant creation so far, while also being accused of keeping it appearing largely familiar by way of linear progress. Overall though, the Cupertino giant can be credited to play an influential role in how mobile phones have come to look and operate today.
From the compact, yet, the handful iPhone which debuted in 2007, the depth (body thickness) has only gotten thinner with each new design. Although, it has also gained in size what it has lost in fatness. The company which was once clearly against the large displays on phones, succumbed to the changing market trends as it brought along the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus in 2014, and delivered the screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches (up from 4 inches in the iPhone 5 series).
However, in its typical fashion, Apple do things at its own pace. And when it does, the execution is usually polished and without any concerning flaws. So, after repeatedly coming out with smartphones with visibly prominent bezels (and frustrating a whole lot of people around the world for long), Apple finally decided to let go of them for its 10th anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X. It is a bit nostalgic to see the glass back (along with the front), and have them fuse with the ‘Surgical-grade’ stainless steel frame.
Full Screen Design with a Twist
So, we welcome the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten) with great excitement. While opinions will continue to be divided, which is what opinions are, rest assured, the design of the X is going to inspire a whole lot of phone makers in the coming future.
Personally, the best thing about how the iPhone X looks is how Apple has went for the full screen design. The legendary HOME button is gone. More specifically, the screen seamlessly follows the curves of the body to all four corners creating an extremely smooth looking front portion when the display is on. The bezels have been noticeably reduced and whatever is left of them is uniform on all sides and corners (while also preventing unintentional inputs on the screen). There is virtually no bodywork left at the front anymore which is not part of the display itself.
This, along with the cut-out at the top of the screen for the front camera, infra-red sensor and the speaker, is quite unique and instantly recognizable amongst the group of top-of-the-line Samsung, LG and Sony handsets, to name a few. And for the very first time, Apple has gone for the OLED panel instead of the tried and tested IPS LCD.
That said, the all-new Super Retina display (which is what Apple is calling it) is only one of the number of new features in the iPhone X. Unsurprisingly, the screen is compliant for both HDR10 as well as the Dolby Vision. For a quick comparison, the display on the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ and Note 8, while incorporated with HDR10, miss out on Dolby Vision. There is also the True Tone feature which, when enabled, adjusts the ‘white balance’ in the display according to the ambient light, so that colors continue to appear more natural under different lighting conditions.
But there is more.
Introducing the FACE ID
The iPhone X (regarded as the iPhone 8 prior to the launch) was possibly the worst kept secret by Apple as far as its looks and certain functionalities were concerned. For example, we are not surprised to see the face recognition technology and the complete absence of the fingerprint sensor as these were more or less confirmed a good amount of time before the launch. But of course, what is to be experienced is how radical and secure the new unlocking system is.
The Face ID in the iPhone X is seemingly more sophisticated than what we have already seen in the latest Samsung devices. Apple’s system goes on to create a 3D map of a person’s face using 30 thousand invisible dots (that are handled by a separate infrared camera) in order to make it fool-proof.
In theory, it means that if you click a picture of your own face and put that photograph against the front camera of your iPhone X, the phone will not unlock. All this is achieved by what Apple calls the ‘TrueDepth’ front camera. Apple claims it is going to need a real person for the Face ID to work.
An all-new Dual Camera with more Stabilization
The dual camera in the iPhone X is a marked improvement over the iPhone 7 Plus camera. The differences between the two start right from the way the X’s dual camera is aligned – vertically – compared to the horizontal alignment of the 7 Plus’s camera.
While it is still comprised of two 12 MP lenses, sensors in both are new and faster along with the slightly larger aperture of f2.4 in the secondary telephoto lens (the primary has the unchanged f1.8 aperture). But the biggest improvement is that both lenses are now optically stabilized for sharper and clearer images especially in low light conditions. Also, for the first time in a smartphone camera, 4k videos can be shot in 60 fps while 240 fps for slow motion has been extended to 1080p resolution.
Furthermore, the Portrait mode gets an upgrade with the addition of ‘Portrait Lighting’ option. Using the TrueDepth feature (present in the rear dual camera as well), the camera offers a choice of a number of lighting effects on the face of the person to be clicked, like – Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light and Stage Light Mono. This whole feature also extends to the front TrueDepth camera.
It would be interesting to see how this new camera fairs against the dual camera in the Galaxy Note 8 (first ever dual camera in a Samsung phone). Apparently, the Note 8 is the first device to get Optical Image Stabilization for both lenses, and now it is joined by the iPhone X. The competition between the cameras of the two smartphones shall be the most interesting one given that they are now much more closely matched than ever.
Animoji – animated emojis that simulate human facial expressions in real-time
Apple has given a new direction to the concept of emojis. The company has not only added animation to them, but those animations are actually the human facial expressions that are mirrored on to various emoji characters. Apple has named this Animoji.
This is a feature given to the front camera which uses its TrueDepth technology and basically analysis 50 different facial muscle movements to simulate various expressions on to an Animoji. From what we saw during the iPhone X launch event, it did come across as something fun.
Most Prominent Features
Above are the highlighting features of Apple’s most radically re-imagined iPhone till date. We are intrigued from what we have seen so far. What is also satisfying is the inclusion of wireless charging and the fast charging.
Combined with the heavily refreshed iOS 11 and Apple’s most powerful chipset, A11 Bionic chip, it would be nothing less than fascinating to see how the iPhone X will fair against its direct rivals primarily from Samsung (Note 8) as well as from LG (V30). The latter could be the dark horse in this group especially given its advanced audio capabilities with the Quad DAC and the musicality which is fine-tuned by none other than B&O (Bang and Olufsen – a high-end, lifestyle company of audio equipment).
Horns are about to get locked, and we cannot wait to watch the action!