Apple announces the totally redesigned iPhone X

by Jaron Schneider

posted Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 2:45 PM EDT

 
 
 
 

We thought Apple was done after announcing the iPhone 8, but they had more. The new, all-screen iPhone X is what they call the future of their smartphone, and it looks like it. The new phoen features a new design, no home button, and a "super retina display."

THe screen is 5.8 inches on the diagonal, and is 2436x1125 and 448ppi OLED display, the highest density in any iPhone. It has better contrast, higher resolution, and is extremely thin. Usually OLED has problems with color accuracy and brightness, but Apple says they overcame that. It has a one million-to-one contrast ratio, and has amazing color accuracy. 

 
 

Apple says the point of this was to enable an entirely new experience that was more fluid and more intuitive. You can raise to wake it, or just tap the screen to wake the phone. Since there is no more home button, Apple had to rethink how they wanted it to work. Home screen access is achieved by swiping up on the device. This works across all apps, no matter what you are doing. The same gesture works for multitasking. Rather than a double click, you swipe up and pause momentarily to get to other apps. 

Siri can be accessed via voice, or you can now press the larger side button to access her. 

So how do you unlock it? With iPhone X, it uses facial recognition to unlock. Called "Face ID," Apple seems to have ditched thumbprints. There is a lot packed into the top of the phone which makes this all possible:

 
 

Every time you glance at the phone, it detects your face using a series of cameras and a "neural network" to create Face ID. It uses an A11 Bionic neural engine designed specifically to process facial recognition. It's built with a set of machine learning algorithms using the highest density computing system for Apple ever. 

 
 

It's not super clear how the Face ID tells the difference between a photo and your real self, especially since it works in many different environments and clothing. From what we could glean, it uses depth and the neural network to prevent spoofing with a photo. Apple seems confident holding up a photo won't work to unlock it. All this is done on-device, not on a remote server.

Face ID will be used for Apple Pay and third party apps. That may take some getting used to. 

 
 

The new screen does look really nice.

 
 
 
 

So the camera has the improved features of the iPhone 8, featuring the same dual sensors and dual lenses. The big news on the X is that it has dual optical image stabilization. It has a better quad-LED true-tone flash, which gives a better tone to skin. 

 
 
 
 

There is zero shutter lag, making stopping action great. Portrait mode is back, and the new "Portrait Lighting" will also be available. For more information on that, check out of iPhone 8 coverage

For selfies, you can take portrait mode selfies (that includes the new Portrait Lighting mode) thanks to that new front-facing camera bar. 

The phone features wireless charging and the battery lasts two hours longer than iPhone 7. Apple also is introducing a wireless charging matt that charges all their main portable devices called Air Power. Rather than this:

 
 

You get this:

 
 

Overall, the phone is actually the dramatic change folks were looking for. The changes may not all be popular, but they are taking risks and doing new things, which fans have been complaining about for years. 

 
 

Oh, and the iPhone X has a starting price of just $999, and starts shipping in October. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!