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Apple’s new iPhone X review


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Erin L

Erin L

This may be the most talked about smartphone that’s ever been released, depending who you ask… the brand new Apple iPhone X. People might be wondering what makes it so different from other phones and even from previous iPhones like the new 8 and 8+. There’s actually a lot that’s different, so lets dive in and take a look.

Apple iPhone x ten 10 reviewInside the box is everything you expect. The phone’s on top, there’s also EarPods — these are the wired ones and while it would make more sense for them to be wireless Airpods since there is no headphone jack in the iPhone X, I guess the X (it’s written ‘X’ but Apple says “ten”, by the way) would cost even more, so there’s an adapter included.  Also inside the box: a power cable and AC plug.

iPhone X: all about the screen

Apple iPhone x ten 10 reviewOne of the key differences between the iPhone X and other iPhones is evident right away, and that’s the screen size.  With an edge-to-edge display (yes, Samsung’s been doing this for a couple of phones now already) it takes up more of the phone and when you see it next to the smaller iPhone 8, that’s obvious, but even compared to the much larger  6+ you can see there’s a lot more screen real estate here.

Speaking of that screen, it’s a 5.8-inch Super Retina display with an all-glass and stainless steel design. It’s also got HDR for better colour and light recreation. Apple says it’s the hardest,  most durable glass on the market, and it’s custom made for them. Plus it’s more resistant to breaks than even Gorilla Glass. For us nerds,  the front and back feature a 50 percent deeper strengthening layer and a reflective optical layer to enhance the colors. The coating, called oleophobic—  lets you easily wipe off smudges and fingerprints.

Wireless charging comes to iPhone

Wireless charging apple iphone xAnother difference is wireless charging —thanks to the all-new glass back design and embedded charging system, you can lay the iPhone X (and the 8 and 8+) on a charging pad or charging mat and let it juice up. Apple doesn’t make wireless chargers, inc case you’re wondering. Instead they’ve authorized others like Belkin to make them for the new iPhones.

In my testing I have noticed you need to remove the phone from some cases in order to get wireless charging to work. If you’re shopping for a protective case, it’s worth checking in to whether or not it will work with a wireless charging mat if that’s route you want to go.

Unlock with Face ID facial recognition

Face ID is new to the phone, but yes— again, not new for some of you Android users out there.

review apple iphone x ten 10 Wireless charging apple iphone xOn the iPhone it works by instantly unlocking the phone as soon as you start to raise it — you’ll know because the lock icon unlocks. If you want to open up the phone you still need to swipe up to access it. (Though once you get used to it you can actually do this all in one fluid motion and by the time the phone is in front of you it’s unlocked and open.

I can say the facial recognition technology is definitely fast, and seamless and works every time with no bugs.

Face ID is also designed to work with hats, scarves, glasses, contact lenses, and many sunglasses. Plus, it’s designed to work indoors, outdoors, and even in total darkness. Want proof? Watch my YouTube video, above.

How secure is facial recognition? Apple says the probability that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it using Face ID is approximately 1 in 1,000,000 (versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID) though as Apple elaborates in its press materials, the “statistical probability is different for twins and siblings who look alike, and among children under the age of 13 because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed.”

New gesture controls for iPhone X

There are some new gestures too since the home button on the iPhone X is now gone. To close an open app, swipe up from the bottom. To access all your running apps, it’s a push and swipe motion from the bottom again. Your control centre now resides at the top right corner.

iPhone X camera is improved

iphone X photo Portrait mode example reviewAlso new on iPhone Ten is the 12 MP camera and  for starters it’s now vertical to make room for more hardware on that front facing True Depth camera.

There’s also changes to how you can manipulate your photos. You can now get that nicer Bokeh effect where the background blurs out by using Portrait mode.  There are a few different settings in portrait mode that make nicer, more artsy photos. There’s (above, Left to right) Natural Light, Studio light, Contour and two settings for Stage Light, one of which is black and white.

iphone X photo Portrait mode example review zoom

Zoom shot of a carnation.

There’s also an improved zoom lens. The wide-angle and telephoto cameras on iPhone X enable optical zoom, as well as digital zoom of up to 10x for photos and 6x for videos.

That lens and the camera, what apple calls the True Depth camera is what allows facial recognition to work, and how you get to play with one of apple’s pride and joy toys — Animojis.

Apple iPhone X Animojis iphone X photo Portrait mode example review zoomHave fun with Animojis

Animojis are animated emojis that use your voice and facial gestures, to create a real time animated character. I thought this would be kinda lame.  Then I tried it.  Surprisingly it’s kinda fun!

Even my husband had a laugh getting messages from a talking unicorn and some poop!

One other nice touch: even if your friends haven’t updated their iPhones to the X they can still view your Animoji since it lives as a video file.

Overall thoughts on Apple iPhone X

I only had a very short time to play around with the Apple iPhone X so this is just a preliminary review. I’ll be aiming to get more hands on with the X soon so if you have questions, please ask me in comments and I’ll try to get the answer.

My early thoughts? I wasn’t sure how new this phone could really be, but with the new facial ID, the improved camera features, more versatile gesture controls, Animojis and the bigger display in a smaller overall package, it’s actually pretty enticing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s expensive, but there’s a lot here to love. Here’s hoping I can spend some more time with it in the future to really see it in action.

Apple’s new iPhone X sells for about $1349 for 64gb memory and goes to $1569 for 256gb, both those prices are for outright buys, not on a cellular contract.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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