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The iPhone X – an expensive way to glimpse the future

Don’t whatever you do, call the new Apple phone, the iPhone “X” – those in the know are calling it the iPhone “ten”. That X is a Roman numeral apparently, or possibly a little joke from Apple given that it’s ten years since they launched the first of their ground breaking phones. To celebrate, they’ve gone straight from the iPhone 8 Plus to the ten. Or 10. Or X. Take your pick.

Current quoted prices are from £999 upwards and monthly deals are hovering around the £80.00 mark. Does the iPhone X have enough amazing features to persuade people to ditch their older iPhones and reach for their wallets? Let’s take a look.

Photo by Melvin Thambi

How fragile is it?

Apple boasts that the glass in this iPhone is the most robust ever. Apparently someone’s already dropped one and it’s not indestructible – quite an expensive way to find that out. So you’ll need a case. As with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, there are front and back glass panels, with a stainless steel band framing them. That steel makes this phone feel heavier than the iPhone 8 which has aluminium. The phone can handle water, dust and splashes.

Home button? So last model!

For the first time, there’s no Home button, so the phone is similar to Android phones in that respect. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen will take you home.

More functionality has been loaded onto what used to simply be the power button. It’s been made longer and Apple now calls it the “side button”. If you press and hold it, Siri starts. If you press the side button and the volume button simultaneously, it will capture a screenshot. And the two cameras on the back are now placed vertically instead of horizontally.

OLED Display

Apple has finally included an OLED display, and at 5.8” you really see the point of this. However, both Apple and Samsung are now using aspect ratios that are longer and thinner than what you see on screen. This problem will go away as new app versions are produced.

The camera is the dual lens type introduced on earlier iPhones which gives depth to photographs. It’s a great camera but not the best on the market, if this is a key feature for you.

The phone has a whole bunch of “augmented reality” features. However applications that use these are still few and far between, although a lot of gaming companies have apps in development.

 

Image source Pixabay

It can map your expressions

The TrueDepth camera can use your facial expression in apps. So far, you can use this to control Animojis with your own expression. Again, we’re probably looking at clever technology without a killer app to call its own. One day you may be able to launch a virtual version of yourself into games, messages and calls. For now though, you can use it to scan your face, so that you and only you, can unlock your iPhone.

Battery life is shorter than the iPhone 8 Plus but better than the iPhone 8. You’ll get roughly a day out of one charge. There’s still no headphone jack, so it’s a case of wireless headphones or using the supplied adapter for ordinary headphones.

Siri and iOS 11

There are lots of minor improvements to Photo and iMessage, new emojis, better mapping and Siri now has a more natural voice. Siri is now personalising suggestions much more, using data from the phone apps you use.

Image source Pixabay

Summary

It’s a great phone, but it’s just too expensive. Many of the cutting edge features don’t have apps or software that can really take advantage of them yet, so they don’t really justify the price tag. In effect you’re paying for potential. And by the time the potential is realised, there’ll be other phones available.

That said, there are Apple fans out there who will be queuing up all night to get their hands on one. And it’s a wonderful phone to receive as a gift if you’re not the person paying £1,000 for it.

By Kim

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