In Depth

Apple’s iPhone X: is it worth it?

The tech giant is hoping that superfans – and the super-rich – will snap up its brand new all-glass iPhone with face ID

Apple’s long-awaited iPhone X is now on sale in the UK. The new smartphone boasts one of the most radical redesigns since the company entered the smartphone market ten years ago.  

The iPhone X is the company’s most expensive phone to date. The flagship mobile – where the “X” is pronounced as “ten”, says Apple – costs £999 for the 64GB model and £1,149 for the range-topping 256GB version. 

It’s the first iPhone to sport an edge-to-edge display that does away with the physical home button, unlike the devices that came before it. The phone also has upgraded cameras and Face ID – a facial recognition security system.  

Ahead of the launch of the iPhone X, Apple had “high expectations to fulfill”, according to The Daily Telegraph. “One thing’s for certain: it didn’t back away from them”, says the paper. “Tim Cook called it the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone and nothing less than ‘the future of the smartphone’.”

But has the tech giant introduced enough new features to justify the phone’s £1,000 price tag? Here’s what the critics have to say:

Design and display 

The iPhone X sports a vastly different look to its predecessors. The smartphone has glass panels that are held together by a curved stainless steel band that wraps around its outer edges.

At the front, the flagship device boasts a 5.8ins OLED display with a resolution of 2436 x 1125, Tech Radar reports. The screen’s bezels are almost non-existent, although there’s a small lip at the top of the panel that houses the phone’s front facing camera. 

It’s the only thing that gets in the way of “you and the new operating system”, the website says. But this isn’t really an issue as the huge display “takes the attention in other ways.”

While the large display is a visual treat, Digital Trends says many apps aren’t optimised to work with the wider screen. These include popular services such as Snapchat, Slack and Google Docks, which leave large black bars at the top and bottom of the display. 

Nevertheless, the site says the display boasts sharp colours and blacks that are “finally as pitch-dark as many other OLED Android phones.”

“You’ll have a hard time pulling your eyes away from this screen”, says the website.

Cameras

Poking out of the back of the device is a pair of lens stacked on top of each other vertically. The arrangement is different to the iPhone 8 Plus’s horizontal dual-lens shooter. 

The iPhone X has optical image stabilisation on both of its lenses, The Verge says, while the 8 Plus only offers this on its wide-angle setting. The flagship phone also has Apple’s TrueDepth setting on the front camera, the site says, which improves the lighting in selfies. 

While the camera isn’t a huge improvement on the iPhone 8, the iPhone X does support the new Animoji feature, says the site. This places an animated emoji over the subject’s face in real time using augmented reality (AR).

The feature is both fun and “surprisingly accurate”, says Digital Trends, but this alone may not be a selling point for the phone. 

Price and release

Prices start at £999 for the 64GB model, while 246 variants start at £1,149. Unlike the iPhone 8, the iPhone X is only available in one screen size. Buyers can only choose their device’s storage capacity and colour – Space Grey or Silver. 

The iPhone X is now available on Apple’s website and in Apple stores, but you may struggle to find one for quite some time. 

The firm quickly sold out of launch-day models when pre-orders opened on 27 October. Only a handful of network providers offered day-one delivery for the flagship smartphone.

Verdict 

The iPhone X’s “thin” design and “ambitious” feature list means it’s “clearly the best iPhone ever made”, The Verge concludes, adding that it’s “a huge step forward in terms of phone hardware”.

But it’s also a very expensive iPhone with a price tag that may seem “ridiculous” to some buyers, the site says.  

Digital Trends says it’s “well worth the high price tag”. The new smartphone is hugely appealing for those wanting an OLED display they’ll struggle to take their eyes off, says the website. 

The design is certainly sharp, says Cnet, but is it worth the money? “A thousand dollars is a magic number, and really, iPhones have already gotten nearly there with the iPhone 8 Plus”, says the website. “The kicker here is that this nice-looking X sits as an extra upgrade option above the 8 Plus, which is already an upgrade option to the 8. 

“By its price alone, it’s not The Phone For Everybody”, it concludes. 

iPhone 8 and iPhone X: Huge leak reveals radical changes ahead of tomorrow’s launch

11 September

After what has been described as “one of the biggest leaks of all time”, the launch of Apple’s new iPhone looks set to be one the most important in years and mark a radical departure for the world’s biggest company.

When will it be released?

Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to unveil the new iPhone at a launch event at the company’s new Apple Park headquarters in California tomorrow around 10am Eastern Time.

Fans in the UK can watch the keynote live on Apple’s website from 6pm GMT.

If past launches are anything to go by, the device will go on sale a week after their unveiling. This means the new iPhones will be available for pre-order on Friday 15 September and hit stores the following week.

Apple has dismissed reports picked up by the likes of Business Insider which claim the new iPhone may not make it onto shelves this year due to supply chain issues and “technical challenges”, although huge demand for the new smartphone means there could be a limited supply for the first few months in the run-up to Christmas.

What will it be called?

It has long been rumoured that Apple with mark the 10th anniversary of its first iPhone with a radical redesign and a new name.

It now appears that both of these are true, with this weekend’s leak by an Apple employee seeming to suggest that the tech giant will break with its traditional naming system and call its new product iPhone X. 

Along with the iPhone X, Apple is also planning to release an iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus which will feature just minor upgrades compared to its new flagship phone. The company is also expected to unveil a new generation of Apple TV and Apple Watch, which could also get a rebrand.

So what can we expect from iPhone X?

“It has long been an ambition of Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, to make an iPhone that looks like one piece of glass, with a screen that covers the whole of the front of the phone” says the Daily Telegraph.

This weekend’s leak seem to show this dream may finally have become a reality with clues in the HomePod code suggesting the new phone will have a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display.

It looks as though the aluminium casing that has been a feature since iPhone 4 will also be replaced by a glass back, allowing Apple to increase the size of the iPhone X without increasing the footprint.

Another long-serving feature that looks to be going is the Home button. Apple has already patented a way of embedding Touch ID into the screen with the latest leaks revealing a virtual home button that could be hidden.

This also means that the fingerprint scanner that unlocks the phone is likely to be replaced by facial recognition software which a 3D camera able to scan a user’s face to open phones, log in to apps and verify Apple Pay transactions.

The presence of the new dual lens camera system that uses infra red technology to detect location and depth of objects in its field of vision suggests one of the most revolutionary new iPhone X features will be the augmented reality (AR) video gaming.

Forbes says Apple CEO Tim Cook “has been preparing the ground for augmented reality for some time” and “is gambling on AR to be the iPhone’s killer feature” that will justify its massive price tag.

How much will it cost?

Here’s the catch. Reports suggest the new iPhone X could cost as much as $1,000 in the US and with the weak pound plus VAT, it could end up being around the same price in pounds when it goes on sale in the UK.

This means it will cost more than 50% more than the current iPhone 7, although the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus models are expected to be significantly cheaper.

What about wireless charging?

Long the Achilles heel of smartphone development, the slow pace of battery evolution means today’s iPhones last about as long when fully charged as the first one released a decade ago.

To combat this, manufacturers have focused on technology such as fast charging as a compromise “but Apple could go one better and allow wireless charging” says the Telegraph.

While true wireless charging that automatically powers a phone when you enter a room may still be a way off, the leaks suggest Apple will offer the opportunity to charge your phone by placing it on an inductive pad as an extra feature in the iPhone X.

iPhone 8 to be unveiled in less than two weeks

1 September

Apple's highly-anticipated iPhone 8 looks set to be revealed in less than two-weeks' time after the tech giant announced that its next keynote for new products will take place on 12 September. 

The iPhone 8 is tipped to be a real game-changer. The expected debut of the new smartphone means the event is Apple's "most significant in years", says MacRumors

It's reported to come with wireless charging, while the Mirror says the physical Touch ID security button on existing handsets may get replaced with a touch-sensitive digital version instead. 

There's also a possibility it will feature an edge-to-edge display similar to that of its rival, the Samsung Galaxy S8, while an all-glass design could return to the mobile after a six-year absence. 

Along with the new range-topping smartphone, The Verge says Apple is gearing up to release updated versions of the existing iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that are also set to feature wireless charging.  

Additionally, 9to5Mac says new versions of the company's computer and mobile operating systems, macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 respectively, are expected to appear at the keynote.

The event will be held at the Steve Jobs Theatre, which is next to the company's recently-opened Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California.

It's not yet known when the iPhone 8 will go on sale, but Alphr expects the smartphone to appear in shops on 22 September with a price tag of around $999 (£775). 

Fans in the UK can watch the keynote live on Apple's website from 6pm on 12 September.

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