September 12th 2017
By Mike Flaminio
The iPhone X is Apple's new flagship mobile device that creates a new product tier within the iPhone lineup. Starting at $999 for the 64 GB and $1,049 for the 256 GB models, the iPhone X is a super premium smart phone. While it shared many specs of the new iPhone 8, there are some advanced features unique to the iPhone X.
The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge OLED display with a 458 pixels per inch density. Apple calls this new higher density display the Super Retina Display and it is also slightly larger than the iPhone Plus models at 5.8-inches compared to 5.5. Despite the larger display, being edge-to-edge, the phone is slightly smaller and lighter than the iPhone 7 Plus.
Dropping the home button, the iPhone X introduces a number of gestures. It also drops TouchID for the new Face ID. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Face ID isn't just image recognition as it utilizes multiple sensors including infrared. Apple says its implementation works whether the user is wearing glasses, hats, and in different lighting conditions. It also works looking at different angles, so it would seem you can unlock the device looking down and looking straight on. Interestingly, Face ID won't unlock unless it has your attention, which seems to mean it requires you to have eyes on the display. Apple also says Face ID is less prone to unauthorized access as it has a 1:1,000,000 false ID rate compared to 1:50,000 for TouchID. It seems this is the first time we've seen this number from Apple. Some other tidbits are Face ID works with Apple Pay, in addition to any apps supporting TouchID. Also, Apple said it adapts to facial hair, which sounds like it learns of face changes over time. Power this whole thing is what Apple is calling its first neural engine utilizing machine learning.
Also demoed was animated emojis. It appears it uses the Face ID tech to drive augmented reality feature of transferring facial expressions to animated characters. This can be used to send texts in Messages. I think my kids will love this.
The Face ID demo didn't quite work right and a backup was used. I'm not sure the reason, but that could be why we need to wait a few extra weeks for the iPhone X. Apple will be taking orders on 10/27 and ship 11/3.