iPhone ten(X):Most futuristic iPhone yet

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iphone x hidden features

Planning to buy an iPhone or Android phone? Read our iPhone X review first.

Last year the iPhone which led the smartphone pact turned 10.10 years ago when Steve Jobs first unveiled it he called it the future and boy he is right now. Hence Apple even named this year’s iPhone as iPhone X, skipped 9 as a mark of its tenth anniversary. Here’s the full in-depth review of Apple iPhone ten.

Design

iphone ten
iphone ten

It all starts with that beautiful 5.8 inch OLED display supplied by Samsung, custom engineered by Apple around the black sensor notch and surrounded by a stainless steel frame. The screen is vibrant and colours just pop out of the display and you feel like you’re touching your content. With a maximum brightness of around 634 nits, the screen on the iPhone X is bright and can be easily seen in direct sunlight.

The screen comes with Apple’s true tone technology that makes your display warmer based on time and location for happy reading and yeah good night sleep as well, it’s like a colour temperature managing software feature built into the hardware and yeah the screen includes 3D touch as well. Know more about 3D touch here.

iPhone ten
iPhone ten
iPhone ten
iPhone X

DisplayMate the benchmark site which rates smartphone displays after comprehensive testing called it the highest ever performing display in a smartphone topping in various aspects such as highest contrast ratio, lower screen reflectance and so on ,although that can change when Samsung releases Galaxy S9 this month.

iPhone ten
iPhone ten

DisplayMate also said iPhone X has most accurate colour reproduction and one of the lowest screen reflectance ratios ever found in a smartphone. Apple even custom engineered OLED panel to avoid burn-ins by carefully designing software and hardware as well. Normal off-axis tint shifts are commonly noticed in daily usage although it doesn’t bother me much. You can check the complete in-depth review of iPhone X’s display from DisplayMate here.

Bottom line It provides accurate colour and is easily one of the best displays in the smartphone market.

iPhone X comes in 2 colours silver and space grey I personally the space grey model coz it just blends well with front panel and classy looking as well. Although for first few days the notch bothered me later it just became a part of my experience.

The notch is what’s really unique about iPhone ten, Face ID. The notch can be annoying at times especially while watching a youtube video or surfing web it just crops a portion of your content. The design is all glass on front and back and easily most breakable display on an iPhone.Cameras are vertically aligned for better AR also remain a way to distinguish iPhone X from iPhone 8 or 8 Plus looking from the rear side. I suggest to not use iPhone X without a case at all.

broken iphone X.Ouch!
broken iPhone X.Ouch!

iPhone ten, although a bit on heavy side, is comfortable to hold in one hand but the back of the phone begs for a case because the phone is all glass and btw if you break your phone you’re going to pay a lot even if you’re covered under AppleCare Protection Plan. My suggestion is that you put on a case on the moment you take it out of the box.Also, note to accommodate that 3D touch and bigger battery Apple made iPhone X a bit bulkier measuring at 7.7mm in thickness. Looks like thinnovation is no longer a priority at Apple under Tim Cook.

Camera

Rear cameras are dual 12 MP cameras that support image stabilisation and cinematic video stabilisation and with focus pixels, you can quickly focus on your subject almost instantly.iPhone X takes excellent pics and this time better low light pics too thanks to slow sync flash that allows more light to flow into sensor thereby capturing more detail in the scene. What I really love about iPhone ten is that it takes 4K video at jaw-dropping 60 FPS, that’s a feature many high-end DSLR cameras provide, which means your video will look smooth and crystal clear. Mark my words the video stabilisation on iPhone X is unparalleled and unmatched in a smartphone camera ever.

iOS 11 takes images in HEVC which is a new format producing same details of an image at half the storage size. Don’t worry sharing is compatible with other platforms such as, ahem, Android. Rear camera provides 1X zoom using the telephoto lens and 6X digital zoom.The front camera is 7 MP and it provides portrait selfies, which means you can take artistic selfies.

The last camera feature I wanna take about is the Portrait mode. Apple made a big deal when they announced 7 Plus by taking about portrait mode. Now what this does is using normal camera iPhone takes picture whereas the telephoto lens is used to detect the distance from the subject and using AI iPhone blurs out the background. It produces a bokeh effect although it needs a bit of work and portrait lighting simulates studio lighting using the Depth information obtained by Telephoto lens. Apple also provides Depth API to developers so you can add fun stickers in the background or change your backgrounds such as Apple’s own clips App does.

Credits: Apple
Credits: Apple
Credits : Apple
Credits: Apple

Bottom line: Camera is amazing and just a bit behind Google’s Pixel 2 Camera.

Features

iPhone X comes with A11 bionic processor which has 4 low power energy efficient cores and 2 high-performance cores and iPhone X handles tasks from multitasking, gaming, video editing like a champ.A11 bionic has 64-bit architecture and Apple now requires developers to make apps compatible with 64 bit devices unoptimised apps are currently blocked in iOS 11.iPhone X crushes the competition in geek bench scores with multi-core score topping 10000. Take a look at geek bench score here. Apart from that, there’s a component called neural engine for AI-related tasks and Face ID system to work. It also has an M11 coprocessor that handles fitness related data and motion activity.

A11 Bionic
A11 Bionic

iPhone X has a front facing component called TrueDepth camera(the notch)which has 7 MP camera, IR camera, Dot projector as a part of the system that analyses the geometry of the face called Face ID. This is a bold step in biometric authentication, provided Apple nixed Touch ID the fingerprint scanner available in iPhone 8 and below.

TrueDepth Camera
TrueDepth Camera

Face ID works fine and has several attention aware features like showing notifications, muting the ringer volume and keeping the screen awake as long as you look at the screen.I’ll cover more about Face ID in a separate section as it truly the future of computing.

It supports Bluetooth 5.0, Wifi 802.11 ac and supports most of CDMA, GSM, LTE bands. It lacks support for fast LTE sported by other competitors but in the coming iPhone Apple may even support 5G features. To put it simply it’s a world phone.

It has NFC and supports Apple pay. Apple unlocked NFC reader for third parties in iOS 11.iPhone X is water and dust resistant rated IP67.So you can jump into a pool with your iPhone X, meaning no more bank-breaking water damage bills.

Apple Pay using FaceID
Apple Pay using FaceID

iPhone X also has wireless charging at peak 7.5 Watts although that’s a bit slow compared to Samsung’s fast wireless charging solution.I’ve been using Belkin Boost wireless charging pad and it is generally slow takes just as much as 3 hours or so to charge fully while I’ve noticed phone heats up a bit during wireless charging. Here’s another pro tip as you don’t have a headphone jack, I know AirPods are there like Apple said, you can plug in the lighting EarPods that come in the box while charging wirelessly. I was absolutely blown away by the quality lighting EarPods provide with crystal clear digital noise cancellation.

Software

Any smartphone in the world is only as good as its software.iPhone X comes with iOS 11 and to name a few there are many features people love and use like Siri,iMessage, Apple Pay,iCloud that can be used for automatic backup of your iPhone, Safari that features iCloud tabs support, Continuity which enables to handover a phone call, message, email or any other App that supports it to a Mac or iPad.

iOS 11 running on iphone ten
iOS 11 running on iPhone ten

Apple tightly integrates its services into its products. For Music, you have Apple music that comes around 9$/month or so for a family subscription. Compared to Android your customisation options are limited here. You can only rearrange app icons, change the wallpaper to still, live wallpaper which animates when you apply pressure on the screen and these can be the live photos you take on your iPhone, create folders and rearrange folder and app layout.

Apple doesn’t even let you pick your default Apps but some of the third party Apps figure out a way and let you customise your default browser and so on while using them.iOS is very secure and provides end to end encryption for services such as iMessages and iCloud.In case you set up a two-factor authentication the system is so secure that Apple can’t even break the encryption.

iOS even has find my iPhone App dating back to 2011 or even earlier that lets you lock, ping your phone and even erase the contents of your phone using the internet. There’s a built-in security feature called activation lock which requires your Apple ID and Password even when you format the device which makes iPhone one of the safest smartphones in the world.

First Party apps such as Mail, Messages, Music, Maps are all optimised for the edge to edge design around that Face ID notch. Once optimised apps look really cool.Third-party apps such as Dayone, Fantastical and even games such as Alto’s adventure look fantastic on the OLED screen.

iPhone X true strength lies in App Store. Remember “there’s an App for that”? Yeah exactly. App developers make more money on iOS than Android which is why they make the best apps with great UI and great performance. Developers are required to optimise few apps otherwise there software black bars which make your content look boxed. There are many great examples where developers have optimised Apps and games and here are some for your reference.

Mail App on iPhone X
Mail App on iPhone X
Safari on iPhone X
Safari on iPhone X
Tiny Wings game
Tiny Wings game

The side button does so many things. Press it once locks the phone, press and hold for Siri, Press side button and volume up button to take a screenshot, press and hold volume up and side button for power options and yeah it’s complicated. Don’t worry Apple has guided tour on its website to help you out. The haptic engine now feels more natural than ever and I feel damn good with each unique haptic vibration felt on my hand.

Fan wars and the recent battery controversy aside iPhone X software just adds up to the experience.iPhone X has some additional gestures like single swipe from bottom to get home, swipe and hold to activate App switcher but you’ll get used to them once you start using the phone just the way I did. And the notch? Come on there’s more to you than that. And yeah AR is built right into iOS 11 and with recent update, users can use AR apps and games in horizontal and vertical planes once they’re optimised.

FaceID and TrueDepth Camera

FaceID on iPhone X
FaceID on iPhone X

 

FaceID is the black notch at the top responsible for all memes on the internet. It has some most advanced technological features like face recognition for face unlock. It hides notification by default unless you look at the phone mutes the tones while you’re looking at the phone. The Truedepth camera also enables advanced face tracking capabilities and it can capture and analyse facial data of 50 facial muscles and build a map around the geometry.

I’ve come across games such as Rainbrow that can be played just with your eyebrows, Nose Zone that lets you shoot lasers with your nose, the wacky face game that tracks winks and your mouth to shoot lasers. The truedepth camera also enables Animojis that map your facial expression to 12 emojis along with your voice up to 10 seconds. Unfortunately, these can be used only within iMessages.

You can check rainbrow game demo here Rainbrow control using your eyebrows.

Animoji on iPhone X
Animoji on iPhone X
Animoji on iPhone X
Animoji on iPhone X

FaceID generally works but distance matters. You can’t get too close to the camera. It’ll unlock in the dark and in bright sunlight. You can yawn a bit while unlocking but if make weird expressions on your face while unlocking chances are it’s going to fail. It doesn’t work with masks, helmets and other funky things that cover your face.

Animoji on iPhone X
Animoji on iPhone X

Overall it works just fine as long as you’re holding your phone in portrait or your phone and your face need to be aligned at the same angle say when you’re lying on the bed.

After using FaceID so many days I just forgot that it’s there. You just look at your phone and swipe up.you’re good to go unless it fails, which in most cases won’t.

FaceID unlocks at various angles, you don’t have to hold your phone straight up to your face. I’d say around 150 degrees radius FaceID should work for you. I only find it difficult when I just get out of my bed when I can’t fully open my eyes then faceID struggles a bit. Believe me, FaceID is a game changer, once you use you’ll never want to use anything else.

Battery Life and Performance 

wireless charging on iPhone X
wireless charging on iPhone X

I get around 7 hours of heavy usage with LTE, gaming, emailing,wathcing youtube on a moderate basis. There’s fast charging available for iPhone ten but Apple doesn’t give you the cables to do it right out of the box which sucks in my opinion. You need to a power adapter, Usb c to lighting cable to get fast charging.

Performance is top notch if its simple mailing, group chatting, multi tasking , hardcore mobile gaming iPhone X easily handles all of them without any hiccups. Yeah, iphone X gets unresponsive in few weather conditions or sometimes due to any random bug but a force restart should help clear the problems. It outshines its competitors in GeekBench score and given Apple’s tight control of iOS iPhone X is a performance beast.

Price 

iPhone X is the most expensive iphone yet with starting price of 999$ and available in 64GB and 256 gigs storage options going upto 1250$. If you ask me is the price justified I’d say yeah totally coz people buying this phone know they want Apple ecosystem that just works flawlessly,wanr seamless Over the air software upgrades and excellent tech support from Apple. At the end its just a personal choice.

Verdict

If you’re ready to experience futuristic face recognition with software and hardware hiccups given you get the best in class performance and stability you can buy it.If you’re somewhat conventional in buying I’d suggest you go get an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus or even Pixel 2 if you’re that Android guy.

 

 

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