iPhone X | First impressions

“Say hello to the future” Apple says. But future can wait for now as the iPhone X will be available in November. In the meantime we can  console ourselves with the iPhone 8 and 8s which go on preorders on September 15 and on sale on the 22nd. X as ten, ten years from the so far so close 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPhone. The iPhone X is the first one that completely change the user experience, the home button is gone for the first time and this alone can be sufficient to disorient most of Apple users. It’s a strong change that Apple wasn’t so sure about, if they were they wouldn’t have launched the iPhone 8/8s which are basically a reiteration of the 3 year-old design of the iPhone 6, only with a glass back. Jony Ive said in the official video that they’ve always wanted to do an all screen iPhone so it’s very probable they have tested solutions for many years. To be prudent they presented only two colors and only one size. Yes, there could be an iPhone X Plus, why not? iPhone 8 Plus it’s bigger than the X despite having a smaller screen.

The 5.8″ screen of the iPhone X is pretty peculiar because it has those two “ears” at the sides of the little black bar where the numerous sensors are placed. Other phone makers opted for more conservative solutions, leaving a small strip at the top, Apple chose to make this peculiar choice and is not apologetic about it, it showed that area filled with contents and not always with the black stripes of the status bar that hide them. I thought that areas would be stuck to a black status bar showing the time on the left and the wifi, battery etc on the right. Probably their goals is to make them the distinctive sign of the iPhone front, like the round home button was (and is). Apple doesn’t arrive first to certain features but arrives better and this OLED display claims to combine the best of LED, (chromatic fidelity (P3/sRGB) and white balance with the high brightness and true black level of the OLED displays, together with a 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio and a record 458 ppi. It looks amazing in the first hands-on videos.

From a design point of view the edges and sides remain the one of the iPhone 6, i’m very curious, although a bit scared of being disappointed, of seeing how this chrome sides look in reality. I already like the reflecting glass surface of the back (oh my beloved iPhone 4) and the vertical disposition of the dual camera. Honestly a flushed camera is much better but with today’s multilens high performance sensors is impossible to achieve that. The bulging look bigger than the previous generations.

Overall the design is sleek and pleasant as always and the ears with the sensors strip in the middle is something I think we’re going to get used to and appreciate. Another peculiarity is the rounded edges of the display itself, and it’s a first time too. I don’t know how this will turn out in terms of usability especially with photos and videos. This will also depends on the UI guidelines the developers will receive. We already know we can resize videos to the reassuring  16:9 aspect ratio with a double tap.

With every new beginning risks should be taken and the main revolution is how to unlock the phone. After years of research, also in collaboration with Hollywood mask makers, and a billion pictures of real people used, engineers came out with Face ID, it is not only a picture that tries to identify the face traits with pixels, it’s a 3d scan of the face that goes beyond every possible change in hairstyle, accessories like scarves, caps or glasses, beard and so on. Even darkness is not a problem thanks to the Flood Illuminator (i.e. an invisible infrared light that helps identify your face even when it’s dark). For additional security, Face ID is attention aware, meaning it unlocks your iPhone X only when you look toward the device with your eyes open. That means it can also reveal notifications and messages, keep the screen lit when you’re reading, or lower the volume of an alarm or ringer. Face ID is enabled by the TrueDepth camera and is simple to set up. It projects and analyzes more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a precise depth map of your face, and they claimed it to be much more secure than touch id. This is made possible by the new A11 Bionic chip with machine learning. Again, Apple was not the first but Samsung facial recognition was tricked by a simple photo shown to the phone, lol, sorry I can’t help but laughing at this amateurish results.

The absence of the home button and the full screen display open the way for a new set of gestures.

To get to the home screen you will have to swipe up from the line you see above here, if you swipe up halfway through you access the multitasking. The search bar will be available trough a swipe down from the center of the screen and the control center trough a swipe down from the right “ear”.

iPhone X is really expensive with its 999 usd/1150€ price tag for a mere 64 Gb memory (with 4k videos at 60fps 64 are not that much) this is not a phone for everyone. We are used to see crazy prices for all new products but Apple didn’t consider the rise in the eur/usd cross and the 64 Gb which are not enough together with the 256 Gb is a cheap trick to push everyone to avoid the basic storage option. I will buy it for its importance in the timeline of the iPhone evolution and because I think you have to use something before giving an opinion. However this is a device i work or spend my free time with 365 days a year and, while ten years ago, i would spend this sum on a computer today with all its capabilities it’s not completely insane to think about buying it.

The dual 12 megapixels camera with optical image stabilization and a new portrait lighting mode (also present in the front facing camera, the so called True Depth Camera) that changes the light of the photo like you are in another place with a different light and requires a tremendous processing power; the True tone display (adjust the white balance onscreen to match the color temperature of the light around you); the Qi wireless charging are all nice improvements but let’s be honest: the iPhone X is all about theWOW effect we are addicted to!

What do you think about the iPhone X? Leave a comment below!

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