The New iPhone X

Marina He '20

The long-awaited iPhone X was released by Apple on November 3rd in celebration of its tenth anniversary. The iPhone X is drastically different from previous iPhones and is what Apple CEO, Tim Cook refers to as “our vision of the future.”

One of the most significant upgrades between the iPhone X and previous iPhone models is the absence of the home button, which is a feature that Apple users have long been accustomed to. It has been a long time goal for Apple to create a device that maximizes screen coverage. A small digital bar on the screen reminds users to swipe up to return to the home screen, and a series of gestures have been introduced given the absence of the home button. The larger screen also allows Apple to decrease the size of the phone itself. In fact, the new model is smaller in length than the iPhone 8 (although slightly wider). Nonetheless, the removal of the two bars on the top and bottom of the phone has enabled the iPhone X to have a screen size larger than iPhone 8+.

The new shape of the phone has received great reviews from its users so far, because it enables better “one-handed-handling.” Face ID, Apple’s newest feature used both for unlocking the phone and Apple Pay, has replaced the old Touch ID. Although Android has this feature in one of their phones, Apple has had the most success in how smoothly, efficiently, and accurately Face ID functions. The success of Face ID rests with the front camera as well as other sensors, labeled altogether by Apple as the TrueDepth camera system. One must be looking at the iPhone in order to trigger Face ID, and this stimulates the infrared camera to take an image of the face and transfer it to the A11 chip for confirmation.

With the introduction of the TrueDepth camera also comes improvements to the quality of the camera. This new system also allows Apple to introduce an upgrade to its emojis. Now, users have access to a feature called animoji, where twelve emojis are able to move according to the facial movements of the user, creating a short emoji animation.

Apple has also taken on-screen technology used by Samsung. The iPhone X is the first Apple phone to use an OLED screen rather than a LCD screen, which is used in all iPhone models that Apple currently sells. This has long been used by Samsung, Android, and Pixel phones, but Apple was able to weld the technology so smoothly that users have claimed it to have the best and most comfortable display in comparison to phones from Apple’s competitors that also use an OLED screen.

Another unique feature of the iPhone X is its back, which is now made of glass and surrounded by a stainless-steel frame. This not only gives the iPhone a different feel, which many users approve of, but also enables wireless charging, which is also available with the newest iWatch and Air Pods.

However, this does not mean that the iPhone X is flawless. Some users have complained about the absence of the home button and others have expressed dissatisfaction with the sometimes inaccurate and time-consuming Face ID. Other issues that have arose with the iPhone X is that multiple users have found that the screen becomes unresponsive in extremely cold temperatures, although Apple has already tried to update the system to solve this issue. In addition, shortly after the pre-ordered iPhone Xs were delivered, Apple advised its users to keep the screen as dim as possible to avoid “screen-burn,” which is when there is a permanent discoloration on the display.

The iPhone X has set high expectations for the future of smartphones, marking it not only as the beginning of a new generation of iPhones, but also of a new league within the smartphone industry.