Apple concluded today’s fall event with a classic “One more thing…” in honour of Steve Jobs, introducing the new-era-defining iPhone X. Describing it as the device that will shape the next ten years of smartphone technology, in the same way the original iPhone defined the past ten years, the iPhone X includes a 5.8” full front glass “Super Retina” OLED display that comes in at a resolution of 2436 x 1125 and a pixel density of 458 ppi. The display also features HDR support with a one million-to-one contrast ratio, enhanced colour accuracy and a True Tone display.
The edge-to-edge display also means that the home button has been removed, with the iPhone X adopting a new gesture-based interface to replace the home button functionality. Users will now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to return to the Home screen, with a partial swipe used to access the multitasking view. Siri activation has been moved to a long press of the side button, and the Control Center is now accessed by swiping down from the upper right corner where status icons are displayed.
Touch ID support has also been removed in favour of Face ID, which Apple promises is fast, accurate, and highly secure. Where Touch ID had a duplication rate of 1 in 50,000, Apple claims Face ID has a one in one million chance of being triggered by another face, and has been specifically engineering to not be fooled by photos or even three-dimensional masks. The FaceID system works in combination with an advanced front-facing “TrueDepth” camera system and the A11 Bionic neural engine that can handle 600 billion operations per second with real-time processing.
Like Touch ID, facial data is protected by the Secure Enclave and all processing happens entirely on the iPhone X. Face ID will also be used as the authentication method for Apple Pay on the iPhone X, requiring users to simply look at their iPhone screen before making a payment, and existing third-party apps that already support Touch ID for authentication will automatically integrate with the FaceID APIs without requiring developers to specifically code for it.
The iPhone X also uses the TrueDepth camera system to provide another new feature in the form of naturally animated emoji — Animoji — that can be sent directly in the Messages app. Users can choose from one of about a dozen Emoji characters and then use the TrueDepth camera to animate the character in tandem with their own facial expressions and voice.
The iPhone X also includes a dual-camera system similar to that found on the new iPhone 8 Plus, although the iPhone X adds a few enhancements, such as an f/2.4 telephoto lens and optical image stabilization for both lenses. The TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X also allows for Portrait Mode selfies and the new Portrait Lighting effect to be applied to front camera photos as well.
The iPhone X will be available for pre-order on Oct. 27 in 64 GB and 256 GB capacities, starting at $999, and is expected to go on sale on Nov. 3.