The Steve Jobs theatre was packed out in Cupertino on Wednesday as Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage to reveal 5 pieces of hardware and a new range of operating systems for each. Even though a leak earlier this week could have dampened the mood, it didn’t really detract from the drama and theatrics that have become part of a big Apple reveal.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, the marquee product at the event was of course the iPhone X, Apple’s most innovative and daring high-end phone yet. There’s also the iPhone 8, which is a more affordable update to the slightly disappointing iPhone 7, and the next-gen Apple Watch, TV and a minor update for Apple Airbuds.
So what does the new phone look like?
Although Apple have lagged behind some of the Android devices out there when it comes to innovation and cutting-edge additions, the X is the answer to all iPhone fans’ complaints about the lack of waterproofing, camera quality or wireless charging.
The first thing to be noticed is the incredible screen. It covers pretty much the entire phone, with a small bump at the top housing the phone speaker and front 12MP camera. The 5.8 inch OLED ‘super retina’ display promises beyond HD images and super crisp video, as well as the best colour and contrast on any smartphone. The biggest change to the front of the phone however is the lack of home button, with a downward swipe on the edge to edge screen used to go back.
The front camera is also used for the brand new FaceID security system, which unsurprisingly failed during the demo, but promises an extra layer of security. The dual rear camera and flash found on the 7 make an appearance too, again providing 12MP images and 1080p 60fps video.
What’s under the surface?
IOS 11 will take full advantage of the A11 Bionic 6-core processor, complete with Apple GPU. This jargon means that images, games and video will look absolutely insane on the OLED screen, setting the standard for mobile phone gaming. Everything from 3D shooters to puzzle games will look incredible, but we’re particularly excited about how online poker will look. The opportunity will be there to take advantage of these new features and improve on an already impressive mobile poker experience. The X will also provide plenty of options for storage, with the 256GB version storing plenty of those super hi-res selfies.
One of the most exciting features however is the new wireless charging capability. Apple have finally decided to catch up with high end Samsung models, providing options including a ‘charging mat’ that will allow the X and the new watch and airpods to be charged simultaneously. The phone is also dust and water resistant, although not fully waterproof.
When can I get it and how much will it cost?
The X will ship later than expected, with pre-orders open from the 27th of October and phones in stores on the 3rd of November. This is way later than the usual late September product release that Apple has followed over the last few models, but this is a pretty special phone. This brings us to the price, which will make a lot of us wince.
The cheapest 64GB X model will cost £999, making it one of the most expensive phones ever. The 256GB model is even worse at £1,149, meaning monthly contracts will probably tip £60-£70 for a basic package. The X is pitched as a game changer, so Apple fans who don’t have spare cash lying around may have to go for the new 8 model which is a bit more affordable.
Is it any good?
Put it this way, it’s the best phone Apple have produced and they have made some pretty good phones over the years. The display is nuts, the processing power will make some home PCs look silly and the feature list is extensive for an Apple product. Mix this with the sleek design and better battery capacity, faster charging time and the Android-esque features like improved cameras, water resistance and wireless charging and this could be the Apple phone to grab some market share back off Samsung. The only issue is the prohibitive cost, but let’s face it; people will eat baked beans for a year to make sure they have one.