If you are a tech-head and an Apple fan, it is almost certain that the iPhone X (and that is X as in Roman numeral ‘ten’ not X as in the letter) is high on your Christmas list. However, even if you do not meet the above criteria, there are many reasons to want to get your hands on this shiny new high-tech toy, preferably with a great new mobile deal!
The iPhone X is made from glass and stainless steel, with glass being the predominant material. This is because both the back and front of the phone are made of glass – and Apple claim that this glass is the toughest glass they have ever made, although breakage is still very possible if the phone is dropped. The reason for the glass back is to allow for wireless charging. The phone must be placed very precisely on the charging station (which must be purchased from third party manufacturers as Apple has not yet produced their own version of an air charging station, although one is in production and expected to be out next year sometime) and left for quite a long time to achieve a full charge. Wired charging is much faster, but wireless will be useful when out and about without a charger, as some cafés and hotels already offer wireless charging as a service along with free Wi-Fi.
Apple’s newest offering is now splash, dust and water resistant. This means that while dropping your phone down the loo is still going to be embarrassing, it will no longer spell death for your phone or cost you a fortune in repairs and replacement.
One of the most exciting features of the iPhone X is the new look display. The home button has been taken away, so the screen can occupy most of the available surface area of the front of the phone, maximising your video streaming enjoyment. This is enhanced by the new OLED technology that Apple have used for the first time, moving away from their customary LED screens.
The cameras on this phone are the best ever offered by Apple, boasting a number of new features designed to make your photos even more stunning, amusing or quirky, depending on your picture-taking expectations. A variety of editing and polishing apps help to make the camera’s features even more impressive, so you can up your Insta game to trump all your friends!
Speaking of the cameras, access to the phone is now by the usual signing in, but also by facial recognition. Face ID is configured to recognize you from several different angles, in various outfits – including wearing hats, scarves and other head-covering garments – and even operates in the dark. You will need to ‘train’ the system to recognise your face, but it does get better over time, becoming more adept at recognising you in unusual situations.
Augmented reality has been dramatically improved, so if you’re still on Pokemon Go, you can enjoy the improvement straight away as you complete your collection and humble-brag about it to all your friends. Otherwise you may have to wait for the next killer augmented reality app to come along, as there are not many ready-to-use augmented reality apps that can do the iPhone X’s version full justice. Make sure your deal includes plenty of data for both home broadband and out-and-about Wi-Fi, so you can explore the world in a whole new way.
In the latest incarnation, Siri sounds more natural – both the male and female versions of it, and conversations can sound almost Turing test ready. Studies have found that it can be beneficial to talk to systems like Siri, as they work like sounding boards, giving us a way to work through problems that we need to verbalise, but that we would not like to say to another person who might judge us! Siri has a number of great tricks up his/ her sleeve – say ‘Winter is coming’ and get a variety of answers from ‘Hodor’ to ‘I can’t get the weather in Westeros right now’, as well as a number of snappy retorts: ‘Play some cool music, Siri,’ sometimes gets the response, ‘None of your music is cool.’ All these witticisms are sure to sound better with a less robotic voice, so be sure to try some of them out when you get your iPhone on Christmas Day.
A final word on the desirability of the iPhone X: the store of emojis has been upgraded to include over seventy new icons, including elves and zombies. Who could ask for more?