iPhone X: Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s best phone yet

Here's a glimpse at the absolutely gorgeous, never released golden iPhone X

samsung galaxy note 9 vs apple iphone x 1

The 10th anniversary Apple iPhone is here, and it’s called the iPhone X (pronounced “iPhone Ten”). The Cupertino, California-based company made it official at an event on the Apple Campus in the Steve Jobs Theater — and in our iPhone X review, we call it “the best iPhone ever.”

Indeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the new iPhone X “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone,” and it’s easy to see why. The OLED display — an iPhone first — is called the Super Retina Display and measures 5.8 inches, with a resolution of 2,436 × 1,125 pixels. It features Dolby Vision and HDR10 for stunning high-contrast video playback, as well as TrueTone dynamic white-balance adjustment, a feature of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the new iPhone 8 models. The screen takes up the whole screen and there’s no home button — you unlock your phone with your face. Oh, and it’s water- and dust-resistant, and capable of charging wirelessly.

Design

The iPhone X was completely redesigned from top to bottom for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. Featuring a glass over aluminum body, the iPhone X does away with home button altogether and introduces all new gestures, as well as Face ID for authentication. The display is a first for the iPhone as well: The iPhone X features a bezel-less 5.8-inch OLED display with a top notch for the camera.

apple iphone x news screen shot 2018 04 13 at 3 26 pm png
The Verge

Unlike other iPhones, the iPhone X only comes in one color: black. However it looks like Apple may have planned to release a gold version as well. After a 180 day confidentiality period passed, the Federal Communications Commission released images of the fabled golden iPhone X. The images were first noticed by The Verge, and while we don’t know why a golden iPhone X never came to pass, we can speculate that production issues caused Apple to scrap the idea.

Price and availability

iPhone X plant
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPhone X costs $1,000, and it’s available at Apple stores, carriers, and retailers on November 3. You can nab one in either 64GB or 256GB, but the latter will cost $1,150.

Some carriers, like Sprint, are cutting customers a discount. New and existing customers on the carrier’s Sprint Flex plan will be able to get a 64GB iPhone for $22.22 per month for 18 months ($400) with an eligible trade-in. For a full list of iPhone X prices and pre-order information, check out our iPhone X buying guide.

The iPhone X was the third phone announced by Apple on September 12, joining the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. It followed the Series 3 Apple Watch, which comes with built-in cellular connectivity.

OLED display

Apple released a support document about the iPhone X’s OLED display. The document states users may see slight shifts in color when looking at the screen from an angle. Apple also warned that users may experience screen burn-in with extended use of the phone.

But most recently, DisplayMate — the company that makes professional-grade software for display calibration — published its detailed results for the iPhone X. According to its testing, the iPhone X has the best smartphone display on the market. Based on lab tests and measurements, the device earned DisplayMate’s A-plus rating — which is the highest ever. The results noted that the X had close to “textbook perfect calibration and performance,” along with the highest absolute color accuracy, highest full-screen brightness for OLED smartphones, among others.

Warranty information

Apple released pricing information about the phone’s repairs. In the U.S., Apple will charge you a flat rate of $280 for iPhone X screen repairs and $550 for any other damages. If it’s a manufacturing defect, then it’s covered by Apple’s standard one-year warranty.

Pricing also varies depending what country you’re in:

  • U.K: 286 euros for screen repairs, 556 euros for other damage
  • Australia: $420 for screen repairs, $820 for other damage
  • Canada: $360 for screen repairs, $710 for other damage
  • Germany: 321 euros for screen repairs, 611 euros for other damage

But these prices are only applicable to those who don’t purchase AppleCare+ for the iPhone X. AppleCare+ is optional, but it extends an iPhone’s coverage to two years based on the original purchase date of the device. If you decide to purchase the extended warranty plan, then screen repairs will only cost you $30 and any other damages will be $100.

Production woes reportedly hamper iPhone X supply

Apple sells the iPhone X in 55 countries around the world, however some manufacturing woes meant some consumers initially had to wait over a month to receive the phone

The iPhone X’s Face ID sensor reportedly took more time to assemble than expected, according to The Wall Street Journal, contributing to shipping delays. The delay was reportedly caused by an “imbalance” between the so-called Romeo module, an infrared dot projector that beams more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a depth map of faces, and the Juliet module, which analyzes the pattern produced by those dots.

According to Bloomberg, it was earlier in the fall of 2017 that Apple realized production problems meant it wouldn’t have enough iPhone Xs for the holidays. Sources familiar to the situation say Apple’s solution was reportedly to let suppliers reduce the accuracy of the iPhone X’s Face ID feature. Lowering the requirements for its Face ID technology permitted the firm to speed up production. The change also sped up testing of completed modules.

Following Bloomberg’s detailed report on Face ID accuracy being reduced, Apple responded to the claim. Company spokeswoman Trudy Muller said, “Bloomberg’s claim that it reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication.” Muller also assured users that both quality and accuracy of Face ID remains the same, and the chance of someone other than you unlocking your phone is still one in a million.

Camera, A11 Bionic chip, and AR

The iPhone X’s camera has a dual-lens 12-megapixel rear camera with dual optical image stabilization, consisting up of a wide-angle f/1.8 aperture lens and a telephoto f/2.4 aperture lens. The 7-megapixel front camera supports Portrait mode and has auto image stabilization and exposure control. Apple’s new image signal processor provides advanced pixel processing and a new color filter, and both cameras use the new Natural Lighting effect introduced on the iPhone 8 and ARKit augmented reality features. Finally, video has also been improved with 4K resolution movies at 60fps and slow-motion video at 240fps.

DxOMark — a website focused on assessing image quality for mobile phones, lenses, and camera sensors — recently evaluated the iPhone X. The site released its results, which indicate the device received an overall score of 97 out of 100. In comparison to the iPhone 8 Plus, DxOMark specifically pointed out the iPhone X’s improved telephoto lens led to higher results in Zoom, Exposure, Noise, Texture, and Artifacts.

iPhone X close up

The iPhone X retains the A11 Bionic chip from the iPhone 8, a 64-bit super efficient processor with a new Apple-designed graphics unit, which has 30 percent more speed than the existing unit. It has six cores and better performance than the A10 Fusion chip, and while Apple typically doesn’t publish RAM specifications, filings from China electronics regulator TENNA show the iPhone X has 3GB of RAM. Apple says the high-performance cores to provide a 25-percent speed increase and a 70 percent boost from the four performance cores.

Regarding battery life, the iPhone X lasts about two hours longer than the iPhone 7 Plus on a single charge. That’s not surprising; according to Chinese electronics regulator Tenaa’s filings, the iPhone X’s has a 2,716mAh battery, which isn’t far off from the iPhone 7 Plus’s 2,900mAh. It supports wireless charging via Qi-compatible accessories, and Apple will introduce a proprietary charging solution called AirPower early next year.

Face ID

Apple iPhone X Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Apple’s new facial recognition technology, Face ID, makes its debut on the iPhone X. It works using the TrueDepth camera system hidden in the notch at the top of the display. Glance at the iPhone X and it illuminates your face with an infrared dot array, allowing the infrared camera to identify it. It even works in the dark. Using the iPhone X’s six-core A11 Bionic processor paired with 3GB of RAM, a neural engine processes the image in real time, mapping the contours and shape of your face mathematically.

Apple claims Face ID isn’t confused by hairstyles, hats, or beards. According to Apple software chief Craig Federighi, the iPhone will be able to recognize your face through “most” sunglasses, too, as long as they let through enough infrared light. Protections against masks and pictures are in place, and face data is stored in the secure enclave inside the A11 Bionic chip.

Don’t worry about Face ID being less secure than other biometric systems; it’s not. The chance of someone other than you unlocking your phone with Touch ID is one in 50,000, Apple says, but for Face ID it’s one in a million. Apple Pay requires you to look at the phone when you go to pay, and it works with existing apps that use Touch ID for authentication.

On top of that, Apple has implemented some software protections against people stealing your phone and just holding it to your face to unlock it. For starters, if you don’t stare at the phone itself, it won’t unlock. And if you grip the buttons on both edges of the phone, the device will temporarily disable facial recognition.

Update April 13, 2018: FCC releases a photo of an unreleased gold iPhone X. 

Mobile

Motorola launches its iPhone X clone, the Moto P30, in China

Motorola may be planning to launch a new series of smartphones called the P30, P30 Note, and P30 Play. Leaked photos show the P30 has a similar design to the iPhone X, complete with a screen notch.
Mobile

No home button, no problem: Here's how to take a screenshot on an iPhone X

Since the iPhone X has ditched Touch ID in exchange for Face ID, the process of taking screenshots is a little different. Here, we show you how to take a screenshot on an iPhone X.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. Apple iPhone X: Battle of the ultra-premium smartphones

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the company's latest ultra-premium smartphone. The device boasts top-tier specs, an excellent design, and more. But can it take out the Apple iPhone X, Apple's own ultra-premium device?
Apple

Sprint holds another flash sale, offers the iPhone X for $5 per month

For those looking for a good deal on an iPhone, Sprint recently announced another flash sale. For a limited time, the carrier is offering the iPhone X for $5 per month to new and existing customers.
Home Theater

Everything you need to know about Google’s Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Mobile

Google One subscriptions offer more cloud storage for low prices, other perks

Can't get enough storage on Google Drive, Photos, or Gmail? Google One is the new way to boost your cloud storage. But it's not just about more space -- Google One comes with a loads of benefits.
Product Review

The gorgeous Oppo Find X plays hard to get, but is it worth the chase?

Is the Oppo Find X the most beautiful smartphone we’ve ever seen? We think it’s right up there, but because it’s an import-only phone, you’ll have to put in some effort to get one. Is it worth going the extra mile?
Mobile

Third-party call recording apps no longer work with Android 9.0 Pie

There is a lot to love about Android 9.0 Pie. But as users update their phones, they noticed an annoying new issue: Google removed a workaround an Android 9.0 Pie that developers used to power third-party recording apps.
Mobile

Motorola says 8 of its phones are set to receive Android 9.0 Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Protect your titan with the best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 screen protectors

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is one of this year's best phones. But what if you break the screen? Thankfully we've got the best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 screen protectors to keep that 6.4-inch screen safe.
Mobile

Google is updating Android Go with Android 9 Pie Go Edition

Android Go is a lightweight version of Android that promises to improve the user experience on devices with low-end processors or 1GB of RAM or less. Here's everything you need to know about Android Go.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts.
Mobile

T-Mobile partners with Live Nation, Pandora to offer customers more perks

T-Mobile made a few other announcements today: Not only has the carrier partnered up with Live Nation to provide offers, but customers will also be getting a free year of Pandora Plus.
Mobile

This is how Google will improve the quality of Wear OS apps

Google wants to improve the quality of Wear OS apps, and to that end the company has announced that the review process of Wear OS apps for Google Play is now mandatory. Criteria for Wear OS apps include that they work as expected.