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iPhone X: 5 features that make Apple’s new iPhone so exciting

by Brandon Russell | September 12, 2017

Apple on Tuesday officially debuted its tenth anniversary iPhone, aptly named iPhone X. It’s a device that’s been ten long years in the making, offering big leaps over its predecessors by introducing an edge-to-edge display, facial recognition technology, and wireless charging.

Although many of the features were spoiled ahead of Apple’s announcement, the device still made a great first impression. It’s the device Apple fans have been begging for while cherrypicking some of the best features we’ve seen adopted by its big Android competitors.

There’s a lot you need to know about the device, like the fact that it doesn’t have a home button. Below are five other things you need to know.

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The screen

The iPhone X is basically all screen, with the exception of that cutout at the top. It’s 5.8 inches but the device is barely larger than the iPhone 8, which shows you what a difference big bezels make.

The display supports Apple’s TrueTone technology, HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and features a resolution of 2436×1125 (458 ppi), making it the highest-resolution screen ever seen in an iPhone. Apple calls the new display Super Retina HD, but all you really need to know is that’s bezels are negligible and it looks gorgeous.

Face ID

With no room on the front to put Touch ID, Apple made the decision to ditch the fingerprint sensor entirely and instead introduce Face ID, which uses Apple’s TrueDepth camera for secure authentication.

Apple says its facial mapping technology projects and analyzes more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a precise depth map of your face. The feature is said to be way more secure than Touch ID, and is capable of learning to recognize a person’s appearance, so if you put on glasses or grow a beard, the system will still know it’s you.

Additionally, the feature is attention aware, so the iPhone X will only unlock when you look toward the device with your eyes open. That’s good news because it means someone can’t maliciously unlock your device with a photo or while you’re sleeping.

Animoji

Apple’s new Animoji feature sounds completely absurd—and it kind of is. But it’s absolutely charming when you see it in action. Apple’s Craig Federighi demonstrated how the feature works when sending a message, and it looked like a lot of fun. I can see kids getting a huge kick out of the feature because it basically turns people into animated characters.

Animoji works by using Apple’s TrueDepth camera, which is capable of analyzing more than 50 different muscle movements on a user’s face, allowing them to mirror their expressions in 12 Animoji. The feature exists right inside Apple’s Messages application and work with your face, so they’re made to be shared.

Improved cameras

The iPhone X features a vertical dual camera setup, which utilizes two 12-megapixel sensors that both feature optical image stabilization; the wide-angle aperture is f/1.8, and the telephoto aperture is f/2.4. In theory, it means the telephoto lens should snap sharper, more beautiful images, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Like last year’s iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone X has a Portrait Mode. What’s new is a new Portrait Lighting feature that Apple says uses depth-sensing cameras and precise facial mapping to create studio-quality lighting effects. And these effects can be tweaked in real-time and even adjusted after an image is taken.

Apple said it made a new image signal processor (ISP) that’s capable of detecting what’s in a scene and optimizing photos before they’re even taken. Video has been improved, too, with support for 4K video up to 60 fps and slo-mo at 1080p up to 240 fps.

Apple also introduced Portrait Mode to the front-facing camera, so you can take even better selfies when you’re standing in front of a national landmark.

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That price (is not very exciting)

The good news is the iPhone X features plenty of remarkable new technology. The bad news is the device will be mighty expensive when it launches. The 64GB model will start at $999, while the 256GB model will be a whopping $1,149, which doesn’t exactly make it the most affordable phone on the market.

Apple said the iPhone X will go up for preorder on October 27, with shipments to go out on November 3. As far as iPhone launches go, the later-than-usual shipping date isn’t very typical of Apple, but hopefully it means the company will offer ample supply when the iPhone X does go on sale.

You can learn much more about the device in our iPhone X announcement post.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...