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Apple iPhone X hands-on: Enter the $1,000 marvel


Steve Jobs helped create something revolutionary with the introduction of the original iPhone a decade ago, ushering a totally new age in mobile that we haven't come close to seeing since then. Ten years, that's where we're at now, and predictably, Apple is touting its 10th anniversary smartphone, the iPhone X, as the device that'll be setting the standard for the coming decade that's to come. Obviously, there's a lot for this phone to live up to, especially considering its long line of predecessors – with each one continually setting benchmarks for the company.

Even before its official launch, there has been criticism and applause for the phone, but what's intriguing is the new price bracket it's entering. Before we get to that, though, let's go through the categories to see what the hype is all about in our hands-on time with the phone. We're eager about checking it out, however, it has some stiff competition already.

Design


Apple iPhone X hands-on: Enter the $1,000 marvel
Apple iPhone X hands-on: Enter the $1,000 marvel
Apple iPhone X hands-on: Enter the $1,000 marvel
Apple's designs have been iconic, making the iPhone one of the most recognizable gadgets in the world. Holding the iPhone X for the first time, there's no denying the premium quality of its construction – something that's always been synonymous with the iPhone since its inception! Flaunting a glass meets stainless steel frame, it feels substantial in the hand, which is nice knowing the price you're paying for it.

One of the biggest changes to the design is the elimination of the home button, which makes room for its all-new "Super" Retina Display. This move, though, isn't an original idea, given that this has been a trend amongst most of the flagship devices released this year. However, the home button-less iPhone X appears strangely alien. While we understand their decision to remove it (not so much for the headphone jack last year), the thing that throws us off the most is just the notch cut-out with the display. It's distracting for sure, but a necessary one for them to store the new TrueDepth camera system.

Still, it makes us wonder if Steve Jobs would've approved this slight distraction. Knowing how meticulous he was about product designs, this is one thing that takes away from the design's uniformity. Well, we suppose that users will eventually become accustomed to it, but for now, it's that nagging thorn on its side.

Display


Finally, Apple has adopted a display resolution greater than 1080p! Even though 1080p resolution is plenty enough for most people, its rivals in the space have been upping the game with Quad-HD and above resolutions, so it's a relief to know that Apple has taken that plunge as well! What we get here with the iPhone X is a 5.8-inch 2436 x 1125 Super Retina Display, one that leverages OLED technology. Indeed, it's a stark departure, but one we're gladly to accept.

Not surprisingly, it's extremely rich in detail, offers exceptional viewing angles, and produces those deep blacks you expect from OLEDs. But then again, these are characteristics that are rampant in the space with other devices. There's nothing notably impressive that screams at me about the display, just because the all-screen thing has been done over and over again by other devices – so Apple is following the trend and catching up.

Maybe that'll change after spending a bit more time with it, but for now, we've seen screens of the same caliber. 

Apple iPhone X hands-on: Enter the $1,000 marvel


User Interface


We're not going to dive into the typical iOS experience here with the iPhone X, just because it's very much the same as what you'll find with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. What's strange, though, is the fact that you're going to need to change your habits because there's no longer a home button. That's without a doubt the weirdest thing about the experience, since we've grown accustomed to getting back to the homescreen this way. Instead, it's now done by flicking with an upwards motion from the bottom of the user interface. Much like many things Apple has done in the past, like removing the headphone jack, this is something we're going to have to live with. Other processes have changed, too, such as accessing the action center, getting into the "cards" view, and even accessing the notifications panel.

While iOS continues to deliver new features and experiences, the biggest one brought on by the iPhone X has to be the new Animoji. Leveraging its new TrueDepth camera system, which is the culprit behind the notch with the display, this allows users add even more personalization to text messages. From our quick try at it, we're pretty convinced by its ability to capture every subtle expression we make – including tougher ones like having one eyebrow raised higher than the other. It's a cute new feature we're certain will appeal to people. 

Apple iPhone X hands-on: Enter the $1,000 marvel


Besides that, everything else is pretty much the same as before. Simplicity and cleanliness are two qualities that continue to be a profound throughout the experience, so users familiar to the look and feel of iOS past should easily be able to transition to the iPhone X with no major hiccups.


Processor and Storage


Apple has never been about the specs. Sure, they might talk about the improvements with their chips at the unveilings, but beyond that, you'd ever hardly hear about them. True to form, the iPhone X runs snappier than any other iPhone before it, which makes perfect sense when you factor in all the optimizations made to the software, as well as the new processor under the hood.

Speaking of the process, it's the Apple A11 Bionic running the show behind the scenes, which is comprised out of six cores – two high-performing cores and four low-power ones. In all honesty, though, it's the same level of snappiness we're accustomed to seeing year after year that exceeds our expectations. It's tough to even mention an Android phone that runs this exquisitely smooth.

In terms of storage, the base model of the iPhone X is 64GB of internal storage, which is a good starting point for the series. However, you're better off going with the next level up because 256GB of storage will come in handy for those killer 4K videos at 60 FPS.

Camera


The iPhone 8 Plus is already known for its camera performance, so it'll be interesting to see how much better results the iPhone X will deliver. On the back, it has a similar arrangement with its dual-camera implementation – a 12MP F1.8 camera for all conditions and a 12MP F2.4 2X zoom telephoto lens. As we've mentioned already, this new camera combo enables the phone to capture 4K video at 60 frames per second, which is an impressive feat considering that very few DSLRs can achieve this.

With the dual-camera combination, it's all about the portrait mode yet again. However, there's now new real-time lighting effects allowing you to dramatically alter the look of your subject. We didn’t spend a whole time checking out the camera, but we're nonetheless eager to see how it stacks up with some other cameras that have impressed us of late – like the new Pixels.

Apple iPhone X hands-on: Enter the $1,000 marvel


Battery


While we're still in the dark regarding the actual capacity of the battery inside of the iPhone X, Apple did reveal that it's better than the iPhone 7 – by the margin of 2 hours more than that phone. What's even better, though, is that wireless charging is available, thanks in part to the new glass construction of the phone, so a totally new world is being opened up.

Expectations


Apple bragged about how the iPhone X will be setting the benchmark for the next decade, we all know that it first needs to establish itself as the best phone released this year before going after such an ambitious mark. From the premium design, to its new Super Retina Display, there's no arguing the amount of changes seen with it over its siblings in the iPhone 8 line. It's such a dramatic change, which begs the question of how much it's going to cannibalize sales of the other two new iPhones.

The toughest part about the iPhone X is its price! At $1,000 for the base 64GB model, it's a hefty investment that's sure to take a chomp out of your wallet. Furthermore, it's priced a wee bit more than some of its contemporaries. Then again, we're entering a new age with these super-priced smartphones, so it might indeed become the new norm going forward. Expect out in-depth review soon!

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