iPhone X: a non-review review
Swiping right or left is so August 2017. The new swipe is up and it's what you will need to do to use access the homescreen on the iPhone X when it's released in November.
Yep, as per most predictions, the new 10th-anniversary model has no home button. It does, however, have a glass front and back, allowing it to charge wirelessly on an ApplePad and is available in grey or black. (No gold as per some "leaks").
It also comes with new 3D facial recognition to unlock the handset.
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Media were allowed to play with the new phone after a keynote address from Apple chief executive Tim Cook in the new Steve Jobs theatre at Apple Park in Silicon Valley.
Given we were just trying out the models on the demo table, this can't be a proper review as I didn't use it as I would my normal phone.
Here are some first impressions:
- It really does look nice. The larger glass screen and stainless steel band team up to give iPhone X a clean and understated look. It's shiny and lightweight.
- I love the new animoji feature that lets you control the animation of 12 emojis (fox, panda, cat, pooh etc) by looking at the phone's camera. I could see myself spending hours playing around. And you can record them and send as messages. The only slight disappointment was that after trying them all out, I couldn't find one that would let me poke its tongue out. Shame.
- The new portrait lighting effects (also available on the newly announced iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) can make a simple selfie look pretty flash. You just take your snap and then apply the lighting effect that makes you look best.
- The fact it will be able to be charged wirelessly on a flat pad. Although that's not ready yet so only basic information was given. Basic in that it's coming. Questions on how long it will take to charge and whether it will work with phone covers, were left hanging. "No information has been released on that" was the standard response. Oh well, I tried. Still, it looks cool and if, as suggested, cafes and other public places adopt them then it really will make iPhone life easier.
Things I'm undecided on
- This is the biggie - 3D facial recognition or Face ID as Apple has dubbed it. It's all very flashy and all that but failed to work several times when the phone was being demonstrated (including when Apple executive Craig Federighi was unveiling it on stage. Oops). Setting it up is supposed to be as simple as rotating your head twice to capture angles but, in action, this failed to impress with the poor demonstrator risking whiplash. To be fair, she did say it was the old glass, not the new stuff iPhone X will ship with. And the standard pin code feature to unlock the phone is still there.
- Again with the Face ID, I'm not sure I like how much information Apple gathers about my face to use the feature. While I don't think they would do anything untoward with it, it does feel like another step in the lost-privacy battle.
So that's it - hardly an in-depth review of how you might use the new handset, more like a few quick impressions.
Ellen Read attended the event courtesy of Apple.