Skip to content

iPhone X: ten things you need to know

The iPhone X has just been announced, with Super Retina, A11 Bionic, Face ID – but it won’t ship until November

Apple announced a lot of stuff in this year’s big September keynote, but without doubt the most exciting announcement was a brand new iPhone design that offers a premium tier above and beyond even the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launching next week.

It was well over an hour into Apple’s event before any mention of a new premium iPhone – but eventually, Tim Cook trotted out Steve Jobs’ favorite catchphrase. “One more thing,” he teased: iPhone X. Pronounced like the number ten, to mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone.

It’s the biggest leap forward for smartphones since the first iPhone, says Cook. So let’s look at ten things you need to know about the new iPhone X.

All-new design

– iPhone X has a glass front and back, with a polished surgical grade stainless steel band

– The glass used is the most durable and crack-resistant ever used

– Edge-to-edge 5.8-inch display – that’s bigger than even the iPhone 8 Plus

– The handset itself is smaller though, thanks to the lack of bezels

– No Home button anymore, while the Power button on the side becomes taller

– There’s a slightly incongruous cut out at the top, housing the front camera and various sensors

Super Retina display

– 5.8-inch OLED display with a whopping 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio

– It’s the most pixel-dense iPhone yet, with a resolution of 1125 × 2436 at 458ppi

– Also includes HDR, Dolby Vision and True Tone, for detail and color accuracy


– Dual 12MP sensors with  capable of capturing 83% more light, with “deeper” pixels

– A new feature called Portrait Lighting can simulate expensive professional lighting rigs

– It’s now possible to record 4K at 60fps and 1080p at 240fps for amazingly detailed slo-mo

– Dual optical image stabilization to cover both the wide angle and telephoto lenses

– Quad-LED True Tone flash for 2x better light coverage when using the flash

TrueDepth camera

– The front-facing camera system combines a 7MP sensor, infrared camera, flood illuminator, and dot projector

– This makes it capable of facial recognition and augmented reality tasks (more on that later)

– Both Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting are available for selfies

Facial recognition

– A new system called Face ID completely replaces Touch ID for biometric authentication

– Not only can it detect your face, but it knows when you’re looking at it

– It creates a mathematical model of your face, mapping more than 50 facial muscles in real time

– Setup phase has you moving your head around to capture your Face – enrollment takes just seconds

– It recognizes your face irrespective of lighting, hairstyle, accessories

– Face ID can’t be tricked by photographs – unlike Samsung’s facial recognition

– The chance that random person could look at your device and unlock it is 1 in 1,000,000 (unless you have an evil twin)

– It’s used for Apple Pay and in third-party apps that already support Touch ID

No Home button!

– Users will have to learn some new gestures to replace the Home button functions

– Swipe up from the Lock screen or any app to return to the Home screen

– Swipe up and pause briefly to launch the App Switcher – or swipe across the bottom edge to move between apps

– Tap to wake, and instantly unlock the device with Face ID just by looking at it

– Double the side button for Apple Pay, hold it to speak to Siri

– Control Center is now accessed by swiping from the top of the screen, not the bottom

Powerful A11 chip

– Features a new A11 Bionic chip with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores

– That’s considerably more powerful than even the latest iPad Pro!

– It features a dedicated neural engine to help with Face ID and AR without consuming much power

– For the first time, Apple has developed its own GPU for 30% faster graphics processing

Augmented Reality

– iPhone X is optimized for AR with new accelerometers

– Apple has designed a set of 3D animated emoji called “Animoji”

– Using the TrueDepth camera, they track your face for custom animations

– Both front and rear cameras are primed for depth mapping to improve the AR experience

– Expect lots of third-party AR apps to arrive once iOS 11 is publicly available

Wireless charging

– The glass back enables Qi wireless charging, which will work with existing third-party chargers

– Apple has its own charging mat in the works but it won’t be released until 2018

– Battery life is expected to be 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7

Price and availability

– Two color options: silver and space gray

– $999/£999 for 64GB and $1,149/£1,149 for 256GB

– Available for pre-order October 27, available from November 3