Thoughts Of iPhone X

The iPhone X is just a day or hours away (depending on where you are) from being available for purchase and tech sites have already posted their reviews while the rest of us sit and wait for our pre-orders to start being delivered. So, I thought I’d just make a note of a few points about what’s in this next generation device before it’s delivered to my door step.

Design isn’t easy and Apple for better or worse has put together another mostly glass phone. Engineered in close collaboration with Corning this strengthened glass should be just as good if not better than what Gorilla glass offers. Under that toughened front glass layer lies Apple’s first OLED phone display. I imagine they’ve learned a lot from the Watch which was their first foray into OLED displays.

Although, this is a Samsung supplied OLED panel, I believe that’s where Samsung’s panel technology ends. While Samsung has the most mature OLED panels for smartphones in mass production, OLED itself is still a young technology and Apple isn’t relying on Samsung to make sure the displays are and remain to their level of quality. To do that Apple as always prefers a more hands on approach with their components so they have implemented a number of their own display technology solutions. Such as their own sub pixel anti-aliasing technology, individually color calibrating each iPhone before it leaves the factory, their own system-level color management along with their TrueTone technology to name a few. This should make this edge-to-edge DCI-P3 display look gorgeous and run flawlessly throughout the life time of the device.

The iPhone X may even be the first fully HDR capable device made. Meaning that not only are the display and camera HDR but all the necessary processors inside can also handle and decode it. So, it will capture and display full HDR (10-bit HEVC (H.265 4K HDR)) photos and videos without any loss in quality just as your 4K HDR television monitor. Since LCD just isn’t capable of this and Apple has now made their play into the AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (virtual reality) spaces public, a fully end-to-end HDR capable device makes perfect sense.

The A11 Bionic chip with its M11 motion coprocessor and neural engine goes all in and exclusively 64-bit and AR and VR. 64-bit only also means less code for developers to worry about which equates to faster smaller apps and games for us to use and play with. The neural engine in the A11 also makes Face ID possible. The corner stone of the iPhone X.

Face ID if successful will be the new standard going forward in future iPhones. Honestly, I would have preferred having both Touch ID and Face ID but this is where we are at right now, so I see nothing wrong with giving it a chance. Facial recognition is more secure than finger prints but I do understand why many people aren’t comfortable with a camera that can recognize them and learn how not to be fooled. There’s also the learning curve but that’s the price of change. We either adapt or we stay where we are comfortable and get left behind.

To make this all work that notch contains a all the necessary components for Face ID. An infrared camera, flood illuminator and a dot projector along with the ambient light sensor, front camera, speaker and microphone usually found in this space are all here fitted next to each other. Apple could have done what other Android manufacturers have done and simply kept the bezels. Instead they chose to make the surrounding space functional. Whether you like it or not it does make the iPhone X the second of only two if I’m counting correctly to be true edge-to-edge displays. Either way only time will tell if Apple eventually keeps it this way or finds a way to embed all this tech under the display.

Finally there’s the wireless charging. Apple’s smartest move wasn’t adding it to the iPhone but to use the Qi wireless charging standard. This works out for both Apple and the consumer. You can now purchase your favorite charging mat and Apple can create their own with less hassle. Such as the AirPower Mat (coming next year) which can simultaneously charge multiple devices at once. It may not be first to do this but it may work better than past offerings. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a while to find out.

There’s a lot of technology inside the iPhone X even though its looks are those of the past two generations of iPhone. I’ve never been one who felt the need for a device to keep changing its outwardly appearance ever year to make me feel better or to feel that the manufacturer is actually innovating. Technology gets better little by little, companies add what the want according to what they are trying to achieve so as long as the device keeps improving the look of it doesn’t have to keep changing to prove it.


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