Rob Waugh Event for The Mail on Sunday
Apple iPhone X
From £999, apple.com/uk
You’ve got to hand it to Apple. For ten years, they’ve basically relaunched the same product, year after year, with the price gradually creeping upwards – and the entire world has tuned in and cheered loyally.
Imagine if someone did the same for, say, toasters – with executives intoning ‘And on the end… a little section where you can fry an egg’, while fans wept with joy.
Naturally, iPhone X looks lovely – with its ‘all-screen’ look, it’s basically a Samsung phone, but made by Apple
The problem for Apple is that phones are heading into toaster territory. They’re becoming one of those things where it’s really impossible to care what brand they are. They’re all just screens.
Naturally, iPhone X looks lovely – with its ‘all-screen’ look, it’s basically a Samsung phone, but made by Apple. I have no doubt Apple will do it better. Attention to detail is Apple’s thing.
But will the difference be enough? Apple harked back to the launch of the first iPhone this week – but during that decade, the gulf between Apple’s technology and its rivals has pretty much vanished.
Want an all-screen phone? Samsung does four or five models. Want one without a button? Google Pixel’s already there. Want a watch that can make calls, like Apple Watch 3? Huawei has sold one for months.
The one truly unique thing about Apple’s offerings is the outrageous price – but then that has always been Apple’s strong point.
Apple describes the iPhone X as ‘dictating the next decade’ in technology, but (along with a lot of others) I was rather hoping that our smartphone mania might have peaked.
Mine certainly has – and Apple’s latest crop hasn’t done much to raise my pulse rate.
Face ID is a nice idea, but frankly, fingerprint sensors already work perfectly well. The other uses of the front-facing camera – animated panda emoji, for instance – seem much more important.
Face ID is a nice idea, but frankly, fingerprint sensors already work perfectly well
The all-screen display is neat, sure, but can it match Samsung’s curvy edges? Even cheap Androids now ape the ‘all-screen’ look, and I’m not sure it’s worth nearly £1,000 to get a screen with round corners.
Wireless charging is a decent extra, although it’s a let-down when you realise it has to be sitting right on top of a little pad to work, which is (whisper it) not really that different from using a charger cable.
FROM THE OUTSIDE
The phone’s actually smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus (launched simultaneously with the iPhone 8 and X) – but it’s got a whopping 5.8in OLED screen, described by Apple as ‘Super Retina’ (translation: it’s sharp).
The phone’s a ‘glass sandwich’ model, with glass front and back – although Apple claims it’s the ‘most durable’ ever, so you won’t be walking around with cracked glass (in theory). Instead of the Home button, you swipe your thumb upwards on screen to return Home from inside apps, and down from the top of the screen to open Control Centre.
Apple’s clearly pushed the boat out for iPhone X – reports from early tests show that it has a faster processor than many laptops.
It has also thrown a lot of effects at its Portrait Mode – including lighting effects – so the selfie plague will get worse.
The rear camera can now record in super-sharp 4K. The problem with a lot of high technology is that the battery dies far, far too quickly, but Apple promises two hours more battery life than iPhone 7.