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Tech Guide takes a hands-on look at Apple’s new iPhone X

Tech Guide went hands-on with the new iPhone X which was unveiled today at the Steve Jobs Theatre. This is the device that Apple says will lay the path for the future of the smartphone.

The iPhone X follows the popular trend set by other manufacturers like Samsung and LG of devoting the entire front face of the device to the screen.

And like these other products, the iPhone X has dispensed with the home button to make way for the display that goes edge to edge and corner to corner.

Design-wise, the iPhone X features Apple’s signature high-quality with elegant curves of glass merging into metal and back into glass again.

Apple says the iPhone X has the most durable glass ever to be used on a smartphone.

Customers will definitely be hoping this is true especially with a screen of this size and a rear panel made of glass as well.

The 5.8-inch screen is the first thing that strikes you when you look at the device and even though it has a larger display than the iPhone 8 Plus, the product is actually smaller.

How much smaller? The iPhone X is 143.6 mm tall while the iPhone 8 Plus is 158.4mm that’s a difference of 1.5cm.

So Apple has pulled off the “biggest screen in a smaller chassis” trick.

The size is actually somewhere between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus and it felt just right in your hand.

The screen itself is a Super Retina HD display with OLED technology and a resolution of 2436 x 1125 with 458ppi (pixels per inch). It looks stunning.

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Whether you’re looking at your photos, video content apps or website, it’s hard to take your eyes off this display.

And now with OLED and HDR (high dynamic range) the colours really pop and the black levels look deeper than ever.

But with all the space for the screen, one thing that Apple has now deleted is the home button. And with it Touch ID.

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So now it’s not a fingerprint that will unlock the device. It will be your face.

Face ID allows users to unlock the iPhone X simply by looking at.

The technology is enabled by the front facing TrueDepth camera that can analyse more than 30,000 points on your face to create an ultraprecise map.

Apple says it’s so accurate it could pick your face from a million others.

The iPhone X (centre) and between the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
The iPhone X (centre) and between the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

In the hands-on area, the Face ID took less than a second to unlock the device despite this feature not working right away during the launch demonstration by Apple’s senior vice president Craig Federighi.

He quickly switched to a backup device and it worked instantly.

Face ID will replace your fingerprint and will also be able to authorise iTunes Store and App Store downloads and Apple pay payments.

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It will also work weather you’re wearing a hat, glasses, and as scarf, and even if you changed your haircut or grew a beard.

Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller jokingly said, “you better hope you don’t have an evil twin”.

We’d be curious to test whether identical twins could unlock each other’s iPhone X. We’re going to put that to the test as soon as we can.

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This TrueDepth camera can also enable another fun feature – animated emojis or animojis for short.

You can see in real time the emoji – your choices include a unicorn, rooster, monkey and a wolf – imitating your expressions and even moving its lips in time with whatever you’re saying.

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Users can record this animation and send it along to their friends and family.

So if you think were overdoing emojis – you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait till people get a load of these.

Another big improvement for the iPhone X is the dual-lens 12-megapixel camera which has optical image stabilisation for each lens.

If you love your selfies you’re going to adore the iPhone X which has a front facing camera which now includes the popular portrait mode so you can artistically blur the background.

Another new feature to improve your portraits is the studio quality lighting effects that can be applied to the image thanks to the depth sensing camera and facial mapping.

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On the performance side, Apple has certainly not skimped at all.

In fact, the new A11 Bionic processor is the most powerful chip will find in a smartphone today with a neural engine that can make more than 600 billion calculations per second.

Another first for Apple’s wireless charging which is now a feature of the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple has adopted the Qi wireless charging standard that is already being used by other companies including its smartphone rival Samsung.

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Animojis

There are several third-party charging products from companies like Belkin that are already available and that will work to wirelessly charge the new iPhones.

Next year, Apple will release its AirPower mat which will allow users to charge the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods at the same time.

We know the majority of these new features have already been introduced with other devices including larger displays with no physical home button, face detection and wireless charging.

Tech Guide editor Stephen Fenech gets hands on with the iPhone X
Tech Guide editor Stephen Fenech gets hands on with the iPhone X

Yes, Apple is slightly late to the party but it has put its own spin and technology to work

to differentiate them from the opposition.

Apple’s new flagship iPhone also comes at a flagship price.

The iPhone X starts at $1579 for the 64GB model while the 256 GB version will set you back a cool $1829 which puts it out of reach for many users.

The iPhone 8 Plus
The iPhone 8 Plus

We also got our hands on the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with the biggest design change on these devices being the new glass rear panel.

There are plenty of changes under the hood including a better camera at a faster processor.

* Stephen Fenech travelled to San Jose as a guest of Apple 

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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