Souped-up model for luxury lovers

Top News | 14 Sep 2017

The iPhone X is nothing like any of the previous Apple models but you might notice similarities with some of the sleek smartphones that Samsung, Google and others have been churning out.

Like its rivals, Apple has finally made a phone with an edge-to-edge display, a nod to consumers' desire for more space to view their photos, watch movies and TV shows, read books and play games.

The iPhone X comes with what appears to be sophisticated facial recognition. On a basic level, that allows its owner to unlock the phone with a quick glance.

But it also opens the door for emojis that can be controlled and manipulated with facial expressions and voice.

The phone also provides a spectacular canvas for photos, thanks to a superior camera and a souped-up screen Apple calls a "super retina" display.

It has a larger screen, but isn't more cumbersome to carry around. The iPhone X's edge-to-edge screen measures 5.8 inches diagonally compared to 5.5 inches for the iPhone 7 Plus and now the iPhone 8 Plus.

But the iPhone X's overall dimensions are smaller than the Plus and just slightly larger than the regular models.

On the down side, the iPhone X's screen isn't as wide as that of the iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 8 Plus. What really makes the iPhone X stand out is its new high-resolution display, coupled with its spiffy cameras.

Photos viewed on the iPhone X look amazingly vivid, right down to the blades of glass at a kids' soccer game or every crease of a blanket blowing in the wind.

The iPhone X's "animoji" feature draws on the facial recognition technology and high-end, front-facing camera to enable people to control the expressions on a dozen different type of emojis.

For instance, you can pull up a fox or a rabbit and it will frown or smile in sync with your own expression. The emoji figure will move its mouth when you do; record it and it will speak in your voice. You can send such videos to friends.

Facial recognition is also the new convenient way to unlock the iPhone X. No more fingerprint scanner: the expansion of the display meant the loss of the home button, which housed that sensor.

Apple says this change will allow iPhone X owners to unlock the device with a quick glance under just about any conditions.

The device also can be unlocked with a numeric passcode if facial recognition fails, as it did for one Apple executive during a presentation.

But security might still be an issue, particularly if the iPhone X's facial recognition can be tricked by intruders trying to break into a device for luxury lovers. Apple says it turned to mask experts to test and improve the feature, though it acknowledges that twins might trick the phone.


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