iPhone X: Release date day arrives for Apple’s massive 10-year iPhone update

iPhone X (iPhone 10) Launches: Release date, price, specs, and all you need to know

The iPhone X is iPhone we have been waiting for. Tim Cook announced the luxe new phone as a ‘One More Thing’ at Apple’s big September 12 launch event, after the far more modest unveiling of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus – and it stole the show. It might cost a small fortune, but we want one.

And now, it’s finally here. After literally months of waiting, the iPhone X’s November 3 release date is upon us. We’re so excited, we don’t quite know what to do with ourselves – other than head off to the nearest Apple Store and buy a couple of ’em, of course.

Related: iOS 11 review

Why are we so enthused? Well, the iPhone X (or iPhone 10 as it’s pronounced) is the first drastic new design we’ve seen on an iPhone since the iPhone 6, a phone released back in 2015. And it comes with a host of new features and flourishes we’ve never seen before from Apple. We have seen them from other smartphone manufacturers, though.

It’s a big claim that the X is the future on the smartphone – I’m sure Samsung will have something to say about that – but I firmly believe it will shape the future iPhones for the next few years, at least.

iPhone X with rest of iPhone lineup

What makes the iPhone X stand so far apart from every other phone on Apple’s roster? There are half a dozen headline features. A 5.8-inch almost edge-to-edge screen, OLED technology used for the first time, HDR compatibility, OIS on both rear lenses, facial recognition, and an eye-watering £/$999 price tag. But it’s another omission, following the headphone jack going bye-bye last year, that will make the biggest difference to using the iPhone X. The Home button is no more.

Related: Pixel 2 review | Pixel 2 XL review

The most iconic feature of every iPhone since the first has disappeared, and don’t expect to see it back in future iPhones. RIP little buddy. It’s made way for that giant screen, and I think it’s a loss that will take a lot longer for die-hard iPhone users to get used to than the missing 3.5mm jack.

Before I go into any more detail about the stunning new iPhone X, let’s have a look at some of its specs and features (a more detailed list of iPhone X specs comparison can be found at the end of this piece).

Related: iPhone X vs iPhone 8

  • iPhone X Design: Glass on front and back – stainless steel frame, water-resistant IP67, no Home button
  • iPhone X Screen: 5.8-inch OLED edge-to-edge display, 2436 x 1125 pixel resolution (458ppi)
  • iPhone X Specs: Apple A11 Bionic 6-core SoC with Apple GPU, Face ID, Stereo speakers, Fast-charging, Wireless charging, iOS 11
  • iPhone X Camera: Dual 12-megapixel camera, f/1.8 and f/2.4 aperture, Dual Optical Image Stabilisation, Portrait Mode on front and rear camera
  • iPhone X Price: iPhone X UK Price £999 for 64GB, £1149 for 256GB. iPhone X US Price $999/64Gb and $1149/256GB
  • iPhone X Release Date: October 27 (pre-order), November 3 (release date)

With that out of the way let’s dig a little deeper and examine why the iPhone X could be the most exciting Apple phone ever made.


iPhone X Design: A bold new look

The iPhone 7 saw the radical decision to remove the headphone jack. That notorious design change has been surpassed this year by the removal of the Home button.

Those who have used recent flagship Android phones will be used to the lack of any buttons crammed below the screen. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 have both beaten Apple to this punch. It’s easy to get hooked on the extra screen real estate you get, so removing the button makes it worth it in my eyes.

Related: 4K Apple TV (5th-gen)

But if you’ve been an iPhone user for years this is potentially a big hit. The Home button was a simple way of navigating the increasingly complex maze of smartphone functionality. It has been the go-to way of getting back to the comfort of the home screen. The iPhone X will still let you do that easily, of course, just not with a physical button. Instead you’ll be able to get home by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Hold your finger on screen a little longer and you get access to multi-tasking, like you could by holding the Home button down for a few seconds on other iPhones.

The button also played host to Touch ID, Apple’s slick fingerprint unlocking system, so that’s gone too. Instead we get facial recognition, again something we’ve seen (and been underwhelmed with) in other phones. Embarrassingly the Face ID demo didn’t work for Apple when it showcased the X, but they’ve since assured us that this was user error. Let’s hope so. If it is as slick as expected then expect plenty of other phone makers to follow suit, just like they did with Touch ID on the iPhone 5S.

Related: What is Face ID?

The removal of the Home button means that Apple is able to load the iPhone X with a much bigger screen than the iPhone 7 and 8, without making it that much bigger. We now have a 5.8-inch screen in a svelte glass and metal body that’s a lot smaller than the brick-sized iPhone Plus phones. There is a section cut out of the top of the screen to house the front camera and facial recognition tech that looks a little like a frowning mono-brow, but other than that the front is all screen.

Related: iOS 11 problems and how to fix them

This is the best-looking iPhone since the iconic iPhone 4. I just hope the glass back doesn’t smash as easily as it did on that handset. Apple claims the iPhone X uses the toughest glass available, but I can’t imagine that will save it from butter-fingers.

No-one expected the headphone jack to make a comeback and it hasn’t. You’ll still need to use either Lightning-cabled headphones or Apple’s AirPods to accompany the iPhone X, but there are plenty of other great wireless headphones to choose from.

Related: iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7

iPhone X camera

iPhone X Camera: Faster and better low-light performance

While it might not sound like much has changed in terms of specs – still 12-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture for the main rear camera – there are important advancements to the iPhone X’s camera that, on paper, mean it should take better photos than ever before.

For starters pixels are larger and the Image Signal Processor (ISP) is much faster. Apple promises 83% more light in the photos and 36% more light for the second rear sensor.

Importantly the second rear camera, which allows both optical zoom in photos and Portrait Mode, now has Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). That’s the edge the iPhone X has over the dual cameras on the iPhone 8 Plus. It also marks it as a more interesting camera than the single-sensor one on the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Related: Apple Watch 3

These improvements may not sound ground-breaking, but the iPhone X should be able to snap far better low-light photos, with reduced noise and blur. This is the challenge all smartphones cameras tend to struggle with. Even cheap phones can take decent photos in bright daylight; it’s the gloom they can’t handle.

The pixels on the iPhone X also come with a new colour filter to provide more accurate, and deeper, colours in photos, Apple claims.

Perhaps the biggest advancements have come to video recording. The iPhone X can now shoot 4K video at 60fps. Apple’s demo of the feature looked impressive, as did the Full HD 240fps slow motion video it can take.

The iPhone X also arguably comes packing the most advanced selfie camera we’ve ever seen on a smartphone. The front-facing camera on the iPhone X not only lets you securely unlock your phone using your face (don’t worry – it works in the dark too), it also lets you take Portrait photos. This means you can apply the same great background-blur effects the rear camera provides to your selfie shots.

ARKit is another card up the iPhone X’s sleeve. Augmented reality lets you mix digital and real world environments, Pokemon Go is the most famous use of this tech. While AR gaming is certainly something Apple is plugging with the iPhone X, it will also allow useful apps that let you, for example, plan your living space and see how furniture will fit into it digitally or see stats about baseball players while live in the stadium.

Related: What is ARKit?

iPhone X camera

Pre-register: Get the the latest handsets first with Mobiles.co.uk | Register your interest in the iPhone X with Carphone Warehouse

iPhone X Specs: More cores, more power

The iPhone X comes with a hexa-core system-on-chip; that’s two more than the quad-core chip the iPhone 7 packed.

It’s called the A11 Bionic chip and Apple has configured it with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency ones. During the iPhone X launch event Apple claimed that the performance cores are 25% faster than the ones on the iPhone 7’s A10, while the high-efficiency cores that are used for more mundane tasks are 70% faster than those on the A10.

The A11 also comes with a second-gen performance controller that improves multithreaded workloads by 70%. Early benchmark results are already showing that the iPhone X will be a beast when it comes to performance.

iPhone X specs

Apple didn’t offer any information about the amount of RAM on the iPhone X, but all rumours point to 3GB being on board. That’s the same as the iPhone 7 Plus, which is plenty fast.

Related: Apple A11 Bionic

As always one of the benefits Apple has over its Android competitors is that it develops both the hardware and software on a handful of hardware configurations. This means iPhones tend to be better optimised – and therefore slicker to use – than other phones. They also get software updates much faster. This is why specs and numbers aren’t all that matters when it comes to performance.

The iPhone X will be available in 64GB and 256GB storage options. The jump from 32GB to 64GB for all newly announced entry-level iPhones is welcome. 64GB should be enough for most people.

iPhone X Battery Life: Wireless and fast-charging

Apple has also packed wireless charging on the iPhone X. This is Qi compatible which means you will be able to use any Qi charger you might already own, although Apple also announced it’s own pad: the Airpower. That’s the good; the bad is that the Qi charging is slow – almost twice as slow as charging by cable.

One thing Apple didn’t mention during the announcements is that the iPhone X comes with fast-charging. That means you get 50% of the iPhone X battery life back from a quick 30-minute charge – very useful if you’re in a hurry.

Both these new iPhone features are welcome, even if some Android users have been benefiting from them for years. This isn’t exactly bleeding-edge tech.

Something we don’t yet know is quite what the iPhone X’s staying power will be. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are poles apart when it comes to battery and I hope the iPhone X matches the latter.

Related: iPhone 9

iPhone X battery wireless charging

iPhone X Screen: The first OLED iPhone

We’ve long been extolling the virtues of OLED on Trusted Reviews. It’s not perfect, but provides far superior dark scenes, is more efficient, and has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years. Apple has stuck with more tradition IPS LED panels – until the iPhone X, anyway.

Want to know more? Read this: OLED vs LED

Not only does the iPhone X’s display benefit from newer OLED technology, it’s also the highest resolution iPhone screen we’ve ever seen. The 2436 x 1125 resolution (458ppi) screen will be pin-sharp, and the wider aspect ratio will make watching movies and TV on-the-go a better experience. Cramming a 5.8-inch screen in a body not that much bigger than an iPhone 7 makes the iPhone X the large-screen iPhone to get – if you can afford the extra cost.

iPhone X release date

iPhone X: Release date and price

As many of us expected, the iPhone X didn’t launch immediately alongside Apple’s other two new handsets.

Instead, likely due to the oft-rumoured supply chain issues, it went up for pre-order on October 27 ahead of a November 3 release date. The good news is, that wait is now over and the iPhone X is officially on sale, though supplies are likely to be limited.

Pricing is set to start at $999, or £999 in the UK for a 64GB model. Upgrading to 256GB of storage will cost you £1149. That means this is the most expensive iPhone we’ve ever seen. Then again it’s also by far the most high-tech.

Now it’s out, we’ll be spending some quality time with the iPhone 10, so stay tuned for our full review.

iPhone X specs in brief

iPhone 8 iPhone 8 Plus iPhone X
Screen 4.7-inch Retina Display 5.5-inch Retina Display 5.8-inch Super Retina Display
Display Resolution 1334 x 750 1920 x 1080 2436 x 1125
Display technology IPS LCD IPS LCD OLED (HDR capable)
Aspect Ratio 16:9 16:9 19.5:9
Primary Camera 12-megapixel rear camera, ƒ/1.8 Dual lens rear camera: 12MP, ƒ/1.8 (OIS) with telephoto, ƒ/2.8
Dual OIS lens rear camera: 12MP, ƒ/1.8 with telephoto, ƒ/2.4
Secondary Camera 7 MP, ƒ/2.2 7 MP, ƒ/2.2 7 MP, ƒ/2.2, Face detection
Chipset A11 Bionic 6-core A11 Bionic 6-core A11 Bionic 6-core
RAM TBA (likely 2GB) TBA (likely 3GB) TBA (likely 3GB)
Storage 64GB/256GB 64GB/256GB 64GB/256GB
Battery Capacity TBA TBA TBA
Waterproof? Yes Yes Yes
TouchID? Yes Yes No
FaceID No No Yes
Headphone Jack? No No No
Home Button Yes Yes No
Primary Port Lightning Lightning Lightning
Wireless Charging? Yes Yes Yes
Dimensions 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
Weight 148g 202g 174g
Software iOS 11 iOS 11 iOS 11
Colours Space Grey, Gold, Silver Space Grey, Gold, Silver Black, Silver
Price (starting) £699/$699 £799/$799 £999/$999

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