iPhone X is "the future of the smartphone," according to Apple, but it's going to be hard to find in stock. You'll also need to brace yourself for the iPhone X price and release date that Apple announced last week. It costs more than any prior iPhone and ships later than expected.
That's the only bad news, though. Apple claims the iPhone X, which is pronounced 'iPhone 10', is worth your money and the extra wait time. This is Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone, and it's making big changes for 2017.
The iPhone X wasn't the only smartphone announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook on September 12. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were unveiled at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple's new campus, too, and are available to pre-order today.
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That said, the iPhone X is the flagship phone you really want. It takes Apple's ten-year-old smartphone design in a bold new direction. It also leaves behind the familiar physical home button and tried-and-true fingerprint sensor.
Is it worth the extremely high iPhone X price and wait? What are the big features you need to know about? We have all of your iPhone X news right here.
iPhone X release date
- You'll have to wait longer for it to come out
- Pre-orders begin Friday, October 27
- Ships starting Friday, November 3
- Supply is expected to be extremely limited
The iPhone X release date is Friday, November 3, which is a month-and-half away and later than the usual September launch date for new iPhones.
Can you wait for the iPhone X? iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus pre-orders are now available and ship right on time next week, September 22.
- Register your interest at Mobiles.co.uk (UK)
- Register your interest at Carphone Warehouse (UK)
iPhone X pre-orders start Friday, October 27. That's later than normal, too. All of the delays are due to its new, Samsung-made OLED screens being in short supply. We expect iPhone X to be instantly out of stock on launch day and may even into 2018. Expect retailers to lure you to their stores with a chance of getting an iPhone X on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
For those living in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait or Qatar, iPhone X pre-orders also start on October 27, but the handset will arrive in stores a day later, on November 4.
iPhone X price
- More expensive than any other iPhone
- 64GB iPhone X: $999, £999, and AU$1,579
- 256GB iPhone X: $1,149, £1,149, AU$1,829
- US carriers are charging $42 a month
The iPhone X price starts at $999, £999, and AU$1,579, which makes it the most expensive iPhone ever made. And that's for the iPhone X with 64GB of storage.
You have to take the various models, storage sizes, US the sales tax into account. We bought an iPhone 8 Plus with 256GB of storage and it cost over $1,000 in the end. The 64GB iPhone 8 is more prominently advertised as $699. The iPhone X is going to be another jump in price.
The 256GB iPhone X will cost $1,149, £1,149, AU$1,829. Sadly, there's no option in between, if you were hoping for a 128GB iPhone X. There just isn't one.
It's also available in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, with the 64GB iPhone X costing AED/SAR 4099 while the 256GB model is AED/SAR 4729
To put the iPhone X price into perspective, it doesn't cost much more than a 4.7-inch iPhone 8, which has a one-inch smaller screen and received a basic specs boost, wireless charging, and a similar glass design. In the US, the iPhone X costs an extra $300, but over the course of 24 months, it's is only an additional $3 each week.
US carriers like Verizon and AT&T are charging $42 a month for one year and allow you to upgrade to a new iPhone next year if you trade in your device. The Apple's iPhone Upgrade program starts at $49.91, but includes AppleCare+.
Regardless of how you're paying for it, the iPhone X is expensive.
Below you can watch our guide to teach you the key differences between the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
iPhone X design
- New glass design that enables wireless charging
- Bigger display, but smaller than Plus phones
- Easier to hold than an iPhone Plus phone, too
- Remains water-resistant and comes in only two colors
Apple managed to make the iPhone X bigger, yet smaller at the same time. It'll have a more expansive 5.8-inch edge-to-edge screen (that's the bigger part), but the size is actually smaller than a Plus-sized iPhone. It also feels lighter.
How? The iPhone X dimensions give you a shorter height of 5.65 inches (143.6 mm) and, importantly, a smaller width of 2.79 inches (70.9 mm) vs a Plus phone. It weights a lighter 6.14 ounces (174 grams), too.
The iPhone X will be easier to hold in one hand. Even if you were turned off by the Plus size, you'll still be able to upgrade to iPhone X without a problem. That's good news because the front and back of the phone are now made of glass, eschewing the usual aluminum casing. You'll want an iPhone X case.
Like last year's iPhone, the iPhone X is waterproof, or water-resistant. It has an IP 67 rating, which means the phone can be 1m (about 3.3 feet) under water for 30 minutes, according to Apple's tests.
What iPhone X colors will you be able to get on day one? Space Gray and Silver will be the only two options available. No red, gold, rose gold or that rumored blush gold colors this time around, which is disappointing.
iPhone X screen
- Vibrant 5.8-inch edge-to-edge AMOLED screen
- Apple's 'Super Retina Display' makes its debut
- Quad HD+ display with a 2436 x 1125 resolution
Apple's new iPhone X screen is considered an all-screen display, or what it calls a 'Super Retina Display.' It's not elegantly named, but it comes with perks.
It uses a 5.8-inch OLED display, a first for an iPhone since it's used LCD displays before. Apple says it's the first OLED that's great enough to be on an iPhone.
This is also Apple's first edge-to-edge display, which means it lacks bezel at the top and is missing the home button at the bottom. It replaces them with more screen. It doesn't have curved screen sides like Samsung's phones, however.
It goes well beyond the 1080p screen ceiling Apple gave us on past phones and it'll crank the resolution of 2436 x 1125 pixels, delivering a Quad HD+ picture.
The iPhone X display is built for HDR and its superior contrast video playback. It can deliver a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio on Dolby Vision and HDR10 content, and we expect to see Amazon Instant Video and Netflix onboard right away.
3D Touch returns for more granular pressure-sensitive touchscreen controls, which usually amount to hidden shortcut menus within apps and on the home screen. If you're upgrading from an iPhone 6, this will be new to you.
No more home button
- Bezel-less iPhone X screen eliminates the home button
- Flick an open app upward to return to the home screen
- Control Center is now a swipe-down-from-the-top gesture
You won't find a physical home button on the iPhone X, or any home button at all. Apple's all-screen design doesn't have room for it or the fingerprint sensor.
Having no home button and Touch ID sensor is going to be the biggest change that long-time Apple users will have to get used to the new iPhone controls.
How do you return to the home screen without a home button? Simply flick an open app upward from the bottom, like you're throwing it away. This, oddly enough, is your new home button. You bypass the lock screen the same way (once you're authenticated with Face ID or a password).
The fanned-out multitasking menu can be accessed by dragging an app upward, but pausing for a second (don't let go) and it'll appear with other open apps. You can also swipe along the very bottom edge of the screen to switch between apps more quickly. This shortcut is akin to the browsing the watch faces gallery on an Apple Watch.
Since the swipe-up-from-the-bottom gesture is now occupied by the return to home mechanic, Control Center has been moved to a swipe down gesture. Just slide your finger down from the top-right-aligned battery icon and you can see the new iOS 11 Control Center dash. Swiping from the top on the left side of the screen reveals the notifications screen.
The Sleep/Wake button has been renamed the side button (also matching the Apple Watch). Holding it in for a second summons Siri, and double pressing it brings up Apple Pay, which can now be authenticated with Face ID.
Apple likens all of these swipes to slide to unlock, which everyone misses. We'll have to test out the new gesture mechanics see if this has the same natural feeling. This could become second nature, though some people will undoubtedly complain at first (they always do).
Face ID replaces Touch ID
- Unlock your phone simply by looking at it
- More secure than the fingerprint sensor
- Also used in conjunction with Apple Pay
Without Touch ID, how do you unlock your iPhone X? Apple claims to have made this easy with the debut of Face ID.
"It's the future of we how unlock our smartphones," said Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller at the company's launch event.
To pull this off, the iPhone X uses its front-facing 7MP TrueDepth camera and its multiple sensors, including a sophisticated dot projector to map your face. It even works in the dark thanks to an infrared camera, according to Apple.
Apple claims that Face ID won't be spoofed by photos, which Samsung had an issue with on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. The company went so far as to work with Hollywood mask makers to prevent even the most advanced hackers from breaking into your new iPhone X.
And don't worry, it'll work with sunglasses and can be disable in times of crisis, according to senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. You can disable Face ID by holding in the side button for a few seconds, say if a robber demands that you hand over your smartphone.
Touch ID letting someone else into your phone 1 in 50,000 chance of happening. The chance a thief (or the FBI) can look at your iPhone and unlock it with Face ID? It's now a 1 in 1,000,000 chance, claims Apple.
Face ID's debut did have what seemed like failed moment at the Apple event, but the company explained that it was due to a number of failed attempts by the stage crew. The iPhone X tried to authenticate their faces, unbeknownst to them, while they handled the new phone. It then reverted to asking Federighi for his passcode during the live demo. Oops.
The science behind Face ID is extremely complex and interesting. It's almost ripped from the headlines from a newspaper – one that's printed in the future. What has us most intrigued is the fact that it gets better at recognizing your 3D mug over time and even adapt to the evolution on your face. Apple promises that Face ID won't mind when you get a haircut, grow a beard or start looking fabulously younger. It'll still 'just work.'
iPhone X dual-lens camera
- Redesigned 12MP dual-lens camera
- Telephoto lens OIS and a wider aperture
- Portrait Mode enhanced by Portrait Lighting
Apple says it has redesigned its cameras, though it sticks with much of the same specs as last year: You get 12MP cameras with every new 2017 iPhone.
Of course, if you want a dual-lens camera you have to go with the iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus, and if you want optical image stabilization on both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses, you'll have to buy the iPhone X.
OIS helps make up for hand shakiness when taking photos. The camera lens actually moves with your unsteady hands. Now it's on the telephoto lens, too, so you photos with 2x optical zoom can be blur-free as well.
The iPhone X camera sensors are also larger and faster, capturing what Apple calls "deep pixels" with either an f/1.8 aperture (wide-angle) or improved f/2.4 aperture (telephoto) lens. It also uses its new A11 Bionic chip and machine learning to optimize for scenes even before an image is taken.
Last year's Portrait Mode gave us bokeh-rich (background-blur-added) portrait photos. This year, Apple is introducing Portrait Lighting. It can transform the light in a scene, going as far as changing a background, or apply lightning to a persons face, as if they were being hit by lights in a studio. It reminds us of a live version of Instagram, but done on the phone's default camera app and smartly focused on a person's face, not the entire photo.
iPhone X video recording in 4K hasn't changed, but capturing a slow-motion has. It can now record 240 frames per second in 1080p, up from doing it in 720p. The compromise of capturing slow-motion video at a lower resolution is gone.
Apple's ridiculously tricked out TrueDepth camera
- 7MP front-facing camera takes Portait Mode selfies
- TrueDepth is full of face-mapping sensors
Apple's iPhone X TrueDepth camera is no ordinary selfie camera. Its 7MP again, but packs more technology than we've ever seen in a front-facing camera array.
It adds Portrait Mode to your selfies, giving us the first iPhone that doesn't have a single fixed-focus camera. This means your selfies can exhibit that stylish background blur, too.
Depth of field is way better than the Beauty Mode that's popular on Android phones. The blur effect deserves to be on the background, not your skin.
What else is packed into the screen cut-out at the top besides the 7MP camera? An infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, speaker, microphone and sophisticated face-mapping dot projector.
The TrueDepth camera is a beast, between Portrait Selfies, Portrait Lighting Selfies (nope, it's not just on the back camera), Face ID, and Animoji.
- Combines animations with emoji, of course
- Mirrors your facial expressions quite accurately
- Like a more advanced versions of a Snapchat mask
Animoji has Apple taking emoji to the next level, utilizing its TrueDepth camera to mirror your facial expressions on a animals or… other creations, yes, like the poo emoji.
A dozen of these animated emojis will be available in Apple's Messages app, and the camera will be able to bring them to life by tracking 50 of your facial muscle movements.
It's more than just intrigued eyebrow looks.
The iMessages app is already exploding with fun stickers and special effects and we didn't think we'd be using a year ago. The same is being said of Animoji. If they seems a bit meaningless and silly now, check back with us in a year.
It's no surprise that Apple is working with Snapchat on using the front-facing camera to bring new, more realistically contoured masks to its photo-sharing app. There's a lot of potential behind this expression-driven creation.
iPhone X specs
- A11 Bionic has six cores and is 25% faster than iPhone 7 CPU
- Doubles the number of efficiency cores to be 70% faster
- Translates into more power for 3D games and AR
Apple has debuted its new 'A11 Bionic' chipset with the iPhone X, and it'll have a six-core processor to power all of the latest 3D games and AR technology.
What does that mean? The six-core iPhone X chip has four efficiency cores, double the two efficiency cores on the four-core iPhone 7 Plus. That translates into a 70% faster CPU efficiency cores.
What are the other two cores? They're the high-performance cores, and while the new iPhone X and last year's iPhone have two cores each, Apple says they're 25% faster and the iPhone X can even use all six at the same time for a turbo boost. It's smartly designed.
We won’t know the RAM until someone pries open an iPhone X, as Apple doesn’t reveal its RAM specs. But one report has suggested the iPhone X will come with 3GB of RAM, the same amount we saw Apple pack into the iPhone 7 Plus.
iPhone X battery life and fast charging
- Lasts two hours longer than last year's iPhone 7
- First fast-charging iPhone: 50% recharge in 30 minutes
Apple gave us a big headline at the iPhone X launch: it will last two hours longer than the standard-sized iPhone 7.
It'll amount to all-day battery life, depending on usage. You can easily pare down battery consumption with low-power mode in iOS 11 to have it last even longer.
What's interesting is that the iPhone X will be the first Apple phone (along with the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) with fast-charging capabilities. This can give you a 50% charge in just 30 minutes. Previously fast charging was limited to newer iPad Pro tablets and the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
You will have to spring for the separately sold Lightning-to-USB-C cable and adapter. The iPhone X comes with a normal lightning cable and underpowered 5W charging adapter – smaller than even the iPad charger.
Wireless charging with AirPower
- Apple's AirPower pad can charge multiple devices
- iPhone X also charges with existing Qi chargers
Plugging in your iPhone X could be as easy as dropping it on a wireless pad, and that's the idea behind the new iPhone X wireless charging feature.
Sure, wireless charging isn't new (yes, it's been on Android phones for years), but Apple will debut a new AirPower charging pad in 2018. It can charge every new Apple product: an Apple Watch, AirPods and the iPhone X. The pad itself uses a USB-C cable for power, just like Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro.
This wide-shaped charging pad makes it easy to recharge everything at once compared to plugging each gadget in with a Lightning cable or fetching that inductive Apple Watch charger. However, Apple didn't lay out how much the hassle-free AirPower pad will cost, and we know it won't launch until next year.
AirPower also requires a new AirPods case, one that has wireless charging built into it. Just when you thought iPhone X was expensive enough, it makes you want to buy all sorts of accessories (that's how they get you, right?).
Convenience often has a high price and a long wait. In the meantime, Mophie and Belkin are making wireless chargers, and standard Qi chargers should work, though most will simply charge a single device.
- Want to look for a charging pad? Here are the best wireless chargers right now
Augmented Reality features
- Apple just created the world's largest AR ecosystem
- New demos are launching with iOS 11
- It even works on older devices (A9 chip and higher)
Apple is very bullish on augmented reality, favoring AR over VR. CEO Tim Cook mentions AR during every one of Apple's quarterly earnings calls these days.
iOS 11 beta is already transforming your world into a virtual playground, with games that create digital objects on empty tables when you look through an iPhone or iPad. Home furnishing giant IKEA, meanwhile, is creating practical furniture measuring tools. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
That's why AR is going to play a big part on the iPhone X, although any exclusive features it gets may be minimal, as older iPhones has AR capabilities, too.
You can find out more about the iOS 11 AR experience on the iPhone and iPad, which is coming to all Apple devices with an A9 chip or newer.
- Be sure to read our hands on iPhone X review