After months of leaks, rumours and anticipation, the iPhone X, earlier known as the iPhone 8 or the iPhone Edition, is about to be unveiled tomorrow at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino at 10 am PDT (10:30PM IST). Apple is set to unveil three new models tomorrow – a radical new tenth anniversary iPhone and updated versions of last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
There is a lot of confusion regarding what the three smartphones will actually be called. Till a few days ago, it was widely regarded that the tenth anniversary iPhone will be called the iPhone 8 and the iterative models will be called iPhone 7s Plus and iPhone 7s Plus. However, new reports point towards Apple ditching the iPhone 7s moniker entirely. Instead, it is going to be called the iPhone X.
The reports claim that the updates to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be called iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and the tenth anniversary iPhone will be named iPhone X. Whatever the name, it is an open secret that the tenth anniversary iPhone is going to the most radical update to the iPhone line-up in years with a striking new design, AR based features, a new display technology and much more.
Striking new bezel-less design
It has been three years now since the iPhone received a redesign. The last time Apple completely overhauled the design of the iPhone was with the iPhone 6 in 2014. All that is about to change with the iPhone X.
The iPhone X is expected to feature an all new bezel-less design with a polished stainless steel metal frame, an all glass front, a vertical rear dual camera setup and a screen to body ratio even better than that of the Samsung Galaxy S8. The biggest victim of this redesign will be Apple’s iconic home button which has been a stable of the iPhone line-up ever since its inception.
One of the controversial elements of the design is sure to be the ‘notch’ at the top which houses the sensors and the front camera unit. A similar kind of ‘notch’ is found in Andy Rubin’s Essential PH-1 smartphone. However, Apple is said to have added a feature in the iPhone 8’s software in order to make the Notch blend in better with the display. The icons for battery, Wi-Fi, mobile data and so on will be displayed on either side of the ‘notch’ in order to make it look more seamless and integrated.
As with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X is expected to be offered in White, Black and Gold.
Edge-to-edge OLED display
The iOS 11 GM (general master) has confirmed that the iPhone X will come with an edge-to-edge True Tone OLED display. The True Tone display changes its color temperature and hue depending on the surroundings in order to reduce eye strain.
Apple’s HomePod Firmware revealed a few weeks ago that the iPhone X will come with a high res 1125×2436 display. This will be the first iPhone to come with an OLED display – all previous iPhones came with IPS LCD panels.
The display is expected to be 5.8-inches in size with only 5.15-inches out of those available for content. The rest will be dedicated to a ‘Function Area’ that will occupy the bottom of the display at all times. This Function Area will change dynamically based on which apps are being used and will offer shortcuts and other functions.
OLED displays have been in use in the Android world by manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola for quite some time now. They show punchier colours, have better contrast and allow for features such as an always on display. In fact, Apple’s biggest rivals Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8 both use an OLED panel.
3D Face Recognition
References to Face ID in the iOS 11 GM has all but confirmed that the iPhone 8 will come with 3D Face recognition. This will be one of the biggest talking points of the iPhone X and will basically replace Touch ID as the means to safely, securely and conveniently unlock the tenth anniversary iPhone.
iPhone X is going to the most radical update to the iPhone line-up in years with a striking new design, AR based features, a new display technology and much more.
The inclusion of 3D face recognition is reportedly a direct result of Apple’s inability to successfully embed the Touch ID sensor underneath the iPhone X display. Reports claim that the Face ID technology in the smartphone will allow users to not only unlock the device, but also launch secure applications and authenticate payments through Apple Pay.
The face ID sensor is also said to capture more data and be more secure than a fingerprint scan. KGI Analyst Ming-Chi Kui claims that the iPhone X will come with structures light transmitters and receivers, which will make its face recognition feature extremely accurate and precise. There are also hints that Apple will allow the 3D scanning feature to be used for creating personalised 3D emojis.
To Touch ID, or not?
With the home button, the TouchID sensor is also getting the axe. Many rumours were pointing towards Apple embedding the fingerprint sensor underneath the iPhone X display. However, it seems that Apple has ditched the idea of an in-screen fingerprint sensor after facing technological challenges and manufacturing issues along the way.
While most rumours point towards the iPhone X losing the Touch ID sensor, a few claim that the smartphone will come with the Touch ID sensor embedded in the Apple logo at the back. This seems a bit dicey. Whether the iPhone X will come actually with a fingerprint sensor or not, is something only Apple will be able to answer tomorrow.
One of the biggest reasons behind the iPhone X all glass back is the inclusion of Wireless Charging. With the tenth anniversary iPhone, Apple is finally set to join the wireless charging bandwagon — a feature that has been found on Android smartphones for quite some time now.
Apple is expected to stick to the ‘Qi’ wireless charging standard used by Android manufacturers like LG and Samsung. However, rumours claim that the version of wireless charging found on the iPhone X will run at just 7.5 watts as compared to the 15 watts supported by the Qi wireless charging standard.
This will not only make wireless charging in the iPhone X slower than rivals, but may also force third-party manufacturers to Apple a certain sum of money in order to make their wireless charging pads compatible with the iPhone X.
Augmented Reality cameras
The iPhone X is expected to carry forward the dual camera setup found on the iPhone 7 Plus with a few nifty improvements here and there. First of all the iPhone 8 is expected to have a better image sensor that the one found on the iPhone 7 Plus. Secondly, Apple is said to improve the quality of the telephoto lens, which is a bit inferior to the primary lens of the 7 Plus.
The iPhone X rear camera is also set to come with 3D sensing capabilities and AR features. Reports claim that the iPhone 8 might come with a rear-facing 3D sensor to help with augmented reality features. The 3D system will reportedly also provide a more accurate autofocus.
A new leak by developer Steve Stroughton Smith claims that the iPhone X will come with a 12MP back camera with 4K video recording support and a 7MP front camera with 1080p video recording support.
Updated IP68 waterproofing, powerful hardware
The iPhone X is also expected to come with IP68 dust and water resistance — the same rating found on the Samsung Galaxy S8. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in comparison came with an IP67 dust and water resistance rating. The tenth anniversary iPhone is also expected to come with an updated 3D touch module with additional graphite sheet lamination which will prevent the device from possible overheating.
The iPhone X will be powered by the Apple A11 processor with will undoubtedly be the most powerful and efficient processor made by Apple yet. A new leak by developer Steve Stroughton Smith claims that the iPhone 8 or iPhone X will come with 3GB of RAM.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
The updated versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus – said to be the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus — are expected to come with a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch display respectively. Unlike the tenth anniversary iPhone, which is set to come with an OLED panel, the two smartphone will feature an IPS LCD display.
They are expected to look a lot like the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with one possible exception — they might come with glass backs. The frame will be made out of aluminium.
They are set to come in two storage variants — 32GB and 256GB and will be powered by the Apple A11 chip paired with 2GB of RAM in the iPhone 8 and 3GB of RAM in the iPhone 8 Plus.