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Apple announced the iPhone X on Tuesday, a 10th-anniversary tribute to the first iPhone. The phone is already being declared as one of the most exciting phones released this decade. The iPhone X boasts two new major features, a new edge-to-edge “Super Retina Display” and the replacement of the mechanical home button with the ability to unlock your phone with Face ID.
The original iPhone was truly a landmark achievement for not only smartphones, but it also helped to shape the future of technology. So when Apple CEO Tim Cook began the iPhone X announcement, he made some incredibly bold claims about their new phone.
“[The iPhone X is a] product that will set the path of technology for the next decade … This is the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone,” Cook said.
While it is no doubt making huge waves in the tech world at the moment, the attitude towards this new phone is by no means universally positive. His hyperbolic claims about the phone have certainly not convinced me. Especially not when the phone starts at $1000.
The iPhone X is smaller, faster, has a great new screen and a fancy new camera. Then again — of course it does. It wouldn’t be worth announcing otherwise. My concern, however, is that Apple seems to be hell-bent on reducing and complicating the core features of their new products. This time they have decided to do away with the home button and by extension the Touch ID. The loss of the headphone jack was one thing, but this is a radical change to a staple of modern smartphone design.
While the new screen does look gorgeous, I can’t help but feel that it fails to make up for the loss of the home button and the Touch ID. Apple claims that its change from the Touch ID was motivated by the increased security of the Face ID. However, it really seems like a compromise just so they could keep their unique screen design. If they were able to implement Touch ID in the display, I would be singing a different tune. But they didn’t and I’m not.
Apple’s claims suggest that they believe their Face ID technology works so well that it will forever alter the design of smartphones in the near future. But watching the system fail during the first public demo, I’m not sold. And that was in an environment they expected, so what about low light, or under a desk or when your face is covered by something?
So then, the screen really has to be something really incredible to make such a drastic change to their product, right?
The edge-to-edge design aside, it’s actually not that impressive of a screen. For comparison, the iPhone X screen is 5.8 inches with a resolution of 2436 x 1125, or 458 pixels per inch, whereas the Galaxy S8 also has a 5.8-inch screen with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 or 570 pixels per inch. The Galaxy S8 has a superior screen and does so at $250 cheaper.
Now I would get into the other new innovations that the iPhone X has over the iPhone 7, but they aren’t features that we haven’t already seen. When they make claims that this phone will “shape a decade” of new technology, they really should have been prepared to wow us. Wireless charging, machine learning algorithms, fancy 4k cameras and augmented reality are not Apple innovations. If Pokemon Go could do it, I am not going to be blown away by a T-Rex on a basketball court.
So then, how does Apple really expect us to pay such a high price for the iPhone X when the only real innovation that I can’t pick apart is animated emojis?
Contact CU Independent Arts Staff Writer Chris Koehler at email@example.com.