iPhone X: The Apple of Our Eyes

What have phones been about this year? Apple recently announced its release of the iPhone X, a ground-breaking step forward in the company’s future and the future of all mobile devices. The phone market has seen some spectacular innovations, from the new Galaxy S8 series to the continued expansion of the eastern mobile industries into western markets.

The focus that was portrayed by this year’s flagships was their screens, they changed the preconceived notions that a phone should be a box with a rectangular screen and that bigger is better. This was reshaped by a few key phones which proved to users that rectangles are boring and from the last generation. They proved that it’s not the phone that should get bigger, but the screen that should.

These new renovations of the typical smartphone are best seen with the designs of the iPhone X, which incorporates the trends set by other phones but does it best, adapting to the needs of its demand while taking the risk that comes with change. 

Samsung S8 released in April 2017

Samsung S8 released in April 2017

The first impact on this year’s mobile market was on the 21st of April, with the introduction of the new Galaxy S line up, the S8 and S8+. Samsung needed a second chance after the Note 7 in last year’s third quarter, and it would suffice to say that these new phones demolished any traces of those doubts.

The immediate eye-catcher on this product was its screen, or as Samsung called it, their Infinity display. Stretching from edge to edge, leaving next to no bezels, Samsung set a trend we would now relate to as 2017. Paired with 4 gigabytes of RAM and a staggeringly fast user interface, most critics agreed that Samsung have set a new standard. A better phone, faster, more powerful and with a beautiful design, incorporating a screen bigger than its predecessor but with an acceptable, ergonomic footprint. 

The Eastern mobile market truly began its influence in the west with HTC, presenting the first android phone: the HTC Dream in 2008. Since then, companies like Huawei, Samsung and Sony have played their role in the mobile market, however, as of 2010, a new mobile giant is emerging. Xiaomi is now the world’s biggest smartphone maker, with almost $90bn in revenue. The company has some amazing phones under their belt like the Redmi note series, the Mi and Mi Max, however their latest smartphone sensation is the Xiaomi Mi Mix.

A brilliant fusion of ceramics and glass, paired with a screen that fills the full of front side of the phone. Although this phone was released last year, and now has a successor (Xiaomi Mi Mix 2), the phone was the introduction of the full display screen. Yes, it had some compromises, with the front facing camera on the bottom bezel, but the design also prompted innovations. A notable example of this is the piezoelectric speaker. It works by vibrating the ceramic body of the phone to create sound. This was the first time such technology was used in a phone, due to a lack of space for a traditional speaker setup with acceptable quality.

Both phones are admirable innovations that were somewhat mirrored in other flagship models across the year like the LG V30 and G6, the HTC 11 and Huawei P10 but a model that without a doubt tops itself is the iPhone X. A sleek design where the screen and back glasses melt together seamlessly, and the front is, once again, fully occupied by a screen.

The iPhone had all the key trends shown in 2017 but with a key difference, this smartphone had the best. It’s no secret that the iPhone comes along with a hefty price tag however Apple made some attempt to go easy on your wallet with the iPhone 8 series. They have added new features like wireless charging and new cameras, whilst offering a phone below a thousand pounds. So, for two hundred more pounds, what are you really paying for?

What Apple’s really pushing for is their TrueDepth setup. It’s an innovation; a step up from the iris scanner. It works, like all other remarkable technological developments, by truly integrating hardware and software. A dot projector (as the name implies) projects infrared dots onto the user’s face, which is detected by an infrared camera. This works in the dark as well because of the flood illuminator which is used to enhance the dots.

All these components work not only to detect the face but by also how far each part of the face is from the camera. This means that the nose will be detected as the closest and the eyes as the farthest. This is useful as the contours of each unique face can be detected to reinforce the phone’s security. 

Apple increases device capabiltiies with the iPhone X

Apple increases device capabiltiies with the iPhone X

Although this works effectively as it is, both as a simple unlocking mechanism and to use for Apple Pay, this technology has far more potential. But, what is Apple really using this for? Of course, it allows the iPhone X to have a full display screen, but in functionality it’s not really replacing the fingerprint scanner. This could have been incorporated at the back of the phone, perhaps even in the Apple logo. That would have given the phone an even more complete front screen, with only a camera and speaker at the top. Potential future applications of this technology do exist though, including augmented and virtual reality and ways to enhance current video communications.

It’s important to realise that the with every step forward there’s a risk and a reward. This year, phones have really taken a step forward, for the first time in about five years, they’re starting to get smaller whilst maintaining the extraordinary screens. There have been trendsetters like the Xiaomi Mi Mix and the Samsung S8 line up, but Apple has really waited this competition out, and like always they have introduced a new set of technologies after they are certain that it’s the best out there, stacking up their phone at the top of the market. The iPhone X will be an excellent addition to the mobile phone market and promises phenomenal technological evolution not just from Apple but all smartphones in the future.