iPhone X

Apple promised something special for the iPhone's 10th anniversary - and they've delivered with a radical redesign of their best-selling model. But is it really worth the hype?

What's all the fuss?

Appearances can deceive, but one of the main things that jumps out at you about the iPhone X is its gorgeous look. The display takes up the entire front of he device, which also boasts smart curved edges, perfect for fitting snugly inside a single hand.

As in the iPhone 7 - along with 8 and 8 Plus, also released this year - the physical "home" button is nowhere in sight; instead you are left only with a touch-sensitive device in its place, which is found at the bottom of the screen.

It's also super thin (despite purportedly being more durable than ever), with no headphone jack, following the trend of last year's model.

The phone's software is it where it really starts looking a little "next generation". Touch ID has now completely been done away with, replaced instead by Face ID, where the owner's face is used to unlock the device for general navigation.

Set aside the inevitable teething problems (which we'll get to in a moment), and this - in theory - could do a lot to protect users against theft.

Apple have also rolled out a new version of iOS to coincide with the iPhone X's launch. Upgrades appear to be largely piecemeal, apart from menu navigation: you now move around with a "flick" or a "swipe" instead of the traditional prod (again, something that may take some practice to get used to).

The camera hardware isn't a great deal more fancy than models previous, but your photos are enhanced by features such as portrait lighting, which help bring the "subject" of your snaps into focus.

This also helps to stabilise the image in question, by honing in on the face of the person you're taking a picture of - which is a huge bonus if your current selection of blurry holiday snaps aren't winning you any new Instagram followers.

Any concerns?

The big concern, so far (and this could yet be addressed before the official launch, to be fair) is security.

Face ID is clever and, theoretically, ought to preclude any unwanted users from getting into your phone - but the issue is that it's seemingly far too open to abuse.

Those who have sampled the phone have suggested it can be circumvented by waving a photo of the phone's owner in front of its sensors. And the reverse may end up happening as well: it will simply be too much of a hassle to contort your face into the exact shape the phone's recogntion software demands.

The other major drawback is the huge, wallet-busting price. This phone will retail in the UK, at its launch, for £999 - which would probably get you a pretty snazzy high-performance desktop PC.

Verdict

Given that incrimental, piecemeal improvements are the norm for Apple's annual smartphone launch, the iPhone X really has pushed the boat out for the anniversary celebrations. It will probably prove a smart outlay if you have a spare grand burning a hole in your pocket, but just be aware that many of the upgrades are less about function and more about self-indulgent flair.

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