Home / News & Analysis / Apple Ditches Home Button, Adds Face ID to $1K iPhone X

Apple Ditches Home Button, Adds Face ID to $1K iPhone X

As expected, Apple today unveiled its new iPhone 8 lineup, plus a new high-end iPhone X. For the first time, iPhone will support wireless charging, while the new $1,000 edge-to-edge OLED iPhone X incorporates a facial-recognition system, dubbed Face ID.

Apple iPhone XNotably, the iPhone X—pronounced iPhone 10—ditches the home button. To wake it up, you can raise to wake or tap on the screen. If it's locked, stare at the screen until it recognizes your face and swipe to enter. Face ID also works with Apple Pay—click the button on the side, stare at the phone, and hold it to the point-of-sale system—and within apps like Mint, OnePassword, or eTrade.

Unless you have an evil twin—or a normal twin, presumably—the chances of someone tricking your iPhone X are one in a million, according to Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID. The iPhone X will recognize you even if you change your appearance, like growing a beard, but if you're concerned, there is the option to use a passcode instead.

The new iPhones will work with any devices that support the Qi open wireless standard, including those from mophie and Belkin, which Apple will offer in its stores. "Words can't describe how much nicer it is when you can just pick [iPhone] up and down" to charge rather than plugging in, Schiller said.

But Apple will also sell a charging mat of its own, which will charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously.

Apple iPhone X wireless charging

As for specs, the 5.8-inch iPhone X runs the new A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, an M11 motion coprocessor, and a neural engine for Face ID. It sports what Apple's calling a Super Retina HD display—2,436-by-1,125-pixel resolution at 458 ppi—with HDR. 3D Touch lives on.

The iPhone X sports 12MP dual cameras with optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x. Apple tipped better low-light zoom and improved video stabilization. For selfie fans, Portrait mode is on the front camera with a depth-of-field effect.

For emoji fans, an Animoji feature will animate cartoon characters that speak voice messages you record over iMessage, all powered by a new A11 Bionic chip. For those worried about battery, the device will last two hours longer than iPhone 7, Schiller said.

This tenth anniversary iPhone X will cost you; it starts at $999 and comes in 64GB and 256GB versions and space gray or silver. It also doesn't arrive for another two months. Pre-orders begin on Oct. 27 and the phone launches Nov. 3.

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

The iPhone X largely overshadowed the iPhone 8 lineup, which gets the usual upgrades. Like the iPhone 7 lineup, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are 4.7 and 5.5 inches, respectively—1,334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi on the iPhone 8 and 1,920-by-1,080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi on the iPhone 8 Plus. They're also water- and dust-resistant like their predecessors.

The home button remains on iPhone 8, as does Touch ID. Both phones have the same A11 chip and M11 motion coprocessor as the X.

There is glass on the back and front of both devices; for those worried about cracks, the phones' "glass is the most durable ever in a smartphone," Schiller said.

The iPhone 8 starts at $699 and the Plus is $100 more. Pre-orders begin Sept. 15 and the phones arrive on Sept. 19. Both come in 64GB and 256GB flavors in space gray, silver, or a new gold finish.

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