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Analysis: Will the iPhone X be extraordinary or a big fat meh?

With a starting price of $999, are the iPhone X features like facial recognition worth the hefty price tag or is it just an overpriced, overhyped phone?
iPhone X
Apple released some information on the iPhone X, including its cost, but will facial recognition and a bigger screen be worth the green? Photo: apple.com/iphone-x

IPhone is releasing three new iterations of its product, the most highly anticipated being the iPhone X. While the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are expected to drop soon, the iPhone X would be the premium model.

According to reviews, the iPhone X boasts more “stunning” screen space, an intuitive user interface and effective portrait lighting. TechRadar also noted the facial recognition (Face ID) was “erratic” and the cost for the phone is “so, so high.”

We asked Thomas Butler, a mechanical engineering student at Drexel University and manager at iGeeks at the Exton Square Mall, 279 Exton Square Mall, Exton, Pennsylvania, about the iPhone X and its rumored bells and whistles.

How much will the iPhone X cost?

The iPhone X is listed on Apple’s website as $999 if paid in full. Butler said from what he’s heard, the iPhone X will start at a thousand smackaroos. As the internal memory goes up, so will the price.

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Rumor has it, Apple is pushing for an internal memory as big as 512gb. “Now, that's a big number for cellphones, but it’s only a rumor,” Butler said.   

How secure is facial recognition?

“It’s an interesting component because it’s something that has been done before with the Samsung Note 7, but [Samsung] focused on the “eye triangle” (the shape of the user’s eyes and nose plus the distance between them) and scanning the retina with an infrared camera,” Butler explained.

Since preorders don’t open up until Oct. 27, it’s understandable Butler has not gotten his hands on an iPhone X yet, but he said he owned a Note 7 and never had an issue with security using facial recognition.

Since the Note 7 takes a picture of your iris, using a photograph of the cellphone owner won’t trick the Note 7’s facial recognition, Butler explained.

“With the new iPhone’s facial recognition, I think that’s where the main concern is for a lot of folks,” Butler told us, “but I think Apple is working hard on that because they are removing the fingerprint scan [Touch ID].”

The Note 7 used two cameras to create a 3-D image of the user’s face; Butler said he’s heard rumors that the iPhone X will use a laser to gauge depth.

Sounds like a case for purchasing a Note 7, but Samsung Galaxy Note 7s have a reputation for catching on fire or blowing up.

So, is the iPhone X revolutionary or meh?

“I think for an iPhone this is certainly going to be revolutionary, but I don’t think they are doing anything for the industry,” Butler said.

Facial recognition sets the iPhone X from last year’s model, but since Samsung already has used facial recognition, it isn’t a mind-blowing addition.

Butler said the phone is expected to be waterproof, which again, is nothing new “but it’s nice.”

Apple has confirmed the iPhone X will allow for wireless charging, and in order for that to happen, it will be designed as a “glass sandwich,” with the addition of a glass back. (So, when you drop your phone at the bar, you basically have two glass screens you can break.)

The “glass sandwich” has been used by LG and Samsung, so while it’s an upgrade for iPhone users, it isn’t a bombshell for the industry.

 
 
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