Everything to Know About the Apple iPhone X

All you need to know about Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone

iPhone X

Apple, Inc.

The iPhone X (pronounced "ten") is the 10th-anniversary edition of Apple's flagship smartphone. When introduced in 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook called it, "a product that will set the tone for the next decade." Its successor, the iPhone 11, was released in 2019. Three upgrades to the X — the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR — were released in 2018.

With its edge-to-edge OLED screen, glass frame, and new features like Face ID, the iPhone X looks little like previous versions of the iPhone. Add in the huge 5.8-inch screen, which is the same size as the iPhone 11 and larger than the iPhone 8 Plus, and the specs alone reveal a stand-out device.

How the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Series Are Different

Even though they were introduced at the same time, the iPhone X and iPhone 8 series phones differ in five key areas:

While the dual-camera system on the back of the iPhone X is essentially the same camera as the one on the iPhone 8 Plus, the X's user-facing camera is better than what either iPhone 8 model offers. It supports improved lighting features, a portrait mode, and animated emojis that mimic your facial expressions.

When it was released, the X boasted the largest screen of any iPhone to date, at 5.8 inches diagonally. (The newest iPhone 11 has the same screen size.) The X's size and weight, however, are closer in measure to that of the iPhone 8 than the 8 Plus. By using a new OLED screen and a body made mostly of glass, Apple was able to get the X's weight down to just 6.1 ounces — more than an ounce lighter than the iPhone 8 Plus.

New Features

In addition to its slim design, the iPhone X introduces four new features.

  • Face ID: This facial recognition system replaces Touch ID for unlocking your phone and authorizing Apple Pay transactions. It uses a series of sensors located near the user-facing camera that project 30,000 invisible infrared dots onto your face to map its structure in minute detail. The facial mapping data is stored in the iPhone's Secure Enclave, the same place Touch ID fingerprints are stored, so it is extremely secure.
  • Animoji: One of the most entertaining features of the iPhone X is the addition of Animoji, or "moving emoji." Animojis only work on devices running iOS 11 and higher. (Any device capable of running iOS 11 or higher can display Animoji.) Regular emojis are still available are the iPhone X.
  • Super Retina Display: The most obvious change to the X is the screen, which was the largest to date at the time of release. It's a full edge-to-edge screen, meaning the edge of the phone ends at the same place as the screen. The enhanced look is aided by the Super Retina HD display. This even-more-hi-res version of Apple's already gorgeous Retina Display delivers 458 pixels per inch — a big step up from the 326 pixels per inch on the iPhone 7 and 8.
  • Wireless Charging: The iPhone X has built-in wireless charging, which is also available in the iPhone 8 series phones released at the same time. This means you can place the iPhone on a charging mat and the battery will charge wirelessly — no need for cords or cables. The X uses the widespread Qi (pronounced "chee") wireless charging standard that's already available on other smartphones. With Apple adopting this standard, it means all major smartphone brands now support it. We will likely see the tech deployed in public spaces like airports, restaurants, and coffee shops. Apple's AirPower charging mat can power an iPhone, Apple Watch, and next-generation AirPods at the same time. 

How the iPhone X Improves on the iPhone 7 Series

In many ways, the iPhone X makes the iPhone 7 series look ancient. Compared with the 7, the X includes a new, faster processor; a larger, more vibrant and high-resolution screen; wireless charging; improvements to 4K and slow-motion video capture; and Face ID facial recognition.

The 7 series has an edge in price, however. The 7 series phones are still excellent devices and a 32GB iPhone 7 is about half the price of a 64GB iPhone X.

The iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

The iPhone X was succeeded by three upgrades. The iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, released in 2018, all offer the edge-to-edge screens and top-end cameras. The XS Max and the XR have even bigger screens — 6.5 inches and 6.1 inches, respectively — and the XS and XS Max both sport 512GB of storage at the top end.