Ever wondered what all the fuss is over the latest iPhone? And whether there should be any fuss at all? Not to worry – here's our brisk guide, highlighting the best bits of the new thousand-quid kid on the smartphone block, the iPhone X, and plus the two recent stablemates, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. And we’ll also look at a couple of more-than-decent alternatives from the rival Android operating system.
So what's great about the iPhone X?
iPhone's much-trumpeted X smartphone arrived on November 3, 2017, and its whizziest eye-catching innovation is facial recognition, or Face ID, to be precise. It's a clever security feature operated by sensors at the top of the handset. The X sports a slinky edge-to-edge handset too, for the record. But how much of a deal-breaker Face ID makes the iPhone X, may well only come out in the eventual sales figures.
One stand-out feature for us comes down to visibility – we all rely on our smartphones so much that we don't want to become any more square-eyed than necessary. iPhone X benefits from a larger screen and a bright, pin-sharp Super Retina display, which greatly enhances your screen time, whether watching a video clip or reading something.
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Then there's the infamous cost of the X – £999 and the rest (up to £1,149 for the 256GB model) for a mobile phone – versus then the need, or otherwise, for the latest Apple gizmo.
If you're an avid photo-taker, the X might swing it for you courtesy of its TrueDepth camera. Such is the quality of the pictures you can take, you might find yourself rivalling your grandchildren on the selfie front.
What's the big deal about the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus?
They might be a couple of bells and whistles shy of the full iPhone X, but if you're considering shifting up a handset from the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (released September 22, 2017) have stacks to recommend them, and will probably win the day in their unsung brilliance – yes, literal brilliance.
For starters, iPhone 8 has a self-regulating True Tone screen, which adapts according to the light around you, greatly enhancing the indoor and outdoor viewing experience. The iPhone 8 stable's portrait lighting and HD Retina display also come as happy bonuses for improving photo quality.
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And yes: cost matters. The two versions of iPhone 8 significantly undercut the X's historic plough through the four-figure price barrier. Think £699 for an iPhone 8, with its 4.7 inch display, and £799 for the 8 Plus (display size: 5.5 inch).
If you needed more evidence, the perennial problem of cracked screens is considerably diminished by the durability of the iPhone 8's tougher glass. The phone also has a high degree of water resistance (don't push it, though), plus wireless charging to seal the deal.
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What are the best iPhone alternatives?
The cost-conscious among you, plus ardent Android fans (and there are many), might be keen to look at the best alternatives to the iPhone. Here are a couple of eye-catchingly decent handsets to consider.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus
Camera quality remains a real plus with Samsung's much-admired Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The S8 also has the wow factor of facial recognition functionality, an OLED screen, plus a neat edge-to-edge display that's subtly becoming an industry-standard, high-spec badge of quality screen-time. And then there’s the rest-easy factor of 84 hours' battery life.
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Price-wise, you're looking at £599 to £689 for the respective Samsung handsets. But bear in mind that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are fast on their way in 2018.
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Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL
Google's Pixel 2 smartphone has some major plus-points in the sound and vision stakes. This handset comprises terrific 8-megapixel flat-facing and 12-megapixel back-facing cameras. Video is also one of Pixel 2's strengths, with a useful image stabilisation function, plus another clever multi-layered function where you can snap a few seconds of video around a photo.
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As for the Pixel 2's hold and feel for the user, a slightly grainy sensibility to the handset's aluminium rear side is a boost for anyone keen to make the most of the device's superlative photo and video offerings.
A Pixel 2 will set you back from £629, while the 6-inch screen 2 XL version retails for £799.
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