Opinion: I can’t wait to spend RM5000+ on an Apple iPhone X

Apple's latest iPhone costs a cool bomb, but Guy Cocker thinks it'll be worth every penny

Well, the dust has settled on yet another iPhone launch, and the lack of excitement in the Stuff office is palpable.

Granted, some of that is the numbing effect of yet another two-hour Apple press conference, where the only real entertainment comes from poking fun at Apple cliches like Jonny Ive's inimitable voice or Craig Federighi's inimitable eyebrows.

But, other than myself and our new Hot Stuff editor Matt Tate, my colleagues aren't exactly falling over each other to pre-order the new iPhone X.

X marks the spot

First off, full disclosure: when it comes to mobile phones, I’m a total Apple fanboy. I’ve owned every one of the Cupertino company's flagship phones since the iPhone 4, and while I drooled over the recent Samsung Galaxy Note 8, I've never actually thought about moving over to Android.

Before my conversion to Apple, I did have the Nokia N95, which amazingly allowed me to watch TV on my phone, and the HTC Hero, which was the first truly decent Android phone. However, as much as I loved both those devices, the iPhone 4 made both of them look like garbage. 

Sure, the Nokia and the HTC did a lot of things first, sure, but they also did a lot of things badly. The N95 was an internet pioneer, but its user interface was clunky as hell. The HTC Hero showed how good Google's O/S could be, but it was slow and clunky to use.

The iPhone 4, meanwhile, felt like an actual finished product: it did everything well, it was quick and easy to use, and it was beautifully designed in terms of both hardware and software. It was instantly the best phone I'd ever used, and Apple only improved with each iteration. Sure, some years were better than others when it came to innovation, but in my eyes, Apple always earned the money I paid to upgrade.

One Grand Phone

So why do I think the iPhone X is set to continue the trend? Well, first of all, I think the premium quality of the phone is likely to justify a lot of that £1000 (RM5565) price tag. The OLED display, with its True Tone colours and ridiculous 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio, promises to be the best screen on any phone ever. Sure, I'll have to wait until I've seen one in the flesh to judge it fully, but given Apple's track record in this area, and the truly remarkable iPad Pro display tech that this phone inherits, I'd be amazed if Apple didn't deliver. Similarly, it’ll be a major upset if Apple’s new dual 12MP cameras don't become the lenses to beat once again this year.

The iPhone X also has a significantly larger screen than my current iPhone 7 Plus, while somehow being much smaller and lighter than its predecessor. OK, so the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 got there first with the whole 18:9 display thing, but optimised apps such as the games shown during the press conference seem to be using the whole screen, rather than appearing with the large black borders that blighted many apps on LG's phone. Apple's gestures also appear to be genuinely intuitive, save for a small stumble by Federighi during his live demo.

Facing the truth

The iPhone X is also the first Apple handset since the iPhone 6 Plus where the design of the device has changed so significantly that using it day-to-day will feel radically different. Steve Jobs was famously reticent to make a phone any bigger than the iPhone 5, because it meant you couldn't operate it with one hand. The iPhone 7 Plus was impossible to operate with one hand, so I'm excited about the iPhone X's new slimmer form factor, which should make it much more comfortable to use.

Then there's the facial recognition, or Face ID as Apple has coined it. It's difficult to judge just how effective it'll be without using the finished hardware, but given how brilliant Touch ID is, Face ID must be pretty impressive for Apple to drop it completely. Yes, Animojis - the animated emojis which are made possible by the iPhone X's face-scanning tech - are easy for tech journalists to sneer at, but given the popularity of Snapchat filters, you can bet they'll be a major selling point for many. I'll definitely be using it to amuse my family, all of whom are also iPhone devotees.

However, I'm more enticed by the more serious benefits of Face ID, such as the increased security Apple says it offers over Touch ID. As I grow to depend more on more on my phone for accessing sensitive data like banking, smart home and passwords, the more important security becomes.