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Review: The iPhone X is the best phone for business, period.

Michael deAgonia | Nov. 19, 2017
Apple's new iPhone X sets the scene for the next decade of iPhone development with a host of futuristic technologies. While expensive, it is the best smartphone available today.

iPhone X home screen Ken Mingis

The iPhone X's OLED display got an A+ rating from DisplayMate for its color calibration and performance.

True Tone uses a built-in six-channel ambient light sensor to adjust the white balance of the display, based on the determined color temperature of the light in the room. This is to emulate the characteristics of a sheet of paper, helping to reduce eye strain. Night Shift changes the display’s white point at sunset (by default) and resets it to normal at sunrise. (You can set a custom schedule or disable this entirely.) This is to reduce the amount of blue light your eyes absorb, which could, ultimately, affect your sleep cycle.

One issue with the iPhone X’s display that I did notice is that there is a slight color shift when its viewed at angles. That surprised me. Previous iPhones with TFT LCDs had perfected color consistency at angles; the X has a noticeable shift. DisplayMate says that the iPhone X’s display has the smallest brightness variation at a viewing angle for an OLED; I’ll take their word for it. Even so, the display is gorgeous. 

One improvement I hope to see in a future iPhone is a 120Hz refresh rate for the display. Currently, the touch sensor ramps to 120Hz, leading to smooth animations at 60fps. But text still blurs when scrolling through documents or web articles because screen refresh rate is still 60Hz. Doubling that would allow for readable text when scrolling. 

Apple already has this technology on the iPads; it’s called Pro Motion, and scrolling through text on that device allows text to remain legible. The next iPhone needs this. 

The A11 chip: Performance to match the display

This year’s iPhones use Apple’s custom six-core 64-bit A11 “Bionic” chipset, with an M11 motion coprocessor (for tracking sensor measurements and for constant listening for the “Hey Siri” trigger) and a new Neural engine. The Neural engine is a dedicated component specifically designed for processing machine-learning calculations, such as identifying objects, places and people in pictures. It also powers Face ID and Animoji and contains the Secure Enclave. The Secure Enclave is an encrypted portion of the chipset dedicated to storing depth map and infrared image data specifically for Face ID authentication. That allows all biometric data used in the system to remain only on the device.

The A11 Bionic chipset has four high-efficiency cores running 70% faster than the ones in iPhone 7 series and two high-performance cores that are 25% faster than the iPhone 7. Unlike the A10 chip, which could use either the high-efficiency cores or the high-powered cores at a time, the A11 can use all six cores at the same time when apps need more processing power.

 

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