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Updated with TechCrunch review, at the bottom.

We talked yesterday about how Apple is this year taking a different approach to pre-sale reviews of its flagship iPhone. Instead of giving all publications and sites the same embargo date, so that all the reviews hit the net at once, it’s layering them, with different people allowed to post different pieces at different times.

We saw some written pieces and several hands-on videos by YouTubers, and we’re today seeing some more first impressions pieces by writers who were apparently given their iPhone X models just one day ahead of their embargo time …

Business Insider‘s Steve Kovach opens his piece by stating that he’s been testing it for a little less than a day. That was, he says, enough to sell him on the device.

High points for him were the new design, the OLED screen and the performance of Face ID.

The iPhone X is a refreshing redesign. After over three years of essentially the same look, it’s nice to see Apple make something radically different again.

The best part is the screen. At 5.8 inches, it’s slightly larger than the iPhone 8 Plus screen, but on a body that’s only a little larger than the iPhone 8. For everyone avoiding the plus-sized iPhones because of their surfboard-like construction, the X will strike the perfect balance […] The X’s screen is stunning, almost as if it’s painted onto the phone […]

In my short time with the iPhone X, Face ID has worked well. It unlocks the phone quickly in low light, bright light, the dim light of Business Insider’s video studio, and even in a pitch-black closet.

Kovach doesn’t mind the notch, but says that not all app developers have yet adapted to the new aspect ratio – including, bizarrely, Apple!

Many of my apps haven’t been redesigned for the new screen size, so they show up with thick black bars on the top and bottom to mimic the same aspect ratio you’d get on a regular iPhone screen. It looks like a lot of wasted space.

Other apps have been refitted for the iPhone X screen, but have made a bunch of funky design choices. For example, some have large chunks of unused space at the bottom near the home bar. And I saw at least one app that showed the home bar bleeding into the menu icons at the bottom of the screen.

Apple’s not totally innocent either. There were a few cases where I saw large chunks of unused space at the bottom of the screen in some of Apple’s own in-house apps, such as the iPhone’s built-in Mail app, especially when the keyboard popped up.

Nilay Patel at The Verge says he was also given less than 24 hours, and is similarly impressed with the display.

The screen is bright and colorful and appears to be laminated tighter than previous iPhones, so it looks like the pixels are right on top. Honestly, it does kind of look like a live 3D render instead of an actual working phone.

He also loves the design, describing it as ‘gorgeous’ but not flawless.

There’s a tiny sharp ridge between the glass back and the chrome frame that I feel every time I pick up the phone. That chrome frame seems destined to get scratched and dinged, as every chrome Apple product tends to do. The camera bump on the back is huge; a larger housing than the iPhone 8 Plus fitted onto a much smaller body and designed to draw attention to itself, especially on my white review unit. There are definitely going to be people who think it’s ugly. But it’s growing on me.

He’s not a fan of the notch, and thinks the bezels are thicker than Apple’s marketing would have us believe.

[The notch is] ugly, but it tends to fade away after a while in portrait mode. It’s definitely intrusive in landscape, though — it makes landscape in general pretty messy. Less ignorable are the bezels around the sides and bottom of the screen, which are actually quite large.

He had bigger issues with non-optimized apps.

Apps that haven’t been specifically updated for the iPhone X but use Apple’s iOS autolayout system will fill the screen, but wacky things happen: Dark Sky blocks out half the status bar with a hardcoded black bar of its own, Uber puts your account icon over the battery indicator, and the settings in the Halide camera app get obscured by the notch and partially tucked into the display’s bunny ears. It almost looks right, but then you realize it’s actually just broken.

Patel also found that Face ID isn’t always reliable.

I had a lot of problems pulling the iPhone X out of my pocket and having it fail to unlock until Apple clarified that FaceID works best at a distance of 25 to 50 centimeters away from your face, or about 10 to 20 inches. That’s closer than I usually hold my phone when I pull it out of my pocket to check something, which means I had to actively think about holding the iPhone X closer to my face than every other phone I’ve ever used. “You’re holding it wrong” is a joke until it isn’t, and you can definitely hold the iPhone X wrong […]

FaceID works great in the dark, because the IR projector is basically a flashlight, and flashlights are easy to see in the dark. But go outside in bright sunlight, which contains a lot of infrared light, or under crappy florescent lights, which interfere with IR, and FaceID starts to get a little inconsistent.

Engadget‘s Chris Velazco said he had the phone for ‘about a day’ and ‘sort of loves’ the design, also mentioning those bezels.

It’s the most radical visual change the iPhone line has ever seen, and I sort of love it. Aesthetics aside, the iPhone X feels fantastic, with a level of fit and finish that’s highly impressive even by Apple’s standards. I particularly like the phone’s stainless steel frame — it adds just the right amount of heft, and the glass covering the X’s front and back melts into it seamlessly. Just look at the screen: the 5.8-inch OLED panel stretches almost completely over the phone’s face, ensuring iOS dominates your interaction with the iPhone X […]

Yes, a fine but noticeable bezel runs around the display, and yes, the notch above the screen that contains the elaborate camera cluster is a little strange.

He too likes the display quality – though he thinks not everyone will.

That screen, by the way, is easily among the most impressive I’ve ever seen in a phone. Apple says it tuned for accuracy over sheer punchiness, and the effect is unmistakable. While the Galaxy Note 8 delivers much more vivid colors, the iPhone X is more subdued and natural. The question of which one is “better” is ultimately a subjective one. I’ve grown used to Samsung’s lurid screens, but the iPhone X definitely punches in the same weight class, even if it seems a little dimmer.

He also echoes complaints about non-optimized apps.

Jumping into a non-optimized, letterboxed app was more jarring than I expected. When you fire up, say, Gmail, it’s bounded on the top and bottom by empty expanses that frankly make the X look a little silly.

Velazco does, though, think the new gestures work well.

Thankfully, navigating through the iPhone X’s interface is generally a breeze. Since there’s no home button, cruising through iOS happens with a series of swiping gestures. Slide a finger across a bar at the bottom to switch between running apps, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold for a moment (you’ll feel a haptic pulse) to display all of your currently running apps, or simply swipe up to go back to the home screen. Despite hitting the reset button on almost a decade of iPhone behavior, Apple has built a version of iOS that handily proves home buttons aren’t necessary anymore.

CNET got 18 hours (I’m guessing these guys didn’t get much sleep). Like The Verge, Scott Stein found that Face ID wasn’t 100% reliable.

Unlocking isn’t automatic. Instead, the phone “readies for unlock” when it recognizes my face. So I look at the iPhone, and then a lock icon at the top unlocks. But the iPhone still needs my finger-swipe to finish the unlock. It’s fast, but that extra step means it’s not instantaneous. Face ID did recognize me most of the time but sometimes, every once in a while, it didn’t […]

Interestingly, while Apple says you need to be actively looking at your iPhone X for Face ID to work, Stein says you can switch off this protection if you want to.

By default, it requires “attention” at the display, but that requirement for direct attention can be turned off for those who need it, or those who prefer to speed up the process.

He was less impressed by the display, however, seeing it as good but not dramatically so.

Picture quality improvement isn’t immediately noticeable over previous iPhones, but that’s a testament to how good Apple’s previous TrueTone displays are. The larger screen gives the iPhone a more current and immersive feel.

He raised the same issue of apps that haven’t been adapted for the aspect ratio, and says that he found it harder to adjust to the lack of Home button.

I kept reaching for the phantom button over the first few hours, feeling like I’d lost a thumb […]

Those gestures added up to some difficult maneuvers as I walked Manhattan streets in the Flatiron between my office and a local barber shop. At the end of the first day, I admit: sometimes I missed the simple home button.

He also found Portrait Lighting was hit-and-miss.

My face ended up looking oddly cut-out and poorly lit. Unlike the rear cameras, which seemed to produce hit-or-miss Portrait Lighting shots, I haven’t had luck with my own selfies.

CNET’s senior photographer James Martin spent 10 hours playing with the front-facing camera, and was generally impressed – though did note that it had problems in bright sunlight.

TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino got several days with it, and took it to Disneyland to review it in what he described as a more real-life test. Nice work if you can get it!

His review has a major focus on Face ID, which he reports worked reliably but not perfectly.

When Face ID did fail for me, it was almost always a function of one of two things: I wasn’t looking at the phone when it made the attempt (I have attention detection toggled on) or it was at too steep an angle and couldn’t see my whole face. If it was pointed at me and I was looking, it opened.

Speed of recognition is, he says, midway between the first and second generations of Touch ID.

On the camera, optical image stabilization makes a big difference at night and for close-ups, he says.

These shots of the Guardians of the Galaxy tower really highlight the difference in sharpness that you see with a stabilized lens […]

If you’re taking macro images of flowers or details or, say, bacon, the stabilized lens will help immensely with fine detail and preventing motion blur. Similarly to a telephoto situation, any motion of your hands can be greatly amplified because of the distance and detail levels of what you’re shooting.

Portrait Mode worked well with one person, but struggled with two or more.

Unless you’re perfectly parallel (unlikely) someone is going to be out of focus in Portrait Mode. In single-person shots, Portrait Mode works just fine […] Until the algorithm gets better at figuring out that there are two people in frame and understanding how to keep them both sharp, though, I’d recommend keeping it in regular mode for group shots.

Screen quality is described as ‘much, much better than the iPhone 8 LCD,’ but still suffers from dimming and colour shifts when viewed at an angle.

The one area where this display falls prey to standard OLED gripes is in off-axis viewing. Apple tells me that it has done work to counter the drop-in saturation and shift to blue that affects OLED screens traditionally. I can tell you that, compared to other OLED screens, you have to get further “off of center” to see a real shift in color, holding the phone 30 degrees or more off of dead on. But it is still there. For people who share their phone’s screen or use it at odd angles a lot, it will be noticeable. On some phones, OLEDs go super blue. On the iPhone X it’s more of a slight blue shift with a reduction in saturation and dynamic range. It’s not terrible, but it definitely exists.

Panzarino found that he struggled with the lack of Home button on day one, found it easier on day two and was completely used to it by day six.

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Iphone X First Impressions: The 10 Year Itch

iPhone X first impressions: The 10 year itch

Dear friends and SlashGear readers, if you pre-ordered the iPhone X in time for delivery on November 3, or even within a week of that, congratulations. If you didn’t pre-order for whatever reason, and have even the slightest interest in Apple’s new flagship, then I’m very sorry to tell you that when your friends, family, and colleagues show up with their shiny new iPhone X, you’re really going to wish you did. As of writing, the current shipping estimate is five to six weeks out. It’s time to cash in whatever connections, favors, or blackmail material you have with your carrier’s rep to have them set aside a unit for you. Either that, or get in line to buy one at an Apple Store this Friday. Trust me, it’s worth it.

As far back as I can remember, Apple has never showcased a new, unreleased iPhone in its stores ahead of launch day. So, like most of you, since I wasn’t at the iPhone X’s media event it’s only now that got to hold it in my hands. My overriding first impression is that neither product shots nor any of the video from Apple or others do this phone justice. In particular, the gorgeous 5.8-inch Super Retina 2436 x 1125 resolution display, with its 458 pixels per inch (ppi) density. Nothing I’ve seen in the aftermath of that event on September 12 prepared me for just for how premium it feels, nestled in the palm of your hand.

During a short product briefing, I was mesmerized by the custom-built OLED panel. It’s a true High Dynamic Range (HDR) display with a 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio: it means that, where Google’s Pixel 2 XL has been rightly criticized for its underwhelming and muted display, Apple’s shines bright. Apple makes its usual bold claims about having the best color accuracy compared to all the current-gen smartphones on the market, but I suspect the iPhone X can cash the checks Tim Cook & Co. are writing. As the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it’s never been clearer in the case of the iPhone X.

It’s not just the panel in isolation, mind. The other strength in making photos, movies, games, and basically everything that shows up on the display come to life is Apple’s True Tone technology. While we’ve seen it on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus already, and of course the iPad Pro before that, on the iPhone X it packs a more accurate six-channel ambient light sensor, meticulously adjusting the white balance on-screen to sync up with the color temperature of the light in your surroundings.

The edge to edge display curves at the edge, its toughened glass blending into the stainless-steel band that runs around the periphery. It’s made of surgical-grade stainless steel; Apple’s secret sauce remains its insistence on materials that go just that little bit further than everybody else can be bothered to. The shine reminds me of the early iPhone models. My favorite color combo is the Silver, while the Space Gray still looks good but stands out a little less.

With all that screen, there’s little room for Touch ID, and so it’s replaced by Face ID. With Touch ID, there’s a one in fifty-thousand chance of a random stranger successfully unlocking your iPhone: with Face ID, it’s one in a million. If you’ve got an identical twin, then you should probably exercise some caution; the rest of us are probably safe.

Most everyone I’ve talked to since the iPhone X launch has raised concerns that Apple might sell their Face ID data. The short answer is, that’s not going to happen. For a start, it’s not Apple’s business model. The more technical reason is that, like with Touch ID, your Face ID data is encrypted and protected with a key available only to the Secure Enclave, locked up on the iPhone X itself. That data never leaves the phone, and is never backed up to iCloud or anywhere else.

Enrolling your face is literally two steps, where you move your head around as though “painting” a circle with your nose. Over time, Face ID will track changes such as growing a beard. If you shave it all off, the system may ask for your PIN just to make sure it’s you, but then it’ll automatically start quietly learning you all over again. It doesn’t require re-enrolling your face.

In practice, Face ID works so well, even after a short period I forgot it was even there. Glance at the phone, swipe up, and you’re at the homescreen. If you want even less intrusion, you can deselect the “Require Attention for Face ID” option. Then, you’re not even required to look at the iPhone before it’ll unlock. You can also uncheck it if you find that some of your sunglasses prevent Face ID from working: Apple tells me that certain lens coatings can present an issue, though I had no problems with my polarized pair.

Applications that already use Touch ID should, if they’re using Apple’s APIs correctly, automatically transition to Face ID. As far as iOS is concerned, whichever version of Apple’s biometric security you have can do the same thing. I tested this with password manager LastPass, which is yet to “officially” support Face ID, and can confirm that instead of asking for a fingerprint scan, my face was sufficient to unlock the app.

There’s some serious tech behind Face ID, which I’ll go more into detail in my full review. For now, just know that the TrueDepth camera is the key component. It literally maps the geometry of your face with 30,000 invisible dots. Arguably more fun, thanks to the TrueDepth Camera you can now take Portrait mode selfies. In theory, even with just one lens, the results should be on par with the dual cameras on the rear.

If there’s been a learning curve during my initial time with the iPhone X, it’s handling the loss of the home button. If you thought the change from a physical key to a touch-sensitive one a few years back was jarring to your muscle-memory, steel yourself for an even bigger evolution. Still, there are really only eight main gesture controls you need to remember.

1) Swipe up from the bottom edge to return home.

3) Control Center can be opened by swiping down from the top-right edge

4) In the event that the iPhone X locks up, you can force restart by pressing and quickly releasing the volume up button, then pressing and quickly releasing the volume down button, and finally holding the side button until the Apple logo appears.

5) Turning the device off requires pressing and holding the side button along with the volume up button, then swiping to turn off the iPhone. It’s also the menu where you’ll find the SOS feature.

6) You can take a screen shot by simultaneously pressing and quickly releasing the side button and volume up button.

8) Lastly, you can activate Siri by pressing and holding the side button.

Once again, I’ll go more into detail about the rear facing cameras. For now, though, from my initial impressions, the wide-angle f/1.8 camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) delivers images about the same as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Reserved only for the iPhone X is a new f/2.4 telephoto lens also featuring OIS; that’s more than welcome, because videos shot with the tele-lens should now be actually usable.

I’ve left the iPhone X’s most controversial aspect to last. To say the “notch” – the section of the screen which is cut out to accommodate the TrueDepth camera – has been well discussed over the past months is an understatement. I could quite understand people being reticent about it, indeed. All the same, like the iPhone X’s physical charm, which doesn’t become clear until you have it in front of you, in the metal and glass, after a short while the notch just stops being so visible. I suspect many who thought it would be a deal-breaker will discover that, in actual fact, it’s far less of a challenge to live with.

Overall, even after a short period, it’s clear that the iPhone X feels ultra-premium. Whether the $999 / $1195 (64 GB / 256GB) price tag is too much for you, well, that’s something only you yourself can determine. If you were to ask me right now whether you should go with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or the iPhone X, I have to say my money is on the X. The additional money spent comes out to roughly one latte a month, if you’re on a payment plan. In return for sacrificing your coffee, you get that incredible display, a smaller body than the 8 Plus but without compromising on screen size, and legitimately game-changing features like TrueDepth. Stay tuned for my full review for more.

First Impressions: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab

We’ve heard a lot of chatter about the coming army of Android tablets, but we haven’t seen any real contenders posing a challenge to Apple’s dominant iPad–until now. Samsung first unveiled the Galaxy Tab at the IFA show in Berlin earlier this month; now, the company has formally introduced the Tab to the U.S. market for all four major wireless carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon). And judging from my initial hands-on with a preproduction Samsung Galaxy Tab, this tablet has the chops to compete with the iPad.

In their respective announcements, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon each discuss a few of the customizations they’ll make for their customers, but details are sparse. AT&T mentions that the AT&T Connection Manager will automatically connect to AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots. Sprint says the Galaxy Tab will have mobile hotspot capability for up to five Wi-Fi devices. Verizon’s release also mentions mobile hotspot support, and the company is the only one to talk about the tablet’s exclusive software tie-ins with its service: You’ll find V Cast Music with Rhapsody, V Cast Video on Demand, V Cast Song ID, VZ Navigator, and the games Let’s Golf and N.O.V.A. all preinstalled on the Verizon version of the Tab.

The first thing that jumps out about the Galaxy Tab is its manageable size. Not surprisingly, the front face is all screen, with four capacitive touch-sensitive buttons running along the bottom (or the left side, if you hold the device in landscape orientation). With a 7-inch display and a weight of 0.8 pound, the Galaxy Tab is small enough to fit into some tight spaces (such as a roomy pocket), light enough to hold with one hand, and large enough to provide satisfying viewing. I found the Galaxy Tab comfy to hold in one hand, unlike the Apple iPad, which at 1.5 pounds is just too heavy to grasp with a single hand for any length of time.

The dimensions and weight allow you to hold the Tab and type on it with your thumbs at the same time, using two hands or even one hand. Users with smaller hands will have to stretch to type one-handed; for larger hands, the arrangement is no problem. The keyboard seemed decent overall, though I didn’t pound on it enough to pass final judgment on its usability.

Clearly influenced by Samsung’s Galaxy S line of phones, the Galaxy Tab appears notably more stylish and less clunky than some of the early, off-brand Android tablets we’ve seen pop up across the Web. It does stand at a half-inch thick, the same as Apple’s iPad; admittedly, though, in this comparison the latter benefits from rounding conventions, as the iPad measures 13.4mm to the Tab’s 13mm.

Impressive Specs

The wide, Super VGA, 1024-by-600-pixel TFT display appeared bright and viewable at an angle, but I did not get a chance to test the display in bright sunlight. Samsung claims that its display has a better viewing angle and contrast ratio than the higher-resolution iPad screen; however, I did not test the two side-by-side.

The device has very little else on it physically, aside from volume-up and -down controls and a power button. It has a proprietary charger port; like the iPad, the Tab requires more juice than is available solely over USB. If you plug the Tab into a computer’s USB port, you’ll get a trickle charge, but not a full charge as you would with a phone. The 4000-mAh battery provides 7 hours of video, according to Samsung.

All About the Software

Like the Galaxy S phones, the Tab has Swype for faster typing; Samsung’s Social Hub for aggregating your messages across e-mail, text, and social networks; and Media Hub installed for accessing television shows and movies for download and rental.

Adding fuel to the debate over what exactly defines an e-reader, the Tab comes with three e-reader apps preinstalled: PressDisplay for news, Kobo for e-books, and Zinio for magazines. Of course, you can download any Android e-reader app for use with the Tab, as well; the only question is whether the app you choose has been designed in a way that works with tablets.

The Tab carries the Google-certified logo, and has the Google Android Market on-board. Samsung says the 80,000-plus apps in the Android Market will work on the device, although only a small number of those are actually optimized for the Tab’s roomy screen size and resolution. Apps that aren’t optimized, according to Samsung, will appear centered in the screen at 800 by 400 resolution, which may help explain why I had the initial impression that unscaled apps looked better here on the Tab than unscaled apps on the iPad do.

With the introduction of the Media Hub movie and TV service, Samsung offers a one-two-punch that squarely positions its Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets as mobile entertainment centers. (Even though the company has just one tablet today, it’s not a stretch to imagine future products in the line, at different screen sizes.) The Galaxy Tab looks and feels very promising; we look forward to seeing the actual shipping products that each carrier offers, as well as their prices. Cost, in particular, will help determine whether the Galaxy Tab family sinks or swims.

Epic Iphone X Case Roundup

After our first epic roundup of over a hundred iPhone X cases, we are back with more. We took some of your suggestions and even found some more unique options to include this time around.

Be sure to check out our video as it is the best way to see all the cases in the lineup. Then read through the list to see if you will find your new favorite case!

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Epic iPhone X case roundup, part II Element Case

Element Case was a highly requested case after the first roundup.

It is easy to see why as the Formula case for the iPhone X looks fantastic. We have this bright blue option that looks inspired by a race car.

It has a mixture of several different materials including anodized Aluminum and carbon fiber.

It offers great 10-foot drop protection, though I have to admit, the metal sides tend to get a bit cold here in the Ohio winters.

Nodus

Nodus is another of my favorites that has a couple different form factors.

They have two primary cases, the shell case, as well as the Access case.

The shell case is simplistic with a nice pebbled texture to the outside. What is über convenient is the including of the Nodus mount. It is a small square magnet with 3M adhesive on the back. Inside the case itself, is a removable metal shim. You can leave the shim in and use it with the mount, or you can remove it and use it with a wireless charger.

The Access case has been one of my favorites. It affixes to the back of your iPhone with micro suction, making it easily removable and re-adherable. It is folio style, and has a handle pocket in the front to hold cash, credit cards, an ID, or business cards.

As a side note, I also love their logo.

Mujjo

Mujjo has a lovely minimalist take on the leather case.

They’ve recently released a new color which is a very attractive olive green.

It comes as a snap-on shell case both with and without a pocket for cards.

Another new option is the iPhone X sleeve. It is made out of high quality black leather, and has a pocket on the front for any common wallet items. I kind of like this option because it offers protection for your phone that can be easily removed.

Mosevic

Mosevic has been around for a bit now, making some great looking glasses. Now they’ve done the same with their new iPhone X case.

They take several layers of denim, soak them in resin, CNC machine the shape of the case, hand finish and distress them, all before adding the finishing touches and extra hardware. Our video has a few in-progress photos that are very cool to check out.

It makes a super unique case that wears over time, just like your favorite pair of jeans.

Star Wars OtterBox

Don’t attack me for this, but technically these cases aren’t quite available yet for the iPhone X. OtterBox has released them for the iPhone 7/8 and 7/8 Plus, with the iPhone X versions expected soon.

I wanted to include them anyway, since it is currently right before the movie release, and anyone who finds this in the future will hopefully have these as a notion.

They are basically a branded version of the Symmetry cases which are both fairly slim and quite protective.

NewerTech

NewerTech is normally known for their Mac accessories, but the NuGuard KX case is a rugged option to protect your iPhone.

You can literally feel the cushion in the back and sides of the cases.

They come in a variety of colors, though the black and red variant is probably my favorite.

Speck

Speck’s Presidio line has grown significantly over the years.

We have a few more version of it, all offering at least 8 feet of drop protection.

A few standouts include the metallic version, the clear one, and the wallet one.

The standard Presidio Grip still reigns as one of my favorite iPhone cases for its thin design, great looks, and easy grip.

Vena

Vena has a couple different options, and decidedly more on the feminine side.

They have some simple two-tone cases with a heart-shaped cutout in the back, right over the Apple logo.

They have a wallet case as well, that not only can hold your cards, but pulls double duty as an adjustable kickstand.

PurFit Design

PurFit has a simple leather case for the iPhone that is similar to other folios we’ve looked at.

It has a unique magnetic clasp that helps keep it closed.

Inside is a few card pockets, as well as a clear one for an ID.

The outside looks more traditional with clean corners, and a two-tone black and tan leather case.

iPulse

iPulse has several different options, though my favorite are the snap-on shell cases.

They are clean, simple, and can hold a few cards along the back.

They also have Aluminum buttons on the sides which makes them more akin to Apple’s leather cases.

If you like folios, they have two of those as well.

OtterBox

Another pair of more effeminate cases come from OtterBox. One that is clear with a floral pattern, and a second that is a deep marsala red.

Symmetry cases are a nice compromise in the OtterBox world, offering quite the amount of protection, while not compromising size.

LifeProof

LifeProof is generally regarded as well-built cases that offer lots of protection.

That is true here with the pair of iPhone X cases we tested out.

They assemble somewhat uniquely by coming apart into two pieces. You do need to use the included key or a coin to remove them, which is something to consider if you tend to remove it often.

I looked at both the LifeProof SLAM and LifeProof NEXT and I couldn’t decide which I liked more, but I leaned slightly towards the nice green accent in the SLAM case.

Bodyguardz

Bodyguardz cases are super durable, and use a blend of Kevlar, and their proprietary “acceleron” impact resistant material.

They have a standard snap-on shell, as well as a more active mount with an arm band.

Personally, I really like their unique green color and would have liked it incorporated throughout the design, instead of hidden away on the inside.

PureGear

I only had heard of PureGear in terms of their HomeKit smart plug with built-in USB port.

Turns out, they make some very cool iPhone cases as well.

The DuraTek cases are quite durable, but my favorite was the glass backed model. It has a thin bumper made of Aluminum and silicone, as well as a glass back panel.

Price: $25.00 – $35.00

Link: Amazon

Rhinoshield

Each pack comes with a bumper, and a back panel. The bumper comes apart into two pieces. You can use the bumper all by its lonesome, or you can remove the small piece of the bumper, and use the back panel with it instead. You can choose all different colors of bumpers, edges, back panels, and even the buttons.

They also have a rugged standalone bumper that looks very nice in a matte black finish.

tech21

If you are still looking for a wallet case, I would suggest looking at the tech21 EVO Wallet case. It has a stylish design on the cover, that can even clip into place.

Inside the front panel, there is a set of hidden card slots that are behind a magnetic flap. It is extremely well done, and is just fun to use. I love this wallet case.

They also offer a standard shell case that has lots of shock and drop protection with an emphasis on the science they use for testing their cases.

Karapax

Karapax is a new brand from Anker that specializes in affordable iPhone cases. They are remarkably cheap, though could be considered quite stylish.

The Rise case is cool because it includes a carabiner to clip onto the adjustable kickstand.

My other favorite was the Silk, that was super soft to the touch, both inside and out.

That’s all (for now)

That brings us to the end of our second iPhone X case roundup. 50+ cases from 17 different brands in an assortment of varieties.

Hopefully you’ve found something unique for yourself, or as a gift.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out part one for even more great cases.

When Was The First Iphone Released?

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

“An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator.” This was Steve Jobs’ description of the first iPhone, a revolutionary product that would shape the smartphone market and inspire manufacturers for years to come. It feels like ages have passed since this iconic tech gadget launch, and we know many of you are wondering exactly when the first iPhone launched. Let’s reminisce and look back at what could be the most important device in mobile tech.

Also read: iPhone buying guide for picking the right phone

QUICK ANSWER

Apple announced the first iPhone on January 9, 2007. The official release came over five months later, on June 29, 2007.

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When was the first iPhone released?

What changed in over 15 years of iPhones?

When was the first iPhone released?

The first iPhone was announced on January 9, 2007, at the Macworld convention in San Francisco, CA. It took some time to hit the shelves, though, with its official release date taking place on June 29, 2007.

Steve Jobs, then Co-founder and CEO of Apple, took the stage to announce something that would change mobile technology forever. Cellphones, portable music players, and internet devices were separate products at that time. The smartest cellphones around were Sidekicks and Blackberries. Reminder: they weren’t very smart.

You can imagine the public’s reaction when the first iPhone hit the stage. Not only could the device replace multiple gadgets, but it also did so gracefully. The design was very sleek and futuristic for its time. It also came with a “large” 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen. Navigation and operation were as intuitive as they get. In fact, not much has changed about the tried and tested UI since then. And it even came with a 2MP camera!

While those specs may sound ridiculous now, they were very impressive then. Many of the features were unheard of in the smartphone world. The thing was something else, and its price reflected that. The base 4GB version costed $499, or you could upgrade to the 8GB iteration for $599. And get this: you had to get them on a 2-year contract through Cingular, which was Apple’s exclusive partner for the iPhone in the USA.

In fact, pricing was one of the main reasons why some industry leaders and journalists believed the iPhone would fail. Microsoft’s CEO at the time, Steve Ballmer, was very open about his belief that the iPhone would be a flop. He would argue that Windows Mobile phones were better for messaging due to their physical keyboards, and were much more affordable.

More: 10 things iPhone does better than Android phones

Not convinced?: Here are the best iPhone 13 alternatives

FAQs

The first iPhone was announced on January 9, 2007, during the Macworld convention in San Francisco, CA.

The first Apple iPhone was released on June 29, 2007.

Yes! The first iPhone came with a capacitive touchscreen, which was rare in its time. This allowed the phone to have multi-touch capabilities and better touch performance.

The first iPhone came with a single 2MP camera on the rear. This made it a good camera phone, but it had no selfie camera. Video calls and selfies just weren’t as popular then.

You can probably find the first iPhone used on websites like eBay. That said, the phone is archaic by today’s standards. You won’t enjoy using it, and you should only buy it if you want to keep it as a souvenir.

The Best Camera Apps For The Iphone X

One of the best features on the iPhone X is the camera. It is the best iPhone camera to date, with exclusive features like the wider aperture and OIS on the tele lens. We scourged the App Store to find the best apps for shooting photos and videos that have been updated for the iPhone X, and this is what we found.

There are many great apps in the App Store for manually shooting, but only a few have been updated to support the iPhone X’s display, the HEIF supported in iOS 11, and depth features of the amazing dual-camera setup.

We will be looking at apps to shoot video, photos, and even editing in our roundup. To get the best idea and see them for yourself, check out our hands-on video.

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FiLMiC Pro

FiLMiC Pro is the only app on our list that focuses purely on videography. It has been around for quite a while, and is generally regarded as the best app, hands down, for shooting professional video on your iPhone.

There is everything you would need from a video shooting app. A few of my favorite features include the ability to set stop points and animate the zoom while shooting, the custom white balance configurator, and the overlaid live analytics.

Best for: Shooting professional quality video on your iPhone

Darkroom

Darkroom got a bunch of new features in its 3.2 update. It has Metal 2 graphics support, support for wide color gamut, and a new UI for the iPhone X.

Darkroom is best for editing your photos, with minute levels of detail. You can easily crop your photos, apply filters, adjust via sliders, user curves, and more.

They’ve updated the app to utilize all of that beautiful display, even adding buttons to the “ears” on either side of the notch.

Best for: Editing and adjusting your photos

Halide

Halide is another fo my favorite apps that got updated for the iPhone X. It has a whole new UI that really focuses on having everything usable with one hand.

There are ton of manual shooting options, such as manual focus, RAW support, depth support, exposure adjustment, and more.

Just like FiLMiC Pro highlights the focus area, Halide will put a live layover on the screen to help you decipher which parts of your photo are sharp. It is a really handy feature when shooting, especially when you are using a manual focus.

Best for: Manually shooting photos

Hydra

If you are looking for exceptionally high resolution images, low light shots, or HDR photos, Hydra is a smart choice.

HDR photos are created by taking a series of photos, at different exposures, then combining them into one shot that has a properly exposed background, and foreground. Hydra does just that. It will shoot a series of photos, and combine them into a great looking HDR photo, then gives you three options of B/W, medium effect, or strong effect.

Additionally, you can shoot lo-light photos, zoom, and hi-res. The hi-res photos are especially cool. It takes between 50-60 photos, then combines them into a photo that can be up to 32mp. Significantly more than the default resolution of your iPhone’s images. When you zoom in, photos are still surprisingly sharp.

Best for: Shooting stunning HDR, low light, and high resolution photos

ProCamera

ProCamera is another manual photo app that has an easy-to-use interface. Compared to Halide, it also has controls for shooting in video.

The interface is a bit simpler than Halide too, with only a couple controls visible while shooting, but still having the options available inside a menu. The main aspects, like independent focus, exposure controls, and exposure compensation, are easily accessed right away.

Best for: Shooting manual photos

Focos

Probably one of the coolest and unique apps out there is Focos. There are a number of really neat features available on this app, and they all utilize the dual camera setup of the iPhone X.

To start, you are able to snap a photo, then adjust which part is in focus after the fact. This is similar to those Lytro cameras that cost hundreds of dollars.

Aside from the post-shooting focus adjustments, you can also adjust the amount of blur and bokeh in your photo. For pro users, you can change the shape of the aperture’s diaphragm, so that the bokeh in the background have specific shapes.

What is exceptionally cool, is how you can apply different effects to different parts of the image. They take the image, create a 3D sliced model of it, and display it from the side.

You can adjust the amount that gets the back bokeh, and how much of the front. Then you can apply any number of different edits, filters, or effects.

My favorite effects are those reserved for the pro tier. Namely, snow, rain, sandstorm, and fog. They are shockingly good effects, and even use the depth of the image in the overlay.

Here is a moody portrait photo of my cat using the rain effect. Fog is also quite cool, and would look really stunning in some outdoor photos.

Best for: Adjusting focus and applying effects using the dual cameras

Wrap up

There are so many other great camera apps out there, and overtime, I’m sure more will be updated for the standout features of the iPhone X.

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