iPhone X - So what?

12th September 2017 – Was this the day that the smartphone was yet again revolutionised?

I am iPhone user, currently on the 6S variant of the famous smartphone family, this being my third iPhone in the last ten years. Prior to that I was Samsung and before that it was Nokia to make phone calls. So, I watched the launch of the new products like most technology fiends, on my iPhone last night whilst cooking dinner (fajitas if you’re interested). At the end of the presentation did I feel the need to go and reserve my £1,000 (yes, £1000!) iPhone X? Hmmmmmmmm. I’m torn.

Personally, I think I will plum for the iPhone 8 when I am next due an upgrade. My personal preference is price over the screen size and facial recognition.

A full-size screen isn’t uncommon on today’s modern smartphones, with Samsung sporting edge-to-edge screens on its Galaxy Edge series. But from a business point of view, does it offer me any benefit? I suppose for watching TV whilst I am travelling, then a slightly bigger screen whilst keeping the phone relatively small is a benefit, but I don’t do that often. Will it improve my emails? Will it improve my productivity in the Office 365 suite when I am working? I’m not convinced, especially when I have my crossover, lightweight laptop on me.

Losing the Home button. Now I like this, don’t get me wrong, I think the Home button has revolutionised smartphones. An easy get out of jail button for everything. But it does use up valuable real estate on the phone. But what is the benefit? I do like the fact that I am able to just put my thumb on the home button to unlock my phone, log on to some of my applications and even use Apple Pay to pay for my coffees. Which leads me onto the facial recognition technology.

I have to be honest, I am looking forward to standing in a coffee shop watching people stare at their phone to pay for their extra frothy skinny macchiato, but surely the biometric thumbprint is quicker and easier? Maybe I am finally hitting the age where everything was better in my day, but there is something comforting in knowing my thumbprint can pay for something. Even this doesn’t always work first time. Apple Pay has been about making life easier.

I can see facial recognition just adding a complexity to this. Of course, facial recognition has been around for a while, with Windows 10 having the feature in Windows Hello. The Surface users within the business use this to unlock their machines and have done for some time. The question is, how will it fair in the mobile market? It made the press with Samsung’s Edge 8, when that device came under criticism about potentially being hackable, as users were able to unlock the phone with photographs. Will all the tech Apple have thrown into the iPhone X combat these fears?

There are plenty of other features that have been added to the iPhone X. The camera, for example, would eliminate the need of many to take out their Digital SLR cameras (including myself). The 4K HDR screen and the AniMojis are all very nice stuff and I can see people liking those (I must be getting old as I still do not get emojis, let alone AniMojis!). The real features myself and many businesses would like to see include the integration of the fixed line business services into the mobile world. Now that would provide some real business benefits.

I use my iPhone 6S as my work phone when I am at home instead of a softphone handset. So users calling my TSG direct dial can get me via my iPhone, whilst I get all the functionality of a desk phone (without having to wire my entire house). The recent upgrade from Gamma (TSGs hosted telephony partner) has seen the softphone become ingrained in the iOS user experience.

This week for the first time I have been able to receive calls and answer them when my phone is locked. Not only that, the calls appear in my call list within iOS as well as in the softphone client. I can even call from the iOS call list using my softphone. All on my iPhone 6S, without broadcasting my personal mobile phone number (which is 07…yeah, like I’m going to publish that here). My productivity has increased this week just because of that. The same can’t be said about my iPhone’s battery life. Maybe it’s time for an iPhone 8? Although, I am always happy to review the iPhone X if Apple is reading this!