Apple iPhone X release in UAE: All you need to know

We tell you what sets the iPhone X apart from the rest ahead of the launch on Friday

iPhone X review

iPhone X review
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It’s been a decade since the godfather of smartphones, Steve Jobs, debuted the first iPhone at the MacWorld conference.

It wasn’t until the second version the following year that we were introduced to a mobile with 3G capabilities. But with an annual release, sometimes only with minor tweaks, what makes the iPhone X different?

iPhone through the years
iPhone through the years

How was it announced?

Apple officially revealed the iPhone X (pronounced “ten”) on September 12, the first event at the Steve Jobs Theatre. However, rumours swirled prior to the announcement thanks to a tweet from iOS programmer Steve Troughton-Smith, who discovered the anniversary mention in the iOS 11 firmware.

What’s the difference between the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus?

There are differences between the two models (with a wider discrepancy present compared to the standard model 8).

Besides the Dh850 gap in price to the 8 Plus, the model X has a larger display screen as well as facial recognition despite being smaller in size. The 5.8-inch display screen trumps the 5.5 and 4.7-inch screens from the 8 models, not to mention the higher resolution capabilities.

The iPhone X features the first organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen seen in the Apple mobile product line, though the same technology has been previously deployed by Samsung. This type of technology improves image quality, meaning there’s more contrast, brightness and uses less energy.

What is Face ID?

This is the first time that Apple has added facial recognition, which the company says increases security.

The camera analyses “more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a precise depth map of your face”. In other words, Face ID is supposed to securely unlock your phone with a glance, adding another layer of security.

While the recognition feature is slated to get faster with each use, there is no time frame given which may mean difficulty in trying to access your mobile device in an emergency. However, you can still bypass this and touch by using the standard passcode.

Using Face ID for Apple Pay, is it safe?

Apple Pay, a digital wallet that allows monetary transactions to be sent via an Apple device, arrived to the UAE last month. So far, six UAE banks allow cardholders to use iPhone 6 or later to pay for items by holding the phone near the retailer's contactless payment terminal. While the older models prompt users to enter a fingerprint or passcode, iPhone X holders may use facial recognition.

Apple said that if a transaction isn’t completed within 30 seconds of double clicking the side button, users will need to reconfirm intent to pay by double clicking again.

The tech giant said that the probability that a stranger could unlock the phone with the tool would be 1 in a million, compared to 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID. However, Apple recommends children under the age of 13 should not rely on Face ID as there is a greater chance of a false match.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 24 October 2017. Apple Pay launched in the UAE. Used to purchase an Iphone Cover at the Apple Store in Dubai Mall. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Caline Malek. Section: National.
Apple Pay launched in the UAE in October. Antonie Robertson / The National

How can I purchase the phone in the UAE?

The iPhone X will be available in 55 countries on Friday, including at Apple stores in the UAE.

Customers who have a reservation for a store purchase will have been given a time slot to attend which should help them to bypass the expected long queues.

However, there will be an unspecified number of devices on sale when the stores open at 8am.

If you don't manage to get your hands on one before it sells out on Friday, the reservation process will reopen on November 4. A customer representative said that due to demand, the phone would be “dispatched in five to six weeks from now if you order online”.

The iPhone X is available for pre-order via the Apple website as well as telecommunication companies, du and Etisalat. Etisalat said that deliveries will start three working days from November 11 while du’s website said it was out of stock. However, the 8 models are available and ordering online via Apple will have the model in your hands on November 6.

iPhone X is available in the UAE for Dh4,099, while the 8 Plus starts at Dh3,249 and the standard 8 model is available from Dh2,849.