iPhone X: Absolutely everything you need to know

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Preordering the iPhone X? Good Luck! You’ll need it


It’s game time, folks. Apple is now accepting preorders for the iPhone X, with the first batch due to arrive next Friday, Nov. 3. What remains unknown is how many new phones will land in people’s hands — and in Apple stores, for that matter — on Friday, and in the weeks and months to come.

Demand will surely be high. Apple has loaded the iPhone X with new technology including an edge-to-edge OLED display, facial recognition and its next-generation A11 Bionic processor. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, on the other hand, are high-quality but incremental updates to last year’s models. The big four US carriers are already reporting weaker sales, suggesting that many fans are holding out for the flagship.

Read: iPhone X preorders start — and end — quickly

Many of those customers may be disappointed. After months of murmurs from the supply chain about delays and manufacturing woes, Apple temporarily quieted the naysayers with its standard early September announcement. Still, rumors persist about the company’s capacity to deliver enough iPhone X units to meet demand. Minutes after the preorder period began at 12:01 a.m. PST, ship times had grown to four to five weeks in the US and five to six weeks in the UK and Australia.

The frenzy may be warranted. In the brief moments we spent with the new iPhone X, we got a sense of its truly game-changing potential. Once we get our hands on a review unit, we’ll be able to more fully size it up — and compare it to rivals like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and Google’s new Pixel 2 and LG V30, all of which have the potential to draw customers in from Apple’s orbit. Especially if the iPhone X proves to be too hard to find for too long.

We’ll soon find out. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the iPhone X.

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Top 5 reasons to buy the Apple iPhone X


Editors’ note, Oct. 27: This post was originally published on Sept. 26, 2017, and continues to be updated with Apple news and features.

When can I preorder the iPhone X?

Apple started accepting preorders on Oct. 27. Here’s how to preorder the iPhone X and some preorder tips from our experts

When will I get my iPhone X?

The official release date is Nov. 3. But it sounds like the iPhone X will be in short supply until after the new year, as Apple is reportedly making fewer than 10,000 per day. Though we expect some stores to get a limited number of them on day one, preordering may give you the best chance of getting an iPhone X in the near-term.  

How much does the iPhone X cost?

Starting at $999, £999 or AU$1,579 for the 64GB model, it’s the most expensive iPhone ever. The 256GB iPhone X costs $1,149, £1,149 or AU$1,829. Monthly payment plans from carriers are available. Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program ranges from $49 to $56 per month, which includes AppleCare+ for the 256GB model. Not available in Australia, it costs from £56 to £64 in the UK.

What are the iPhone X’s best new features?

Apple pulled out all the stops. The iPhone X’s most compelling new features and technologies include:

Read: The state of the smartphone, iPhone X edition

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iPhone X: Packed with new features


Should I buy an iPhone 8 now or wait for the iPhone X?

Hard to say, given that we haven’t had a chance to live with the iPhone X yet. But if you need a phone right now, for now your only choice is the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus — or one of the older models that Apple still sells: the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and the now even cheaper iPhone SE

What can the iPhone X do that the iPhone 8 can’t?

Apple packed the iPhone X with all kinds of new features and capabilities that won’t be accessible to iPhone 8 or 8 Plus owners. Here’s a rundown of what only the iPhone X can do:

Read: How the iPhone X stacks up with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus)  

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Should you get the iPhone 8 Plus, or wait for X?


I’ve got an older iPhone. Should I upgrade?

It depends. Here’s the full rundown of the pros and cons of upgrading to an iPhone 8 from an iPhone 7, 6S, SE or 5S. We’ll publish a similar list for the iPhone X after we fully put it through its paces.

How does it stack up against the Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL?


The Pixel 2 (left) and iPhone 8 (right).

Josh Miller/CNET

We’ve published in-depth reviews of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Given that we’ve spent only a short time with the Phone X, it’s too early to make a definitive comparison. That noted, you should know that there have been reports of issues with the Pixel 2 XL. Some users have reported seeing burn-in on the display, where remnants of earlier images remain on the screen, and we’ve seen evidence of it on two of the five units we have. Since then, Google has issued a follow-up statement detailing a software fix and extended two-year warranty. Also worth noting: Even before the burn-in brouhaha, users were reporting issues with the Pixel 2 XL’s OLED display, characterizing it as muted, washed-out, noisy and blotchy

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The iPhone X vs. the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 

The iPhone X has Apple playing catchup to Google’s mobile ecosystem. Android phones have had slim bezels, edge-to-edge OLED displays and wireless charging for years. Though we can’t make a definitive comparison before we fully test the iPhone X, we’ve published some initial impressions of how it stacks up against the best Android phones on the market today. 

Face ID: Everything you need to know

The iPhone X is the first phone with Apple’s TrueDepth sensor, which features a front-facing camera, microphone, speaker, ambient light and proximity sensors, a new infrared camera, dot projector and flood illuminator. 


Apple breaks new ground with Face ID.

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Is Face ID secure and safe?

Apple says the chance of fooling Face ID is literally 1 in a million — compared with 1 in 50,000 that a random person could fool the fingerprint unlock on an older iPhone. Still, you may want to consider a simple password to defend yourself against both hackers and the authorities

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How big of a deal are the iPhone X’s new cameras?

In addition to enabling Face ID, the iPhone X’s advanced camera technology features optical image stabilization on the front and back, faster apertures and a host of other features.


The jury is still out on the iPhone X’s notch.

GIF by Sean Hollister/CNET

What’s up with the iPhone X’s notch?

Apple’s iPhone X has an all-screen OLED display — but “all-screen” doesn’t mean it’s exactly bezel-free. The 10th-anniversary iPhone has a narrow bezel framing the screen with rounded edges as well as a notch flanking the earpiece and camera at the top. It’s a huge leap forward in terms of screen-to-bezel ratio, but watching videos with a black bar on the side and curved corners could prove to be less than ideal. 

How big is the iPhone X compared to other iPhones?

It’s got much more screen real estate than any existing iPhone, even the iPhone 8 Plus, but it’s only slightly larger than the iPhone 7. In fact, it’s about as small as a standard, non-Plus iPhone — but with a *bigger* screen than a Plus. Here, check out this iPhone X size comparison.


We made this size comparison to scale, so you can see just small the iPhone X is, compared to the screen it holds.

Aaron Robinson/CNET

Does the iPhone X support wireless charging?

All of the new 2017 iPhones support wireless charging. (Note: you can jury-rig some older models to work with a charging pad for some magnetic-induction goodness. Here’s how to do it.) 

Does the iPhone X support fast charging?

The iPhone X can charge faster than previous models, sucking in enough power to restore itself to 50 percent battery in about 30 minutes, Apple claims. But taking advantage of this feature will cost you. Apple says that the iPhone X’s fast-charging feature supports Apple’s 29W61W and 87W USB-C power adapters — which are not included with the phone — and which cost $49 to $79 (or £49 to £79, or AU$69 to AU$109). And then you must then shell out another $25 (£25/AU$35) for the USB-C to Lightning cable.

Read: iPhone X and 8 will fast-charge with third-party cables (but you’ll still need one Apple cord to make it all work)

What should I do with my old iPhone?

See also4 tips for buying a used iPhone

Don’t forget: iOS 11 was designed for the iPhone X

iOS 11 has arrived. And it was clearly designed to shine on the iPhone X (and, sure, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus). But it will work on a bunch of older devices, too: if you have an iPhone 5S or later, a fifth-generation iPad or iPad Mini 2 or later or a sixth-generation iPod Touch, you, too, can upgrade. 

Some of iOS 11’s new features include:

Once you’ve upgraded, here’s what you need to know:

Read: Apple still pushing the App Store

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