Every iPhone X Feature You Can't Get in a Non-Apple Smartphone

By Tom Pritchard on at

Apple just announced the iPhone X, the phone that celebrates the tenth anniversary of the launch of the iPhone with a slew of new features designed to usher in the new age of smartphones. But just how unique are all those features? What does the iPhone X offer that you can't get elsewhere? Let's take a look.

(Spoiler, it's not a lot).


I'm being generous with this one, since the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 both comes with facial recognition tech built in. That said, FaceID uses a wide range of sensors (including infra-red) rather than the front-facing camera, and Apple claims that the chances of cracking it are one in a million.

It looked like this meant it could see your entire face in three dimensions, and was smart enough to tell when you are looking away or if you're not actually paying attention.

So it's certainly not original, but it does seem to be a lot more advanced than Samsung's facial and iris recognition tech - which have been beaten with photographs in the past.

True Tone

Like the iPhone 8 and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the iPhone X comes with Apple's own True Tone display. That basically means that the display uses four sensors to adjust the white balance of the phone's display, matching the ambient light around it. The point is to make it easier to read the display in different lighting conditions to offer the best colour, contrast, and clarity, almost as if you're reading actual paper. Or as close as we can get at the moment, anyway.

Even though this feature was first launched last April, it doesn't appear to have been ripped off and added to other phones just yet.


These are based on the FaceID tech from the looks of things, so it's obvious these aren't going to show up elsewhere. They're a bit, erm, creepy, and given my disdain for regular emoji I'm not too impressed. Still this is quite cool tech that could be applied in other ways in the future, though I'm not exactly sure what.

Portrait Mode

So you can get this on the iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone 8 Plus, but since this is an Apple specific product you're not likely to find this elsewhere. I'm surprised we haven't really seen anything similar on other devices yet, which is bound to happen eventually. Still, for now, this is an Apple-only bit of software.


It's a wireless charging pad that's slightly bigger than normal, letting you charge up all your pricey Apple gadgets in one place. But that's not impressive. That's actually really, really boring. What is interesting is a benefit to Apple's low number of products and inherent integration, since the battery gauge of any device you put on the matt shows up on the iPhone X's screen.

It's more interesting from the perspective of the Airpods than the Apple Watch, because the Airpod case doesn't have its own built-in battery gauge. So instead of having to use a widget on the phone to see the exact percentage, it automatically shows up onscreen. It's not a killer feature, but if you have Airpods already it might make your life a tiny bit easier.

No Home Button

All other phones have home buttons, even if they're only virtual. Swipe up on an iPhone X and it'll take you to the homepage. Swipe up on an Android phone and you get a little menu where the home button lives. It's really not that different, except for the fact Android phones also include a back button and dedicated button for accessing recently used apps.

Everything Else From Apple's iPhone X Reveal Event