TIME Ranks iPhone X and Apple Watch Series 3 Among Top 10 Best Gadgets of 2017

After previously earning the designation of one of the overall best inventions of 2017, the iPhone X has today been placed at the #2 spot on TIME's "Top 10 Gadgets of 2017" list. According to the magazine, Apple's new smartphone placed so highly because many of its features -- including Face ID and edge-to-edge display -- "will undoubtedly set a new standard for phones to come."


Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, you’ll probably have a hard time getting your hands on one. And yes, Android did it first. But the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge screen and facial recognition system will undoubtedly set a new standard for phones to come. For one, Apple’s Face ID system, even despite the security concerns, is already being used in more creative ways than Samsung’s facial identification tech. Third-party apps like Snapchat and Warby Parker are taking advantage of the iPhone X’s face-mapping technology to project realistic masks over your eyes or select glasses that suit your face’s shape. That, combined with a sharp camera, long battery life, and large screen packed into a more palatable size, make Apple’s iPhone X a top pick.
Below the iPhone X, the following gadgets round out the top five spots: Microsoft Surface Laptop (#3), DJI Spark (#4), and Samsung Galaxy S8 (#5). TIME's #1 gadget of 2017 is the Nintendo Switch, which it says is a "true knockout" thanks to its games library and ability to transform from portable gaming to playing on a TV at home. There is some overlap with the devices mentioned on TIME's new list with the Top 25 Best Inventions of 2017 article from last week, including the iPhone X, DJI Spark, and Nintendo Switch.

Sitting further down the list is another Apple product, the Apple Watch Series 3, which earned the #9 spot. TIME said that the advantages introduced in the new version of the Apple Watch, like a faster processor and barometric altimeter, were great additions. But the magazine said the truly notable addition was LTE: "the freedom to leave your phone at home when you step out to walk the dog or go on a run may be just enough to persuade smartwatch skeptics that the Apple Watch is worth considering, especially for athletic types."

To see more of the items listed by TIME, check out the Top 10 Gadgets of 2017 ranking right here.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, iPhone X
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Jony Ive Says Holding Onto Features When There’s a ‘Better Way’ is ‘Path That Leads to Failure’

After naming the iPhone X as one of the 25 Best Inventions of the Year, TIME sat down for an interview about the smartphone with Apple's design chief Jony Ive and hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio.


Riccio believes the iPhone X paves the way for the next 10 years of smartphones, given its radical redesign with a nearly edge to edge display, no home button, and advanced cameras for facial recognition and augmented reality.

"There were these extraordinarily complex problems that needed to be solved," said Ive. "Paying attention to what's happened historically actually helps give you some faith that you are going to find a solution."

That history includes, in part, Apple removing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 last year, parting ways with the built-in disc drive on the MacBook Pro after 2012, and ditching the floppy drive on the iMac G3 in 1998.

"I actually think the path of holding onto features that have been effective, the path of holding onto those whatever the cost, is a path that leads to failure," said Ive. "And in the short term, it's the path that feels less risky and it's the path that feels more secure."

Ive acknowledged that it's not always easy for Apple to move past a feature or technology when it believes there's a "better way," and it's easy to see his point given the controversy that each change has generated.

Apple was criticized by a fair number of customers for removing the headphone jack on the iPhone last year, for example, and even competitors like Google and Samsung used it as an opportunity to poke fun at Apple.

After time, however, many customers usually learn to adapt. Google even removed the headphone jack on the Pixel 2 this year.

iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone ever, with a starting price of $999 in the United States, which Ive said is the "financial consequence" of "integrating the sheer amount of processing power into such a small device."

"Our goal is always to provide what we think is the best product possible, not always the lowest cost," added Riccio.

Despite being expensive, the iPhone X appears to be off to a successful start given sales estimates, and Apple's forecast for an all-time revenue record this quarter. Orders placed today are still backlogged by 2-3 weeks.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Covers for TIME Magazine Special Series Shot Entirely on iPhone

The iPhone offers a high-quality camera that Apple improves with every iteration, and the photos and videos that it takes have been used for fashion runways, feature films, and other professional applications.

TIME Magazine is the latest publication to exclusively use the iPhone's camera for a photo shoot, with its new "Firsts: Women Who Are Changing The World" series, which features iPhone images captured by Brazilian photographer Luisa Dörr.

Over the course of the last year, Dörr has used an iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7 to capture photos of notable and accomplished women like Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Melinda Gates, Sylvia Earle, Alice Waters, Mae Jemison, Cindy Sherman, and more.


In a TIME interview, Dörr says she uses an iPhone because it offers great pictures anytime, anywhere, and it because "feels less intrusive" to the subject when the photo is captured with an iPhone instead of a standard camera. Dörr's images are unique because she uses only natural light and sometimes a reflector to capture women who are often photographed with more lighting and production equipment.
I like the simplicity of how these pictures are made. But the best part is that as a photographer, you feel extremely light and free. It is almost as if I can make pictures with my hand. There's no noise, gadgets, tools or plugs--just the subject and myself.

I was always trying to imagine these portraits as paintings. I'm fascinated by the landscapes and topographies from women's faces, their stories and context. I'm interested in the way life and time is writing on all of them--not just with physical marks but also with more spiritual traces.
Dörr says the women she photographed were "surprised" to be the subject of a photoshoot with an iPhone and no other equipment, and that oftentimes, she did her work in just minutes. The shortest shoot was two minutes and the longest shoot lasted 20 minutes.

Each portrait was captured using the regular iPhone camera with the square format, and automatic HDR was turned on for more lighting detail in the photographs.


Dörr's full interview can be read over at TIME, as can an accompanying piece on how TIME Director of Photography Kira Pollack discovered Dörr and recruited her to work on the project.


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