The front-facing camera is more powerful
Hidden inside the small notch cutout at the top of the iPhone X is a significant number of new camera parts and sensors that do more than just transpose your face onto an emoji cat or scan it to unlock your phone. The front-facing camera module now contains an infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity scanner, ambient light sensor, speaker, microphone, 7-megapixel camera, and dot projector. All of that together combines into what Apple calls its TrueDepth camera, used for Animoji, Face ID, and a number of cool camera tricks.
TrueDepth is what makes the iPhone X’s front-facing camera capable of performing the aperture-reduction trick in its Portrait mode, a feature just a year ago restricted to the back camera of only the iPhone 7 Plus. It also makes the front-facing camera capable of Apple’s new Portrait Mode effects, which lets you replicate more professional flash lighting. These won’t make too big a difference to most of us, unless you happen to be an obsessive selfie taker who’s been clamoring for DSLR-quality capabilities. But having the most cutting-edge mobile photography features at your fingertips could be a big draw to a sizable segment of the iPhone-using population, and a good reason to upgrade to the X.