Apple unveiled three new iPhones today: the iPhone 8 ($699+), the iPhone 8 Plus ($799+) and the iPhone X ($999). The iPhone X is unarguably an incredible device: is features a 5.8-inch 2436×1125 resolution edge-to-edge OLED display, it does away with both the home button and Touch ID, it unlocks by looking at your face (Face ID), it shoots 4k video at 60fps and it capable of creating Animojis. In short, the iPhone X is a $1000 emoji machine:
That’s all pretty amazing stuff, but the real meat and potatoes are packed into the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as well and both of those smartphone are much more affordable and will be available sooner.
Also, this isn’t exactly blowing my socks off:
— Tyler Rolfe (@tylermrolfe) September 13, 2017
Face ID is one-face-only at launch. Otherwise, you just use the PIN. https://t.co/Lu3sTYgYYQ
— Serenity Caldwell (@settern) September 12, 2017
This guy isn’t happy about that. pic.twitter.com/tdBu71FAsg
— Nick Takayama (@ntakayama) September 12, 2017
So what’s new with the iPhones seated below the flagship iPhone X? The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus look similar to the outgoing 7 and 7 Plus (same size and form factor), but Apple’s newest boast some substantial upgrades.
Wrapped in glass
Both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are clad in glass backs instead of aluminum. The change allows for Qi wireless charging.
Wireless Qi charging
When rumors started swirling that the new iPhone would have wireless charging my first question was whether Apple would adopt the existing standard, or create their own. Thankfully, for once, Apple adopted the standard and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support Qi wireless charging. So if you own a Qi charger or a car with one already, it will work.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus both get Apple’s new A11 Bionic processor. According to Apple, it’s 25 percent faster than the A10 Fusion found in the 7. Apple also updated the GPU, which is 30 percent faster and more energy efficient.
The iPhone 8 gets a single 12 MP rear camera that is larger and faster than the iPhone 7’s. It also gets built-in optical image stabilization.
The iPhone 8 Plus retains the dual-camera setup from the iPhone 7 Plus, but it has two 12MP lenses (f/1.8 and f/2.8). The new lenses pull in 83 percent more light for much improved low-light photography. This allows for a new 8 Plus feature called “Portrait Lighting,” which uses machine learning to adjust the lighting on portraits.
4K video at 60 fps
4k video at 60 fps was on many a wish list for the iPhone X, it’s a real surprise on the 8 and 8 Plus. It’s the “highest-quality video capture ever in a smartphone,” according to Apple executive Phil Schiller. You can also shoot 1080p at 240 fps.
A better Retina display
Apple upgraded the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’ Retina displays with True Tone technology, the same feature found on the iPad Pro. The tech automatically adjusts screen brightness depending on environmental lighting.
Apple’s hedging their bets on AR
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are purpose built for augmented reality from the processor, to the GPU to the cameras. Watch for an app explosion in AR in the coming weeks and months.
Well, we made it through another round of iPhone hype. Until next year, when things get weird:
— Kevin Curry (@thekevincurry) September 13, 2017