At a Special Event in their new Steve Jobs theatre, Apple last night announced three new iPhones.
There was much speculation before the event as to what exactly the new models would be called. Now we know: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – for a wireless world
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus advance on the existing iPhone 7 designs in several ways. The most noticeable external difference is the new glass back, which Apple say features some of the toughest glass ever seen on a smartphone. The glass back is necessary to enable wireless charging, a new feature for the iPhone range. Apple will support the Qi wireless charging standard.
Inside, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus feature Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip, which substantially boosts performance over previous generations. Cameras have also been improved. The iPhone 8 features a 12MP main camera with optical image stabilisation, while the iPhone 8 Plus has a dual camera system with new sensors.
Apple have also created their own image and video processing software that will provide better results in a variety of conditions. This includes a feature called Portrait Lighting on the iPhone 8 Plus dual cameras, which studies your photo as you take it and rapidly adjusts settings to give the best – and hopefully most flattering – results.
The increased performance from the A11 processor combined with the new cameras makes the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus ideal for Augmented Reality. A host of games and other apps are expected that will offer features such as real-time overlays for live sports events or major advancements on “Pokemon Go” style game play.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is expected to be available in Ireland later this month.
iPhone X – an all new iPhone design
The iPhone X (which Apple say should be pronounced “iPhone Ten”) features an all new design that removes the traditional home button. The phone’s screen goes right to the edges of the phone’s front face, apart from a notch at the top where the speaker and front camera system sit.
This new camera system is key to one of the iPhone X’s most interesting features: Face ID. This uses advanced facial recognition and machine learning to identify your face and unlock your phone. The system can even notice changes in your appearance over time, so if you cut your hair or stop wearing glasses, the iPhone X will still recognise you. Apple claim the Face ID system is much more secure than Touch ID, with a 1 in 1 million chance that another face could unlock your phone.
iPhone X’s screen is the highest definition display ever seen on an iPhone. It measures 5.8 inches corner to corner and uses OLED technology combined with HDR and Apple’s True Tone to give impressive sharpness and colour.
With the traditional home button gone, iPhone X is operated entirely with gestures on the screen. Swiping up from the bottom will bring up the home screen, while swiping down from either top corner will bring up options such as Control Centre. The iPhone X also retains the 3D Touch features seen on previous iPhones.
Internally, the iPhone X features the same A11 Bionic chip as the iPhone 8 models. Its main camera is also similar to the iPhone 8 Plus but adds dual optical image stabilisation and an improved telephoto lens. The main camera will easily handle Portrait Lighting and Augmented Reality features. Thanks to the advances in the iPhone X’s ‘selfie’ camera, this too will offer Portrait Lighting.
Like the iPhone 8 models, the iPhone X also supports wireless charging over the Qi standard. Apple will be releasing a special charging pad that can charge several of their devices at once and will let you check charging status of each device on your phone as it charges. They estimate the iPhone X battery will last up to 2 hours longer than the current iPhone 7’s.
The iPhone X is expected to be available in Ireland in November 2017.