Apple announces iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X
Today, Apple took the stage to announce their latest updates to the iPhone lineup—iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are updates to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. While both are remarkably similar, the iPhone 8 polishes the existing design a bit. It features a glass back and is now only available in a few colors—Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus also feature wireless charging. Both devices use the industry standard, Qi, which means that you can use third-party wireless charging pads. Interestingly, Apple does not have a wireless charging pad solution of its own. Apple does have one in the works that will be available in 2018. It will also work with the new AirPods and Apple Watch Series 3. It will also allow you to manage and monitor the other devices charging progression on the iPhone.
Arguably, the area of most improvement was the camera. The camera is the same 12MP camera before, or dual 12MP (wide & telephoto) setup as before. However, the new sensors are larger and allow over 70% more light for brighter photos. Now both the wide and telephoto lenses on the Plus will feature OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) which will allow for more steady photos and videos with shaky-hand. The iPhone 8 Plus also gains a new feature dubbed "Portrait Lighting". This is an extension to Apple's Portrait Mode released last year with the iPhone 7 Plus. With Portrait Lighting, not only will the background feature a natural blur but not you can manipulate the lighting and even simulate a Studio by removing the background entirely replacing it with a black backdrop. This feature will not be available on the 7 Plus but it will be available at launch for the 8 Plus. The best part is that you can use the Lighting feature both in realtime as you're taking the photo and afterwards in editing.
Apple did not stop at the 8 and 8 Plus. Apple is also announcing a new iPhone X (pronounced Ten). The iPhone X will feature a one of a kind edge-to-edge screen. It removes the legacy home button. Instead, interacting with the phone requires mostly gestures. Swipe up to access the home screen, swipe up and hold for multitasking, and swipe down for Control Center. You now press and hold the power button to invoke Siri. It is unclear how to use the Notification Center or power off the phone.
The iPhone X features the same dual 12MP setup in the iPhone 8 Plus. The only difference here is that the iPhone X has what Apple calls the "TrueDepth Camera System". What this means is, the iPhone X can 3D map your face using an array of sensors, IR transmitters and receivers. This allows for three different features—Face ID, (front) Portrait Lighting, and Animojis. With the removal of Home Button and Touch ID, Apple's replacement is Face ID. Apple can scan your face and unlock your phone in milliseconds. It is claimed to be both faster and more secure than Touch ID, as well as simpler and more elegant. It is more secure than other face recognition systems on the market which can be fooled by photos (i.e. Samsung Galaxy/Note series). Because of 3D mapping, photos and face masks can't fool Face ID.
Due to the TrueDepth Camera system, the iPhone X can replicate the same Portrait features of the dual camera setup but using the front camera. One of Apple's surprises today was a feature called "Animojis". With Animojis, users can select different emojis and capture photos and videos in which the iPhone tracks your facial expressions and voices and imitate these directly on the emoji.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be available for pre-order on Friday, September 15th with devices shipping out on Friday, September 22nd. Both devices are available in 64GB and 256GB. The iPhone 8 costs $699 (64GB) or $799 (256GB), which is $50 higher than last year's corespondent. The iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799, which is $30 more expensive than last year's model. If you're interested in the the iPhone X, you will have to wait. It will be available in limited quantities with pre-orders beginning on Friday, October 27th with devices shipping on Friday, November 3rd. It will be available in White and Space Gray starting at $999 for 64GB and going up to $1,149 for 256GB.