The New iPhone Family Has Arrived
It finally happened last night. After months of rumours and leaks, Apple held a special event at the new Steve Jobs theatre located just outside of the recently opened Apple Park, Cupertino CA. During the event a variety of 'new' products were announced including Apple Watch 3 and Apple TV4K.
But that's not what you're here for. They also announced three yes, three, new iPhones. We first saw the announcement and keynote regarding the iPhone 8 and 8+ followed by a speech in which Tim Cook discussed how the original iPhone had paved the way for a decade of new mobile phone technology ten years ago and how they were happy to announce the iPhone X a product that would set the stage for the next decade of mobile phone technologies.
So you're probably wanting to know what we've got to look forward to when the products ship/are available in store next Friday (22nd).
Really, in my opinion the new iPhone is a rehashed version of the previous model and was surprised when it was announced as the 8/8+ rather than the 7S/7S+. Don't get me wrong, they have updated the handset technology but it does seem like a relatively basic upgrade. The X on the other hand, is what I would expect from the usual product cycle as being the iPhone 8 next year.
The only real big upgrade seen on both of the 8 models is the introduction of Qi wireless charging. This has been enabled by now having the same grade glass as the screen present on the rear of the device. Great news for lovers of both Apple devices AND IKEA furniture as the new devices are compatible with the Swedish firm's wireless charging docks, lamps, bedside cabinets etc. This is also available on the X.
All three models are equipped with the new A11 Bionic chip and the very first Apple designed Graphics Processing Unit. This will reportedly bring machine learning to your handset device which will help Siri start to take over the mantel of 'greatest smart assistant' so Alexa, prepare for a challenger.The dedicated GPU itself will a) spark a huge boost in Augmented Reality thanks to the fact that the A11 will not have to handle any graphic processes and b) should, in theory, improve battery life.
Display wise, the 8/8+ have the same Retina HD display seen on the previous iteration of the devices with a few tweaks including the True Tone display introduced on the iPad Pro last year. However, the X has the biggest screen we've seen on an iPhone to date coming in at 5.8 inches (despite the handset being much smaller and lighter than the iPhone 8+). This display is a OLED multi-touch display that iPhone is calling Super Retina HD. This means the iPhone X has 458 pixels per inch with a resolution of 2436x1125 and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 (to compare the iPhone 8 has a ratio of 1,400:1 whilst the 8+ comes in at 1,300:1). Just to explain, the contrast ratio is the difference between the lightest and darkest colours that a display can possibly show meaning that the higher the ratio the better the colour definition.
The biggest feature that Apple seemed keen to push was solely available on the iPhone X and has been dubbed Face ID. The front facing camera of the iPhone X is now a TrueDepth camera which consists of an intricate system of: an infrared camera, flood illuminator, dot projector and the camera itself. All of these work together to be able to analyse your face in enough detail to know when it is actually you or a photograph or even your 'evil twin'. Also, given the machine learning capabilities that come from the A11, the device will be able to learn how your appearance changes i.e. growing/shaving facial hair, weight gain etc.
For those of you who are completely into technical specs the Apple pages are linked here : iPhone X and iPhone 8/8+. Prices for the iPhone 8/8+ will start from £699 and the iPhone X will start at a mere £999. I am an Apple fan but even I am having a hard time trying to decide whether a phone that costs as much as a pretty top of the range PC or even a Macbook is worth it. I suppose a hands on experience may need to be on the cards to help me decide further. Either way, Apple are trying to claw back the sales they have been losing in the market since 2015 and I am sure that this is probably the way they can do it.