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iPhone X and iPhone 8, 8 Plus Announced

September 12, 2017

5:05 pm

Today at Apple’s annual mobile hardware event the company announced the iPhone X and iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. As the rumors suggested, the iPhone X not only starts at a higher price point, it features an OLED screen, an edge-to-edge screen, loses the home button, and has wireless charging. In addition to the iPhone X, Apple also announced updates to the regular iPhone line, bringing in the 8 and 8 Plus line, a 4K Apple TV, and Apple Watch Series 3.

As expected, the iPhone X will not be available for preorder quite yet. Preorders for the iPhone X will start on October 27, and will be available on November 3. However, preorders for the iPhone 8 will open this Friday, September 15 at about 3:01 AM ET, and will start shipping on Friday, September 22.

iPhone X and iPhone 8

iPhone X (iPhone 10)

Breaking the norm, today Apple announced a more advanced iPhone rather than just a mid-year refresh, skipping an entire generation (for now). Not only does it cost more, it includes numerous upgrades such as an OLED display, wireless charging, Bluetooth 5.0, and facial recognition. It will also feature a new type of emoji, Animoji, that maps your facial expressions in real time and converts them into a character. The phone will come in space gray and silver. The iPhone X will be priced at $999 for 64G and $1150 for 256GB. For those using Apple’s upgrade plan, the iPhone X will be priced at about $50 per month.

iPhone X Super Retina Display

super retina display

The new iPhone X will feature an edge-to-edge display with Super Retina HDR Display with Dolby Vision based on OLED technology. It will have a 5.8 inch screen with 2436 x 1125 resolution and 458 ppi. According to Apple, the new Super Retina display will not just be your standard OLED display, but an improved one that counters some of the issues found in other devices that use it such as brightness. It will continue to support 3D touch, and now include gesture controls due to the removal of the home button.

Face ID

Apple Face ID

With the removal of a home button, Touch ID is no more. The iPhone X will now feature Face ID, Apple’s version of facial recognition. During the presentation demo it failed at the first attempt; however, the next three worked fine. It’ll be interesting to see how well this works on various skin tones. According to Apple, this technology will work even in the dark. Apple said this new technology is also more secure than Touch ID, with only a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of error. If you happen to have an identical twin, you’re out of luck here.

At the top of the iPhone X, also referred to as the notch, it will contain an infrared camera, Dot projector, ambient light sensor, and flood illuminator, all powered by the new A11 processor and neural engine to map the features of a face in less than the blink of an eye.

Gesture Controls

The iPhone X will now feature gesture controls as a replacement to the functionality of the home button. For example, to wake the phone you’d simply look at the TrueDepth camera on the front of the phone, then tap to wake the screen and swipe up unlock it. Also, Siri will still be voice activated, and you can also press the right side button to trigger her as well.

iPhone X Design

iPhone X design

Perhaps the most radical upgrade in the iPhone X is tied to its design. Like the iPhone 8, it will feature an all glass body, which is specifically so that it can support wireless charging (using Qi wireless technology). However, the two largest changes are the edge-to-edge display and removal of the home button. According to Apple, the glass body will feature the most durable glass ever in a smartphone, using the same material on the front and back. Around the edges it will feature surgical-grade stainless steel, and it will continue to be water resistant with a rating of IP67 (many suggested it may move to IP68).

Design Specs

  • Height: 5.65 inches (143.6 mm)
  • Width: 2.79 inches (70.9 mm)
  • Depth: 0.30 inch (7.7 mm)
  • Weight: 6.14 ounces (174 grams)
iPhone X Performance and Battery

The iPhone X will be getting a processor upgrade to the new A11 (64-bit architecture), which will also include a bionic neural engine so that it can process the needs of Face ID to unlock the phone. In addition to the A11, the iPhone X will include an embedded M11 motion coprocessor, and they improved the battery life by two hours when compared to the standard iPhone 7.

Though it wasn’t mentioned during the event, the iPhone X will finally support fast-charging; however, it likely will require a charging mat that does not come with the phone. Whether or not this is based on a third-party charging mat or the AirPower mat set to release next year, it would allow the phone to charge up to 50 percent in a half hour. Specifics are still fuzzy here, but it’s also possible that the phone will support fast charging via USB as well.

  • Talk time: 21 hours
  • Internet Use: 12 hours
  • Video: 13 hours
iPhone X TrueDepth (Front Facing) Camera

iPhone X truedepth

Your selfie game is about to kick it up a notch. Not only will the iPhone X get a fancy new design, the front facing camera is getting an overhaul. In addition to Face ID, it will now feature a 7MP camera, support Portrait Mode, and the all new Portrait Lighting Mode (beta). Thanks to the new sensors and augmented reality software tied to iOS 11, the phone will also include a new type of emoji, Animoji. Now, in real-time, the TrueDepth camera will map your facial expressions and convert them into the expressions of an animated character. You can also add voice overs as well, and then send these as messages or stickers.

TrueDepth Specs

  • 1080p HD video recording
  • Retina Flash
  • ƒ/2.2 aperture
  • Auto HDR
  • Backside illuminator sensor
  • Auto image stabilization
iPhone X Camera and Video

iPhone X camera

As far as the back camera and video features, there are not many advanced upgrades included in the iPhone X. While the dual cameras on the back have now shifted vertically, it will still have a 12MP (though upgraded) wide-angle and telephoto cameras, with the same apertures, and optical zoom as the iPhone 7 Plus. Two new features will come down to the new Portrait Lighting mode that acts similar to a filter, but according to Apple is totally not a filter; and the ability to record 4K video at 60 FPS (rather than just 30 FPS).

The new beta Portrait Lighting mode will map components of your face and background, and in turn offer things that look a lot like filters in an effort to expose or place lighting emphasis on a subject to better set the tone.

The iPhone X cameras will also support the new ARKit, which you can learn more about here.

Camera and Recording Specs

  • 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras
  • Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • Telephoto: ƒ/2.4 aperture
  • Optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Improved local tone mapping
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
  • Time‑lapse video with stabilization
  • Cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p)
  • Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video
  • Playback zoom
  • Video geotagging
  • Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264

Overall the new design and security features are pretty neat, but to jump from the iPhone 7 Plus to the iPhone X really isn’t a huge advancement. The largest changes will come from the augmented reality software, which will hopefully breathe new life into Apple’s App Store.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Glass is back! In addition to the iPhone X, today Apple also announced the iPhone 8. It takes place of the traditional S upgrade, while only making minor improvements to that of the iPhone 7. The biggest changes between the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are tied to its glass body, the ability to support wireless charging, and improved cameras so that it can use new augmented reality features.

The iPhone 8 will not support Face ID, it still has the home button, bezels around the screen, and *gasp* will not support the new Animoji. The phones will also receive upgrades to the stereo speakers, giving it a boost to sound quality and bass. Color wise, it will come in silver, gold, and space gray; and pricing starts at $700 for the standard and $800 for the Plus.

iPhone 8 Updated Display and Performance

iphone 8

While the iPhone 8 won’t get the new Super Retina OLED display, it will be getting some upgrades in the form of their Retina HD display with True Tone. As far as performance goes, it will be receiving the latest A11 processor that is said to be 25 percent faster than the A10 and 70 percent more efficient.

iPhone 8 Display Specs

  • Retina HD display
  • 4.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
  • 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical)

iPhone 8 Plus Display Specs

  • Retina HD display
  • 5.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi
  • 1300:1 contrast ratio (typical)
iPhone 8 Improved Cameras

Both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will continue to use 12MP cameras on the back, but the sensors within have been upgrade. As a result this will give deeper pixels, better color and lighting, and overall better photos. Like the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 Plus will also be getting the new Portrait Lighting mode.

iPhone 8 Camera Specs

  • 12MP camera
  • ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • Digital zoom up to 5x

iPhone 8 Plus Camera Specs

  • 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras
  • Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 apertur
  • Telephoto: ƒ/2.8 aperture
  • Optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x
  • Portrait mode
  • Portrait Lighting (beta)

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Recording Specs

  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • Optical image stabilization for video
  • Optical zoom; 6x digital zoom (iPhone 8 Plus only)
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash
  • Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
  • Time‑lapse video with stabilization
  • Cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p)
  • Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video
  • Playback zoom
  • Video geotagging
  • Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264

The iPhone 8 really isn’t much of an upgrade or step up from the iPhone 7, so it’s clearly designed more so for those with an iPhone 6 or older model.

Read more about the Apple Special Event on TechCo

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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@)elliotvolkman.com or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.

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