iPhone 8/ 8+, iPhone X, Apple Watch 3 & Apple TV 4K officially launched
Few surprises but some very interesting announcements
Apple has officially announced details of its new iPhones – the iPhone 8, iPhone 8+ and the new, flagship device, the iPhone X. There's also a new, Series 3 Apple Watch and the Apple TV 4K.
The iPhone 8/ 8+ sports glass at both the front and rear, which is reinforced by a laser welded, partly copper structure. The glass back allows for wireless charging, with the appropriate charger, of course. Thankfully, Apple hasn’t gone all proprietary and the wireless charging follows the Qi standard.
The regular iPhone 8 has a 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 resolution screen, while the 8+ comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. Apple was most excited by its new A11 bionic processor, which brings about all sorts of improvements courtesy of its 64-bit architecture, most notably to its photography capabilities. There will be wider colours, better performance in low light and the 8+ features dual 12MP sensors. The 8 Plus also has a new Portrait Lighting mode which will ship in beta form with the phone and is claimed to perform all sorts of light reworking trickery to improve, well, portrait photos.
There’s also True Tone Display which is an overall White Balance adjustment feature that reacts to your surroundings and adapts the colour temperature of white accordingly; the idea is that you’re seeing the correct colour of white regardless of the lighting conditions.
Improved video capabilities include [email protected], [email protected] fps (HEVC), and 4K at 60 fps (incl HEVC Footer) for video.
Both the 8 and 8+ will come in either 64GB or 256GB versions, beginning at $699 for the 64GB iPhone 8 and $799 8 Plus with availability given as 22nd September.
As widely predicted, the iPhone X - AKA iPhone Ten/ iPhone 10 - is a fairly radical design departure and a no-holds-barred effort, by Apple, to (re)affirm itself as the undisputed top-dog of the high-end smartphone market, with a slew of worthy, Android supporting, rivals snapping at its heels. It is, of course, the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone release which adds just a little extra weight to the burden of expectation surrounding the announcement.
The iPhone X uses the same A11 bionic processor and 3GB of RAM. It features the new Super Retina (2436 x 1125 resolution) 5.8-inch OLED Display – and it’s literally all screen, with the same glass front and back design of the 8 and 8 Plus. The iPhone X features both Dolby Vision and HDR 10 (High Dynamic Range) support and a 12MP dual-lens cameras optimised for augmented reality, like the 8 Plus.
Probably the biggest feature of the iPhone X is FaceID which, as the name suggests, is facial recognition software that replaces Touch ID, which makes sense given the absence of the home button/ fingerprint sensor in the design. Face ID will be able to unlock your screen and, Apple claims, because it learns your face so well, it will even work if you’re wearing glasses. It can also be used with Apple Pay to authorise payments. Security wise, the company says there’s only a one in a million chance that someone else’s face could unlock your phone.
The facial recognition capabilities are extended more frivolously by the new Animoji (yes, that’s animated emoji) that can be based on your own facial expressions, as well as your voice.
Apple also launched the new Apple TV 4K which, of course, is Ultra HD capable, as well as now being able to handle HDR video up to 60 frames per second. Possibly the most interesting point of the Apple TV 4K is that it’s Dolby Vision capable, making it the only dedicated streamer to be so. Netflix and Amazon have confirmed 4K HDR support for the new player. Apple will also port all the iTunes movie catalogue over to TV OS and confirmed that pricing for UHD content will be the same as that of the plain old HD titles. Not only that, customers who have already purchased HD titles will get a free UHD upgrade, provided the title is available in 4k, of course. Additionally, Apple confirmed The ATV 4K will also now feature a native Ultra HD UI for extra crispness. The ATV 4K uses the A10X processor found in the latest iPad Pro.
The Apple Watch also reached its third iteration, with the headlining feature of built-in cellular, meaning you can take calls and messages without it being paired to your iPhone; the screen, itself, actually acts as the antenna. Series 3 also means you can stream music, via Apple Music of course, without your phone in tandem. Siri can also now ‘speak’ via the watch which is an improvement on the existing text-based answering system.
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