Apple yesterday announced its new 2017 iPhone lineup, at Apple Park. The company debuted three new flagship iPhones as well as adjusted pricing for the entire product range.
The new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are successors to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus — featuring glass backs, wireless charging and better cameras — whilst the iPhone X grabs headlines with a new ‘edge-to-edge’ 5.8-inch OLED screen and facial recognition unlock.
All three new iPhones come in at higher price points than any previous top-tier iPhone, but base storage has been bumped to 64 GB to compensate. Compare all the prices, specs and availability details after the jump …
Apple has announced some drastic changes to the iPhone. iPhone 8 has some significant changes compared to iPhone 7. And iPhone X builds on top of the iPhone 8 advancements and incorporates a whole new industrial design for the iPhone with a thin-bezel 5.8-inch OLED display.
Both phones feature improved cameras (although there are differences between the two) and Apple’s new A11 Bionic SoC for better graphics and compute performance.
Here’s the top-line availability and price comparison; see below for feature differences.
So what’s new in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus compared to last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus?
iPhone 8 features a new glass design on front and back surrounded by an aluminium frame. The glass frame provides a new look for the phone on the back side and enables wireless inductive charging. The new iPhone uses standard-based Qi charging tech, so you can use any of the Qi chargers on the market today. Apple will be releasing its own AirPower mat later next year.
Apple has upgraded the camera with a new larger sensor that can take in more light which reduces grain and improves picture quality. There is also optical image stabilization for images and videos on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (new to the smaller form factor).
The A11 chip enables new Portrait Lighting modes which create additional non-destructive effects for Plus owners with the dual camera. 4K videos can now be captured at 60 FPS, a major upgrade, and there is also a new 1080P@240FPS slow-mo mode.
The iPhone 8 series features the same size display as last year’s phones (4.7-inch and 5.5-inch), but the LCD panels now support True Tone, which automatically adjusts white balance based on the environment. iPhone 8 features an Apple A11 ‘Bionic’ chip, to provide up to 25% better performance compared to the A10 Fusion chip found in the iPhone 7.
In terms of color choice, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come in Space Gray, Silver and a new fresh Gold finish. Apple sells iPhone 8 in 64 GB and 256 GB configurations, for $699 and $849. iPhone 8 Plus costs $799 and $949, $100 more than the 4.7-inch model. You can order the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus from September 15, for delivery on September 22nd.
What makes the iPhone X better than the iPhone 8?
The iPhone X has a brand-new industrial design. It is the first iPhone to feature an OLED display and it’s a big one at that. The iPhone X has a 5.8-inch screen with minimal bezels (and a top-notch cutout for the new sensors), which means the overall physical size of the device is closer to the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 despite the much bigger screen.
Apple calls this display ‘Super Retina’. The OLED panel provides true blacks, high contrast and wide color, as well as supporting rich HDR visual content. Like iPhone 8, the phone features True Tone to dynamically adjust color balance.
The iPhone X uses glass on the front and back with a stainless steel body that seamlessly meet at the device’s curved edges.
Apple says the glass it uses is the most durable ever seen in a smartphone. Like iPhone 8, it supports Qi wireless charging and will work with the Apple AirPower charging mat sometime next year.
Whilst the iPhone 8 uses a Touch ID home button, the bezel-less iPhone X relies on Face ID. This is a new 3D front-camera system that uses facial recognition to unlock the device and authorize payments with Apple Pay.
Apple says that Face ID is much more secure than Touch ID and it’s almost as fast to use. Just look at your device and then swipe the screen to unlock. Apple says Face ID cannot be fooled by photographs or masks.
Apple also uses the facial recognition sensors for a new Messages feature: Animoji. These are 3D animated emoji that mimic the facial expressions users make into the phone (along with recorded audio). These can then be shared to other iMessage users, although the creation of them is exclusive to iPhone X as it requires the new TrueDepth camera system.
Apple has major camera upgrades for the iPhone X. The 7-megapixel front camera features wide color capture, auto image stabilization and Portrait mode for simulated depth-of-field.
The rear camera system is now a dual lens setup (brand new to the smaller form factor) and features optical image stabilization on both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses. The telephoto lens has been improved to f/2.4 aperture. The camera system features the same faster autofocus and 4K60FPS video recording as iPhone 8. There is also a new quad LED True Tone Flash.
Apple is pushing augmented reality in these new phones. The A11 ‘Bionic’ chip provides high-performance world tracking and scene recognition, whilst the cameras are individually calibrated to enhance AR tasks. The A11 chip and other internal component upgrades enable the iPhone X to offer 2 hours better battery life than iPhone 7.
The iPhone X starts at $999 in Silver and Space Gray with 64 GB of storage; Apple is not currently selling any other color options. You can buy a 256 GB model for $1149. The iPhone X will be available for pre-order from October 27 and will be released on November 3rd.