Why it matters to you
Despite the buzz behind the iPhone X, these new iPhones are more reasonably priced and likely to be the ones most customers end up with.
Up until now, most of us were calling it the iPhone 7S, but it turns out Apple had a different name in mind — iPhone 8. While the iPhone X is the company’s new range-topping flagship, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus boast a more iterative approach. They were announced on Tuesday, September 12, at Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Just as many expected, from the outside, the iPhone 8 series closely resembles last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. That means the same 4.7- and 5.5-inch screen sizes are back, along with those chunky bezels above and below the screen. The chassis has been redesigned, however, to allow for Qi wireless charging. Whereas the iPhone 7 primarily utilized aluminum construction, the iPhone 8 has an aluminum chassis and a back panel made of glass.
Under the skin, the changes are a little less subtle. Apple has stuffed its all-new A11 Bionic processor in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The company calls it the most powerful chipset ever put into a smartphone. The A11 Bionic utilizes six cores in total — two high-performance cores, which are 25 percent faster than what the A10 managed, and four high-efficiency cores. This is the same chip said to be featured in the iPhone X, which means there should not be any parity in performance between all three models. Since the iPhone X may be remarkably hard to find upon its release, customers should be reassured to know they will get the same snappy user experience even if they “settle” for the iPhone 8.
Photography has always been one of Apple’s strengths with its smartphones and the iPhone 8 continues that tradition with new image sensors for both the standard model and Plus variant. The smaller iPhone 8 features a new 12-megapixel image sensor, which Apple says takes in 85 percent more light than the camera in the iPhone 7. The iPhone 8 also gets two new sensors for its dual cameras, along with an f/1.8 aperture wide-angle lens featuring optical image stabilization.
Last year, the iPhone 7 Plus used its dual cameras to deliver portrait mode, to blur backgrounds. The iPhone 8 Plus adds a new mode called portrait lighting that uses machine learning to allow the photographer to adjust the subject’s lighting independently of whatever is behind them. It will launch in beta, just like portrait mode with the previous generation.
This story is developing, so check back as the event progresses for more information, as well as pricing and availability. In addition to new phones, Apple also launched the third-generation Apple Watch and a 4K-enabled version of Apple TV at the event.