Today at a media event held in Apple Park, Apple announces the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus smartphones. The A11 Bionic chip powered devices feature a similar design as previous generation iPhones, however they have a glass back to allow wireless charging with Qi open wireless standard.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus feature an all-glass design with an aero-grade aluminum chassis for reinforced strength. Apple has reinforced the glass further and claims it is the most durable glass ever used on a smartphone. The glass also goes through a 7-layer color process to achieve that perfect fit and finish.
While Apple has used the same basic materials here as the iPhone 5/5s, the company has rounded the chassis to improve ergonomics. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are not a complete departure from Apple’s design language and at first glance, many people might still confuse the handsets for an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple has even managed to improve the stereo speaker setup on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with a 25 percent improvement in bass response. The handsets will be available in Silver, Space Grey, and a new Gold color finish.
Like the iPhone 7 before it, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus feature an IP67 certification.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus continue to make use of 4.7-inch 750p and 5.5-inch 1080p LCD panels. However, Apple has improved them further this year by introducing its True Tone display technology. Similar to the iPad, True Tone on the new iPhones will automatically tweak the white balance of the display to improve readability depending on ambient lighting conditions.
Other features found on previous iPhone displays like wide-color gamut and 3D Touch are also present.
A11 Bionic Chipset and Storage
Powering the new iPhones is Apple’s latest 6-core A11 chip. Comprising of four low-power cores and two high-performance cores, the A11 chip is based on the 10nm fabrication processor making it more power efficient. Apple says that the chip is 25 percent faster than its A10 chip and up to 70 percent faster in multi-threaded workloads. The chip also makes use of a custom Apple designed GPU which is 30 percent faster than the GPU inside the A10 chip. Impressively, Apple says the chip is up to 50 percent more power efficient as well.
In terms of RAM, the iPhone 8 features 2GB RAM while the iPhone 8 Plus comes with 3GB RAM. The handsets will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage variants.
The home button on the front of the iPhone 8 continues to feature the Touch ID fingerprint scanner which can be used for unlocking the device and authorizing Apple Pay transactions. Apple continues to use the same second generation Touch ID sensor which it first debuted with the iPhone 6s in 2016.
The new 12MP sensor on the iPhone 8 features deeper pixels, OIS, and a new color filter for improved photos. As for the iPhone 8 Plus, it features two new 12MP sensors with an f/1.8 and f/2.8 aperture. Like the iPhone 8, the new sensors use a new color filter and deeper pixels for improved photo quality and wider dynamic range. The camera setup is paired with a Quad-LED True Tone flash.
The iPhone 8 Plus also features Portrait Lighting mode. Thanks to the new powerful ISP and machine learning, Portrait Lighting allows one to tweak the lighting effect of a portrait photo after it is taken. You can select the lighting effect before and even taking a portrait photo. Portrait Lighting feature will be available in beta initially on the iPhone 8 Plus.
In terms of video recording, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus can record 4K videos at 60fps as well as Full HD videos at 240fps.
Apple says that it has custom calibrated the camera on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus for augmented reality. Thanks to the powerful A11 Bionic chip, the custom Apple GPU, the camera setup, and Apple’s own video encoder, AR apps on the iPhone 8 will offer an experience like no other. The demo apps shown by Apple at the iPhone 8 launch event were truly breathtaking and integrated AR into their gameplay seamlessly.
Connectivity and Wireless Charging
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus feature NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple’s W1 chip, LTE-A, fast charging, Lighting port, and Qi wireless charging. While Apple did not announce its own Qi wireless charger, the company has worked with various third-party companies to launch Qi wireless chargers that will be available from launch day.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will go on pre-order from September 15. The handsets will be available in 64GB and 256GB storage variants only. The iPhone 8 is priced at $699, while the iPhone 8 Plus is priced at $799.