Despite major software leaks which came just two days before the event, as well as an embarrassing glitch which saw the iPhone X stall during a demo of its signature Face ID unlocking feature, this year’s iPhone event was lapped up like no other, by fans and critics alike. In fact, analysts believe Apple is in their strongest market position ever.
Apple held their inaugural press conference at their brand-new Cupertino-based campus, Apple Park. Also known as the Steve Jobs theater, this impressive circular structure is known to have been one of Steve Jobs’ final big visions for the future of the brand. This year’s keynote seemed like the most eagerly-awaited product launch in the brand’s history, with Apple unveiling their most hotly-anticipated iPhone models to date. Months of rumour and speculation finally came to a close, as we learnt that there’s now three new iPhone models in the mix: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X – a celebration of the 10th anniversary of iPhone.
Apple first announced its duo of iPhone 7 replacements, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which skips the intermediary software-update ‘s’ model of previous years. While their dimensions remain almost identical to those of their predecessors, the devices now feature an all-new glass design – glass front and back, with a colour-matched ‘aerospace-grade’ aluminium band. As well as looking beautiful in three new finishes – silver, space grey and an updated gold shade – this glass design allows for something even better: wireless charging. That’s right, Apple has finally introduced a non-wired charging solution for iPhone. What’s more, Apple has adopted the Qi wireless charging standard which is used by virtually every other smartphone manufacturer – this means you’ll be able to use your iPhone on any commercially-available pad or mat, reducing the need for phone-specific charging solutions.
It’s the iPhone X (pronounced ‘ten’, not ‘ecks’) that truly stole the show, though, with so many impressive new features we couldn’t even begin to list them all. Apple say that the ‘device is the display’ and you can’t really argue when the entire front of the device is a 5.8-inch screen. Named ‘Super Retina’, the OLED screen offers stunning colours, deep blacks and a 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio. A glass and a stainless steel body offers the same wireless charging, water and dust resistance as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, while housing some of Apple’s most sophisticated technology yet.
Design aside, the biggest upgrade to the new models is that they all house the A11 Bionic Chip, which utilises two performance cores and four high-efficiency cores in an smartphone’s most powerful processor ever. The chip delivers some major improvements over the iPhone 7’s A10 chip and early Geekbench scores show it outperforming the iPad Pro’s A10X Fusion chip, as well as matching the performance of the Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro models.
Apple showed off just how powerful and efficient the A11 processor is during a series of augmented reality demonstrations, which included virtual warriors battling on a real-life basketball court (during a demo of Warhammer: Freeblade) and virtual player stats overlaying a live baseball game. The cutting-edge platform responsible for developing augmented reality apps, named ARKit, was introduced at Apple’s annual developer conference (WWDC 2017) earlier this year. While the demonstrations showed us how the cameras have been optimized for augmented reality experiences, they also showed just how powerful the hardware is. All three handsets feature 12-megapixel cameras which, although not offering more megapixels than their predecessors, come with some serious technological improvements.
The iPhone 8’s 12MP camera now captures 83 percent more light, as well as offering more uniformly-lit photos via its quad-LED True Tone flash. The iPhone 8 Plus retains its iconic dual cameras but sees improvements to its lenses and optical image stabilisation feature. Its cameras can also utilise Portrait Lighting, a new addition to the camera menu which adds studio lighting effects to portraits. Similarly to the 8 Plus, the iPhone X has dual 12MP cameras with f/1.8 and f/2.4 lenses, dual optical image stabilisation and access to the Portrait Lighting feature (among other photo tools in the new camera menu). What sets the iPhone X apart from the 8 Plus, though, is its front-facing TrueDepth camera: capable of capturing Portrait Mode selfies with its unique facial mapping technology, as well as powering impressive new security features.
The facial mapping technology in the iPhone X’s camera works in conjunction with Apple’s impressive new facial recognition software. Apple has removed the home button* on the 5.8-inch OLED screen – which fills the entire face of the phone – to make way for the new technology. Face ID is primarily used to unlock your phone and authenticate Apple Pay transactions, however it comes with a surprisingly kitsch use too – customising emojis using the facial recognition software in the front-facing camera. Dubbed Animojis, the personalised animations move according to a users’ facial movements and speech.
(*Don’t worry, there’s no home button at all, which means you can still use all of our protective cases with the new iPhone X. Phew.)
These features are exclusive to the iPhone X, although they run off the same operating system as you’ll find in the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The release date for iOS11 is September 19th, although it’s been available in beta mode for some time now.
All three iPhone models now come with either 64GB or 256GB storage capacity, with models starting at £699 for the 64GB iPhone 8 and rising to £999 for the iPhone X. While we believe that the impressive features, real-world applications and technological advancements on the new iPhones make up for their eye-watering price tags, we wouldn’t leave the house without protecting ours. After investing in a quality insurance plan, kit your handset out with an ultra-tough case like our iconic carbon fibre folios. From just £20, these cases won’t break the bank. Shop the Carbon Series for iPhone X today.