Apple has officially announced the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which are updated versions of last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models featuring with faster processors, a True Tone display, and upgraded cameras.
The jump from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 8 is pretty significant, marking the first time since the iPhone 3GS was released back in 2009 that an iPhone model hasn’t received a spec-boosted “S” variant. Apple may be moving up numerically, but the new iPhone 8 models look to continue the same rough design the company has been using since 2014 from the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
One of the biggest changes comes in the form of a glass back, in order to enable one of the biggest internal changes: inductive wireless charging, which wouldn’t have worked through the aluminum shell of the old model. And, like the iPhone 7, there’s still no 3.5mm headphone jack.
The wireless charging looks to be similar to implementations on basically every other smartphone. Simply place the phone on a charging pad, and it’ll charge up (with the added bonus for iPhone users that wirelessly charging leaves the Lighting port free for wired headphones). Apple will be using the widely used Qi charging standard, which is good news for anyone who’s already bought into wireless chargers.
Apple has improved the display on the iPhone 8 line, adding the same True Tone technology it offers on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to automatically adjust the screen based on the ambient light in the room to offer more accurate colors.
Internally, Apple has upgraded the processor from the A10 Fusion found in the 7 to the A11 Bionic. It’s a six-core chip with two performance cores that are 25 percent faster than the A10, and four performance cores that the company says are 70 percent faster that the old model. There’s also a new Apple-designed GPU that’s 30 percent faster, with the same performance as the A10 at half the power.
On the camera front, there’s a new 12-megapixel sensor on the iPhone 8 that is larger, faster, and finally has optical image stabilization. The iPhone 8 Plus also has new sensors, and offers f/1.8 and f/2.8 apertures now. The dual cameras on the 8 Plus also have a new “Portrait Lighting” feature to adjust the lighting for portrait shots. And Apple says that the improvements apply to video, too, with Apple executive Phil Schiller claiming that the new devices have the “highest quality video capture ever in a smartphone,” with support for 4K/60fps video. Slow motion videos now support up to 1080p resolution at 240fps, doubling the the iPhone 7’s 120fps option.
Apple is touting the iPhone 8 as the first smartphone designed for augmented reality, with cameras calibrated for AR, along with a new gyroscope and accelerometer for better motion tracking.
The iPhone 8 will start at $699 for a 64GB model, while the 8 Plus will start at $799 for 64GB of storage. Both models will also have larger 256GB models, for as yet unannounced prices. Both phones will be available for preorder starting Friday, September 15th, with a release date a week later on September 22nd.