The suspense is finally over. Apple has taken the wraps off its new high-end handset, iPhone X—a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display that chief executive Tim Cook calls “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”. The Cupertino, California-based firm has also rolled out the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which resemble the iPhone 7 line but have a glass back for wireless charging. While the iPhone X will start shipping from early November in the US and a few other markets, Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are set to hit Indian shores by the end of this month. Nandagopal Rajan takes a look at some of the interesting features of the new line-up.
Apple iPhone X
The iPhone X Edition marks the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone, which was launched in 2007. It features a design that’s completely different from the company’s previous generation iPhones, featuring a screen that wraps all the way over the front of the smartphone, an all-new display technology, Face ID and more.
The biggest change for the iPhone X has to be the introduction of a new all-screen design. The 5.8-inch screen stretches across the Super Retina Display that features OLED technology, and it has a resolution of 2436 x 1125 pixels. The Super Retina Display supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR variants.
It is for the first time in several years that Apple has significantly changed the overall appearance of the iPhone. The last big change happened in 2014 when Apple launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, featuring bigger displays. And, for the first time, Apple’s flagship iPhone doesn’t come with a home button. Instead, it uses something called Face ID which essentially recognises the owner’s face to unlock the device. Apple claims the new technique will “learn your face” with the True Depth camera system. The company says there’s a one-in-a-million chance that another person could unlock your iPhone X with Face ID. Plus, users can still unlock the phone using a traditional passcode.
Apple’s flagship iPhone X is powered by the company’s A11 Bionic processor with a new Neural Engine. The phone has two 12 MP image sensors, comprising a f/1.8 aperture wide-angle and a f/2.4 aperture telephoto lens. Both lenses have optical image stabilisation, along with a Quad-LED True Tone flash. Also, a 7 MP TrueDepth front-facing camera supports Apple’s portrait mode for selfies.
Apple claims the battery on the iPhone X will last 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7. And, just like the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, it supports Qi wireless charging. The iPhone X will be available in 64 GB and 256 GB storage options, and yes, it won’t come cheap. Apple iPhone X is expected to cost Rs 89,000 in India for the 64 GB variant while the 256 GB version will cost Rs 102,000.
Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be launching in India on September 29, which is the second batch of countries after the initial launch on September 22. This time, the Apple iPhone 8 series comes in only two storage options: 64 GB and 256 GB.
While iPhone 8 has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with True Tone, for iPhone 8 Plus it’s 5.5-inch. Both phones are powered by the A11 Bionic chip, which is a six-core processor with four efficiency cores. The front camera on the iPhone 8 series is 7 MP with Retina Flash for improved selfies.
The iPhone 8 still has a single lens camera with 12 MP sensor. Apple iPhone 8 Plus has the 12 MP+ 12 MP rear cameras with Portrait mode, a new Portrait Lighting (beta) and 4K video up to 60 fps. Apple also brought wireless charging support to both phones and these phones will work with Qi chargers, which is the universal standard.
The iPhone 8 series also has redesigned stereo speakers, which Apple claims are up to 25% louder and deliver deeper bass, etc. On the processor front, Apple is claiming the four efficiency cores are 70% faster than the A10 Fusion. The new chip also integrates an Apple-designed GPU with a three-core design that delivers up to 30% faster graphics performance.
On the AR front, Apple says the iPhone 8 series has cameras which are “individually calibrated, with new gyroscopes and accelerometers for accurate motion tracking”. This is to ensure better AR experience given Apple has opened ARKit for developers. Apple also says its accessories, including leather and silicone cases, will be available in a range of colours for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus starting at Rs 3,100. Also, lightning docks in colour-matching metallic finishes will be available for Rs 4,700. From a design perspective, Apple iPhone 8 series is glass and aluminium and comes in three colours: Silver, Space Grey and a new gold finish.
(The writer is in San Jose, California at the invitation of Apple)