Yesterday’s Apple event brought with it three major announcements from its mobile smartphone flagship: the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, an innovative new version of the best seller that opts for a new design that sets it apart from its predecessors.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
First announced were the anticipated iPhone 8 lines of handsets, which consumers had been waiting to see for the past few months. At the face of it the two don’t do a lot that is different from past versions. The design is similar, though they have a new metallic casing in a pink or silver color that are a stretch from what we have seen in the past. This should make them more durable, which will be a relief for any Apple user who has shattered the glass backing on their phone.
The 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina HD displays are using are also going to be more shatter resistant thanks to the materials being used. They claim it is the most durable on the market and are boasting that it is also more splash, water and dust resistant. We will have to wait until people start releasing test videos on YouTube to see if that is true.
Resolution is 1334 x 750, 326 ppi for the iPhone 8 and 1920 x 080, 401 ppi for the iPhone 8 Plus. They have a seven layer color process that offers a really nice looking color contrast for media and game viewing. Consumers who are more concerned with tiny details like that one will be thrilled with this model, as somewhat pedantic improvements are the name of the game this time around.
Onto the performance, the stats are disappointing. Their website doesn’t say what RAM the iPhone 8 is holding, but according to outside sources it is only 2 GB, well under many high end models that are currently hitting the market. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is set to have 6 GB. Apple is putting a lot on their A11 Bionic chip, though how this will match up is impossible to say without testing.
Other features include 7 MP front facing and 12 MP back facing cameras, a Touch ID sensor and louder speakers built into the device. Both models come with 64 or 256 GB storage options. And yes, they actually listened and brought back the headphone jack. Instead this model will have wireless charging, another hotly demanded feature.
The iPhone X
Let’s be honest, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were not the big news at this Apple event. Much more interesting is the introduction of the iPhone X, a brand new design that conforms to the more popular model of full display smartphones.
Coming in space grey and silver, the iPhone X is the first in the line not to have a border or home button. Instead it is a full display with a 5.8″ OLED screen with a redesigned iOS 11 that is meant to make use of the display more intuitive. They are playing up the uniqueness, but really it is only unique for Apple. They are following the same design rules and demands that other manufacturers have been using for years. Which isn’t a bad thing…it feels like they may be leaving brand image behind in favor of customer preferences. They are catching up.
Resolution is at 1125 x 2436, 458 ppi and it uses the same shatter, dust and water resistant glass as the iPhone 8. Unfortunately it isn’t holding any more power than the other phones announced today. It has the same A11 chip and still only 2 GB of RAM. That is a major bummer for people who may feel like they are forking out for what is essentially an iOS run Samsung clone.
However, one thing that sets the new iPhone X apart is that it was made with AR in mind from the very beginning. The cameras and internal functions, including accelerometers, gyroscopes and a GPU clocking 60 fps graphics mean a better AR experience than with any past iPhone.
Face ID is another big feature. The camera improvements enable facial recognition, which can be used to pay for items in stores. Yes, you can pay with your face. This seems like a mixed feature, to be frank. Sure, it is kind of cool. But there are so many better ways to enact phone pay and facial recognition seems a little lax on the security side. Just how close does it monitor features? How likely is it to not recognize you if you, say, gain some weight? Have a bloated day? Angle it wrong? Maybe I am being cynical.
All in all, Apple has released three OK phones with some interesting features that maybe don’t live up to the hype that they are claiming. The lack of power under the hood is going to be a big drawback to those looking for more oomph for their $1000. Because that is about what these babies cost, the amount of which can be dropped for preorder next month.