Leading up to yesterday’s Apple September event, the Internet was yet again buzzing with Apple rumors from LTE watches, wireless chargers, and $1000 iPhones. And, as it turns out, they were all true, again! Of course, the only reason these leaks were so well-known was because all the hype surrounding new Apple products, so that didn’t make the reveals any less exciting. Yes, it’s true. We’ve got a new Apple Watch, a 4K video player, and a handful of new iPhones.
Check out the details of each new product below:
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
Not much has changed in the looks department, aside from the glass back (which is the strongest glass in a smartphone, according to Apple). This enables the phone for a huge update: wireless charging. Apple is finally providing a wireless charging solution for the iPhone, and both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support the Qi wireless charging standard, for which there are already many compatible chargers already on the marketplace.
Apple will also be releasing their own charging surface, dubbed “AirPower” next year that will be compatible with all their wireless charging devices, including a new charging case for the AirPods. Speaking of which, with wireless charging, you can now free up that Lightning port to listen to music while charging, since the headphone jack is still missing from the new iPhones.
The screens on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are also not that surprising. As you’d come to expect, the iPhone 8 features a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, and the iPhone 8 Plus has a bigger 5.5-inch screen. The one notable upgrade is Apple’s True Tone feature that can automatically adjust the screen’s color temperature based on the ambient light around you, providing an accurate display no matter the lighting conditions.
The performance boost to the iPhone 8 over the previous iteration is significant with the new A11 Bionic chip, featuring a 6-core CPU, with the 2 performance cores 25 percent faster than the A10 and the high-efficiency cores 70 percent faster than the A10. The new chip also integrates the first Apple-designed GPU, which is 30 percent faster than the graphics performance of the A10, and can actually offer the same performance as the A10 at half the power consumption.
Even the iPhone’s speakers got an upgrade, as the stereo speakers are 25 percent louder.
The iPhone 8’s rear-facing camera got a slight upgrade. The 12 Megapixel camera features a larger, faster sensor with more color depth. The regular iPhone 8 now has optical image stabilization, which was previously exclusive to the Plus model.
The real upgrade comes with the iPhone 8 Plus. It retains the dual camera setup from the iPhone 7 Plus, with both a wide-angle f/1.8 aperture lens and a telephone f/2.8 aperture lens. Portrait Mode is still a very cool feature exclusive to the Plus models, but Apple has expanded upon it on the 8 Plus with Portrait Lighting, a feature that automatically detects and isolates the portrait subject from the background and analyzes the lighting to provide appropriate studio lighting simulations in real time, making for even better portrait photos.
Both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus can shoot up to 4K video at 60 frames per second and slow motion 1080p video at 240 frames per second.
Apple is now tackling Augmented Reality, developing their new phones with AR specifically in mind. The phones are equipped with new gyroscopes and accelerometers that work in tandem with built-in motion tracking to enhance the AR experience, as well as an AR development kit for iOS 11. Hopefully Snapchat’s hard at work at building a better dancing hotdog with the tools that Apple has provided.
The iPhone 8 launches on September 22 and ships with iOS 11. Pre-orders begin on September 15, with the iPhone 8 starting at $699 for the 64 GB version and $799 for the 64 GB iPhone 8 Plus. The phones will come in 3 colors: Silver, “Space Grey”, and Gold.
The iPhone X makes some major changes to the traditional iPhone. Just one look at it makes you ask one question, “Where’s the home button?!” The front of the iPhone X’s screen is basically all screen, save for the location of the front-facing camera and the extremely thin bezel. It’s what Apple calls the 5.8-inch “Super Retina” 2436 x 1125 high resolution display. It’s also an OLED screen, and as Vita fans can tell you, it’s a very beautiful screen with perfect pitch black blacks.
The lack of a home button really shakes up how the iPhone operates. To wake the phone up, you can simply just pick it up or tap the screen. Slide-in gestures have replaced most home button functions. Swipe up from the bottom (a gesture originally used for Control Center) to bring you to the home screen. Swiping up and keeping your finger on the screen for a brief pause activates the multitasking menu. Siri is activated by holding the side button (which is bigger now) or simply saying “Hey Siri.” Finally, Control Center has been moved to a swipe-in from either the top left or top right of the screen.
No home button also means no Touch ID, but Apple has replaced it with something better: Face ID. The iPhone X can detect and identify your face using the built-in front-facing camera, infrared sensor, flood illuminator, and dot projector. Face ID can be used to unlock your phone, authenticate Apple Pay purchases, and basically everything Touch ID was used for.
The new facial recognition software also lets you create custom animated emojis. You basically use your face to control the expression of the emoji, and you can send the animations to you friends.
Much like all the other mobile devices at the event, the iPhone X also supports wireless charging. It even has a longer battery life than the iPhone 7.
The camera of the iPhone X is generally the same as the iPhone 8 Plus, with a slightly wider telephoto lens. Unlike the iPhone 8 Plus, the X has optical image stabilization on both lenses, not just one. The 7 Megapixel front-facing camera’s upgrades allow not only for the use of Face ID, but for taking better selfies as well, since the iPhone X allows you to use Portrait Mode on the front-facing camera.
The iPhone X is just as expensive as the rumors made it out to be, starting at $999 for the 64 GB version and going all the way to $1149 for the 256 GB version. Curiously, it’s only available in two colors: Silver and Space Grey.
Apple Watch Series 3
Additionally, the new Apple Watch features a 70 percent upgrade in performance, running on the new S3 chip.
The LTE-equipped Apple Watch starts at $399 (though if you prefer going without the cellular functionality, you can get a new Apple Watch without it for $329).
Pre-orders for the Apple Watch Series 3 begin on September 15, with the full product launching on September 22.
Apple TV 4K
The new Apple TV is powered by the A10X Fusion chip, with a CPU that’s twice as fast as the previous generation Apple TV and with 4 times the graphics power, supporting 4K HDR video content up to 60 frames per second.
In addition to the ability to watch 4K streaming video from services such as Netflix and Amazon Video, 4K video content will be available on iTunes. The best part is that there will be no price increase for 4K videos over HD. In fact, if you already own any HD content on iTunes, the 4K upgrade is free. An excellent move to encourage the adoption of the new high resolution video standard.
Do you have your eyes on one, or maybe a few? Take the poll below to see what Apple products people can’t wait to get their hands on.