I swear I only wrote about the last iPhone reveal a week ago – but here we go again. Apple last night lifted the not-so-effective-this-time-around veil of secrecy from the latest additions to their ubiquitous smartphone family and, once again the crowd have gone wild. And rightly so – while recent iPhone updates have only really seen improvements on already existing features, or the incoproration of features already comon for Android devices like water resistance, ultimately resulting in a dip in sales for the Californian computer behemoth, the new phones, specifically the iPhone X, have genuinely raised the bar this time around.
Starting with the iPhone 8, the first thing to note is the return to an all-glass housing. This was a pain in the ass on previous models as it meant one more thing that could break when you dropped the thing, and as such was turfed as a design feature after the 5s, but with the 8, the steel reinforced durable glass is promised to be the toughest on any smartphone yet, and it allows for wireless charging: a big tick. As has been the standard for a while now, the iPhone 8 is offered up in two sizes, a 4.7 inch screen and a 5.5 inch screen, both Retina Displays. They’ve also thrown in a new A11 Bionic chip with two high-power cores and four efficiency cores. Sounds fast? It’s allegedly the most advanced processor of any smartphone ever.
The dual 12MP cameras on the back were never going to be a bad thing either – the iPhone’s camera has pretty consistently outperformed most if its competitors and the 8 is no different. If you have an iPhone 7 already, an upgrade to the 8 might be a bit of a stretch – short of the pleasant look of the glass body and the wireless charging, it’s not much more of a phone – but if you’re still rocking a 6 then the price tag (starting at $1,079 for the 4.7 inch and $1.229 for the 5.5 inch) might be worth it.
There was some fuss made about the new Animojis feature, which uses your facial expression to send a related animal face; much like the stickers function of the last iOS. Some will find this amusing but ultimately, it’s not a selling point for grown men.
The real star of the show, however, is the hotly anticipated iPhone X. This is Apple’s way of proving to the world it’s still ahead of the pack when it comes to pioneering tech, and they haven’t failed. While hardcore nerds will argue that a lot of the new features are already available on other platforms, like the facial recognition on the Microsoft Surface, it’s the implementation of all of these ingredients in the one, palm-sized device that renders the whole thing rather impressive.
The edge-to-edge display is stunning – there’s no wasted real estate on the screen, and the removal of the home button means that they can make this phone smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus, but with a larger 5.8 inch Retina Display. And what a display it is – the OLED screen boasts inky blacks and sharp lines and colours – noticeably better than any of its predecessors (the X’s contrast ratio is 1,000,000:1). It gets all the water resistant, dust resistant durability of the 8 too, and the fingerprint scanner has been replaced with facial recognition software; 30,000 invisible dots are stored to remember your facial profile, making unlocking easier than ever (though we have no idea if this works for identical twins – or what happens when you gain/lose weight or grow a beard etc.)
The X won’t land on our shores until November, and will set buyers back a hefty $1,829. There’s no denying this price won’t deter true fans and the technologically literate with deep pockets, but it does continue a pattern of exponential price-hikes from Apple as their devices evolve – we’re not far off seeing a phone for over $2k – a big difference when you consider some of the iPhone’s competitors which sit comfortably around the $1k mark.