Apple has debuted the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The new iPhone features a new glass and aluminum design in three colors made out of what Apple claims is the most durable glass ever in a smartphone, Retina HD displays and A11 Bionic chip, and is designed for the ultimate augmented reality experience.
The smartphone’s camera gets even better with single and dual cameras featuring Portrait Lighting on iPhone 8 Plus, and wireless charging brings a new capability to the smartphone. Both devices will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, Sept. 15. in more than 25 countries and territories, and in stores beginning Friday, Sept. 22.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, says the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus introduce a beautiful glass back design made with the most durable glass ever in a smartphone in three new finishes: space gray, silver and gold. The glass finish is made using a seven-layer color process for precise hue and opacity, delivering a rich depth of color with a color-matched aerospace-grade aluminum bezel, and is water and dust resistant.
The new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina HD displays with the addition of True Tone adjust the white balance of the display to match the surrounding light for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience. Redesigned stereo speakers are up to 25 percent louder and deliver deeper bass, enabling richer-sounding music, videos and speakerphone calls.
The A11 Bionic, the most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone, features a six-core CPU design with two performance cores that are 25% faster and four efficiency cores that are 70% faster than the A10 Fusion. A new, second-generation performance controller can harness all six cores simultaneously, delivering up to 70% greater performance for multi-threaded workloads, giving customers more power while providing the same great battery life.
The A11 Bionic also integrates an Apple-designed GPU with a three-core design that delivers up to 30% faster graphics performance than the previous generation. All this power enables “incredible” new machine learning, AR apps and immersive 3D games, says Schiller.
The cameras on iPhone 8 Plus are custom tuned for the ultimate AR experience, he adds. Each camera is individually calibrated, with new gyroscopes and accelerometers for accurate motion tracking. The A11 Bionic CPU handles world tracking, scene recognition and the GPU enables incredible graphics at 60fps, while the image signal processor does real-time lighting estimation. With ARKit, iOS developers can take advantage of the TrueDepth camera and the rear cameras to create games and apps offering fantastically immersive and fluid experiences that go far beyond the screen.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sport an improved 12-megapixel camera with a larger and faster sensor, a new color filter and deeper pixels. A new Apple-designed image signal processor delivers advanced pixel processing, wide color capture, faster autofocus in low light and better HDR photos, while a new quad LED True Tone Flash with Slow Sync results in more uniformly lit backgrounds and foregrounds.
Schiller says the new camera also delivers the highest quality video capture ever in a smartphone with better video stabilization, 4K video up to 60fps and 1080p slo-mo up to 240fps. The Apple-designed video encoder provides real-time image and motion analysis for optimal quality video. With iOS 11, both iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus support HEIF and HEVC for up to two times compression and storage for twice the photos and videos.
The iPhone 8 Plus features dual 12-megapixel cameras and introduces Portrait mode with Portrait Lighting, bringing studio lighting effects to iPhone, allowing customers to capture portraits with a shallow depth-of-field effect in five different lighting styles.
Portrait Lighting is based on extensive research into the art and science of portraiture and core photographic lighting principles. It uses the dual cameras and the Apple-designed image signal processor to recognize the scene, create a depth map and separate the subject from the background. Machine learning is then used to create facial landmarks and add lighting over contours of the face, all happening in real time, giving customers even more power to express themselves through photography.
The glass back design enables a wireless charging solution. Wireless charging works with the established Qi ecosystem, including two new wireless charging mats from Belkin and mophie, available from apple.com and Apple Stores.
Today Apple gave a sneak peek of AirPower, an Apple-designed wireless charging accessory coming in 2018, which offers a generous active charging area that will allow iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X customers to simultaneously charge up to three devices, including Apple Watch Series 3 and a new optional wireless charging case for AirPods.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available in space gray, silver and an all-new gold finish in increased 64GB and 256GB capacity models starting at $699 (US) from apple.com and Apple Stores and is also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary).
Through Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, customers in the US can get iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, with the protection of AppleCare+, choose their carrier (no multiyear service contract required) and have the opportunity to upgrade to a new iPhone every year. The iPhone Upgrade Program is available for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus at apple.com and Apple Stores in the US with monthly payments starting at $34.50 for iPhone 8 and $39.50 for iPhone 8 Plus.