In what was quite likely the biggest consumer electronics announcement in years, Apple (AAPL - Free Report) unveiled several new versions of its flagship devices today, including the highly anticipated iPhone 8 and the rumored iPhone X.
During its latest “Special Event,” which took place at the company’s brand-new Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Apple officially revealed the specifications for its upcoming iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus devices. The new iPhones are returning to a glass-back design, which Apple said is the “most durable in a smartphone” and will be water and dust resistant.
Inside the device, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will feature stereo speakers, which were said to be 25% louder than the iPhone 7 speakers. Apple also revealed that the phones are powered by its new A11 Bionic processor, a powerful chip with six cores—including two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores—and a 30% faster GPU.
Apple also flaunted the new camera technology in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The phones will feature a new in-house designed image signal processor, as well as faster low-light autofocus, a better pixel processor, and multiband noise reduction.
Apple focused on the fact that its news cameras, as well as its A11 Bionic processor, have been optimized for augmented reality. The company teased a few AR-based apps and games, including one of the first online multiplayer games meant to be played in AR, which will work with the new iPhones.
And as many people were expecting, Apple also said that its new phones will feature wireless charging. Apple said that its wireless charging is based on Qi, an open interface standard for inductive charging over distances of up to four centimeters.
Apple said the iPhone 8 will start at $699, while the iPhone 8 Plus will start at $799. Both will come in 64 GB and 256GB models. Preorders will start on September 15, and the phones will be available on September 22. Apple also said iOS11 will be available on September 19.
But there was one more thing…
Just after wrapping up the iPhone 8 announcement, Apple unveiled the iPhone X, which it said was the biggest leap forward in smartphone design since the original iPhone. iPhone X will feature Apple’s new “Super Retina” display, a new standard that includes 2046×1125 resolution and 455 PPI.
The display is edge-to-edge and has no home button. One can simply tap the screen to activate the device and swipe up to access the home screen. Unlocking will utilize Face ID, the company’s new neural network-based facial recognition system.
This facial recognition system is powered by a “True Depth” camera system, which includes an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, a dot projector, and more—all packed into the top area of the device. Apple promised that its system will be able to recognize its user, even in the dark—or if they are wearing a hat, glasses, or have a new hairstyle.
Apple also claimed that there’s just a 1-in-a-million chance of someone fooling Face ID, which compares favorably to the 1-in-50K rate posted by Touch ID. Face ID will work with Apple Pay and third-party applications at release.
Another experience that Apple’s new technology will utilize is called “Animoji.” This new take on the emoji will allow users to control the expressions of emoji characters with their own facial movements.
The iPhone X will sport dual 12MP cameras, which include larger and faster sensors, a new color filter, deeper pixels, and f/1.8 and f/2.4 apertures. This new design will allow 36% more light to come into the lens than with the iPhone 8. The camera’s flash also has four new LEDS, which will help it match outside light better.
On top of all of this, the iPhone X will have two more hours of battery life than the iPhone 7 and will also include Qi wireless charging. The iPhone X will start at $999, with preorders beginning on October 27. The phones will begin shipping on November 3.
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