Dan Walker Journalism Scholarships At University Of Sheffield, UK 2018 July 20, 2018

Apple’s latest keynote presentation has come and gone, and with it has come a slew of new mobile devices for hungry consumers to get their hands on. In addition to a new iteration of the company’s smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 3 and a 4K-enabled Apple TV, Apple announced three new smartphones to add to its ever-growing iPhone lineup: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. Confused about the differences between the three, or wondering just which one to get when they’re finally available for purchase? We’ll clear up any foggy details for you.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
In lieu of releasing “S” model refreshes for last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple jumped straight to 8 and introduced the iPhone 8 series. Boasting faster processors, faster GPUs, improved cameras and more, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus appear to offer noticeable improvements over their predecessors.

While under the hood, the iPhone 8 series seems like a hypothetical 7s one, its main differentiator is its new form factor. Built with glass backs, both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are capable of wireless charging. Instead of hassling with tangled cords to power your phone’s battery, you’ll be able to plop your iPhone 8 or 8 Plus on a charging pad and pick it up whenever you’re ready, ala Apple Watch.

Additionally, the 8 Plus arrives with a beta “Portrait Lighting” camera mode, comparable to the Portrait mode found in the iPhone 7 Plus. This feature allows users to add “professional lighting” enhancements to their photos. Apple was quick to dispel any filter comparisons – these lighting tweaks are made using the light already present within a scene. Both phones also possess cameras that allow for the shooting of 4K videos at 60 frames per second and 1080p slo-mo videos at 240 frames per second. On top of that, new augmented reality capabilities expand the possibilities for AR gaming and tools.

All in all, both phones aren’t totally dissimilar from the 7 and 7 Plus. Both lack headphone jacks, both are dust and water resistant and both come in 4.7-inch (the regular 8) and 5.5-inch (the 8 Plus) sizes. A slightly better camera, wireless charging capability and internal upgrades are what make these devices iPhone 8s.

The iPhone 8 is available in three colors (Silver, Gold and Space Grey) and two storage configurations: 32GB for $699 and 128GB for $799. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 Plus is available in 64GB and 128GB options for $799 and $899, respectively. Both will be available for pre-order this Friday, September 15th and will be available for purchase on September 22nd.

iPhone X
Apple ended their event with the unveiling of the iPhone X (pronounced “10”), crafted in celebration of the iPhone’s tenth anniversary. Touted as the “future” of smartphones, the iPhone X features an edge-to-edge, nearly bezel-less AMOLED display (called “Super Retina” by Apple). As opposed to the unibody metal build of the iPhone 7, the X will sport a glass back and a metal frame.

All of the new features and tech improvements introduced alongside the iPhone 8 series will be available with the X. Because of the lack of a home button, however, the X will be missing Touch ID: a staple security feature since the iPhone 5s. To make up for the lack of a fingerprint scanner, the X replaces it with state-of-the-art facial recognition – Face ID. Using infrared and machine learning, Face ID can recognize a user’s face under all sorts of conditions – at night, with glasses and hats on – and even “learns” to identify faces as they change over time. Additionally, Face ID cannot be fooled by photographs or even life-like masks, and Apple claims its security cannot be beat by Touch ID.

If you were confused by the mention of a lack of a home button, yes, it’s true: The iconic button will be making an exit when the iPhone X releases. Instead, users will navigate their phone using a series of gestures. Want to return to your home screen? Simply swipe up from the bottom of your display. Want to access Siri? Just press and hold the phone’s side button.

The iPhone X will be available in two colors: Silver and Space Gray. Those eager for the latest and greatest iPhone will have to shell out at least $999 for the base 64GB model, with a 256GB model available for $1149. The device will go up for pre-order on October 27th and will hit store shelves on November 4th.


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