Smartphones

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is here aaand it’s just another boring update

The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus are now a real thing. Apple lived up to the expectations of launching not two, but three iPhones this year. True, they are only playing the second fiddle in front of the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus are the best choice you’ll make if the exorbitantly priced iPhone X isn’t your thing. Before we begin, know that the iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus is starting from a whopping Rs 64,000 in India.

Tim Cook started the presentation by highlighting all the technologies and features that made the iPhone a stalwart in the consumer electronics

Retina display, Siri, Facetime, Touch ID and more.

The most important thing that is new about the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus is the silicon inside. The phones are powered by the new Apple A11 Bionic chip that is manufactured on the 10nm process. There are 4.3 billion transistors, 6 cores out which two are high performance and two high efficiency cores. And it gets 30 per cent faster GPU. More than that, Apple has a new image signal processor with faster low light autofocus, better pixel processing and for the first, hardware-enabled noise reduction.

The design is more or less the same as the previous iPhones but Apple now uses glass enclosed in a aluminium alloy with the glass layered with steel reinforcements. They are also water and dust resistant. The new iPhones are now available in White, Space Grey and Gold colours.

The iPhone 8 gets the 4.7-inch Retina display while the iPhone 8 Plus gets the larger 5.5-inch panel, same as last year. But they now support TrueTone technology with the cinema wide colour gamut.

The camera also makes some improvement over that of their predecessors. The iPhone 8 Plus brings back the twin 12-megapixel cameras with a wide angle and telephoto lens combination that provides 2X of optical zoom and the ubiquitous portrait mode. The lenses in the 8 Plus now has increased aperture to f/1.8 and f/2.8. The 8 Plus uses the depth mode now to select different sorts of lighting effects. Machine learning analyses the lighting of the photo and optimises.

The iPhone 8 sticks with the single 12-megapixel sensor. There is now optical image stabilisation. And it uses machine learning to calibrate the lighting in the photo.

Both phones now have 240fps video recording at 1080p resolution and has motion tracking.

But here’s the biggest deal. The cameras are calibrated for augmented reality. Even the A11 Bionic chip is also optimised for AR. Apple demonstrated an app that superimposes information on a sky map in real time.

Moving on to AR, Apple also demonstrated some uses of the ARkit. A new tabletop game for instance where friends can play a fantasy game using their iPhones on a table. But there’s more than just visuals here. AR games can leverage spatial audio with sound occlusion from digital objects using ARkit and the iPhone’s loudspeakers.

It doesn’t end here. The iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus now has wireless charging. About time, we say. To sell the feature to users, Apple painted a world with wireless chargers everywhere. It supports Qi Wireless Charging standard. Partners like Belkin, Mophie and more are coming with the wireless charging pads.

The 64GB iPhone 8 is priced at $699 while the iPhone 6 Plus starts from $799. There is also a 256GB variant but Apple didn’t disclose the price.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will begin from September 15 and will be available from September 22nd. In India, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will start shipping from September 29th.