What’s new about the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus?

In the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone launch, Apple has unveiled the iPhone X, as well as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Expected to be available by November, the models will provide users with many new and interesting features. We look at what has been announced and what you can expect from the high-end smartphones.

iPhone X

In a move which has bucked the trend of previous iPhone announcements, Apple has skipped the iPhone 9 and created the iPhone X (ten). With consumers looking at a starting price of $999 when it goes on sale in early November, Apple has made several improvements to try to justify the price.

For the first time in 10 years, Apple has changed the core design by removing the home button, which has ushered in new developments in mobile biometric authentication. On older handsets, the home button also read fingerprints, but Touch ID is now no longer an option on the iPhone X. In its place, Apple has introduced ‘Face ID’, which uses physiological biometric data, as the main way to authenticate users. Apple has said it improves security by using 30,000 infra-red dots to authenticate an identity, and that while Touch ID had a one-in-50,000 chance of being unlocked by a stranger, Face ID has a one-in-one million.

The image below broadly demonstrates how the infra-red dots align to authenticate users’ identities.

The facial recognition software also provides users to control facial expressions of new animated emojis (called ‘animojis’) and to pay with Apple Pay.

Apple has also upgraded the screen to an OLED display, producing clearer and highly accurate colors. OLED has already been in use by Samsung and LG, but will likely be a standard feature on all future handsets.

Meanwhile, the iPhone X also introduces the concept of wireless charging, using a magnetic plate within the back of the handset. Again, this is not a fresh concept, having been used in Samsung phones for the past few years.

The processor has been upgraded to an A11 Bionic Chip which Apple claims will run 70% faster than its A10 predecessor and extend the battery life by two hours. While the dual camera system has new 12-megapixel sensors and a new feature called Portrait Mode, which allows users to apply a series of studio style effects to the image before a photo is taken.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

Alongside the iPhone X announcement, Apple also unveiled two other handsets – the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Following a familiar pattern of updating the previous models (iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus), the new phones will be a slightly cheaper offering, coming in three different colors and sporting a glass back which allows wireless charging.

Unlike the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will not have the physiological biometric features such as Face ID. Nor will it have the all-screen display. But both models will have the A11 Bionic chip, advertised as a big step forward for augmented reality capabilities and improved screens with Apple’s True Tone feature.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will also keep the traditional home button, so users can still use their fingerprint to unlock their phone or make purchases. Lastly, the phones add the Portrait mode featured in the iPhone X.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s latest offering?