Apple Announces iPhone 8, iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3 & Apple TV


Apple fans, get ready to empty your wallets, because today the company announced a slew of new gadgets—including the most expensive iPhone yet. In addition to the expected iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which look a lot like last year’s models, we also have the all-new iPhone X, which features an impressive new edge-to-edge screen. All of these phones are faster than the last generation, with better cameras and wireless charging functionality. iPhone 8 models will be available before the end of the month, with the iPhone X following in November.

That isn’t all: we’re also getting a new Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 3 is the first to feature LTE, which lets you do anything you need even if you leave your phone behind. And, finally, the Apple TV is getting a much-needed 4K upgrade. Like the iPhone 8, the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K will be out before the end of the month. 

Whether you’re buying any new gear or not, software updates are coming soon, too: iOS 11 and watchOS 4 are both due out on September 19.

But that’s just the highlights. Keep reading for all the details on these new devices.

The latest iPhone 8 boosts performance

Apple makes the iPhone more powerful every year, and this year is no exception. The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X all feature the new A11 Bionic chip, which features a six-core processor compared to last year’s four-core processor. Two of these cores are high performance for power demanding apps and games, while the remaining four are high efficiency to handle less demanding tasks while preserving battery life. The high-performance cores are 25% faster than last year’s, while the high-efficiency cores are a full 70% faster. A new Apple-designed GPU handles graphics for 30% faster performance. And if that’s all technobable to you, that’s okay: it just means these new iPhones are a lot faster than the last generation, ready to run 3D games and augmented reality applications.

Improved rear-facing 12MP cameras—one on the iPhone 8 and two on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X—have a new sensor that lets in 83% more light for sharper images, particularly in low light. You’ll also see better color saturation and lower noise, both of which noticeably add to image quality. And as with iPhone 7 models, the dual camera setup of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X can capture pictures you might assume were taken with a high-end DLSR. An updated portrait mode on these models also lets you improve the lighting of faces and backgrounds: and this isn’t done by filter, but by real-time analysis of light on the subject’s face. That means photography studio quality in a simple smartphone snapshot. On the video front, the new iPhone can record in 4K at 60 frames per second, or catch slow motion in 1080p at 240 frames per second.

The iPhone 8 models look similar to the iPhone 7 models, but an updated design is made of aerospace-grade aluminum with a glass front and back—and because it’s the most durable glass ever used on a smartphone (according to Apple), you can worry less about damage (fingerprints, however, are likely). The screen, too, could be mistaken for an iPhone 7’s, but Apple has added True Tone to the Retina HD display, which adjusts color based on ambient lighting so what you see on screen is more true-to-life.

Apple AirPower charging padBut perhaps the most exciting feature is wireless charging, which allows you to set your iPhone down on a charging pad without fiddling with cables. Charging is done through the Qi open wireless charging standard, so you’ll be able to use third party chargers, too. And next year, Apple will be releasing the AirPower charger, a larger charging pad that can charge your iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3, and AirPods (with their new wireless charging case) all at once.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available in silver, space gray, and a new gold color. Storage space on both models has been increased, with a 64GB model and a 256GB model. The iPhone 8 starts at $699 (or $849 for the 256GB model) while the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799 (or $949 for the 256GB model). You can pre-order this Friday, September 15, and the phones will ship on September 22.

The iPhone X redesigns the iPhone

Apple iPhone XWhile the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus improve on last year’s iPhone designs, the iPhone X is all different. Existing iPhones have a large bezel on the top and bottom of the screen to accommodate the front-facing camera and home button, but the iPhone X dedicates every inch of space to its screen, ditching the home button and cutting down on the size of the camera. It has a 5.8″ screen—compared to the 5.5″ screen on iPhone Plus models—but the phone is significantly smaller than the iPhone Plus. The iPhone X is just 5.65″ tall and 2.79″ wide compared to the iPhone Plus at 6.24″ tall and 3.07″ wide. That makes the X just a little bigger than the iPhone 8 while having a lot more screen space. It should be an easier phone to carry, whether you’re trying keep it in a pocket or trying to reach buttons one-handed.

And that screen is pretty impressive. The X has what Apple calls a Super Retina HD display, with 2436 x 1125 resolution at a crisp 458 pixels per inch. It’s the first iPhone with an OLED HDR display (higher resolution variants are already found on some of its competitors, such as the Samsung S8 and the LG G6), which means it’s brighter, with more vibrant colors. You’ll definitely notice the difference in quality between the iPhone X and the iPhone 8.

Ditching the home button means the iPhone X works a little differently. Instead of tapping the home button to wake your phone or return to the home screen, you just swipe up on the screen. (And with swiping up replacing the home button, a swipe down from the upper right will now open the control center.) All in all, the system looks smooth and easy to use, and we don’t think you’ll miss the home button, but we’ll see how that shakes out.