APPLEiPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available to pre-order on Friday September 15th
Apple unveiled two new smartphones during its media event at the Steve Jobs Theatre yesterday.
Dubbed iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the new handsets are iterative updates to last year's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
The new smartphones sport a similar design to their predecessors, albeit with a glass back.
Apple claims this glass is the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone”, which should allay any fears for buyers with butterfingers.
The new handsets ship in three finishes – Space Grey, Silver and Gold.
Apple says it uses a seven-layer colour process for its glass finish, which is colour-matched to the aerospace-grade aluminium bezel.
Both iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are water and dust resistant, rated IP67.
Apple has improved its stereo speakers, which are now 25 percent louder than iPhone 7 and have a deeper bass.
Unfortunately, there is still no headphone port on the new iPhone models, so you'll need headphones with a lightning connector or wireless Bluetooth headphones.
But Apple has debuted a new set of AirPods wireless earphones, which now support wireless charging.
Speaking of, the glass back on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus enable wireless charging with any stand that supports the Qi standard.
Apple will introduce its own charging pad, dubbed AirPower, which can charge your iPhone X, AirPods and Apple Watch Series 3 on a single stand next year.
The iPhone 8 range also sees some updates to the Retina HD display.
Both handsets still support 3D Touch, but now include True Tone, which seamlessly adapts the temperature of the display to the ambient light, as well.
The display on the iPhone 8 also supports the cinema grade wide colour, which Apple says offers the best colour accuracy in the industry.
Powering all this new technology is the A11 Bionic.
APPLEThe new iPhone models have improved Retina HD displays with True Tone technology
This six-core CPU design includes two performance cores that are 25 percent faster and four efficiency cores that are 70 percent faster than last year’s A10 Fusion.
A new, second-generation performance controller can harness all six cores simultaneously, delivering up to 70 percent greater performance for multi-threaded workloads, giving customers more power while providing the same great battery life.
A11 Bionic also integrates an Apple-designed GPU with a three-core design that delivers up to 30 percent faster graphics performance than the previous generation.
Apple says this power enables incredible new machine learning, AR apps and immersive 3D games.
Apple has also improved the cameras on the new iPhone handsets.
Optical Image Stabilisation, OIS, is now included in the iPhone 8 – something that was reserved for the larger 5.5inch model since the iPhone 6 Plus.
Slow motion has been dramatically improved on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – which now clocks in at 1080p 240 fps, almost double the previous quality.
Thanks to iOS 11, both iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus support HEIF and HEVC for up to two times compression and storage for twice the photos and videos.
APPLEiPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus supports wireless charging over the Qi standard
The LED flash has also seen more improvements.
Apple says its new quad LED True Tone Flash with Slow Sync results in more uniformly lit backgrounds and foregrounds.
The iPhone 8 Plus’ dual rear camera now supports Portrait Lighting, which uses depth-mapping to add studio lighting effects to your photographs.
Users can cycle between the lighting effects after the photo is taken, creating an entirely new feel to the portrait pictures.
Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller said: “iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are a new generation of iPhone that improve on everything we love about iPhone.
“iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have new glass and aluminium designs, new Retina HD displays and A11 Bionic — the smartest chip ever in a smartphone.
“Packed with more advanced cameras with Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting, and the highest quality video capture in a smartphone, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus enable the freedom of wireless charging, all with AR optimisation like no phone ever before.”
When is the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus available to pre-order?
Both models are available to pre-order from 8:01am on Friday September 15th.
Those abroad should check the Apple Store at 12:01am US Pacific Time, US Central Time 2:01am, Canada (Toronto) 3:01am, Central European Time 9:01am, Australia 3:01pm, and Japan (Tokyo) 4:01pm.
Customers can place a pre-order for the new iPhone models via the Apple Store website, or within the iOS app.
Orders can be reserved for pick-up in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, or posted to home addresses, on Friday September 22nd.
Apple will charge £699 for the entry-level iPhone 8, which ships with 64GB of storage. The 256GB model costs £849.
iPhone 8 Plus starts from £799 for its 64GB configuration. The 256GB model costs £949.
It’s also possible to order the flagship smartphones via the US technology company’s iPhone Upgrade Programme.
This enables customers to pay for their iPhone in monthly instalments, starting from £33.56 a month for iPhone 8, and £38.35 a month for iPhone 8 Plus.
Those on the iPhone Upgrade Programme are eligible to upgrade to the latest hardware every year.
Apple debuted the scheme in the UK last September alongside the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which means these phone owners are now eligible to trade-in their year-old devices for the latest hardware.
As well as Apple’s own online and high street retail stores, the new iPhone models will also be available from every major UK mobile network.