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It’s that time again: Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are unveiled

By Sara Barker
Wed 13 Sep 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The newest additions to the iPhone family have been unveiled today, and it seems that the iPhone has stepped up its game in the ever-competitive smartphone market.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come wrapped in an aluminium shell (in your choice of space grey, silver or gold) and durable glass house an A11 bionic chip – Apple says it’s the most powerful chip included in a smartphone so far.

That chip houses a six-core CPU. In translation: Apple says it’s faster and able to multitask for users while providing the same level of battery life.

“iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are a new generation of iPhone that improve on everything we love about iPhone,” comments Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“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,” he says.

As Schiller mentioned, the iPhone 8 has taken a major leap towards augmented reality optimisation through individual camera calibration, plus new gyroscopes and accelerometers for accurate motion tracking.

The A11 Bionic chip can handle AR functions thrown at it such as world tracking, scene recognition and 60fps graphics. According to Apple, the Bionic chip works with an Apple-designed GPU that can provide 30% faster graphics performance than previous generations.

For those who like to dabble in iOS development, the ARKit enables developers to use the phone’s camera to create games that ‘go beyond the screen’.

iPhone cameras have also had a makeover, bringing both up to the 12 megapixel mark. The front camera has a bigger sensor (quite possibly the most important factor in any smartphone camera), an Apple-designed image signal processor and an improved autofocus in low light.

Of course, cameras wouldn’t be cameras without arty lighting effects: the iPhone 8 introduces new lighting effects and depth-of-field through five different lighting styles.

Apple says the camera delivers the ‘highest quality video capture ever’ in a smartphone. It can record 4K video at 60fps. If you like slow-motion, the camera can record 1080p at 240fps. With 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.  

Retina displays have featured on a few Apple products in the past – this time the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina HD displays comes with True Tone in order to make the white balance just that little bit more natural. The phone’s speakers have also received an upgrade.

Apple has also progressed along the wireless charging route, as long as you have the right accessories.

Those accessories can be wireless charging mats, or the up-and-coming AirPower wireless charging device (expected to launch next year).

Lucky customers in New Zealand and Australia will be able to order the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus from Friday September 15. They're officially expected to hit the shelves on Friday September 22.

The  iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available in space grey, silver and an all-new gold finish in increased 64GB and 256GB capacity models starting at Recommended Retail Price NZ$1249 for iPhone 8 and starting at RRP NZ$1449 for iPhone 8 Plus. You can buy them from Apple’s website, Apple Authorised resellers and selected carriers.

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