iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus get new guts and cut the cord

I bet you have no idea what Apple released in its latest keynote today. That's right, a new pair of handsets, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Although they slot in under the mighty iPhone X, the sequels to last year's iPhone 7 models bring with them a cadre of enhancements including a new SoC, a refreshed camera setup, and wireless charging.

For us techies, the new A11 Bionic chip is the star of the show. The CPU is a hexa-core setup with two high-performance cores that Apple says are 25% faster than their A10 equivalents, accompanied by four slower cores with a promised 70% boost over their forebears in the previous chips. Apple says the custom-designed GPU in the A11 should be 30% faster than the one in the A10 SoC while using up half the power as its predecessor. There's also a new image signal processor (ISP) for good measure.

That ISP comes in handy for the camera setup in the iPhone 8. Apple says the iPhone 8's camera has a new 12 MP sensor with optical image stabilization, coupled with a quad-LED flash. Sharp-shooters can record video at 4K resolution and 60 FPS, while slow-mo aficionados will appreciate the ability to record 1920x1080 video at 240 FPS. Once again, the iPhone 8 Plus has a two-camera setup. That handset's neatest trick is probably the new "portrait lighting" mode that uses depth sensing to dynamically overlay different lighting on a subject's face. Furthermore, the lighting can also be adjusted in post-processing. The new age of selfies is upon us.

The iPhone 8 has a 4.7" Retina HD display with a resolution of 1334x750 (326 PPI), while the iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5" 1920x1080 screen (works out to 401 PPI). Apple's True Tone software control ensures the displays react to ambient lighting in order to try and maintain a natural appearance, a feature that goes well with the 625 cd/m² of brightness on tap.

Additional niceties in the new phones include stereo speakers, Qi wireless charging (finally!) and support for LTE Advanced and Bluetooth 5. Unlike their predecessors, the iPhone 8s have a glass back instead of aluminum. The multitask-enhanced iOS 11 powers the handsets. The butter-handed among you will be pleased to know that the new phones are both water- and dust-proof.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will arrive in three finishes—silver, black, and gold. Available storage capacities are now 64 GB and 256 GB. The iPhone 8 goes for $699 with 64 GB of storage or $849 for the 256 GB version. The bigger iPhone 8 Plus rings in at $799 with 64 GB of space, while the more capacious 256 GB model will set you back $949. Preorders will begin in September 15, and Apple expects to start shipping handsets in September 22.

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