It had long been rumoured that Apple was working on something special for the iPhone's tenth anniversary, and so it's proved: the bezel-free, face-scanning iPhone X is the new premium-level Apple flagship phone, and has been joined by the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus for 2017.
At its traditional September iPhone launch event, Apple revealed not two but three flagship phones. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus are more minor upgrades over the phones we saw last year, while the iPhone X is being billed as Apple's vision of what smartphones will look like in the years ahead.
Let's start with the iPhone X Edition, which is likely to grab most of the headlines, even if the $999 starting price puts off a lot of potential buyers. Following the lead of Samsung and LG, Apple has virtually banished the bezels from the front of the device, adding a 5.8-inch screen with a tiny notch up at the top.
With a resolution of 2436 x 1125 pixels and support for HDR and Dolby Vision, that display really is the star of the show – that's where your money's going, and it's the main selling point of the iPhone X.
The notch at the top houses an array of sensors key to one of the exclusive features on the iPhone X, namely the Face ID system that unlocks your phone with a glance. Apple says it's even more secure than Touch ID, which is handy since the Home button has been banished in favor of that huge display (you get to your usual grid of apps with a swipe up instead).
Around the back there's a dual-lens 12MP camera, vertically aligned, to produce photos and videos that Apple says are sharper and better than ever. The iPhone 8 Plus also gets a dual-lens 12MP camera, but in the standard horizontal alignment.
All three new phones are fitted with Apple's powerful new A11 Bionic chip, and some extra camera trickery to better support the ARKit augmented reality apps coming down the line with iOS 11. Also new this year is support for wireless charging, again a new feature on all three iPhones unveiled today.
All of these phones will come with iOS 11 on board, which brings with it a slightly smarter Siri, a new Files app, a cleaner App Store, and a revamped Control Center. As we've mentioned, it also introduces Apple's new ARKit for developers, enabling a host of neat augmented reality tricks inside apps, like measuring your living room for new furniture and fighting dinosaurs on your coffee table.
Aside from the rather dramatic change in looks and substantial screen upgrade for the iPhone X, there's not a huge amount to choose between these three phones. All three get the upgraded internals, the wireless charging, the augmented reality capabilities, and different levels of camera upgrades.
The storage options are 64 GB and 256 GB across the board, with the iPhone 8 starting at $699, the iPhone 8 Plus at $799, and the iPhone X at $999, as we mentioned above. It looks like stock of the iPhone X could be quite scarce – preorders start from October 27 (compared with September 15 for the regular iPhones), with a release date of November 3 (compared with September 22).
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