Last week, Apple announced that three new iPhone models will be released this year, bringing the total on the market to eight. Whether you feel spoiled for choice or overwhelmed by that number, New Atlas is comparing the specs for all available models, from the budget iPhone SE to the bank-busting iPhone X, as well as the basic and Plus models of the iPhone 6s, 7 and 8.
The iPhone's basic form factor hasn't evolved much in recent years. Between the 6s and the 8, the basic models have stayed steady on about 138 mm tall and 67 mm wide, with the Plus models usually about 20 mm taller and 10 mm wider. The iPhone X occupies a strange middle ground, while the SE is the baby of the family at just 123.8 x 58.6 mm.
The iPhone's weight has yo-yoed over the years, from the SE's petite 123 g to the beefy 200 g of the 8 Plus.
The iPhone color palette hasn't changed much from the usual variations on gold, silver, black and gray.
With the launch of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, Apple has done away with the aluminum unibody in favor of glass front and back, ringed with stainless steel on the X and aluminum on the 8 and 8 Plus.
Apple introduced water resistance with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. With a rating of IP67, the later phones can shake off a splash of rain and withstand being immersed in water to a depth of 1 m for up to 30 minutes.
The last three generations of iPhone have all had the same screen sizes: 4.7 in for the basic models and 5.5 in for the Plus. The compact SE has only a 4 in screen, while the iPhone X boasts a big 5.8 in display.
Resolution has also remained mostly unchanged over the years. The basic iPhones have all sported an unconventional resolution that's closer to 720p, while the Plus models upgrade that to 1080p. Bookending those, the SE limbos under the HD bar, while the iPhone X cranks things up to over 2K resolution.
With the iPhone X, Apple has switched over to an OLED display for the first time, leaving behind its traditional IPS LCD format. This move should give the screen deeper blacks and brighter colors.
To squeeze a bigger screen onto a smaller phone, Apple has done away with bezels for the iPhone X.
Another casualty of the iPhone X's larger screen is the home button, which has been on every iPhone since day one. To return to the home menu, users will need to swipe up on any screen.
With the home button gone, the iPhone X also loses the fingerprint scanner. Face ID is the new Touch ID.
In lieu of unlocking the device with a scan of your finger, the iPhone X now features a detailed facial scan and recognition system, which Apple calls Face ID.
Apple updates its processors every generation. The latest chip, dubbed A11 Bionic, powers the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, and packs extra grunt in the form of a dedicated GPU.
Apple doesn't normally specify exactly how much RAM its devices are packing, but consensus has it that the iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus and X sport 3 GB. That's not as much as you'd find in most competitor's phones, but Apple has a knack for doing more out of less in that department.
The latest generation doubles both storage tiers of the earlier models, with 64 GB coming standard and the option of an insane 256 GB – for a price.
Most major phones from the likes of Samsung, LG, Nokia et al feature MicroSD card slots to expand their onboard storage capacity, but Apple never has and doesn't show any signs of changing.
Like RAM, Apple doesn't like to publicly put a mAh label on its devices' battery capacities, but it's hard to keep secrets in the tech world. Instead, it compares its new devices to its old ones: the iPhone X will supposedly last two hours longer than the iPhone 7, which in turn lasts 2 hours longer than the 6s.
Somewhat controversially, last year Apple ditched the 3.5 mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The company claimed this was to allow for water resistance – although Samsung's devices have pulled off the feat of having both for years. Whatever the reason, headphones now need to be connected either via Bluetooth or through a Lightning adapter.
The new generation of iPhones can be fast-charged using a separate adapter, refilling 50 percent of the battery in 30 minutes.
These newest iPhones can also be charged wirelessly. Again, that's through the use of yet another accessory, purchased separately.
The main camera has remained steady on 12 MP for the last few generations, with improvements being gradually made to stabilization, shoot modes, and lens arrangements. The front-facing camera has seen a more dramatic evolution, from a paltry 1.2 MP on the SE to 7 MP in the last two iterations, and a new TrueDepth 3D camera on the iPhone X allowing for detailed face scans.
Rear camera aperture
The main camera has also seen a slight hardware upgrade, with wider apertures on the iPhone 7 and up allowing for better low-light and close-up photography.
Apple has included 3D Touch on all of its iPhones since the 6s, which allows users to select different functions according to how much pressure they apply to the screen.
Although they may have originally launched with older versions of Apple's proprietary operating system, all iPhone models you can buy today come preloaded with the latest version, iOS 11, out of the box.
Siri isn't going anywhere, and as of iOS 11 Apple's versatile assistant can now be activated while the phone is locked, by simply saying "Hey Siri."
All of the currently-available iPhones feature Apple Pay, allowing users to make purchases by tapping their device to a terminal in a growing number of stores and merchants around the world.
Apple releases its new flagship iPhones in September every year, with special editions following at different times. The SE came out in March 2016, while the iPhone X is due for release in November this year, two months after the 8 and 8 Plus.
As much of a cliché as it sounds, there really is an iPhone for every budget. Prices run the full gamut from US$349 for the basic-but-dependable iPhone SE, right up to $1,149 for the premium iPhone X.
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