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Apple unveils futuristic Rs 89,000 iPhone X alongside iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 13 September 2017, 1:55 IST
(https://twitter.com/DhruvBhutani/status/907676991729684482Josh Edelson/AFP)

"I love hearing his voice and his inspiring message," Apple CEO Tim Cook said as he took to the stage at Apple’s fall event in Cupertino, California.

"It is the honor of a lifetime to be the first to welcome you to the Steve Jobs Theater,” Cook continued. "We're here today to talk about some incredible products.” And, in keeping with that promise, Apple launched three iPhones, including that tenth anniversary iPhone X everyone is eyeing, at an the company's annual fall event on 12 September.

Alongside the three iPhones  – iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – came the Apple Watch Series 3 and a 4K Apple TV.

While the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were decent enough upgrades, the iPhone X has underwhelmed most people who bothered to tune in to the live stream.

The Apple Watch Series 3 comes with LTE that has been seen on other smartwatches before. The true winner of the day, therefore, was the 4K Apple TV.

Apple iPhone X

“We do have... one more thing," said Cook, echoing Steve Jobs words from events in the past. "Our teams have been hard at work for years on something that is important to all of us: the future of the smartphone." The iPhone X is the biggest leap since the original iPhone back in 2007 and was their secret weapon at today’s launch.

With an edge-to-edge display (similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8), a buttonless face (where’s my home button gone?) and glass on the front and back, the iPhone X is remarkably different from iPhones in the past, but not from the competition.

There is an all new Super Retina Display - 2436 x 1125 resolution, 5.8-inch diagonal with 458 ppi - on the iPhone X. “"The level of quality and responsiveness and efficiency is a breakthrough in mobile displays”, says Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing. "The first OLED display great enough to be in an iPhone." It has True Tone display technology, just like in the Apple iPhone 8.

Side note: Those OLED displays are made by none other than Samsung.

There is no home button on the iPhone X, just like the Samsung Galaxy S8. One can just tap on the screen to wake up the iPhone X. There’s a new way to unlock an iPhone, called Face ID. Face ID replaces Touch ID, the home button sensor that enabled you to login with your fingerprint ever since 2013’s iPhone 5S. “Users can wake the phone by swiping up from the button instead of hitting the button”.

Apple built a dedicated neural engine – that’s based on a dual-core custom chip design – so that it can process face recognition in real time.

The iPhone X has dual 12-megapixel rear cameras that are equipped with optical image stabilisation on both lenses. Apple says that the sensors are both larger and faster than previous generations. The front camera gets the new Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting mode. This might be a gamechanger and make the front camera more important than the rear camera.

The front camera gets the new Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting mode. This might be a gamechanger and make the front camera more important than the rear camera.

The iPhone X lasts two hours longer than the iPhone 8.

The phone, like the iPhone 8, is water and dust resistant. Comes in two colours, space grey and silver. iPhone X 64GB comes in at $999. Pre-order on 27 October and ships 3 November. Also a 256GB version.

So, will there just not be an iPhone 9 or what?

Who is the target audience for the iPhone 10? Just some of the questions out there that many people will be having post the Apple event.

Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are almost exactly similar to previous models, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus still touts 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays respectively with a new retina HD display. It has true tone technology and adapts to ambient light and offers more accurate colours.

The design of the phones is new. What that means is glass on the front and back. “The glass is the most durable ever in a smartphone,” said Schiller.

The iPhone 8 still has a single camera, while the iPhone 8 Plus has a dual camera setup. The iPhone 8 has a new 12-megapixel sensor that is larger, faster, and comes with optical image stabilisation.

The camera works better in low light conditions and has noise reduction technology. The two sensors on the back of the iPhone 8 Plus are f1.8 and f2.8 apertures and are brighter than the iPhone 7 Plus.

The dual cameras on the iPhone 8 Plus come with the new "Portrait Lighting” feature that adjusts the lighting for portrait shots.

The speakers are 25 percent louder, with deeper bass. Underneath the hood, it has an all new A11 Bionic chip. The iPhone 8 is being touted as the first smartphone designed for augmented reality. The cameras are calibrated for AR and there is a new gyroscope and accelerometer for better motion tracking.

“The future is wireless”, Schiller insists. Accordingly, the iPhone 8 has LTE Advanced, Bluetooth 5.0. and a glass back that supports wireless charging that uses the Qi standard.

These two phones will be water and dust resistant. It will come in three colours, silver, space grey, and gold. iPhone 8 64GB will retail at $699. There will also be  a 256GB version.

iPhone 8 Plus comes in at $799 for 64GB variant, and also a 256GB version. No pricing details yet on the 256GB variants. Preorders start on 15 September and will be arriving on 22 September. iOS 11 will begin on 19 September.

India pricing for iPhones

In India, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be available starting 29 September. The iPhone 8 64GB will retail at Rs 64,000 and the 256GB version at Rs 77,000.

The iPhone 8 Plus 64GB variant comes in at Rs 73,000 while the 256GB model is priced at Rs 86,000.

The iPhone X 64GB comes in at a whopping 89,000. The 256 variant comes in at over a lakh. It will retail for Rs 1,02,000.

Apple TV 4K

Tim Cook officially announced the Apple TV 4K right before inviting Eddy Cue, senior vice president of internet software and services on stage to talk about “two big advancements in picture quality”.

First being 4K which has four times the number of pixels as HD. Second being high dynamic range (HDR). “If 4K is about more pixels, HDR is about better pixels,” Cue says.

The Apple TV 4K has the A10X fusion chip, the same seen inside the new iPad Pro. It’s twice as fast and graphics are four times as fast. It runs TV OS.

4K Apple starts at $179 for 32GB version and $199 for 64GB variant.

Apple Watch Series 3

"Apple Watch is designed to help people stay active and motivated so they can have a better day,” says Cook. The Apple Watch has always been more of a fitness device than an extended smartphone and this is continuing with Apple Watch Series 3. Since Series 2 launched,

Apple Watch has experienced a 50% year-on-year growth. Apple Watch is also the number one watch (with 97% customer satisfaction) in the world as of September, 2017, beating out the likes of Rolex, Fossil, Omega and Cartier. There is reason to be cautious here as Apple doesn’t disclose sales numbers for the smartwatch.

The two biggest announcements from the new Apple Watch 3 are built in cellular data and Siri! Apple Watch Series 3 is cutting the cord from the iPhone. It’s now independent.

Siri is now available on the Apple Watch! “It's 70% faster, Siri is quicker than ever, and can talk,” Jeff Williams, chief operating officer said.

 

Series 3 is much faster, has GPS and cellular built-in. It’s swimproof (no LTE smartwatch before it is) and has an all-day battery life (18 hours across mix of LTE and WiFi, Bluetooth).

Apple Watch Series 3 will retail for $329 for the non-Cellular version and $399 for the Cellular version. Series 2 has been discontinued while Series 1 gets a price cut to $249. It’ll be available starting 22 September.

First published: 13 September 2017, 1:55 IST
 
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.

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