SINGAPORE: Tech giant Apple early Wednesday (Sep 13) announced a slew of new offerings for MacHeads and iPhone fans, including what it called the “future of the smartphone” – the iPhone X.
As rumoured, the new iPhone X does away with the Home button and can be unlocked with facial recognition technology. Its all-glass exterior is the biggest departure from Apple’s stable of iPhones released over the past 10 years. Here are five things you need to know about the Apple event:
Surprise, the iPhone X is pronounced “iPhone 10”, although at US$999, some might call it iPhone Ex (for Expensive). In Singapore, the iPhone X will retail at S$1,648, with pre-orders from Oct 27 at 3.01pm.
The iPhone X has:
- A bezel-less 5.8-inch OLED, Super Retina display (the iPhone 7 Plus display is 5.5-inch)
- All-glass front and back
- Face ID where you can just unlock the phone just by looking at the TrueDepth camera and then swiping up. You can even use it for Apple Pay
- No Home button – if you have ever struggled with a Home button that has become less sensitive or even stuck, you might appreciate this
- Wireless charging and a battery that lasts two hours longer than an iPhone 7
- Dual 12MP cameras
- A11 Bionic chip – the “smartest chip ever in a smartphone”, capable of 600 billion operations per second
- Augmented reality (AR) features
Goes on sale Oct 27, ships Nov 3.
iPHONE 8 and 8 PLUS
No word on the iPhone 9 which presumably sits between the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, but the iPhone 8 Plus itself packs a punch and is pretty close to the iPhone 10 minus Face ID and the lack of a Home button.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have:
- All-glass front and back
- Wireless charging using the Qi standard
- A 12MP camera with a larger, faster sensor than the iPhone 7 for the iPhone 8 and wide-angle and telephone 12MP cameras on the back of the iPhone 8 Plus
- A11 Bionic chip and the three-core Graphics Processing Unit is up to 30 per cent faster than the A10 Fusion, Apple says
- AR features
The iPhone 8 Plus will retail at S$1,308 and the iPhone 8 at S$1,148 in Singapore. Pre-orders for both models begin from Sep 15 at 3.01pm, and they will hit shelves on Sep 22.
iPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY JUST GOT BETTER
By the time we reach the iPhone 15, lugging a DSLR around for pro-looking photos might be a thing of the past. Consider the Portrait Mode introduced in the iPhone 7 Plus which makes almost anyone seem like an ace photographer.
It is now souped-up on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X with a Portrait Lighting feature that lets you adjust the lighting on your images with options like natural light, studio light and stage light.
The new iPhones can also record 4K videos with a super-smooth 60fps, and 1080p slow-mo footage at 240fps.
WATCH WHO'S CALLING
It was just a matter of time that cellular connectivity was added to the Apple Watch and the Watch Series 3 just does that. Apple COO Jeff Williams demonstrated making a call with the new Watch on stage to one of his colleagues paddle-boarding outdoors, complete with crystal-clear sound.
The new Watch is the same size as the Apple Watch 2 and is just thicker by the equivalent of two sheets of paper on the back. Apple said it could not fit in a nano-SIM but went with an electronic SIM to keep the Watch size similar.
You can even stream songs on the new Apple Watch now that it has data connectivity.
Unfortunately for people in Singapore, the Watch Series 3 will launch here without the celullar option when it goes on sale from Sep 22.
Perhaps the biggest part (quite literally) of the unveiling was the shiny new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California and the new Steve Jobs Theatre nestled within. It is the Apple founder’s vision in full glory – all glass, sleek curves and the embodiment of beauty in simplicity.
In opening the new theatre – the venue of all other major Apple announcements to come - CEO Tim Cook paid tribute to Jobs and his legacy, saying his greatest gift was not a single product, but of Apple itself. “Steve’s vision lives on at Apple Park and everywhere at Apple. Today and always, we honor him,” Cook said.