I’m not going to comment on the Watch and TV news from today, just the iPhones because I use an iPhone to take photos. Ok, here goes.
The iPhone 8/8 Plus are a nice upgrade from the 7 models and I can see why they jumped right to 8 and skipped the “s” version. It’s a new design with the glass back and there are too many improvements to warrant keeping the 7 attached to it. Some could argue that Apple could have done that with the 6s but the outside was pretty much identical to the 6. Another example is the 5s and the SE looking the same but the internals are completely different.
So. iPhone 8. Looks nice. The usual “better, stronger, faster” update is always expected, and the display enhancements are very nice with HD Retina and True Tone. I thought the latter would have made it to the 7 series and was somewhat disappointed when it didn’t. The technical enhancements to the camera are good and I’m really looking forward to trying the Portrait Lighting feature. It might just get me taking pictures of people! (Something I rarely do) Wireless charging is neither here nor there for me. I’ve been plugging phones in for years now so I don’t know that I’d call it a “must have” feature.
And now, we know the official name of the 10th anniversary model of the single most popular electronic device ever made. iPhone X, pronounced iPhone 10. I’m glad they didn’t go with the heavily rumoured “Edition” or “Pro” monicker, and we might have even seen the last of the “s” class. I like the new name. It’ll make a neat hashtag with #iPhoneX.
What’s not to like about iPhone X? Well, only two things come to my mind. One is the price. In Canada it starts at $1319 for the 64GB model and jumps to $1529 for 256GB. The second disappointment is what should be right between those two, a 128GB model. But, Apple knows what they’re doing. They’ll make a few extra billion off people (most likely like me) who will want the larger storage option.
Now for the good stuff. What I like about iPhone X is… just about everything else they said about it. It’ll be Space Grey for me since it’s been my colour of choice for Apple stuff since the 5s. I’ve heard concerns about the glass back but my 4s survived the two years I had it (and my aunt still uses it to this day) and the most damage it suffered was a small crack in the corner of the front panel. That was my first iPhone and I’ve learned to hold the them a little tighter over the years.
The display will have the highest pixel density to date for the iPhone and like the 8, will have True Tone, which I’m looking forward to seeing for the first time. It will also have the same Wide Colour Gamut that is present on my MacBook Pro. Before I sold my older MacBook Pro I compared the two displays and wow, what a difference WCG makes. It’s really makes photos pop. And speaking of photos, and photography in general, the camera in iPhone X is what excites me most about the device.
Ok, before I move on to the camera, I simply must mention the new security features of iPhone X. Gone is Touch ID because also gone is the Home button that has been front and centre on every iPhone since the first release ten years ago. The rumour mill was correct when it said Face ID was coming to the X. But what it didn’t know (to my knowledge) was the technology being it, at least not completely. The wow moment for me watching the Keynote was when they said the TrueDepth camera uses over 30,000 invisible dots to draw a depth map of your face. I mean, there is a lot more to it, but I was really blown away with the way this thing recognizes the user and even needs you to be looking at it to work. And it can tell in the dark too. Just very cool tech, period.
The camera. I guess I should say cameras. The TrueDepth camera on the front of iPhone X is taking selfies to a whole new level. It uses computational photography to give a sharp self portrait while blurring the background for a nice artistic feel. A new feature called Portrait Lighting is a real game changer too. Like I mentioned earlier, it might just make me want to take more photos of people. The Stage Lighting section can even blacken out the background of a photo so just the subject is showing, which gives it a real “studio” type of look to it. The 7MP TrueDepth camera is capable of 1080p video and has an aperture of f/2.2.
The rear cameras are 12MP each and both have optical image stabilization. The wide angle has an aperture of f/1.8 and the telephoto is f/2.4, so low light performance with the X should be much better than what I’m used to with my 6s. Shooting 4K video has been ramped up to 60 fps and I’ll be able to take 8MP stills while shooting video.
The sample photos they displayed during the Keynote were very nice, but when I saw them on Apple’s website on my MacBook Pro, they really came to life. I can’t wait to try this thing out. I think it will really reignite my passion for photography, not that I’ve lost it, but I’ll want to explore new avenues and shoot out of my comfort zone.
There will always be those who were underwhelmed by the announcement today. Myself? Since I follow Apple rather closely in the tech news space I knew exactly what they were going to show us, even with the TV and Watch stuff. But I can really appreciate what Apple puts into developing new products. It’s a shame there are so many leaks and I would be just as content listening to the news without hearing any leaks, but that seems to be part of it. I guess all I can do now is wait and hope I don’t have to wait too long after the launch date on November 3rd to get one.