Behold the faster, more powerful Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

“No other device in our lifetimes have had the impact on our lives as this,” said Tim Cook, introducing the iPhone segment of tonight’s Apple Event in Cupertino. Promising an improved product in every way, the iPhone 8 skips the “S” model that has been part and parcel of the iPhone family since the 3GS and gone straight to a new figure.

READ NEXT: iPhone 8 Plus review

Of course, it’s faster. Apple is packing the handset with the newly announced A11 Bionic CPU, which the company reckons offers up to 25% more speed in two performance cores, and 70% more on four of them. It also includes the first ever Apple-designed GPU, which Apple estimates will be 30% faster than previous models.

While the screen barely got a mention (so expect more of the same – although it does inherit TrueTone, the ambient light detection tech built into the 10.5in iPad Pro), the stereo speakers are reportedly 25% louder than those found on the iPhone 7, with far deeper bass. That’s a good thing, as the 3.5mm headphone jack isn’t coming back, despite the public mourning at its premature death in 2016.[gallery:0]

The device, we’re told, is made from aerospace-grade aluminium, with glass on front and back reinforced by steel. It’s the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone,” the company said.

READ NEXT: iPhone 8 review

As every leak predicted, Apple has finally joined the world of wireless charging, using the Qi standard employed by most existing handsets – good news for owners of them, as the third-party charging accessories market is about to get a lot more competitive.[gallery:2]

Apple made quite a big deal of the new camera on the handset, but it’s hard to take too much from it based on examples shown on the big screen at the Steve Jobs Theatre. It’s still a 12-megapixel sensor, but Apple boasts it will let in 83% more light helping it capture a lot more detail, and function markedly better in low-light conditions. This will also be somewhat handy for the AR functionality that Apple is pushing with ARKit.

Apple claims this is the first smartphone designed for AR (the Asus Zenfone AR says “hi”), and comes complete with a new gyroscope and accelerometer for better tracking of virtual items in the real world.

We had hoped for a straight conversion from US dollars to pounds (which would have placed the iPhone 8 at around the £526 mark). Unfortunately, UK prices are like-for-like with the US meaning the iPhone 8 will start at £699 for the 64GB model, rising to £849 for the 256GB version. The iPhone 8 Plus will begin at £799 for 64GB and rise to £949 for the 256GB model.

Both will be available from 22 September and will arrive with iOS 11 – which officially launches three days earlier.


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