Are the new iPhones worth the price tag?

Usually 9 comes after 8, but in this case it is an… X? That is what being worth over $700 billion does to a company. Apple once again has changed the game with the release of two new phones, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X.  

The iPhone 8 offers little difference from its predecessor, the iPhone 7, but still has some new features. It adds wireless charging and an even better camera to an all glass, waterproof design as well as a very powerful chip to power the whole thing while still lacking the beloved headphone jack. Apple promises “The most durable glass ever in a smartphone, front and back. A color‑matched, aerospace‑grade aluminum band.”

They tried the all-glass design with the iPhone 4, which led to a lot of shattered glass without an expensive case. Hopefully this design will be different. The waterproof and dust resistant design is not unprecedented but is a nice accompaniment to the new features. The phone also brings a much better retina HD display to the table. It has a wider range of color and a new software to provide better picture quality. When paired with a upgraded 12MP camera and a steady hand, this can lead to some amazing pictures.

The wireless charging still needs a charging pad, which needs to be plugged in, and the phone needs to be in contact with the pad, which makes it much harder to use the phone while it is charging. But it is still a great addition for people who do not want to deal with the hassle of unplugging their phone. The A11 Bionic, the newest and fastest chip ever in a smartphone, powers augmented reality experiences as well as more efficient battery usage. This does not mean longer battery life but that the phone provides more power in the right moments and less when it is not needed.

IOS 11 also released with the new phone and allows for a large expanse of new features, such as paying through messages, sharing things quicker and easier, and redesigned control and notification centers.

The iphone X, Apple’s “second flagship phone” (their words) comes with a new display and a scary new reality; the $1000.00 smartphone is here. Dropping the home button and picking up some new facial recognition, the new iphone is what Apple is claiming to be “the future of smartphones”.

While this may be true, unlike Apple, other companies have been doing edge to edge OLED (organic light emitting diode) smartphones for years now, with the galaxy S8 being a recent example of this in the high end smartphone market. With new features like face ID and and portrait lighting on the front facing camera, the iphone “ten” (yes, it is pronounced ten not “X”) is bringing some new tech to the smartphone game. The issue is that most of the X’s upgrades can already be found on the iphone 8 and most other changes are cosmetic. Sporting the same processor and cameras as the iphone 8 plus, those uninterested in an edge to edge design will be apprehensive about dropping an extra 200 to 300 dollars on what is essentially a flashier iphone 8.

Coming out over a month after the iphone 8, the normal release schedule is being sacrificed to accommodate the iphone X’s new OLED display. Because Samsung, Apple’s greatest competitor, is the only company equipped to produce such a large volume of OLED displays, they basically control the price and availability of the iphone X, the former of which is high and the latter of which is low.

With portrait lighting mode and the same new processor in both phones, the justification behind buying an iPhone X is pretty weak on paper, and it’s delay only further pushes consumers towards the normal iPhone 8. Delayed by a limited supply of OLED screens, the iPhone X is being marketed to a smaller audience by design, with Apple working under the assumption that most people will just buy the iPhone 8. Are Apple’s predictions right or is the consumer hungrier than they expected? We’ll have to wait to find out.

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