As the iPhone 8 release date nears, leaks and rumors for the anticipated smartphone are at an all-time high. And while certain specifics remain up in the air, like where in the world Apple has put the TouchID sensor, we’ve recently seen some consistency in terms of the general design of the phone.
Glass back design corroborated by latest iPhone 7s, 7s Plus and iPhone 8 dummy units
Following on from 9to5 Mac post, these latest dummy models (which we believe to accurately represent the design of the real devices) give a sense of what the glass back design will look like for the whole lineup, spanning the 7s, 7s Plus and radically-redesigned OLED model (marketing names unknown). Thanks to Sonny Dickson for passing these along.
It also rebuts some of the rumors we’ve seen circulating that the ‘7s’ phones would have a rear Touch ID sensor; these dummies clearly show that the devices largely resemble the existing iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, albeit with some tweaks like the glass material (which means no antenna bands in sight!). More pictures below …
The physical design of the two LCD devices is largely a repeat of the current generation devices, with the same body size and appearance. The change from aluminum to glass backs is interesting and certainly, freshens up the industrial design (breaking away from the iPhone 6 body first seen in 2014).
However, it is a not fundamental design leap like what the OLED iPhone 8 represents. Pricing and marketing naming is still unclear from the lineup but it seems like these ‘7s’ devices will take the place of the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus price points whilst the OLED phone will be significantly more expensive.
Instead, it seems the driving factor for the switch from aluminum to glass is the addition of ‘wireless’ induction charging to all models in the iPhone lineup. Similar to the Apple Watch, users will be able to charge their iPhones by placing them on a Qi charging pad — instead of plugging in a cable. This pad is expected to be sold as an additional accessory and may not be available at launch.
iPhone 8 may automatically silence notification sounds when you are looking at the screen
The iPhone 8 is widely reported to feature a front-facing 3D sensor which will enable face recognition for automatic to unlock (supposedly replacing the need for Touch ID entirely). Moreover, code references suggest that the new OLED iPhone will be able to use that same sensor to enable even more sophisticated features, like automatically silencing notifications if the user is looking at the screen.
Guilherme Rambo found references to the ‘TLAttentionAwarenessObserver’ class in the HomePod compiled source last night. The existence of as-yet-unused code references in the HomePod firmware (which has already been the source of many discoveries) does not mean that the iPhone 8 will definitely have a feature — Apple often pulls smaller features late in the testing cycle — but it is a big indicator that it could.
In this case, it seems that Apple is considering using the face detection depth sensors on the iPhone 8 to contextually mute the sounds of notification banners when they come in. If the phone detects it has the user’s attention, i.e. the user is looking at the screen, it silences the sound of an incoming notification as it can assume the user will see it on the screen.
If this feature does ship, it will almost certainly be user-configurable so you can choose to always hear notification sounds if you prefer. It’s a cool thing to think about and highlights how the new infrared sensors may be used for more than just biometric authentication.
iPhone 8 dummy unit shows larger display in compact casing, copper finish
As we approach the actual unveiling of the OLED iPhone expected next month, new dummy units based on recent leaks continue to surface showing how the iPhone 8 could look. Ben Miller has shared images of a new iPhone 8 dummy unit with the rumored copper/bronze/gold color while Benjamin Geskin has shared a cleaner looking render of the same color option.
Miller also compares the iPhone 8 dummy unit to the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus to show how the 5.8-inch OLED display will offer more screen real estate without the larger casing. The comparison makes it clear that the OLED iPhone will feature most benefits of the Plus model iPhones with the more manageable casing of the non-Plus model iPhones.
Despite having a top notch for the new camera sensors and speaker cutout, the dramatically reduced bezel that sees most of the top forehead and bottom chin go away makes a huge difference.
Apple is rumored to be limiting color options to black, silver, and gold for all three new iPhones this year, however, and the OLED iPhone would likely ship with a black bezel and not white to create a more seamless look. If that’s true, the design renders shared by Geskin may be a good preview:
While the OLED iPhone is expected to include the new bezel-less design, the new 4.7-inch, and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones are expected to feature a similar design to the current flagship models but with glass backs that work with wireless charging.
Read More: iPhone 9 To Use Samsung’s Manufactured Parts
There’s still confusion
When a phone’s so-called final design leaks, several more usually rush in to affirm or contradict the veracity of said leak.
Today’s leak certainly adds confidence in terms of the front of the phone’s design, though the cases shown off in the same post have us scratching our heads.
In the case shown in the image below, the iPhone 8’s camera array appears to be arranged in a different, slightly more believable manner: two cameras tucked together, flanked by an LED flash and what looks like either a microphone or some sort of AR-aiding sensor.
While it’s tough to tell exactly, this case’s fingerprint location resembles a photo we saw yesterday of supposed iPhone 8 models leaving Foxconn.