Apple is set to release three new iPhones, one of which is expected to try and offer impressive value at a lower price point than its flagship. This 6.1-inch iPhone has got fans excited, as rumors suggest it will pack face recognition and a giant display into a respectably-sized phone, with some expecting a price of just $699. The yet unnamed iPhone is has been generally referred to as the iPhone 9.
However, the appearance of a lower-price point doesn’t necessarily mean you should skip over Apple’s other two devices. The company is planning a more premium offering with an $899 5.8-inch device and a $999 6.5-inch iPhone, which is expected to expand on last year’s iPhone X in a big way. While all three may look fairly similar, there’s some key differences that could sway a buyer’s decision.
Here’s a rundown of some of the features the alleged iPhone 9 may be missing:
Will the iPhone 9 Have a Dual Camera?
The new device is expected to follow the iPhone 8 by only offering one rear camera alongside the front-facing camera. Apple first introduced a dual rear camera on the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016, and it later surfaced on the 8 Plus and X models. The arrangement enables features like Portrait Mode, where the background is blurred by sensing the depth information around a subject, and an optical zoom for taking pictures from further away.
The iPhone X has two 12-megapixel cameras, with a wide-angle lens offering an aperture of 1.8 and the telephoto offering an aperture of 2.4. A lower number means more light coming through. The 8 Plus and X are the first to also offer Portrait Lighting, which uses that same depth information to change the lighting around a subject to emulate the effects from a studio.
It’s unclear at this stage what camera specsApple will use in its next lineup, but dropping the second camera means missing out on some of the more unique advancements for photo hounds made over the last few years.
Will the iPhone 9 Have OLED?
The 6.1-inch phone is expected to use LCD screens, like the ones on almost every iPhone since the original. The iPhone X was the first to use OLED — like many other high-end Android phones — boasting a stunning contrast ratio of a million to one, compared to the 8 Plus’ ratio of 1,400 to one. The OLED technology means the phone can switch off individual pixels, so blacks appear truly black.
While the 6.1-inch model is expected to feature slightly thicker bezels than the more expensive OLED devices, reports suggest Apple has worked hard to reduce the bezels compared to other LCD phones. A July report claimed that Japanese firm Nichia has developed a 0.3t LED chip for the device that can use smaller connectors than the standard 0.4t models, meaning the connectors take up around 2-2.5mm instead of the standard 4-4.5mm. If that’s the case, it means Apple has worked to reduce the differences between devices.
Will the iPhone 9 Have 3D Touch?
Rumors suggest Apple may drop the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch technology, found on almost all iPhones since the 6S launched in 2015. The April report claimed Apple may use a thin-film sensor that raises touch panel prices by 15 percent to $26, so removing 3D Touch will help offset the costs.
While pressure sensitivity has made its way to the Mac and Apple Watch lines, it notably never surfaced on the iPad line. The 4-inch iPhone SE, which launched in March 2016 as a cheaper alternative to Apple’s flagships, also lacked the feature.
Will the iPhone 9 Have Wireless Charging?
The rumor mill has thrown out a number of vague predictions over the past months, some of which seem unlikely to surface. Ming Chi-Kuo’s December 2017 prediction that the 6.1-inch device would use a metal back seems to have been refuted by recent leaks, suggesting the phone will indeed receive wireless charging. Kuo also claimed that 6.1-inch phone would lack the stacked motherboard from the more expensive devices, meaning less room for battery space.
Ultimately, the only way to know for sure what’s coming in this year’s devices are to wait for Apple’s official announcement, which is expected to come in the fall.