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Apple's new iPhones are 25% faster than last year's thanks to the A8 chip

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Ah yes: another year, another new iPhone with another new chip at its heart. This year, there are two iPhones -- a 4.7-incher and a 5.5-inch model -- and they're both powered by what Apple's calling a "next-generation" A8 chip. But what can it do for you? Apple's saying it brings a 25 percent speed boost over the iPhone 5s' A7 chip, with a 13 percent size decrease (assuredly helping to keep the duo of iPhone 6 phones so svelte). As much as we like performance, we also like our phones to last longer than five hours -- what does the A8 offer in energy conservation? A 50 percent increase over last year, apparently.

What that actually means in terms of real-life performance is another question -- we'll have to find out when we get our hands on review units in the coming weeks. For now, Apple's offered the following stats: 14 hours of 3G talk time for the 6, and 24 for the Plus; 10 days standby for the 6, 16 for the Plus. It also touts 11 hours of video for the 6, and 14 for the Plus. That's straight from our liveblog as Apple announces new products today in Cupertino, California.

Apple's also boasting of the A8's graphics prowess, enabling better-looking gaming in particular. Epic Games, EA and a variety of others are apparently (still) on board to create games for Apple's devices.

In addition to the A8 inside the new iPhones, an M8 coprocessor handles the usual gamut of sensory readings, and adds a new one: a barometer for elevation. We expect to hear much more about the M8 as Apple speaks to HealthKit and its new Apple Watch wearable.

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