Getting to know the iPhone 8 Plus
The iPhone 8 Plus sees some solid improvements over the iPhone 7 Plus, with major new camera features and super-fast performance. Even with the revolutionary iPhone X hot on its heels, it still holds its own in the iPhone stakes.
- Excellent camera with exciting new features
- Large, vibrant display
- Ultra-fast, efficient performance thanks to the new A11 Bionic chip
- Wireless charging
- Design looks outdated next to the iPhone X
- LCD display doesn’t match up to OLED competitors
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus: in more detail
The larger version of Apple’s September 2017 offering is a great device, and whilst it’s not in the same league as the upcoming iPhone X, it’s still ‘very much worth looking at’, according to TechRadar. Its brilliant camera, superb performance and big, beautiful display make it an excellent choice for Apple fans who don’t want to pay the iPhone X’s hefty price tag. On the surface it may seem like a minor upgrade from the iPhone 7 Plus, but as Stuff pointed out, ‘the steps forward from last year are subtle, but amount to a greater whole’.
Performance and battery
The iPhone 8 Plus is equipped with the new super-fast A11 Bionic chip, a six-core CPU that improves on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus’ superb performance and efficiency across the board.
All that extra power really comes into its own when gaming or exploring the iPhone 8 Plus’ advanced AR capabilities, and whilst it’s probably overkill for most everyday apps, it results in an incredibly slick user experience.
The 8 Plus’ larger size means there’s room for a slightly larger battery compared to the iPhone 8, which is likely to give it a slight advantage in terms of battery life. Apple claims its battery life is around the same as the 7 Plus, which most reviewers agreed could easily last a day on a single charge.
The design of the iPhone 8 Plus is largely similar to the 7 Plus, its most notable difference being an all-new glass back replacing the traditional aluminium.
The glass panel looks premium and makes the phone feel lighter (despite a 14g increase in weight), although some reviewers were concerned it would make the phone more breakable.
The switch to glass isn’t just aesthetic: it enables wireless charging, meaning all you have to do is stick the phone on a charging pad when it’s running low on juice.
The iPhone 8 Plus features a 5.5-inch display, matching the iPhone 7 Plus for screen size and resolution. However, it’s been slightly upgraded from the 7 Plus.
The improvement comes in the form of Apple’s True Tone technology, which uses the phone’s sensors to match screen colour temperature to ambient lighting conditions. The display is bright and sharp, with great colour reproduction, and is easily viewable outdoors.
The camera on the iPhone 8 Plus is one of its standout features, and is the phone’s biggest difference from its smaller sibling, the iPhone 8.
Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the 8 Plus features two 12MP sensors (a step up from the 8’s single-lens setup), and on paper, the specs look the same as those of the 7 Plus. However, the 8 Plus features a larger, faster sensor for quicker shooting and improved low-light photography, a new colour filter for better saturation and automatic HDR.
It reprises the Portrait mode seen on the iPhone 7 Plus, this time with a few additions, and also adds the impressive Portrait Lighting mode, which results in some fantastic effects.
Overall, it’s an excellent camera. Stuff praised it as ‘one of the best smartphone cameras we’ve ever tested’, saying that ‘in good light, pictures are detailed and well-balanced, with impressive dynamic range’. TechRadar said ‘the image quality and detail is exquisite in bright light’.
iOS 11 adds lots of new features to the familiar iOS landscape, so you’ll get plenty of fresh functionality without getting lost.
Apple has focused on machine learning this time around, improving Siri’s artificial intelligence. No longer just a voice assistant, Siri now controls the software too, and is able to recommend music and news stories it thinks you’ll be interested in.
Other new features include a redesigned control centre that lets you access a host of handy options by swiping up from the screen, a file system, screenshot editing functions and new note-taking tools.