Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful

Sure, the iPhone X may be the star attraction of Apple’s 2017 lineup of smartphones however the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus shouldn’t really be ignored as much. The “X” has a better display, has face ID, better cameras and looks very exciting – but it’s also a lot more expensive. However, if you are currently thinking of switching to an iPhone or want to upgrade, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus might just be the answer for you.

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

Both devices are excellent in their own right as they both come with new camera features, faster processors, better performance and wireless charging. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus starts at INR 64,000 and INR 73,000 respectively and even though the two devices may have been overshadowed by the iPhone X, these two can definitely hold their own. 

Design – Familiar and Not So Imaginative 

Apple has basically stuck to the same design language the company has been following since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Both devices lack the headphone jack and are IP67 rated. Both smartphones can survive in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The major difference from their predecessors is a new glass back which also enables wireless charging. From the front, the two devices cannot be differentiated from the iPhone 7 and that is something you’ll have to live with. 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

The colourway on the 2017 iPhones is exactly what the doctor ordered as they do not look metallic and instead give a more glossy yet refined look. The silver looks more of a light grey colour and the gold looks more like beige. Even though Apple has continued to follow the simple and minimalistic design language, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus lacks imagination. For many people, a big motivation to buy a new phone is having something exciting, new and sexy to hold and admire, but for people who are thinking about upgrading to the 8 or 8 Plus, it will essentially look and feel exactly the same as their previous phone.

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

When you first hold the devices in your hand you will instantly notice that they are slightly heavier and thicker than the iPhone 7/7Plus. The additional weight and thickness are not noticeable until you compare it with your old iPhone as the glass and the aluminium are both heavier than before. 

Display 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

Apple has continued the tradition of using a 4.7-inch 1,335 x 750 pixels resolution Retina display (~326ppi) on the iPhone 8, while the larger 8 Plus has a 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution Retina display (~401ppi).

The iPhone 8/8 Plus displays have a DCI-P3 wide colour gamut certified display which is the standard used in Hollywood movies. This basically translates into better and accurate colour reproduction than the sRGB colour range. 

The two devices’ display is bright and can adapt to a variety of lighting conditions. The iPhone uses an IPS LCD screen which makes it comfortable to read for a longer period and game graphics look incredibly detailed. Being an LCD display, it won’t be as sharp as an OLED screen and you can expect some major differences between the iPhone 8/8Plus and the iPhone X. 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

The iPhone 8 also brings True Tone technology over from Apple’s iPad Pro. True Tone dynamically adjusts the white balance of the screen to adapt its colour and intensity to your environment. This is possible thanks to the phone’s ambient light sensors and the gradual shift in colours is the first thing you will notice when you stare at the screen. True Tone is always working in the background and measures the ambient light around you to make diminutive changes so that it is comfortable to view the display. 

Don’t Miss

iOS 11

Part of the reason why the iPhone is highly coveted is the iOS platform and all the features it brings with it. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus run on iOS 11 out of the box and the newly designed operating system is tailored for the two devices. 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

The Control Center is completely re-designed and packs a lot more features than ever before. The new sliders let you adjust volume and brightness more effectively as it feels more “natural.” You can even add more features and options from the settings menu to customise your experience and make things even more accessible. 

The App Store has also been re-designed to give it a more casual look. Once you open the app store you will be shown a ‘Today’ tab where you will find a bunch of apps handpicked by Apple. You will also see a list of apps that are centred around a theme. The new App Store feels easier to browse and also makes it easier for the user to discover new apps. 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

The big new feature on iOS 11 is the inclusion of the AR Kit which incorporates a whole lot of features that cannot be found on many other smartphones. Apple calls it a “cutting-edge platform for developing augmented reality apps for iPhone and iPad” and offers “powerful capabilities for positional tracking and scene understanding.” We tested out a few games and apps that utilise the AR Kit and we can confidently say that Apple’s future looks bright. We could spring up a virtual battlefield and even measure the room using the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’ camera. From what we know, Apple’s AR Kit has huge potential to expand the iOS experience and we will have to wait and see what developers can do with it. 

Top Performing Camera

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are equipped with a new 12-megapixel sensor and even though it might the same resolution as the iPhone 7, the sensors are bigger. The image sensors’ size is of utmost importance as the image quality is directly dependant on it. The bigger the sensor, the better pictures you will take. 

The iPhone 8 Plus has the same dual-camera setup as the 7 Plus that enables it to take Portraits and also have optical zoom. The lenses are very fast as the wide-angle lens has an aperture of f/1.8 (wide angle) and f/2.8 (telephoto). The wide-angle camera lens also has OIS so that the iPhone can take clearer and stable shots. 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

The pictures that we took with the two devices reflected good colours and remained mostly true to life. Retaining detail is the iPhone’s strong suit and it seems to be the case with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as well. When it comes to taking pictures with the zoom on, the iPhone does a great job at keeping the details soft and reduces as much digital noise as possible. HDR shots on the iPhones 8 are also more vibrant; it looks like the iPhones 8 applies a stronger tone curve to the image than on previous iPhones.

If you like to take pictures with the bokeh mode, you will want to buy the iPhone 8 Plus even if you are not a big fan of larger displays. The dual cameras let you take pictures that blur the background and focus on the subject instead. The new Portrait mode also has a “Lighting (Beta)” feature that can create studio lighting. There are five effects i.e. Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light Mono. Here are few samples for you to see the new modes of action:

iPhone 8 Samples 

iPhone 8 Sample images

iPhone 8 Plus Samples

iPhone 8 Plus Sample Images

Audio

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack, the company upgraded the speakers to stereo. The iPhone 8’s speakers are noticeably deeper and also 25% louder than the iPhone 7. Stereo sound on the iPhone is achieved through an additional speaker that is located on top of the phone and under the earpiece. 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

Since there is no headphone jack, you get a pair of EarPods and a Lightning-to-3.5mm jack dongle in the box. If you are an audiophile and listen to music on a regular basis, we recommend you buy yourself a good pair of wireless headphones or be prepared to carry the dongle wherever you go. 

Performance and Battery Life 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus packs some serious punch when it comes to performance and utilising the hardware under the hood. The new A11 Bionic Chip works faster than any processor in the market and it’s partly because the two high-performance cores work in tandem with four high-efficiency cores. The iPhone 8/8 Plus excel in fast navigation between apps and games. It handled top-notch games with high fidelity graphics like ‘Transistor’ and ‘Banner Saga 2’ with ease without ever over-heating the handset. Just because the smartphone might look exactly the iPhone 7, it doesn’t mean it performs the same way. Make no mistake, both devices are powerful and fast.

We ran Geekbench 4, the iPhone 8 managed a single core score of 4,270 and a multi-core score of 10,259. That is faster than any device on the planet. Whatever said and done, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the most powerful phones around and rest assured the smartphone will last longer than any iPhone ever. 

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Familiar Yet Powerful © MensXP

Battery life has always been a concern with iPhones and even though both devices have a smaller battery than its predecessor, it lasts longer than any iPhone. The 8 has a 1,821mAh battery (from 1,960mAh on the 7), while the 8 Plus has a 2,675mAh battery (from 2,900mAh on the 7 Plus). The battery life on the two iPhones is surprisingly amazing and this also a testament to how efficient the A11 Bionic chip really is. 

This is also the first time an Apple device support wireless charging. However, you will need to purchase a separate wireless charging pad in order to use this feature. The iPhone 8/8Plus also supports fast charging, however, you will need to buy a separate USB-C to Lightning cable. 

The Final Say 

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus start at Rs 64,000 and Rs 73,000 respectively and if you are currently looking to upgrade from the iPhone 6/6S, then an upgrade is a no-brainer. Even though the two smartphones have incremental changes, it’s not necessary a bad thing as the smartphone is one of the most powerful devices on the planet. It has a solid camera and efficient enough to last you more than a day.  

If you want an awesome iPhone and don’t necessarily want to shell out INR 89,000 for the iPhone X, this is it.

iPhone 8 Plus Samples

Audio

image 13

Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack, the company upgraded the speakers to stereo. The iPhone 8’s speakers are noticeably deeper and also 25% louder than the iPhone 7. Stereo sound on the iPhone is achieved through an additional speaker that is located on top of the phone and under the earpiece. 

image 14 

Since there is no headphone jack, you get a pair or EarPods and a Lightning-to-3.5mm jack dongle in the box. If you are an audiophile and listen to music on a regular basis, we recommend you buy yourself a good pair of wireless headphones or be prepared to carry the dongle wherever you go. 

Performance and Battery Life 

image 16

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus packs some serious punch when to comes to performance and utilising the hardware under the hood. The new A11 Bionic Chip works faster than any processor in the market and it’s partly because the two high-performance cores work in tandem with four high-efficiency cores. The iPhone 8/8 Plus excel in fast navigation between apps and games. It handled top-notch games with high fidelity graphics like ‘Transistor’ and ‘Banner Saga 2’ with ease without ever over-heating the handset. Just because the smartphone might look exactly the iPhone 7, it doesn’t mean it performs the same way. Make no mistake, both devices are powerful and fast.

We ran Geekbench 4, the iPhone 8 managed a single core score of 4,270 and a multi-core score of 10,259. That is faster than any device on the planet. Whatever said and done, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the most powerful phones around and rest assured the smartphone will last longer than any iPhone ever. 

image 17 

Battery life has always been a concern with iPhones and even though both devices have a smaller battery than its predecessor, it lasts longer than any iPhone. The 8 has a 1,821mAh battery (from 1,960mAh on the 7), while the 8 Plus has a 2,675mAh battery (from 2,900mAh on the 7 Plus). The battery life on the two iPhones is surprisingly amazing and this also a testament to how efficient the A11 Bionic chip really is. 

This is also the first time an Apple device support wireless charging. However, you will need to purchase a separate wireless charging pad in order to use this feature. The iPhone 8/8Plus also supports fast charging, however, you will need to buy a separate USB-C to Lightning cable. 

The Final Say 

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus start at Rs 64,000 and Rs 73,000 respectively and if you are currently looking to upgrade from the iPhone 6/6S, then an upgrade is a no-brainer. Even though the two smartphones have incremental changes, it’s not necessary a bad thing as the smartphone is one of the most powerful devices on the planet. It has a solid camera and efficient enough to last you more than a day.  

If you want an awesome iPhone and don’t necessarily want to shell out INR 89,000 for the iPhone X, this is it. 

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