As if one new iPhone wasn’t enough, here’s an update to the existing line, with the X’s smarts at a lower price
The dazzle coming off the iPhone X might outshine iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, but don’t ignore them, because they look like great phones, starting at £699 for 8 and £799 for the 8 Plus.
They’ve got the power of the new A11 Bionic chip, wireless charging and upgraded 12MP cameras that let in 83% more light (same as the X). As with the 7 models, the 8 Plus’ dual camera is the real gem, because it works with the new Portrait Lighting feature (though only one lens features optical stabilisation, unlike the X, where both do).
The design is similar to previous iPhones, with the back curving into the hand, allowing it to feel as premium as the cost suggests – they may be cheaper than the X, but they’re still flagship phones. The build has shifted slightly, though, and we now have a glass back, which allows for wireless charging. It feels a little less robust than metal, but you’ll be able to juice up your phone more conveniently.
The glass back means there’s not as much of a curve as before, with a slight join between the glass and the metal frame. It’s still recognisably an iPhone, of course.
It feels nice in the hand, but it’s still a struggle to get your finger the whole way across the Plus-sized phone – the iPhone X is so much more usable despite having a larger screen, because it’s taller and thinner. The 4.7-inch iPhone 8 is more usable, but we tend to prefer the 8 Plus because it offers extra battery life and the better camera.
display déjÀ vu
Sadly, the screen on the 8 models isn’t obviously upgraded from the 7 models. Well, we say ‘sadly’, but the screen from last year on the Plus was a Full HD 5.5-inch display that was clear and crisp, and didn’t rob the battery of power just to pack in the pixels. The smaller 8 has a less sharp 1136x640 screen, which is a bit weak at this price, though it’s bright, with gorgeous colours.
There is one key tweak to the screen, though, which is True Tone support (also on the X), where the screen’s colour temperature changes to match the lighting in the room you’re in. We absolutely love it, and going back to regular screens feels cold and nasty.
There are also stereo speakers which are up to 25% louder than the 7 models, with richer bass.
It’s hard to shake the feeling that the iPhone 8 Plus is the option for the iPhone 6S Plus upgrader who doesn’t want the expensive iPhone X, which is definitely unfair. This is the best iPhone on the market for those who don’t want to spend silly money, and support for the most advanced features such as Portrait Lighting is fantastic.