Apple in 2017 launched three new iPhones for Apple fans. While the limelight of the September event at Apple Park was taken away by the iPhone X(Ten), the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus took the backseat. But having said that make no mistake, the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are not just mere upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that were launched last year. Even we made assumptions based on initial use that the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus don't make the cut for all the hype around it, but once we started using them, things turned out to be pretty different. This time around Apple has offered the new iPhones in just two storage option variants of 64GB and 256GB. This makes things a little awkward for people who were just getting used to 128GB storage on their phones. The iPhone 8 is priced at Rs 64,000 (64GB) and Rs 77,000 (256GB), while the iPhone 8 Plus comes with a price tag of Rs 73,000 (64GB) and Rs 86,000 (256GB). That is a lot, but considering that the iPhone 7 Plus 256GB was retailing at Rs 92,000 last year, this year they have got a price cut at the start. We have been using the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus for over a month now and here's our review of why you should go for one and also who should be upgrading their iPhones. Read on.
Watch: Review Apple iPhone 8 & 8 Plus | News18 Tech
What is Cool?
The new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are also performance oriented iPhones. Apple rolled out iOS 11 for all the iPhone this year and people have been facing difficulties adapting to the new iOS on their iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Even some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus users have reported that their phones are slowing down and also the battery life has gone substantially down. That is usually the case with new operating system updates even on Android phones. The iOS 11 is an operating system that is power hungry with so animations and various new features. The iOS 11 does make the old iPhone just like new, but users will be missing out on many features on their older iPhones. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is made for iOS 11. That's also because the new A11 Bionic processor that Apple uses in them can take on the iOS 11 with ease. The new processor comes with a six-core, 64-bit architecture that has four efficiency cores and two performance cores. There is also a Neural engine and an embedded M11 motion coprocessor. This makes the running of iOS 11 and its functions smooth on the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Gaming and multitasking are a cakewalk for the new iPhones and also the battery management system is pretty good. The iPhone 8 with its tiny 1825 mAh battery lasts a day and the iPhone 8 Plus lasts a little more than that. The new processor also comes in handy for Augmented reality apps and usage on the iPhone 8 Plus. Apple also claims that a new, second-generation performance controller can harness all six cores simultaneously, delivering up to 70 percent greater performance for multi-threaded workloads, giving customers more power while providing the same great battery life. That is seen and felt when you are using the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
The cameras on iPhone 8 Plus are custom tuned for an AR experience. Each camera is individually calibrated, with new gyroscopes and accelerometers for accurate motion tracking. The A11 Bionic CPU handles world tracking, scene recognition and the GPU enables incredible graphics at 60fps, while the image signal processor does real-time lighting estimation. The iPhone 8 Plus comes with a 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras with the wide-angle lens that has a ƒ/1.8 aperture and a Telephoto lens that has a ƒ/2.8 aperture. This also gives users an optical zoom capability as well as a digital zoom capability up to 10x. Just like the iPhone 7 Plus the iPhone 8 Plus comes with a Portrait mode, but what's new here the Portrait Lighting (beta) mode. This helps you adjust the lighting of your subject while clicking the bokeh effect images of them. As the Portrait lighting mode is still in beta right now there are some kinks in it when it comes to staging lighting and stage lighting mono effects. Those should get sorted out with upcoming updates, but for now, the lighting has to be good for the iPhone 8 plus to make out precise points of the subject while clicking in Portrait lighting for Stage lighting and stage mono lighting effect. The iPhone 8, however, comes with a similar single 12-megapixel camera with f/1.8 aperture that was seen on the iPhone 7. And yes, it does not do Portrait modes. The new camera also delivers the highest quality video capture ever in a smartphone with better video stabilisation, 4K video up to 60fps and 1080p slo-mo up to 240fps. The Apple-designed video encoder provides real-time image and motion analysis for optimal quality video. With iOS 11, both iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus support HEIF and HEVC for up to two times compression and storage for twice the photos and videos. The image quality has definitely improved by leaps and bound on the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus when compared to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
Watch: Apple iPhone 8 Plus Review | 3 Reasons To Buy & 2 To Skip It | Ft. The Unbiased Blog
There is a stark improvement on the low-light image taking capability of the new iPhones as well. The cameras on both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come with Optical Image Stabilisation, a six‑element lens, Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync, Panorama (up to 63 megapixels), Sapphire crystal lens cover, Backside illumination sensor, Hybrid IR filter, Autofocus with Focus Pixels, Tap to focus with Focus Pixels, Live Photos with stabilisation, Wide colour capture for photos and Live Photos, Improved local tone mapping, Body and face detection, Exposure control, Noise reduction, Auto HDR for photos, Auto image stabilisation, Burst mode, Timer mode and Photo geotagging. Since the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are also Splash, Water and Dust Resistant and are IP67 certified, you can click images and record videos underwater as well. We won't advise that for long durations though. The iPhone 8 Plus is a better bet on the camera as you'll love checking out some amazing Augmented Reality apps on the iPhone 8 Plus like, Night Sky, Insight Heart, Tamadog and LightSpace. AR is the way ahead especially for phones with Dual-camera, as we all knew a dual-camera setup can be more useful than just taking bokeh effect images. When it comes to the front camera the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus comes with a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera that is capable of 1080p HD video recording. It also comes with a Retina Flash, a ƒ/2.2 aperture and a Wide colour capture for photos and Live Photos.
One of the biggest things that were missing from the iPhone ecosystem for quite some time was wireless charging. The new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus now support Qi wireless charging docks. Apple will launch their own AirPower sometime next year, but for now, you can wirelessly charge the new iPhones. And yes, the wireless charging does work with a back cover on.
What's Not So Cool?
There is not much to complain about the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus here. The biggest disadvantage we feel is that in terms of looks it's starkly similar to the older iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Also, in India, people love to have fancy back covers for their iPhones, and once you do that, it's difficult for one to differ whether you are using the latest iPhone or an older model. As iPhones are also associated with class and a bit of show-off this might not solve the purpose for many users in India.
Another thing that needs a bit of improvement is the battery life on the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It lasts almost as much as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus of last year. Android phones have been able to bump up battery life in the past couple of years to an average charge lasting a day and a half. Apple's new iPhones still struggle in that department.
The new Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are both wonderful and seamless smartphones to have. Apple has again proved why they are the best when it comes to an intuitive user experience and offering something better than the others with similar advantages in terms of hardware. Many will complain that Apple is repackaging their features and offering them as new, but use it once and you'll know what you missed on your old iPhone. Yes, they are expensive and that's because once you buy one, you really don't have to scout for a phone every three months. So, in terms of economic and purely ease of mind, we would like to buy just one phone a year or two than changing a device every three months. That's the reason why you should buy an iPhone.
Who Should Buy an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus?
Users who are looking to buy their first iPhone can choose either depending on what fits their budget. Both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will make them happy. Apple iPhone users looking to upgrade from an iPhone 6S and 6S Plus or older devices should consider the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Users who are on an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus should wait for the iPhone X, in our opinion that makes for a far more better upgrade than the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. iPhone 7 or 7 Plus users should only go for the iPhone 8 Plus if they want to experience Augmented Reality experience. As for the people who produce video content for YouTube and Social Networks, the iPhone 8 Plus is a must have as it is more rugged than the iPhone X.
Watch: Apple iPhone X First Look