It’s not so often that two new iPhone models are upstaged at their own launching, but that’s exactly what happened at Apple’s September event this year. The iPhone X has been the star of the show, the cool fresh kid everyone wanted to hang out with, while the iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus were relegated to the use of the designated driver – boring, reliable, the one you know will be there as soon as you’re done partying with your new friends.

That was certainly the case in the hands on area post the launching event at the Steve Jobs Theatre, where everyone stood in line simply to spend some time with the iPhone X, while most iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus units waited for an audience. However, as quickly as it arrived, the trendy new thing was gone, not to be seen again until November. Having noticed the one with all the X-factor, it seems maybe not everyone is excited at that prospect of getting reunited with their ‘boring’ old friends.

You learn to appreciate familiarity over the latest fashion and appreciate the reliability that comes with the tried and tested. Have doubts about Face ID on the iPhone X? Touch ID on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus functions good as always. Can not get your mind round the ‘notch’? No such thing on the ‘normal’ models. It’s this familiarity and reliability which both of these models hope to appeal to, though Apple wouldn’t want the ‘boring’ tag anywhere near the duo, even if we frequently use the word as a compliment.

Let us forget about the iPhone X for a bit and find out how another two fresh iPhone models fare in a world in which their sibling does not exist. Are they compelling enough upgrades in their own right? Let’s find out.

IPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus design and display

From the front, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be practically indistinguishable from their predecessors. Virtually everyone we revealed our review units to started with “Oh, so it looks exactly like the [iPhone] 7” before we asked them to flip them around and consider the all-glass backs. That is right, the iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus are all all-glass on the front and the back, a throwback to the design last seen in the iPhone 4S.

During the couple of weeks that we’ve spent with these phones, we – accidentally, we promise – handled to drop them once each. First, the iPhone 8, face down, from a coffee table, and then the iPhone 8 Plus in the height of approximately four feet. While the iPhone 8 escaped unhurt, its bigger sibling landed on tiles on one of its corners and had a little abrasion to show for it afterwards – a stark reminder as to why most people decide to pay their precious phones in instances. While on the subject, although the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are marginally bigger than their predecessors, we had no difficulty fitting our Apple leather cases from the iPhone 7 along with iPhone 7 Plus onto them. Most existing third-party instances designed for the older iPhone models should fit just fine also.

At 148 grams, the iPhone 8 is the heaviest non-Plus iPhone to date, while the iPhone 8 Plus strikes the 200g mark. The additional weight would be noticeable if you used an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus without a scenario, but if you’re someone who changes your situation quite frequently, you’re likely used to the general weight fluctuating slightly and therefore are unlikely to notice these differences. Still, it’s interesting to find a company obsessed with ‘thin and light’ move in the opposite direction with two of its marquee merchandise.

If showing the world you’ve got the latest and best iPhone (we told you to forget about the iPhone X, then remember?) Is important to you, hiding your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus in a non-transparent case would not be the best idea. As we said earlier, the front is virtually identical to that of the previous generation iPhone models, hence the only visible difference is in the back. From five (not counting the Product Red) color options in the previous generation – Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black, and Jet Black – we’re down to three – Gold, Silver, and Space Grey.

The Gold finish on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus appears like an amalgamation of those Rose Gold and Gold colors seen previously. Silver is essentially white, and Space Grey is black. The latter is the only option that is black on the front, while another two have white bezels, like in previous years. Colours are mostly a personal choice, though we need to say we will miss the Jet Black finish, despite its well-documented tendency to get scuffed up.

The nearly-all-glass body usually means that all iPhone models provide exceptional grip, and are unlikely to slip out of your hands. In the two weeks that we spent with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, we didn’t see any scratches or scuff marks resulting from being put into and removed from pockets, or being stored with different items in our bag.

In the box you get Lightning EarPods, a Lightning to 3.5millimeter jack, a USB Type-A to Lightning cable, and a 5W charger (more on this later), besides the phone itself, and some literature. There’s no Type-C to Lightning cable, which means you cannot directly join Apple’s flagship phone to its flagship laptops without buying additional cables or dongles from Apple or third parties.

There is no change in the size of the displays on the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 8 Plus compared to their predecessors, and, indeed, the displays have the identical resolution, brightness, and contrast ratios as well. OLED and HDR service are earmarked for the iPhone X, hence the sole improvement here is the addition of Authentic Tone functionality.

According to Apple, True Tone technology “utilizes an innovative four‑channel ambient light sensor to subtly adjust the white balance onscreen to match the colour temperature of the light around you.” If that seems like a heap of jargon, we are here to help. In simple terms, like recent iPad Pro models, additional detectors present in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus may detect the quality of light around you, and the phone can tweak the display’s white balance to match. This is designed to reduce eye strain and make objects on screen look “as natural as on a printed page”.

In terms of real-world experience, perhaps the most significant word in the previous paragraph is “subtly”. The presence of True Tone – a setting that is turned on by default, but may be switched off if you truly care about colour accuracy – is unlikely to be noticed by most users. The effect is somewhat as dramatic as turning on Night Shift, which alters the tone of this display and cuts blue light emission to decrease eye strain in a really visible manner, and was introduced in iOS 9.3. Most consumers probably even will not notice (which, as Apple will inform you, is a good thing) True Tone’s impact until they watch their phone side by side with one which does not possess the setting enabled.

You will no longer find the Auto-Brightness option under Display settings. Turned on by default, this option is instead available under Display Accommodations in Accessibility settings, a hint by Apple that most users shouldn’t bother toggling it in an everyday basis. IOS 11 even warns you that turning auto brightness off might have an impact on battery life.

The auto-brightness toggle (right) is currently found under Accessibility options

IPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus performance and software

While the iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus might not look very different from the outside, there are big changes on the inside. All three new iPhone models – fine, we promise no reminders which the iPhone X exists following this – are powered by Apple’s brand new A11 Bionic chip. In our review of this iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus we noticed how Apple has established itself as a leader in the mobile SoC space, and how the two phones were streets ahead of their competition in terms of raw performance in the time of their release. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus continue this tradition, and in certain ways kick things up a notch higher.

The Apple A10 Fusion inside the previous-generation iPhone models was a quad-core chip with two high-performance cores and two energy-efficient ones, but only one pair could be active at a time. The A11 Bionic, on the other hand, has six cores – four more efficient cores that are up to 70 percent faster than ones on the A10, and 2 performance cores which are up to 25 percent faster – making it Apple’s first hexa-core chip. More importantly, the A11 is capable of running all six at the same time.

In the Geekbench multi-core test, by way of instance, the iPhone 8 Plus scored more than 55 percent higher than the OnePlus 5, the phone that had scored the highest before now, and approximately 75 percent higher than the iPhone 7 Plus. In actuality, its Geekbench multi-core rating of 10,386 is higher compared to the many laptops out there.

For the first time, an iOS device comes with an Apple-designed GPU. Given the CPU performance lead that Apple established with the A-series by moving chip design in-house, we will be closely watching what the firm has to offer in this department. The A11 Bionic includes a new Apple‑designed three‑core integrated GPU that delivers a ‘paltry’ 30 percent performance gain over the A10 Fusion.

All this power means that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus can handle everything you throw at them with ease. Everyday tasks are smooth, and everything feels extremely eloquent, especially on the smaller iPhone. We experienced a couple of niggles during the initial days of our review period, but the iOS 11.0.1 update appears to have addressed all of these. We’ve covered iOS 11 in depth elsewhere on Gadgets 360, thus we won’t replicate ourselves here, but talk about a few other interesting new features instead.

Perhaps the first thing that you will notice when setting up your new iPhone is that you now have the option to use Quick Start to, well, quickly set up your device. Just hold your brand new iPhone (or iPad running iOS 11) next to a different current iOS device, and then ‘pairing’ the two, a number of your settings like your Apple ID are automatically transferred to the new one. Remember that this measure just copies a number of the settings from the old device to the new one – you still have to choose whether you want to restore data and apps from an iCloud/ iTunes backup or place this device up as fresh. In our experience, Quick Start saved a few steps during the setup process, and the post-restore experience was not that different in contrast to some ‘routine’ restore from an iCloud backup. We still had to enter passwords and set up email accounts, etc, in third-party programs.

Apple says the cameras on the new iPhone models are “individually calibrated” with fresh gyroscopes and accelerometers to enable more accurate motion tracking compared to older iPhone models. The A11 Bionic chip is faster at things like world tracking and scene recognition, and the newest image signal processor (ISP) is capable of real-time lighting estimation when using AR programs.

Regrettably, iOS 11 does little to improve the experience of using first-party apps in India: Apple Maps is still practically useless here and does not even have basic navigation features, even as Apple is adding lane guidance and more in different regions. This means other apps’ features like Calendar’s ‘time to leave’ alerts for meetings don’t work either. There’s also no sign of Apple Pay, even as rival Samsung’s payment service can be used at virtually every point of sale in the country.

Though Apple doesn’t officially state the total amount of RAM which iOS devices ship with, third-party teardowns and grade apps have shown that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have 2GB and 3GB of RAM respectively, figures that are identical to those of their predecessors. What is new, and also a welcome change, is the amount of storage that you get on the foundation model.

At this point you get 64GB of storage to the entry-level iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus (in comparison to 32GB earlier), and the only step up is to 256GB. What this signifies is that not only has Apple reduced the number of colors the latest iPhone models are available in from five (ignoring Product Red) to 3, but the number of storage variants has also gone down from three to two, reducing the total amount of SKUs across the lineup from a whopping 30 (5x3x2) to a more manageable 12 (3x2x2).

The entrance price of the flagship iPhone lineup has gone up as well – $50 in the usa and Rs. 4,000 if you compare the iPhone 8’s launch price with this equivalent iPhone 7 a year past, though it’s worth reminding our readers that MRP of the 32GB iPhone 7 was reduced to Rs. 56,100 after launch, so in ways the Rs. 64,000 price tag of this 64GB iPhone 8 is Rs. 8,000 higher than that of its predecessor. Apple says that the increase was necessary as its input prices have gone up, a claim that may have some merit as global RAM and flash storage prices have been on the rise recently. Rival Samsung has also launched its flagship smartphones at higher price points this season, so Apple is certainly not alone in this respect.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus equally had stereo speakers, as do the newest models. Apple says the new speakers are up to 25 percent more rapid and deliver deeper bass, a claim we discovered to be accurate during our testing. Like their predecessors, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, which means that they can be submerged in depths of 1 metre or less for up to 30 minutes, however, like before, Apple’s warranty will not cover liquid damage.

IPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus battery life and wireless charging

The glass back of this iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus is not simply a design component, it empowers an important characteristic: wireless charging. Apple has adopted the Qi industry standard of wireless charging, which means that although the new iPhone models don’t ship with a wireless charger, it is possible to pick up one of the many third-party Qi-compatible ones on the market. The likes of Samsung have supported this standard for a while, so we finally live in a world in which the same charger may top up both the iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8.

If you’re a newcomer to the world of wireless charging, you want to bear in mind a couple of points: first, it’s not actually ‘wireless’. Most wireless charging mechanisms involve a plate of some kind where you can just put your phone and have it begin charging without plugging in any wires, but the plate itself needs to be attached to a socket via a wire or a adapter. Secondly, though there have been improvements in the technology recently, wireless charging is still painfully slow.

Apple gave us a 7.5W Belkin wireless charger to test this feature on the new iPhone models with, and it took 24 minutes to move the battery on the iPhone 8 Plus from 20 per cent to 30 percent. Apple’s bundled 5W wired adapter billed the same phone from 20 percent to 36 percent in the same time. IPhone models have supported faster charging – using an iPad’s 10W charger, for example – for a while, so it’s baffling why Apple continues to ship such a low-power charger in the box.

The iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus encourage much faster charging using USB Type-C, however you will need to obtain an expensive power adapter that is compatible with the USB Type-C Power Delivery specification and also a Type-C to Lightning cable just to use this attribute. If you already possess a current (or previous generation) Apple MacBook, then you can use its charger, but you will still need to buy the cable. Using our MacBook Pro’s 78W charger and also a third-party Type-C to Lightning cable, we could top up the battery in our iPhone 8 Plus from 20 per cent to 51 percent in the exact same 24 minutes. Having said this, forking out nearly Rs. 70,000 on a phone and then being expected to spend even more to empower what ought to be standard functionality is classic Apple up-selling that rightly disturbs many.

In terms of battery life, the experience using the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus was similar to this with their predecessors: that the prior will just about handle a day of usage if you don’t do lots of heavy lifting, while the latter will easily get through a day with a juice to spare. In our HD video loop evaluation, the iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus clocked almost 8.5 hours and 9.5 hours respectively.

IPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus cameras

From tiny, grainy images in which we could hardly recognise ourselves to ones which can be printed on a billboard, and movies that view a theatrical release, the phone camera has come a long way in a relatively brief period of time.

For most of this travel, Apple has enjoyed the status of having the best camera phone out there, and the company has obtained plenty of pride in calling the iPhone the hottest camera in the world. But as we have noted in our current iPhone reviews, this has not necessarily been true for the last couple of generations. With tight control of hardware in addition to software, Apple seems to have done just that.

While the camera specifications remain the same in terms of megapixel sounds and aperture sizes, Apple says that the 12-megapixel primary camera has a bigger and faster sensor, a new colour filter, and deeper pixels. As mentioned earlier, the A11 Bionic chip includes a brand-new Apple-designed image signal processor, which, among other things, aims to provide faster autofocus in low light and much better HDR photos.

All this is backed by improvements in the OS level. The iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus encourage that the new High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) container for storing photos and videos respectively, which, Apple says, reduce the total amount of space required from the media by up to 50 percent. This, obviously, means that you can save more photos and videos onto your device and in the cloud. HEVC also enables new capabilities like shooting 4K video in 60fps and 1080p at 240fps.

Technically, HEIF is a new file format, along with your images are no longer stored as JPGs on your phone. But for the most part, you do not need to be worried about this. If You Would like, you could have your phone use JPG/ H.264 by default by going to Settings > Camera > Formats and Choosing Most Compatible, however you will miss out to the space savings and the ability to take If you restore your iPhone from an iOS 10 backup, it might have the Most Compatible option selected by default, which means you will not see the additional video shooting modes. You can safely switch to High Efficiency without any problems if you so desire (we advise that you do).

Put in, how do the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus fare in terms of camera performance in the real world? In daylight, we noticed that the new iPhone models capture the most accurate colours and much more details than the likes of this Galaxy Note 8 and HTC U11. In macro shots, again the phones had the best-in-class colour reproduction, but the amount of detail recorded was just a fraction less than the HTC U11.
Low-light performance Is considerably improved compared to that of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and with great reason. This is one area in which Apple had fallen considerably behind its competitors. While the iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus still don’t quite capture as much detail as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and HTC U11 in low-light conditions, their detectors still manage to perform a good deal better than before. At times, noise is visible when you zoom in, but most people will be perfectly pleased with the results.

We believe The iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus have become at par with the likes of this HTC U11 and Galaxy Note 8, but not significantly better than either in any one factor of still photography other than capturing the most precise colors (which obviously matters a lot). The camera performance of the iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus is identical, although the latter obviously has the ability to utilize up to 2x optical zoom thanks to its additional telephoto lens.

The headline camera Feature of this iPhone 7 Plus was its Portrait Mode, which was enabled in a software update that shipped after the phone’s launch. The iPhone 8 Plus retains and considerably improves on this attribute, and a number of the portraits that we took with it were simply stunning. “DSLR-like” is a marketing term often employed by companies to market their phones, but in this case, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration.

A new feature called Portrait Lighting lets you tweak the light on your face and also in the background after you’ve taken a portrait or in real time while composing your framework, but with mixed results. Like the original Portrait Mode, the way that it performs dependson a whole lot on the background, the matter, as well as the lighting in the frame. Apple is labelling this feature as ‘beta’ and just like Portrait Mode, it must get better in the future thanks to machine learning.

The iPhone was already our favourite phone for shooting videos with, and the If you take a great deal of videos with your phone, you do not need to look past the iPhone 8/ iPhone 8 Plus, with the latter supporting 2x optical zoom in video mode also. We are not into selfies but if you are, the front camera on the new iPhone models packs enough punch to keep you happy.

Best photos are taken with the flash turned away, but we realise most folks leave it on the default ‘auto’ option, which means it inevitably triggers in low-light conditions. Apple says the iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus are fitted with “a brand new quad LED True Tone Flash with Slow Sync” and we tested it against other top-end phones. In our evaluations, we found that although Apple’s flash did not shine the brightest, it did provide the most uniform lighting given the right conditions, without flooding a particular thing or place with light. Apple’s implementation of this ‘selfie flash’ in which the screen becomes the flash also came out trumps during our tests.
You will find several Changes to the Camera program as well. You may no longer toggle HDR from within the program – it’s set to Auto by default (and is designed to kick in once the ISP feels it’s required), but you do have the option to turn it off completely by going to Settings > Camera. Apple has also added several new filters to the program for post (and live) processing of photos, if third-party programs like Instagram are not your thing.

Verdict
Still here? Good, let’s wrap this thing up. Though many have argued that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus feel like ‘S’ updates, our experience shows that in many ways they provide more improvements than the jump in the iPhone 6s to iPhone 7 cycle. The camera improvements are significant, bringing Apple back at the exact same level as the best in the business in some scenarios, while maintaining, or even extending, its direct in others.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are priced at Rs. 64,000 and Rs. 73,000 respectively for the 64GB variants, with a Rs. 13,000 premium on both if you wish to acquire the 256GB variants. Even though there are a couple of different options in this price bracket, the only other phones worth considering at this price point are Samsung’s flagships Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 or the Galaxy S8 along with also the HTC U11, which can be marginally cheaper. If you do not care about the OS, you can pick any one of those devices and safely call yourself the owner of the best smartphone in the world – software and the Note’s S-Pen aside, there is very little to pick between those phones.

In a world where you Can purchase a smartphone that is pretty great on all counts for about a quarter of these prices, we believe flagship smartphones continue to offer an experience that is unmatched, though the amount of individuals who really need this kind of refinement needs to be examined.

If you already have An iPhone and money is no object, you can upgrade to the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus and be extremely happy, but you would probably want to wait for the iPhone X to get much larger bragging rights.

The cameras will be The best cause of owners of recent iPhone models to update, as well as the A11 Bionic chip and wireless charging are welcome additions. But if you’ve got an iPhone 7 (Plus) or even an iPhone 6s (Plus), you have a phone that’s already fast enough for many jobs. Yes, the newest iPhone models will have an edge when it comes to running ARKit apps, but there are no “must-have” uses instances for AR right now. Wireless charging is a convenience which will one day be fast enough to be practical for many occasions, but that day isn’t here yet. And if you truly want, there are ways and means of getting it to work with your existing iPhone too, like by getting a situation that supports wireless charging.

If you already possess We’d give the same advice to iPhone 6s line owners that are delighted with their phone – if it ain’t broke, don’t go bankrupt buying an update just for the sake of it. But if you’ve got a previous-generation iPhone that’s starting to feel long in the tooth, you will experience significant gains in most sections by upgrading to the newest iPhone models.

So who would be the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus for, especially in the real world where the prospect of this iPhone X looms large? If you have zero interest in the iPhone X’s design, if you can not get your mind around the idea of the ‘notch’, or can not afford the phone’s crazy price tag, then you can safely consider its siblings without thinking that you are ‘settling’ to an inferior phone. Yes, you will miss out on what looks like a stunning OLED display and other additions like optical image stabilisation on the telephoto lens, but there are plenty of question marks around the iPhone X right now – is Face ID good enough to replace Touch ID?

We will not have answers To these questions until we get the opportunity to test the iPhone X closer to its The iPhone 8 along with iPhone 8 Plus might seem ‘boring’ in comparison, but with their improved cameras, A11 Bionic chip, wireless Charging, and much longer, either one of them could happily be your Designated driver for another few years – or until your head is turned From the new ‘X’ in town.

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