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Apple iPhone 8 Plus Preview: Daring, bolder, and prominent

03 October 2017 5

If you are looking for a new iPhone, you will find pretty few choices. From the last couple of years, Apple introduces two new iPhones every year, the elder variant is a phablet with top-tier hardware and giant display whereas the second device is standard iPhone with display below 5-inches. This year Apple not only announce the iterative variants but also they unveiled a special edition variant of iPhone X to celebrate the 10th anniversary of iPhones. The iterative variants are widely available soon after the announcement but the iPhone X release is still a month away.

The iPhone 8 is the standard iPhone with small display and cheapest amongst all other latest iPhones. The iPhone 8 Plus is the latest flagship phablet from Cupertino giant. The device will not only have to compete against rivalries from other manufacturers but also it has to prove its worth of being worthy to upgrade or not. Like always whenever a new smartphone is announced, we compare it against all its competitors, same is the case with the iPhone 8 Plus. We compared it against Galaxy S8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy Note 8. The device is certainly capable to appeal millions but to give our keen readers a good view about its internals and external. We will preview the latest iPhone 8 Plus to answer all queries regarding it.

We are pretty hopeful this preview will certainly help you decide whether you should grab it or not? Also in which departments the iPhone 8 Plus excels where it lacks behind. Without any further ado, let's find out what iPhone 8 Plus bringing on board for its customers.

78.1 x 158.4 x 7.5 mm
5.5 inches - 1920x1080 px
Go to comparison page
Design

Unfortunately, the iPhone 8 Plus isn't bringing brand new design but instead, it's an iterative design which we are witnessing from iPhone 6 onwards. Apple once again sticks to its basic design with solid metal chassis and thick bezels around the display. New Android flagships are bringing the latest design but certainly, it is the most dated iPhone in front of Android pack available in the market.

This year Apple brought change to the rear cover instead of bringing brand new design. Last year aluminum rear is now replaced with a glass. Apple claims it is ‘most durable glass ever on an iPhone.’ No doubt it looks quite strong and also it isn't slippery at all. Usually, smartphones with glass cover are quite a slippered but that's not the case with the iPhone 8 Plus. The device weighs 202g which makes it 50g heavier than recently announced LG V30. It is even heavier than Samsung's giant Galaxy Note 8.

Apple iPhones are known for their finish and we have to admit Apple did a great job here as well by slightly curving the edges to make it an easy device to hold. The chassis is made up of 7000-series aluminum which is pretty strong like always. It is an IP67 certified device which means it can resist under 1 meters deep water for 30 minutes without any damage.

The iPhone 8 Plus available in new Gold, Space Grey, and Silver color. The device is significantly bigger than LG V30 and Galaxy Note 8 despite having the smaller display than both. Due to its large dimensions, it looks a bit dated in front of two aforementioned devices. No doubt Apple-designed iPhone X pretty amazingly but still the company should bring something new as far iPhone 8 Plus is a concern because it still cost higher than Galaxy S8.

Display

As I mentioned above the iPhone 8 Plus took design queues from predecessor but the company tried to bring refinements in few areas, fortunately, the display is also one of them. The new iPhone 8 Plus is bringing similar display what we have seen in the last year iPhone 7 Plus. The IPS LCD display of 5.5-inches is on board, however, it features True Tone tech which Apple introduced with the iPad Pro 9.7-inches. This tech adjusts the display temperature according to the environment. For instance, if you are using your device in the low-lit room the device will automatically reduce the blue tones of the panel.

Though most of you consider it as a minor tweak this feature is quite beneficial as you don't have to worry about balancing the display. The device supports HDR content but it won't be so rich like the iPhone X. You can still watch HDR content from iTunes and Netflix on your iPhone 8 Plus.

Although the viewing angles are not as great as OLED still they are bright enough to provide the good bright display in both direct sunlight and low-light conditions.

Hardware

Like always, Apple introduced a new chipset with new iPhones, same is the case with the iPhone 8. Apple introduced A11 Bionic chipset which is undoubtedly one of the most powerful chipsets available in the market. The A11 Bionic performance put the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 to shame. It's a Hexa-core SoC accompanied with 3GB RAM. The base variant built-in storage is 64GB whereas the top of the line variant storage is 256GB. The built-in internal storage isn't expandable via MicroSD, so we will recommend choosing memory option wisely at the time of purchase.

The first four cores are low-power cores whereas the other two cores are high-power cores. In Geekbench 4 multi-core test the device managed to score 10,262 points which are almost double than most of the Android flagships available in the market. The iPhone 7 Plus was still one of the fastest smartphones in the market until Apple introduced iPhone 8 lineup. The boost under the hood for iPhone 8 Plus is far more than the predecessor, it won't only enhances the speed but also it will be pretty fast in handling hi-fi AR games without any glitch. The Bionic part of the latest chipset boosts the device dual cameras Portrait Lighting feature.

The AR games built using Apple AR Kit runs pretty smoothly even on iPhone 6S but the iPhone 8 Plus certainly brings an extra hit of oomph. Now we can expect developers will further enhance the intensity of AR games to get the full benefit of the A11's Bionic part. The stereo speakers on the iPhone 8 Plus are improved to make it one of the best-sounding smartphone available in the market. The iPhone 8 Plus not only Bass is heavier but also its overall volume is pretty higher without any distortion. You can listen to music on this device without connecting Bluetooth headphones/speakers.

Specs iPhone 8 Plus
Display 5.5-Inches
Screen resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Chipset A11 Bionic
RAM 3GB
Storage 64/256GB
Rear camera Dual 12MP lens
Front camera 7MP
Battery 2,675mAh
OS iOS 11
Software

The iPhone 8 Plus is pre-installed with iOS 11 straight out of the box, it is the latest refined version of Apple iOS. You can check out our complete review of what iOS 11 is bringing for your Apple devices. The new iOS brings support for AR, new control center and plenty of other features. Apple shrunk the home and remote apps in fascinating apps and widgets. The control center is customizable for the first time, you can manage whatever you want to add in it.

Apple updated their AI assistant Siri with a new voice which is pretty close to the human voice. Unfortunately, there aren't many upgrades under the hood for the Siri. Surprisingly Apple didn't bring a completely overhauled UI but instead, they stick with the older grid design icons. Apple is yet not ready to bring a change in the design of icons. Apple yet not take full benefit of the large display of iPhone 8 Plus and the device still lacks multi-screen feature like Android devices. The Multi-screen allows the user to do multiple tasks at the same time. There are few minor issues os OS on older iPhones as its the latest version, we can expect all issues will be resolved with minor patches in coming days.


Camera

The iPhone 8 Plus is featuring dual 12MP sensors on the rear side. The primary sensor is the wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture and Optical image stabilization whereas the secondary lens is the telephoto sensor with f/2.8 aperture. Thanks to the telephoto lens it can zoom up to 2x without affecting the image quality.

Apple claims the camera sensors on the iPhone 8 Plus are rebuilt with the larger aperture and also their capturing speed is pretty fast. Not just that Apple also brought a new Image signal processor. The new ISP brings vibrant and more saturated colors that's why images captured using iPhone 8 Plus are more similar to images captured using Galaxy S8 or Pixel XL. We have to admit Apple iPhone 8 Plus rear cameras dynamic range is better than the predecessor.

The iPhone 8 Plus Auto HDR mode is activated by default. Though you can switch it off the process is slightly lengthy now. If you ask whether the new iPhone 8 Plus rear camera results are better than Pixel and Galaxy S8 or not, we will say in some cases iPhone 8 Plus takes lead whereas in few areas Android devices take lead. In daylight conditions, the iPhone 8 Plus results are pretty amazing, more balanced than Galaxy S8 but in low-light conditions the Pixel and Galaxy S8 takes lead.

One of the key aspect of last year iPhone 7 Plus cameras was Portrait mode and this year Apple brought Portrait Lighting feature. This feature allows you to add the desired lighting on your captured images. Apart from these modes, there is a number of modes available for the iPhone 8 Plus users. Unfortunately, the second lens lacks optical image stabilization that's why functionality of this sensor is limited. Up front, the selfie camera is the 7MP module which is the same lens we have seen on the predecessor. The iPhone 8 Plus dual rear cameras can record Full HD videos at slow-mo 240fps and 4K videos at 60fps.

Release and price

The Apple iPhone 8 Plus is widely available across the globe. The base variant with 64GB storage can be grabbed for $799 in the US whereas the UK customers will have to pay £799 to purchase this variant. The top of the line variant has 256GB storage which can be purchased for $949. It is still cheaper than the most expensive iPhone X which will be up for pre-orders at $999 later this month. The new iPhone 8 Plus cost $50 higher than predecessor but also it has double storage under the hood.

Battery

Apple didn't reveal any details regarding the battery cell of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus at the announcement. One of the obvious reason is smaller battery cell as opposed to predecessors but Apple claims the new iPhone 8 lineup devices will provide same battery like predecessors thanks to the A11 Bionic chipset which is power efficient and requires less juice to operate.

The iPhone 8 Plus easily last single day on intensive usage. On one hour video streaming the iPhone 8 Plus lost only 8% battery. This year Apple introduced wireless charging feature which isn't new for Samsung fans. The new iPhone 8 Plus supports Qi Charging standard but Apple yet to announce their wireless charging pad. According to Apple, they will be releasing their charging pad AirPower next year.

Apart from wireless charging the iPhone 8 Plus supports fast charging as well but unfortunately, the fast charging accessories are not part of the package but instead the company wants you to pay extra at least $75 to grab USB-C fast charger and cable. It's quite unfortunate to see Apple wants you to spend extra bucks for the fast charging feature which is available for $200 Moto G lineup smartphones.

Conclusion

First thing is everyone's mind is whether you should grab iPhone 8 Plus or not. Overall the new iPhone 8 Plus isn't significantly different from last year iPhone 7 Plus. Without any doubt, Apple key product for this year is iPhone X that's why they put all their focus on the 10th-anniversary special edition device. Upgrade to the iPhone 8 Plus isn't justifiable when you are spending around $799.

All you will get a glass rear, slightly improved camera, new chipset and fast charging which you have to spend $75 more to avail it. The iPhone 8 Plus will attract those who want nothing but an iPhone. However, there are pretty amazing choices at the slightly lower price in Android market including OnePlus 5 and Galaxy S8. You can also wait for the Pixel 2 XL before making any choice. The A11 Bionic chipset and improved camera sensor are worth appreciating but are they worthy enough to grab iPhone 8 Plus or not. Feel free to share your thoughts regarding the latest phablet from Cupertino giant in the comments section. We will be bringing more comparisons and previews in coming days, Stay tuned.

The Apple iPhone 8 Plus is available at Amazon Marketplace for $ 775. To see others 7 offers click here.
(last update 22 September 2018 @ 12:49)

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