Apple iPhone 8 Plus
- Wireless charging
- Speedy performance
- Impressive dual camera
- Solid battery life
- Design remains familiar
- Not entirely comfortable to hold
- Not as water resistant
As with the previous two iPhone generations, the iPhone 8 has a big sibling - the iPhone 8 Plus. But is the iPhone 8 Plus a vast improvement over the iPhone 7 Plus? Design-wise, no, but I'll delve a little further into what makes the pricey iPhone 8 Plus worth your dollar.
First thing's first: the design of the iPhone 8 Plus. Like its smaller sibling, the iPhone 8 Plus now sports a glass back, created specifically for powerful wireless charging, though it offers a surface easier for gripping. Additionally, the phone now can be purchased in one of three colors - silver, black, and gold. Otherwise, expect the "same old" with the iPhone 8 Plus as you would with the iPhone 7 Plus - rounded edges, camera humps, and lightning ports. What you should also expect is IP67 water resistance and the lack of a headphone jack. All in all, it's best to think of the iPhone 8 Plus' design as a continuation of familiarity, of comfort.
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As for the display, the iPhone 8 Plus sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display complete with a 1080p resolution, which is no improvement from the iPhone 7 Plus. However, Apple implemented True Tone into the iPhone 8 Plus, which relies on an ambient light sensor to determine your current lighting conditions. Depending on the conditions, the sensor balances whites and colors for not only a better visual appearance but also for relaxation for the eyes.
And what of the internal hardware? To begin, the iPhone 8 Plus bears 3GB of RAM - 1GB more RAM compared to the original iPhone 8. As for storage? Just like the iPhone 8, the storage for the iPhone 8 Plus begins at 64GB, though a more expensive 256GB option is also available. As far as battery life goes, as long as you're not reliant on heavier tasks throughout the day, the lifespan of the 2,961mAh battery should suit you well. Graphically intensive games and streaming video, on the other hand, will drain the battery rapidly. Compared to Android phones, the iPhone 8 Plus' battery is a little on the disappointing end of the spectrum.
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But what really makes the iPhone 8 Plus shine - like the original iPhone 8 - is the Apple A11 Bionic CPU. And it. Is. Powerful. In fact, it is so powerful, that it blows all other phone chips out of the water. For instance, the A11 can fully utilize the Portrait Lighting function, which can algorithmically solve the contours of the face and change the lighting at a dynamic level.
Additionally, the A11 Bionic chipset features a whopping six cores - four of the cores focus on the basic functions of the iPhone 8 Plus, while two of the remaining cores concentrate on the heavier tasks, such as photo editing. While you may not notice a difference in speed between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone 7 Plus in ordinary tasks, e.g. checking text messages, you may notice a performance difference when playing graphically-intensive games. However, the chip may be fully utilized down the road as more programs and games take advantage of its power.
So what of the user interface (UI) and operating system? Well, at first glance and even with the iOS 11, you'll see the classic iOS UI. However, when you begin exploring, you'll find bolder text and in-your-face headers. Furthermore, the iOS Control Center appears far different compared to the Control Centers in years' past. You'll find an assortment of settings to toggle through, such as the True Tone display, flashlight, and more.
However, iOS 11 doesn't feature many significant changes. For example, Apple's virtual assistant has been upgraded; Siri sounds like an actual human being. Additionally, Siri is more intelligent. As another significant change, the App Store has received an overhaul. Finally, the iPhone 8 Plus has a new Files app, which brings more customization to file management.
When concerning the camera, the iPhone 8 Plus' 12-megapixel camera captures photos that are more detailed than the photos provided by the Note 8 (in daylight shots, anyway). Like the original iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus features Mobile HDR support - as in, you can play back HDR content, but the iPhone 8 Plus doesn't sport a Mobile HDR screen.
Overall, the iPhone 8 Plus is a really good deal for your dollar. While it is not a significant improvement in terms of visual design, its new A11 chip and its impressive dual camera would be worth the consideration. However, it may also be advisable to save your money for the iPhone X, which will be the new premium model many consumers are clamoring for.