For those who missed it, the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were also launched minutes before the iPhone X last week. Even as the latter stole most of the thunder, we all know the best sellers for Apple in the coming months will be the iPhone 8 series, though it can no longer claim to be the Apple flagship. It remains to be seen how much of iPhone 8’s thunder the iPhone X manages to steal, but the former has enough to interest Apple fans and woo new users.
Having used the Apple iPhone 8 Plus for a few days, I attempt to answer some questions people have been asking me about these new phones.
What is really new in the Apple iPhone 8 Plus?
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus ushers in a significant design change in Apple’s scheme of things. So this phone has a glass back instead of the metal body in the iPhone 7 for instance. That is also why the series has been changed to 8 and the phone is not called iPhone 7s. The glass back enables the iPhone 8 series to switch to wireless charging and this is a big move for Apple. The iPhone 8 is also powered by the A11 Bionic chip which has six cores, two for high performance and the rest of efficiency.
What is the best feature?
Having moved from an Apple iPhone 7 Plus, there is a clear improvement in power on the iPhone 8 Plus. Everything is a bit faster, quicker and smoother. It helps that the new phone is running iOS 11, which will be rolled out to consumers from this week. For me, the best feature is the camera which is way faster and responsive than the iPhone 7 Plus. While I loved the iPhone 7 Plus dual camera, the 8 clearly does a better job as it is a generation ahead.
Apple’s additions to the portrait mode make it fun to use, though I think the studio lighting option still needs a lot of tweaking before it gets to being flawless. Still, it is a fun feature to have, and works better on still objects that people who tend to move around a bit.
How good is fast charging?
This is a really convenient feature to have, but it won’t kill the wall charger anytime soon. You will be carrying that in your bag for when you need to charge from a power bank or in a hotel lobby. I tested the Qi wireless charging of the Apple iPhone 8 Plus using the Belkin Boost Up charger. The experience was seamless as the phone starts charging the second it is placed on the pad.
It is good the wireless charging works even with the leather and silicone covers on. It seems to take the same time as regular charging. However, the charger is an added cost of $59.99 (the India prices have not been unveiled yet), and I am not sure how many people will actually see the value in it initially.
Who should upgrade to the Apple iPhone 8 Plus?
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus upgrade does not make much sense for those using an iPhone 7 Plus because you already have a decent dual camera and processing. However, for those on the iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 6 Plus, the upgrade will be significant. For this reason, I recommend the Apple iPhone 8 Plus for those on anything before the Apple iPhone 7. For those who are already bored of their year-old iPhone 7 Plus, I would recommend the iPhone X when it hits the market in November.