And what about the iPhone 8 Plus?

by Volker Weber

iPhone8Plus iPhone8 water

I am an iPhone Plus user. I like the large display and the dual camera. I can tolerate the huge size, since it also has a larger battery than the smaller model. I find the regular iPhone easier to handle, but it has neither of these features. If you have an iPhone 6S Plus or a 7 Plus, there is no immediate need to upgrade to an 8 Plus, but there are some interesting differences to look at.

The size is almost identical, the buttons are in the same place, the existing cases should work. Almost means that the iPhone 8 is a fifth of a millimeter larger in all three dimensions, and the weight goes up from 188 to 202 grams. The glass back enables wireless charging with Qi chargers. This works with all existing Qi chargers and also works when the iPhone is inside a (non metallic) case. There are no black options anymore, you only get silver, gold and space grey. The space grey one has a black front, the other two are white. I have a strong preference for the silver/white body, just like I do with the iPhone X.

The most interesting difference to me is the new camera. It's still 12 MP, but the sensor is larger, and the new A11 Bionic chip has new capabilities. You can now record 4k with 24, 30 or 60 fps, where the iPhone 7 Plus only had 30 fps. Slow motion videos can now be recorded in 1080p with 120 or 240 fps, where the 7 Plus had to reduce to 720p for 240 fps, which isn't good enough. I only ever used 1080p/120fps.

When shooting photos, the 8 Plus has two new tricks. It can now use slow sync flash, which means it keeps the shutter open longer and uses a strobe light for a more even illumination. With a quick flash you can't capture as much of the background as you can do with a slow sync. Finally, to complement Portrait Mode, Apple releases Portrait Lighting in beta for the 8 Plus. Both modes are only available in the dual camera models.

iPhone 8 Plus adds a True Tone Display like the iPad Pros have. It adjust white balance to the ambient light. If you put an iPhone 7 next to an iPad Pro you can see a big difference under artificial light. While the iPad Pro looks normal, the iPhone display is blue-ish. With the iPhone 8 Plus Apple now also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10. That means much more colorful videos, that you would probably be enjoying more on larger displays.

Finally, the 6-core A11 Bionic chip is as fast as a current MacBook Pro. We don't know yet what we can do with that much power. All we know today is that this new iPhone generation leaves everything else in the dust. There is no competing product with this level of performance.

Comments

I am not sure if I should go for the 8 Plus or the X.

Fingerprint recognition works perfectly and facial recognition does not look like an advantage to me.

Maybe I would even miss the bezel on the X?

Maybe I will not like the round edges of the X screen?

Felix Binsack, 2017-09-16

The 8 Plus is the safe bet. You know what you will get.

The X has a larger screen in a much smaller body. I have experienced it in a Samsung S8 and it's very hard to walk away from. I could only do it because the rest is so bad. The S8 has multiple biometrics, and none of them works. Face reco is too easy to fool, iris reco doesn't work most of the time, and the fingerprint reader is in the wrong place.

I expect Face ID to work as well as Touch ID, so you don't have to worry about it. But would you miss the bezels? Perhaps. I cannot remember how often I dropped the S8 while lying down, right in my face. It's hard to not touch the screen if there is so little to hold on to.

Volker Weber, 2017-09-16

I would consider getting the Plus again IF the cameras in the X weren't better than those in the Plus (telephoto f2.4 instead of f2.8 and optically stabilized). The model with the better camera always wins for me, and dual optical stabilization is just too good to pass up.

Fabian Hüster, 2017-09-18

Felix, no offense meant whatsoever. If I would even consider the 8 instead of the ten, I would feel that it was not for me. It is different and Apples first change since a long time. I feel that a big part of the target group is enthusiasts. (Then, aren't they all ;) )

Hubert Stettner, 2017-09-18

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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