At long last the Apple iPhone 8 is here and with it comes the bigger sibling in the iPhone 8 Plus. But this year it’s so much more than just a bump in size, this is the bridge to the top-end iPhone X.
While the iPhone 8 Plus has a larger screen than the iPhone 8, it’s still not as big or advanced as the iPhone X. But the power, cameras and more are built to a higher standard. So is the iPhone 8 Plus the ideal middle ground for the perfect new iPhone range? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: Design
The iPhone 8 Plus uses aerospace grade 7000 series aluminium alloy for the metal frame surrounding the phone's edge, with glass now covering both the front and back of the body. It uses a seven-layer colour finish and Apple claims it's the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone. It comes in three hues: silver, Space Grey and a new gold finish that sits somewhere between the gold and rose gold hues offered up by last year's iPhone 7 Plus.
The 8 Plus is also sealed for water and dust resistance with IP67 certification. The speakers have also received a boost and now offer deeper bass than before along with 25 percent greater overall volume.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: Screen
The screen on the iPhone 8 Plus is a 5.5-inch LCD True Tone display with 3D Touch. That is a Retina HD Plus display, meaning a 1920x1080 resolution which, on that size of screen delivers 401ppi. It's almost the same as last year's phone, save for the addition of its True Tone tech, something first seen on the original iPad Pro, which adjusts screen colour temperature based on the light quality in the surrounding environment.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: Cameras
The iPhone 8 Plus' primary snapper packs dual 12-megapixel sensors that offer a wider colour gamut, improved sharpness and less noise than ever. That should also mean better low light photography and enhanced natural bokeh or background blur.
Portrait Mode lighting is a beta mode offering that lets you compose a photo that uses a depth map to establish which parts of the shot are the subject and which are background. It can then change the lighting on a face to create the best possible shot. You can even go into the app after taking it and adjust the lighting if you want to.
Video mode is enhanced too with an Apple-designed video encoder for faster frame rates and higher quality images. Real-time analysis allows for optimisation of the video as you shoot in up to 4K at 60fps. There is also 240fps slow-motion for 1080p Full HD resolution, doubling the previous efforts.
Augmented reality is also covered now with hardware and software built for AR. That means low-light shots at 60fps with individually calibrated cameras - ideal for motion tracking. The new A11 Bionic chip also helps with real-time light analysis and more.
Thanks to the new image signal processor there is also better pixel processing for sharpness and texture, not to mention hardware-enabled noise reduction.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: Performance
The new A11 Bionic chip is a jump forward thanks to its six-core 64-bit setup. It's 25 percent faster than the A10 if you look at the two performance cores and 70 percent faster when it comes to the high-efficiency cores. This is all backed by an Apple-designed GPU for 3D apps and games using the Metal 2 framework.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: Battery and wireless charging
Wireless charging has finally reached the iPhone. The iPhone 8 Plus can be placed on a charging plate to get the battery back to full power without the need to fiddle with a cable. This not only means being on a charging plate at home or in a coffee shop but also in a car.
The iPhone 8 Plus will use the Qi charging standard. Since Apple is now onboard this already popular platform it will likely become the norm meaning lots more places to wirelessly charge in the future, even if you don't own an iPhone.
There is also the new Apple AirPower plate that allows you to charge an iPhone 8/8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 and AirPods (with their new Wireless Charging case) all at once.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: Price and release date
The iPhone 8 Plus comes in 64GB and 256GB versions which cost £799 and £949 respectively. They'll both launch on September 22nd.
Interested in buying the iPhone 8? O2 is already offering it and its bigger brother, the iPhone 8 Plus, on pre-order. Order before midnight on September 21st and you can expect your phone to be delivered as soon as the next day. O2's also throwing in a free screen replacement for those who pick up an 8 or 8 Plus on plans with 20GB of data or more. Existing O2 customers who sign up to selected plans with over 10GB of monthly data will also get another 10GB thrown in for free.