Apple actually launched three phones during its September special event; the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and the flashy new iPhone X. The X offers the biggest advancement in iPhone design and hardware, arguably ever but unlike its launch siblings isn’t officially available to pre-order until October 27th.
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus: What do you get for your money?
Whilst the iPhone X adopts a distinctive new look, the 8 and 8 Plus sport a more familiar aesthetic, albeit with a few notable changes. Like their predecessors, these new iPhones don’t include a headphone jack but their designs do incorporate IP67 dust and water resistance, and for the first time since the iPhone 4S, adopt glass backs too.
Apple says both phones rock the most durable glass ever used on a smartphone but we’ll believe that claim once people start dropping them. Switching from predominantly metal to glass bodies also means that Apple has been able to integrate wireless charging into both phones, which should up the convenience factor on both considerably.
The company’s new A11 Bionic chip runs the show in both instances too. It packs significantly more power than the previous A10 Fusion processor and, for the first time, leverages a beefier GPU of Apple’s own design. The company’s confident that altogether the new framework won’t just ensure speedy performance but also future-proof both the 8 and 8 Plus with skills in emerging disciplines like augmented reality.
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus: Best UK deals
At the time of writing all the UK’s major networks, plus a handful of the biggest MVNOs have weighed in with pre-order pricing and deals. In traditional Apple fashion, the phones are priced high but they’re at least more approachable than the next-gen iPhone X by a few hundred Pounds.
Both phones come with the same monthly costs and 24-month term, if you’re tempted by BT Mobile’s tariffs. Existing BT Broadband customers also benefit from a £5 monthly discount too.
Picking up a 64GB iPhone 8 on the network’s Perfect All Rounder Plan costs £57/month, with a £100 upfront cost that includes unlimited calls and texts along with 6GB of 4G data but for your money you also get the full choice of colours (Silver, Gold and Space Grey), as well as a £60 Amazon or iTunes gift card and access to both the BT Sport app and use of the nation’s BT WiFi hotspots, totally free.
The same plan paired to an iPhone 8 Plus adds £50 to the upfront cost and limits your colour choice to Gold or Space Grey, whilst upping the storage to 256GB means the phone is only available in Space Grey and requires a £250 upfront payment.
Enter our BT Mobile iPhone competition here.
Unlike BT Mobile, Carphone is offering up both iPhone 8 sizes in both storage capacities in any of the three colours available.
One of the iPhone 8's most affordable deals is EE's £42.99/month 24-month tariff, which includes a £179.99 upfront cost, 15GB of (the network's fastest) 4G data, unlimited calls and texts, 24 months free access to the BT Sport Mobile app, EE's Roam Like Home Max plan and six months of free Apple Music access.
The 8 Plus, meanwhile, starts at £42/month with a £219.99 upfront cost from Vodafone for the 64GB model. That includes unlimited calls and texts as well as 4GB of 4G data and access to Vodafone's Global Roaming scheme, which covers some 110 countries.
Aside from the fact that EE's the only place in the UK where you can pick up the cellular model of the new Apple Watch Series 3 on contract (starting from £25/month, in case you were wondering), the network also has some suitably tasty iPhone 8 and 8 Plus deals to choose from.
Grab the iPhone 8 with one of EE's best-selling tariffs, the 24-month 4GEE Max Plan. For £67.99/month with a £9.99 upfront cost you can expect a whopping 100GB of the network's fastest 4G data for the price of 25GB, unlimited calls and texts, inclusive EU roaming plus five additional destinations (Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the USA), 24-months free access to the BT Sport app and the option of an early upgrade after a year. Damn.
Want that bigger iPhone? The cheapest EE will give you is £52.99/month, plus £149.99 upfront for a more conventional 24-month 4GEE plan. That still includes EU roaming, unlimited calls and texts, and three months free access to the BT Sport app but only 2GB of data a month. Choose wisely.
Right now, giffgaff only offers up a pre-registration page, so whether you're interested in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X, all you can do is let the carrier know which one takes your fancy.
iD Mobile offers up the new iPhones on both conventionally-priced tariffs and those that push all of the cost into the upfront price, making for some incredibly competitive monthly contract fees.
The iPhone 8 is available for as little as £3.99/month with a £689 upfront cost if you can afford it. That includes 500MB of 4G data, 500 minutes and 5000 texts, as well as zero long-term contract obligations, so you could essentially cancel after one month. iD Mobile's standard perks include inclusive roaming across 50 destinations worldwide, automatic data rollover from month to month and capping to ensure you never spend over your monthly allowances.
At the other end of the spectrum iD also offers up a £49.99/month 24-month plan for the 256GB iPhone 8 Plus that features a £369.99 upfront cost, 10GB of 4G data, 2000 minutes and 5000 texts along with all the benefits we've already covered.
Pre-order either new iPhone by midnight on September 21st and O2 will aim to get your phone to you 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, which is especially convenient as their own research recently uncovered that 7.5 million Brits are walking around with a cracked phone screen at any one time and some 2.6 million people have dropped and cracked their phones right after buying them. Existing O2 customers who sign up to selected plans with over 10GB of monthly data will also get another 10GB thrown in for free.
If you can swing a larger upfront cost, a 64GB iPhone 8 at £63/month for 24 months includes 20GB of 4G data, unlimited calls and texts, free O2 WiFi access, deals through O2 Priority and inclusive WiFi and 4G Calling so you can call in more places and with greater clarity. You'll also be able to upgrade on O2 after just 12 months into your plan. Find out more about O2's iPhone 8 pre-order plans here.
The equivalent iPhone 8 Plus deal costs £67/month for all the same benefits; including the early upgrade options, with a £29.99 upfront cost. Find out more about O2's iPhone 8 Plus deals here.
Sky's Swap tariffs let you pick and choose the different attributes of a plan to suit your needs. All plans include data rollover that's good for up to three years, you can rearrange your monthly minutes, texts and data each month, existing Sky TV customers enjoy the benefits of free unlimited calls and texts (usually an additional £10/month) and they can also utilise Sync Sky+ to schedule, stream or watch recorded shows offline on-the-go. Depending on whether you pick up a 24-month Swap12 or 30-month Swap24 tariff you also have the option to trade in your phone and grab an upgrade every year or two.
A 64GB iPhone 8 on Sky Mobile's Swap12 tariff, paired with 20GB of data and unlimited calls and texts will cost you £57/month (or £47/month for existing Sky TV customers). Conversely, a 256GB iPhone 8 Plus on one potential Swap24 tariff will cost £47/month with a £99 upfront cost. Such a plan includes 500MB of data and Pay As You Use minutes and texts (10p per minute for calls + 10p per text).
Three's best iPhone 8 plan looks to be the £55/month 24-month offering which features unlimited calls and texts, 12GB of 4G data for the price of 4GB (including hotspot usage), Feel At Home for inclusive roaming in 60 destinations worldwide and Go Binge letting you stream music from Deezer or Soundcloud and stream video from the likes of Netflix, TV Player and more, all without eating into your data allowance. This plan also comes with a £79 upfront cost.
Looking for an iPhone 8 Plus tariff on Three? Why not check out the £69/month Advanced Plan. Like the iPhone 8 tariff we just mentioned, you pay the same upfront cost and reap all the same benefits with the bonus of 30GB of data in place of 12GB that's good for tethering too. Order now and they'll guarantee in-store pickup or delivery (your choice) by September 22nd.
Thanks to their extended 36-month contracts, Virgin Mobile is offering up both iPhones with some of the lowest monthly costs and no upfront payment either.
Perks that cover all of their key tariffs include data rollover, data-free messaging on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and most recently, Twitter, the ability to switch to a different 4G plan each month, inclusive roaming across 43 destinations and the option to add competitively-priced phone insurance too. Existing Virgin Media TV or broadband customers also benefit from unlimited calls to other Virgin Mobile phones as well.
iPhone 8 Freestyle plans start from £29/month, which includes 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1.2GB of data - four times the standard amount. It's not all that much of a jump if you fancy the larger iPhone 8 Plus too, with the priciest contract for a 64GB Plus costing £42/month. That includes 5000 minutes, unlimited texts and 40GB of 4G data. Impressive.
Select Vodafone iPhone 8 and 8 Plus deals include an extra 10GB of data on top, which really sweetens the pot. The 32GB Red Entertainment plan comes with that extra 10GB of 4G goodness out the gate, as well as unlimited minutes and texts, Vodafone's Global Roaming offering, a three-month free trial of Secure Net and a free 24-month subscription to either Spotify, Sky Sports Mobile or Now TV - all for £66/month with a £20 upfront cost.
The iPhone 8 Plus can be had on the same plan, with the same perks for £70/month with a £30 upfront cost.
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus: SIM-free pricing
Of course, you can always pick up either iPhone directly from Apple or from the likes of Carphone Warehouse SIM-free. The iPhone 8 starts at £699 for the 64GB model and jumps to £849 for the 256GB version, whilst the iPhone 8 Plus starts £100 more expensive at £799 and jumps to £949 for the 256GB skew.
Apple also offers its own iPhone Upgrade Programme, which includes AppleCare+ coverage. The iPhone 8 starts at £37.95/month over 20-months, with a £69 upfront cost, plus fixed zero percent interest and the option to upgrade to a new device after 11 payments. That does, however, mean you pay £828 in total, £129 more than buying the same 64GB iPhone 8 as a single transaction in the first place.
The iPhone 8 Plus starts from £43.95/month and by the end of the 20-month period will have cost you £948.
Still unsure about which new iPhone is the best fit for you? Check out our Apple iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone X feature.