Our first impressions of the iPhone 8, Apple’s most revolutionary smartphone yet
Apple has finally lifted the lid on its long-awaited iPhone 8 and 8 Plus smartphones.
Taking to the stage of its Steve Jobs Theatre today at its new HQ, Apple announced the two new handsets, which both boast a brand new six core A11 Bionic chip and upgraded camera. However, besides these two fresh features, the Cupertino firm failed to reveal any major updates over the phones’ predecessors, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Nevertheless, we take a closer look at the phones before launch later this month to find out if they deem a worthy upgrade.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Key specifications and release date
- Screen: 4.7in and 5.5in (Plus)
- CPU: Apple A11 Bionic
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 64GB or 256
- Camera: 12MP
- Price: From $699 and $799 (Plus)
- Release date: 22 September
As you’d expect, Apple said the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be available to buy a week from today, arriving on shelves on 22 September. But in terms of storage options, we’ve not really seen much of a step forward over the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that were unveiled a year ago. The new regular iPhone 8 will come in 64GB and 256GB options and will start from $699. The iPhone 8 Plus will come with the same storage offerings but with prices starting from $799. Nothing out of the ordinary there.
UK prices are yet to be confirmed, but bear in mind that the UK retail price is ususally never a true conversation of the US dollar, so expect the device’s price tag in the UK to be closer to the dollar cost. We’re guessing around £599 for the iPhone 8 and £699 for the iPhone 8 Plus.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Design, key features and first impressions
As we mentioned earlier, Apple’s fresh handsets don’t look too dissimilar from their predecessors, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. However, the chassis has been given a slight improvement in build quality to make them more sturdy over the previous models. This is thanks to an aluminium alloy casing that comprises a glass design reinforced by steel, which Apple said makes it “the most durable in a smartphone”.
This will be something we’ll have to test out for ourselves when we get the phones in for review, but judging by how easily damaged previous iPhone devices have been in the past, we’re holding out some hope that these claims are true.
Rather disappointingly, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have the same Retina HD display as their iPhone 7 counterparts, with the identifcal 4.7in and 5.5in screen sizes, so there’s nothing new there, either.
However, on the inside is where most of the improvements come. Powered by an A11 Bionic chip, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus’s processor is said to be the most powerful and smartest chip ever put in a smartphone. It features a six-core CPU that’s divided into two low-performance cores and four high-performance cores, with the regular cores being 25 per cent faster than the previous A10 chip, and the high-performance cores being up to 75 per cent faster than the A10 chip.
As for snaps, the iPhone 8 devices are claimed to be the best iPhones yet. The fresh handsets’ cameras boasts a whole new 12MP sensor that’s not only larger and faster, but is 83 percent more light, Apple said, with deeper pixels and new colour filters, meaning lower noise in photos in videos. Photos look incredibly sharp on what we saw from the launch, but we’ll have to take a look for ourselves in our own photo tests.
The two iPhone 8 devices also enables “the freedom of wireless charging” Apple said in the keynote. From what was detailed on stage, the wireless charger will be charged with Qi – the open wireless charging standard – via a circular charging plate. We are lookign forward to seeing how well this compares to wired charging, when we conduct our full review. Expect that to come later this month.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Early verdict
From our first impressions, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus don’t really boast anything earth-shakingly different from their iPhone 7 predecessors, with the devices basically being given a performance improvement, wireless charging and a slightly better camera. However, if you’re looking for an iPhone that’s majorly different from anything Apple has released before, you could always give the iPhone X a try which was also unveiled at the firm’s keynote this evening.