You’ve probably heard people say that the iPhone 8 is really just the 7s or that the 8 shouldn’t even exist, but I’ve always thought those are pretty harsh statements. I recently went and traded in my iPhone 7 Plus for an 8 Plus after a lot of debating and the real question everyone should be asking is: Is the 8 worth it for you? I’m going to go over the 5 major differences/upgrades between the iPhone 8 and the 7 to provide help at answering that question.
Build & Display
First up is the new build and display, which largely remains the same as last year’s model. Besides slight, and I mean very slight (to the point where last year’s case still work), changes to the dimensions, the only physical change you’ll see on the iPhone 8 is the back glass plate.
That back glass not only adds some appreciated heft of the device, but also makes the iPhone 8 a bit grippier than the 7. Of course, we all know that glass can break, but that’ll all depend on how careful you are with your phone and whether or not you add a case or skin to protect it.
The other piece to this change is the display. We’re still stuck with a 5.5-inch LCD, 1080p display on the Plus (4.7-inch 750p on the 8) but the iPhone 8 borrows True Tone technology from its iPad brethren to create a divide. With True Tone, the display auto adapts to your surroundings to show the best color possible.
I’m on the fence about this feature for a couple of reasons: in my testing it creates a warmer display more often than not, where I prefer cooler. On the other hand, colors seem more vibrant with the feature enabled. Luckily there’s a simple toggle to turn the feature on or off in the quick settings.
The Power & Performance
Next, one of the most notable changes is the new A11 Bionic CPU, which has proven to be fastest mobile chipset available at the moment. iPhones have always been good with performance due to Apple’s optimization, but with the A11, the iPhone is just snappier than ever before.
Moving within apps is smoother and I haven’t seen a stutter in any game, in any situation, so far. Apple states that the new A11 Bionic is 70% faster than the old A10 chip, even in ‘low power mode’, but that’s hard to exactly quantify that in real-world use. Just know the iPhone 8 won’t quickly slow down on you — you’ll notice the benefits of this for years to come.
The next biggest change from the iPhone 7 to 8 are the cameras. Now if you were to look at the general specs of the cameras, you’d see the same numbers. That’s not the whole story though. The iPhone 8 Plus has a better camera than its predecessor for several reasons.
First off, thanks to the A11 Bionic having a dedicated Apple imaging processor, pictures will be better in low light and have less noise. The iPhone 8 Plus also records 4K video in 60 fps, which is the first iPhone to do this and one of the first phones period.
So far the pictures that I’ve taken with the iPhone 8 Plus are definitely great photos. Thanks to the storage increase though, I’ve been shooting more videos with the 8 Plus, and that’s definitely where it really shines. All videos have been shot in the 4K 60fps format and have looked spectacular.
Battery Life & Wireless Charging (Finally!)
Battery capacity is apparently less on the iPhone 8 Plus compared to the 7 Plus, but with the A11 you should be able to squeeze an extra hour or two of life out of the 8 Plus. Further, you can charge the 8 Plus much faster thanks to fast charging being available — but you’ll have to pay extra for the AC adapter and USB-C to Lighting cable.
Also, the 8 Plus has wireless charging, which doesn’t charge the phone any faster (much slower in fact), but does add a bit of convenience to charging options. So while the battery may be smaller in the 8 Plus, you have more options to keep your phone charged and use it longer.
I’ve been using normal charging primarily with the 8 Plus, and I have noticed much of a difference in endurance compared to the 7 Plus. Wireless charging is conveinent, but not all that fast. Being an Android user for years, I knew what to expect. Really, it doesn’t add anything except another way to power the phone. So while performance and the camera may be reasons to upgrade, wireless charging and the battery life probably aren’t.
The Colors & Options
The ‘availability’ of the iPhone 8 Plus is on of the last things different between it and the 7 Plus. By that, I mean the color options, storage sizes, and the price of the new series. Instead of two different blacks and a neat red colorway, we’re presented with Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. On all three colors — unlike any with the same name of previous generations — the glass back really changes the tint of the color. I landed with the Gold, that actually looks more like a pale pink on the back and rose gold on the sides.
The storage sizes have doubled from last year with the 8’s only coming in 64GB and 256Gb, instead of 32GB and 128GB from last year. The unlocked price of the 8 Plus is $799 and $949, respectively, which is much higher than $669 and $769 of last year. Couple things about this. First off, why is the difference in the two sizes more than the standard Apple $100? Secondly, upping the price isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but using the 8 Plus for a few weeks, it doesn’t feel like a $150 upgrade, especially with the iPhone X around the corner. A $50 difference would be more acceptable.
All in all, the iPhone 8 Plus is definitely a better phone than the 7 Plus, no doubt there. Heftier weight, better camera performance, much faster, and more charging options are all very welcomed. Although for any iPhone 7 Plus owners, if you happened to skip this generation I wouldn’t blame you. Anyone with an even older iPhone or coming from another platform should definitely go with the 8 though.
To answer one last question out there, Apple isn’t crazy in making this phone ‘alongside’ the iPhone X. The X will be a big change in usability for a lot of iPhone consumers and they may need another year to adjust, while Apple can use that time to improve on the new direction of iPhones and the new features/functions. I like the 8 Plus and the decision I made to upgrade, while possibly waiting on the X. What do you all think about the iPhone 8 Plus?