My honest review of the iPhone 8 Plus after spending a month with it
I know you're excited for the iPhone X (note to self: remember to call it 'iPhone ten', and not 'iPhone ex'. Yes, that's how Apple wants you to say it) but there's still a few days before it arrives in Malaysia. Incidentally, it's been exactly one month since I've had the iPhone 8 Plus and I'm sure some of you are contemplating between the two. We'll save that talk for another day when I do get my hands on the iPhone X. So how does the iPhone 8 Plus fare?
On the surface, there aren't huge differences between the two iPhone 8's and the two iPhone 7's except that the newer models now sport a glass back, replacing the 7000-series aluminium, to enable wireless charging. It also makes the phones look more beautiful with that slight translucent finish. The size is pretty much the same and it is only about 14 grams heavier. Like its predecessor, it's splash-, water- (full submersion in up to 1 metre of water for 30 minutes is doable), and dust-resistant.
But the main reason why it still felt so familiar is because of iOS 11. Apple revolutionised its operating system so much that updating the older phones was like upgrading to a brand new one. That's not to say iOS 11 is self-sufficient because evidently, it goes hand in hand with a phone's innards. The iPhone 7 with its A10 Fusion chip was already the fastest iPhone ever. It was impressive. But in the iPhone 8 Plus (and iPhone X), the new A11 Bionic chip is even better (25 percent faster, according to Apple). Changing from app to app is fluid and AR apps work seamlessly.
Now, on to the camera because that's a huge deciding factor when it comes to buying a new phone, right? Both the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus are equipped with a 12MP dual camera (wide-angle and telephoto) with the same aperture, optical image stabilisation and optical zoom up to 10x. What's new: Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync (which helps the back- and foregrounds look more uniformly lit in photos) and Portrait Lighting. Though still in beta form, the new feature is amazing and changes portrait photos drastically. There are five modes to choose from: Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light and Stage Light Mono. I personally use it even for taking food shots and flatlays as it makes the colours pop out more. Video recording, on the other hand, is vastly improved. You can now shoot 4K videos at the ol' 30 fps as well as the new options 24 fps and 60 fps. No change to the front-facing camera, however.
Photography has always been one of Apple smartphones' strong points and though the specs for the cameras remain the same, photos look better than before. Why? A11 Bionic is built with a dedicated Apple-designed ISP (Image Signal Processor) built-in for greater pixel processing, delivering faster low-light autofocus and better noise reduction.
If I had more brownie points to spare, I'd give it to its fast charging capabilities. It can reach 50 percent battery from zero in only 30 minutes when plugged into the wall socket. Small detail, much appreciated. In that same way, Apple has been upgrading every detail in each of its new iPhones. The iPhone X (what with the complete removal of the Home button, Animojis and facial recognition ID, to name a few) marks the start a new generation of Apple smartphones. The iPhone 8 Plus (and iPhone 8), however, can be distinguished as the most evolved form of the first iPhone that started it all. Oh, how it has grown.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are available in 64GB and 256GB from apple.com/my and are also available through Apple Authorised Resellers and select carriers.