Despite competition since its launch – and Apple’s decision to discontinue it – the iPhone 8 Plus remains a good option in the iPhone ecosystem. Since the original publication of this review, we’ve added comparisons to some of the other phones you might be considering.

The iPhone series for 2020 is the newest competitor in this race. That’s the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, all of which are significantly more powerful than the iPhone 8 Plus, which, thanks to iOS 14, includes all of Apple’s latest software features.

While the iPhone 8 Plus has been quietly dropped from Apple’s official lineup in favor of the iPhone SE 2020, the iPhone 8 Plus remains a reasonably priced iOS device available from a variety of shops. If this review has piqued your interest in the smartphone, it should be simple to locate and purchase.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are the final iterations of the original iPhone design, which included a Home button and substantial chin bezels, both of which were retained in the newer mid-range iPhone SE 2020.

In terms of predecessors, the iPhone 8 Plus resembles the iPhone 7 Plus, which resembles the iPhone 6S Plus, which resembles the iPhone 6, and so on. The inclusion of the glass back and the two-tone appearance it generates is the only thing that tells us the 8 Plus is the newest model… It would be impossible to discern the difference between this and the 7 Plus if it weren’t for that.

The iPhone 8 Plus is Apple’s final homage to the design it depended on for years until the iPhone X arrived in 2017 to significantly shift the dial, plug in reams of new technology, and redefine the way we think about the iPhone.

We can only assume that this is now the ‘default’ iPhone – the one for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a phone or don’t want to make a lot of adjustments when buying a new iPhone. The iPhone 8 plus is now available for individuals who prefer a home button and Touch ID over Face ID.

The camera has been improved, the internal workings are still among the most powerful in the business, and small changes throughout smooth off rough edges in a way that makes us feel as if Sir Jony Ive stepped inside his computer and lathered them off himself.

When you factor in a better battery and screen, the iPhone 8 Plus outperforms the smaller iPhone 8.

Update: iOS 15 will be available for the iPhone 8 Plus later this year, most likely in September. Apple has verified this while also releasing iOS 15 in its entirety, which includes features such as Android users on FaceTime calls, statuses in the Messages app, a revamped weather app, and more.

iPhone XS Versus iPhone 8 Plus

The first difference is price – though not as much as between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. If you want the 64GB model, the iPhone XS (which has replaced the iPhone X) starts at $999 / £999 / AU$1,579, while the iPhone 8 Plus now starts at $699 / £699 / AU$1,149.

So, for that (slightly) increased price, what do you get? The screen, for starters – you get a bezel-less 5.8-inch display with a 1,125 x 2,436 resolution and OLED display technology, which is superior to the iPhone 8’s 5.2-inch 1,080 x 1,920 screen.

The loss of the bezel results in a larger phone with a smaller screen.

Another significant distinction to consider is how you unlock this phone. It’s Touch ID fingerprint scanning on the iPhone 8 Plus, as it has been for years; on the iPhone XS, you unlock with your face, using the nattily-named Face ID.

The iPhone XS has a camera in the notch at the top that enables for Animoji and Memoji, which allows emoji to be animated by mapping your face — this feature is only available on the iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR, and isn’t available on the iPhone 8 Plus, so keep that in mind.

The iPhone XS and iPhone 8 Plus both include dual cameras, which enables for background defocus and a more thorough photography experience; however, the camera array is vertical on the XS but horizontal on the 8 Plus due to the way the phones are packed (to fit the iPhone X notch).

Essentially, the iPhone 8 Plus is an iPhone 8 with a larger screen, a better battery, and more weight. However, in comparison to the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR, it is beginning to appear outdated.

Price And Release Date For The iPhone 8 Plus

  • $549 (£579, AU$949) for the iPhone 8 Plus (64GB).
  • $599 (£629, AU$1,029) for the iPhone 8 Plus (128GB).
  • $799 (£799, AU$1,229) at launch (64GB).
  • $949 (£949, AU$1,479) at launch (256GB).

The price of the iPhone 8 Plus is still high, although not as much as it was previously. The 64GB variant cost $799 (£799, AU$1,229) at launch, while the 256GB model cost $949 (£949, AU$1,479).

With the release of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple has reduced the price of the iPhone 8 Plus even further: the 64GB model now costs $549 (£579, AU$949), while the 128GB model costs $599 (£629, AU$1,029). (At some point, Apple dropped the maximum storage limit.)

The ordinary user may struggle to fill the 64GB model with images, applications, and music, but it’s encouraging to see Apple catching up to how much capacity most people require.

However, because the iPhone 8 Plus can record in 4K at 60fps and three minutes of footage weighs in at 2.16GB, if you’re going to do a lot of filming at that resolution, the 64GB model will quickly fill up.

Of course, getting the iPhone 8 Plus on contract will save you money up front, but it will cost you more in the long run. With our dedicated guide, you can find the finest iPhone 8 Plus discounts available (UK only).

Even though it’s been overtaken by Apple’s new iPhone trio, the iPhone 8 Plus was released on September 22, 2017, and it’s still widely accessible (and is still sold directly from Apple).

New Abilities Are Available Thanks To The Gleaming Gold Back

  • Wireless charging is possible thanks to the glass back.
  • In gold, it appears to be luxurious.

The exterior color is the first thing you’ll notice about the iPhone 8 Plus from a visual standpoint, at least when compared to its predecessors. With a gold aluminium rim and a gold/white glass back, the new gold edition is the primary attraction.

It’s a stunning combination, and it’s visually distinct from the iPhone 7 Plus, giving it a more premium feel. The special edition Product Red iPhone 8 and 8 Plus phones, which feature a deep red for mid-cycle freshness, are also appealing.

However, the glass back isn’t solely for cosmetic reasons. In 2017, Apple officially joined the wireless charging bandwagon, just as it appeared to be losing pace. For the past few years, Samsung has been the leading proponent of the technology, and now that Apple has joined the party, wireless charging has finally entered the mainstream.

It’s undeniably practical, as placing your iPhone on a charging pad is far easier than connecting and unplugging a cable. But it’s hardly groundbreaking; the technology has been embedded in phones for years.

It would be more impactful if Apple included a wireless charging pad in the box, but you’ll have to pay approximately $40 / £40 / AU$60 for one from Mophie or Belkin right now, with Apple’s own AirPower pad still absent curiously.

However, the charging speed is astounding, as it is comparable to that of a cable connection. We all remember the wireless trickle charge, so it’s easy to see why Apple waited until the experience was good enough to integrate it in its phones.

A New Portrait Lighting Mode Has Been Added

  • Portrait mode is now far faster and more effective than before.
  • Portrait Lighting is a new feature that is modest but powerful.

The enhanced bokeh option named Portrait Lighting is the highlight of the 12MP dual sensor rear camera.

The capabilities displayed here are rather great, and demonstrate the capability of the A11 Bionic chip within — being able to algorithmically work out the curves of the face and dynamically modify the lighting is impressive.

This can be done either during the photo shoot or later in the gallery. It’s a strong tool, but it didn’t wow anyone when we presented it to them.

And that’s kind of symptomatic of the iPhone 8 Plus as a whole: while the entire experience has been smoothed out and improved, the main functions have been left out. Portrait Lighting is fine – and we almost feel bad for not proselytizing about it more, given how much thought went into its creation.

However, capturing a Portrait mode photograph requires considerable setup in and of itself, so obtaining the level of quality where Portrait Lighting makes a significant impact to the end result is uncommon.

The new Portrait mode, on the other hand, is one of the areas where the iPhone 8 Plus outperforms its predecessor – it’s brighter, faster to recognize the object you’re trying to photograph, and it has Portrait Lighting, which isn’t accessible on older models.

The Portrait Lighting modes make a minor difference, while the Studio and Studio Mono modes, despite having excellent edge recognition, appear a touch too cut-out.

You can obtain decent results if you spend some time setting up a subject to take the perfect photo – but modern smartphone cameras need to produce a brilliant rapid snap, and we can see this feature being relegated to your phone’s ‘rarely used’ section.

Bionic Engine A11

  • Outstanding benchmark results
  • In actuality, it doesn’t appear to be any faster than the 7 Plus or Note 8

It’s difficult not to enjoy the names Apple is giving its processors these days. A11 Bionic is evocative, but it doesn’t make much sense in terms of what it actually does after A10 Fusion.

Anyway, that’s all taken care of. The 2017 chipset includes six cores, with four efficient ones handling the basics and the other two handling the heavy lifting, such as photo editing, multitasking, and giving real-time camera effects.

The A11 chip provides the necessary power for the previously described Portrait Lighting effects. In our tests, every program that requires extensive photo manipulation performed admirably, with no lag when dealing with several image layers.

It’s difficult to express the value of all this capability to the typical user, who may not utilize such capabilities on a regular basis – yet it will keep your iPhone humming sweeter for the next two or three years than prior generations.

Everything feels faster under the finger than the 2016 iPhones, which is a needless statement considering that most iPhones feel that way right out of the box. When you start loading it up with apps and information, the true test begins.

Even when fully loaded, the iPhone was fast and responsive, with no flickering under the finger. However, the interface juddered and bounced a little at times – it still moved quickly, but the frame rate decreased, making it look jagged.

It swiftly corrected itself, but it was notable for an iPhone — it’s not something we’re used to.

What’s more unexpected is that the iPhone 8 Plus didn’t perform any better than the iPhone 7 Plus in our tests – we launched and closed apps on both phones at the same time, and the response times were identical – and were comparable to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

In fact, despite being older and having more capacity taken up, the iPhone 7 Plus was faster in completing the operation while saving a huge film to Files. The A11 Bionic chip is undoubtedly strong, but we haven’t seen anything that demonstrates it in everyday contact — it’s only seen in supplementary features like Portrait Lighting.

When it first came out, this was the most powerful phone we’d ever benchmarked in terms of raw power. Geekbench statistics were unheard of at the time, with multi-core scores exceeding 10,000 and comfortably outperforming anything from the Android market. Its performance is still impressive in 2019.

Will you notice the iPhone’s power in everyday use? Nope. For years, iPhones have been fast enough, but consumers are starting to want even more from their device, whether it’s applying filters to images, exporting material to pals, or playing the most powerful games available, and you’ll be grateful for the bionic processor in a year or two.

The iPhone 8 Plus will continue to perform as it should for a long time. Apple doesn’t make a big deal about the sheer power in its products, but it does establish its reputation on phones that just work.

Of course, the A12 Bionic chip in the 2018 iPhones ups the ante even more, making it even faster, but the A11 Bionic is still capable of handling anything you can throw at it.


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