At a special event at Apple Park in California, Apple announced the iPhone 8. The handset is an update to the iPhone 7, and separate to the dramatically redesigned iPhone X unveiled at the same event.
The iPhone 8 and larger iPhone 8 Plus are incremental updates to 2016’s iPhone 7 and introduce a glass frame to allow for inductive charging and better camera technology.
UK price and availability
The handsets are more expensive than the iPhone 7, with the iPhone 8 starting at £699 for 64GB storage, and another available at £849 for 256GB.
All models are available in space grey, silver and gold. RIP rose gold.
They are available to pre-order now, as of 15 September. They’ll ship from 22 September, the official on-sale date.
You can find out more about where to buy the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in our iPhone 8 deals article here.
All iPhone 8 handsets will ship with iOS 11, which will be available to older iPhones on 19 September.
Design and features
The iPhone 8 retains the familiar 4.7 and 5.5in displays that have adorned iPhones since 2014’s iPhone 6 so yes, the design is a tad tired. Three years is a long time in technology, and the design is looking less than fresh despite the positive new features.
For the first time on iPhone, the 8 and 8 Plus have the True Tone displays from the iPad Pro. It’s all powered by the A11 Bionic CPU, a six-core processor that is supposedly 25% faster than the A10 found in the iPhone 7.
The phones also have an Apple-designed GPU, a first for the iPhone. Expect ridiculously fluid gaming.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are Apple’s first glass phones since 2011’s iPhone 4S. Get ready to take out a decent insurance package.
Apple did not comment on the battery life of the iPhone 8, which suggests it is akin to the iPhone 7 – the company made a point of bigging up the battery in the iPhone X.
These include improved cameras, although Apple is keeping the dual lenses reserved for the 8 Plus model. It can deliver faster auto focus, and hardware based multiband noise reduction to help even the most amateur of photographers get decent snaps.
The sensor in the iPhone 8 is 12Mp and is larger and faster than previous generations. Optical image stabilisation.
The 8 Plus has two 12Mp sensors and offers apertures of f/1.8 and f/2.2. The Plus has a new feature called Portrait Lighting, which will ship in beta and adds to the Portrait Mode that Apple has improved with software over the last year.
As with the last generation, the single lens iPhone 8 misses out on this. Both phones though do gain improved video recording.
As predicted, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support wireless charging, hence the glass casing. The handsets use the Qi standard common in many competing smartphone handsets.
Apple’s keynote didn’t mention an Apple branded charger, but referred to products from Belkin and Mophie.
Apple leaned heavily on showcasing how ARKit, its first foray into augmented reality, will work. Both iPhone 8 models are capable of running software developed using ARKit, and the iPhone 8 will handle motion tracking to aid with this relatively new foray into the world of AR.
Expect apps to pop up pretty quickly that showcase the tech; they will range from fun games to practical things like maps and directions.
The handsets now sit alongside a considerably large iPhone line up. The iPhone X (pronounced ‘ten’) will cost $999 and features more advanced technology and longer battery life. Interesting, Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 7 and 6s lines, both of which have only received price drops of $50 per model.