iPhone 8 Plus preview
In our iPhone 8 Plus first-look preview we weigh up the design, features, specs and pricing of Apple’s new phablet to help you decide if it’s the best phone for you.
Design & build quality
The iPhone 8 Plus is an incremental update to the 7 Plus (as opposed to the dramatically redesigned iPhone X unveiled on the same night) and therefore has largely the same design as the 7, 6s and 6-generation handsets. It’s a classic design but one’s that’s now three years old and starting to feel a little dated.
There have been some small (and not-so-small) tweaks to the design in that time; like the 7 handsets, for instance, the 8 Plus does not have a headphone port and features a buzzing, solid-state Home button instead of the clicking version seen in previous years. This year’s biggest design change is the glass front and back, which mean it supports wireless charging – which we’ll discuss more in a bit.
Nevertheless if you’re looking for radical new designs, this isn’t the device for you. But there are other upgrades worth having, we think.
While we’re on the subject of visual design, not that the 8 Plus is available in only three colours: silver, gold and Space Grey. Far less than the iPhone 7-generation handsets, which at one point were available in six finishes.
Note that Apple appears to have ‘split the difference’ between the gold and (no longer offered) Rose Gold colour finishes: gold now appears to have a little more pink, a little more copper, than it used to.
The 8 Plus doesn’t get Face ID, but it does get another of the iPhone X’s upgrades – and it’s something that, in a less exciting year, would have been heralded as a flagship feature:
The iPhone 8 Plus has the same glass-back design as the iPhone X, which means it’s compatible with wireless charging accessories: instead of having to plug it in, you just put the phone on a pad and let it charge.
Our understanding is that any charger that’s certified as Qi-compatible will work with the new generation of iPhones, while Apple will release its own AirPower charging pad range in 2018.
Let’s take a look at the tech specs inside that chassis.
A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, Neural Engine, Embedded M11 motion coprocessor
Not officially disclosed; believed to be 3GB RAM
64GB or 256GB
5.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Retina HD LCD Multi-Touch display with IPS technology; 1920×1080 resolution at 401 ppi; 1300:1 contrast ratio; 625 cd/m2 max brightness; True Tone; 3D Touch
Dual lens: 12Mp wide-angle (ƒ/1.8 aperture) and telephoto (ƒ/2.8) cameras; optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x; optical image stabilisation; Quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync; 4K video recording at 24fps, 30fps or 60fps; slo‑mo video 1080p at 120fps or 240fps; Portrait mode; Portrait Lighting (beta); panorama (up to 63Mp)
7Mp camera; 1080p HD video recording; Retina Flash; ƒ/2.2 aperture
Rated IP67 water- and dust-resistant under IEC standard 60529
Claimed battery life: up to 13 hours of internet use. Fast-charge capable: up to 50 percent charge in 30 minutes.
Connectivity & other features
802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO; Bluetooth 5.0; NFC; Touch ID; barometer; accelerometer
158.4mm x 78.1mm x 7.5mm; 202g
The iPhone 8 Plus was announced on 12 Sept (along with the 8 and the X) and preorders began on 15 Sept. The handsets will ship and become available in shops from 22 Sept.
Price & where to buy
The iPhone 8 Plus costs £799 with 64GB of storage or £949 with 256GB. You can browse the various options on Apple’s website, where you can pre-order now 15 Sept.
There are plenty of other places to buy the iPhone 8 Plus, too, including on contract. Find out more and compare prices in our where to buy the iPhone 8 Plus article.
The iPhone X got all the headlines but in many ways the iPhone 8 Plus is a more appealing upgrade. You get many of the X’s features: wireless charging (thanks to the glass back), the A11 Bionic chip, Portrait Lighting. And you don’t lose the Home button, which means you don’t need to relearn the interface and you can carry on using Touch ID. It’s also cheaper – and you don’t have to wait as long to buy it.