Apple has lifted the embargo on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus reviews. Here’s a roundup of reviews from many tech giants.
After spending a week with the 8, I can’t think of a single compelling reason to upgrade from an iPhone 7. The 7 is still extremely fast, offers virtually the same design in a lighter package with a bigger battery, and will get almost every feature of the 8 with iOS 11. If you really want Qi wireless charging, you can get a slim $15 case that supports it. And if you’re dying for Portrait Lighting, there are tons of photo apps in the App Store that offer similar effects. Of course, if you’re upgrading from anything older than an iPhone 7, the improvements in the camera and the overall speed of the phone are going to really impress you.
If you need to have the latest and greatest, don’t buy the 8. Wait until we get a closer look at the iPhone X, which in addition to face-scanning tricks promises two things that really matter: a bigger, better screen and two more hours of battery life.
If you can’t be bothered with bells and whistles, you can save a chunk of cheese by buying a nearly-as-good iPhone 7 (albeit with less storage) for $550. Or you can save even more by getting one of the Android phones that no longer lag Apple in refinement, like the $480 OnePlus 5.
The iPhone has been the world’s most popular camera for a while now, and it has become a huge reason, perhaps the primary reason, that iPhone users upgrade. Each year, improvements in silicon or design have also contributed to improvements in the iPhone as a camera. This year, Apple has done something really incredible with the Portrait Lighting mode, which is why if you’re in the market for a new iPhone, I recommend the 8 Plus.
No one is going to describe the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as having a radical new design. But they do have new glass backs that are the biggest change to their finishings since this general form factor started with the iPhone 6. The displays have gained True Tone. The cameras are significantly improved, both for still images and video. (Did I mention that both the 8 and 8 Plus can shoot true 4K video at 60 frames per second when you use the new HEVC format instead of the more compatible H.264?) The iPhone 8 Plus gets the new Portrait mode lighting effects. Both phones have the amazing A11 Bionic chip. They get inductive charging.
These are solid year-over-year updates — at least as impressive as the iPhone 7 was over the iPhone 6S. If they hadn’t debuted alongside the iPhone X we’d be arguing about whether these are the most impressive new iPhone models since the iPhone 6. There’s a lot to love about them and nothing to dislike.
When I first picked up the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, I immediately decided they were actually just the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus. I was wrong: They’re definitely much more than that. They’re just saddled with a less exciting design. If you subscribe to the maxim that it’s what’s inside that really counts, the 8 and 8 Plus are big improvements. They pack more storage, great cameras, improved software and absolutely first-rate performance into some highly familiar packages. The iPhone X will continue to suck the air out of the room for the foreseeable future, but one thing has become clear after my week of testing: They might not have the X’s style, but the 8 and 8 Plus are truly excellent phones that won’t let Apple die-hards and new customers down.
My advice is to ask yourself how much you’re willing to pay. If you don’t mind giving up some of the futuristic features in the iPhone X, then the iPhone 8 models will give you the same power and performance and most of the same features of iOS 11 for hundreds of dollars less.
But if the price tag doesn’t scare you away, hold off on the iPhone 8 and go for the X.
There is nothing I didn’t like about the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus. It’s more powerful, has better cameras, Portrait Lighting, better Portrait Mode, Wireless charging, a better display, True Tone, and iOS 11. These are just a great devices that I would not hesitate to recommend.