It’s easy to write-off the iPhone 8 Plus as a minor upgrade to the iPhone 7. Certainly, iPhone 7 owners might be hesitant to upgrade unless they’re on one of the yearly upgrade programs. But I do think the iPhone 8 Plus earns its crust as more than just the usual “S” designation Apple uses on odd years.
Here are five reasons I think the iPhone 8 Plus is worth buying.
As always the “5 Reasons” concept is on loan to me from Forbes contributor Jay McGregor who’s currently working hard creating a brand new kind of video journalism. Do check out his YouTube channel and Forbes site for more amazing journalism.
1 – The screen
True Tone is amazing. This tech is what allows the iPhone to match the light it produces from the screen to the ambient light around you. So outdoors, in daylight, the screen is a cooler, bluer tone and indoors it has a warmer hue to it.
Why does this matter? Well, it allows for better on-screen colors. The purpose is to try and make sure you always see what’s on screen as a perfect reproduction, and True Tone is designed to help prevent the ambient light from distorting what the display shows you. Some people love it, some hate it but I think it makes the iPhone a lot nicer to look at.
And the screen, in general, is capable and stunning, even when compared to the OLED in the iPhone X – there’s a reason Apple stuck with LCD for so long, it’s very reliable and produces great results at lower costs and higher yields.
Apple’s wide colour gamut support means that colours are rich and scream at you with real power but they also retain their ties to the real world. This is not the case with Samsung’s Note 8, which I feel over-saturates everything to the point of distorting reality. It looks good, but it doesn’t match the realism of the iPhone 8 Plus.
2 – Nearly as good as the iPhone X, significantly cheaper
Look, I’m a sucker for the iPhone X but the reality of that phone is that it’s tricky to get hold of, and reasonably expensive. If you’re in the market for a new device and want to get, perhaps, 95% of the features then the iPhone 8 Plus is the phone for you.
From a pricing perspective, the iPhone 8 Plus in the larger 256GB capacity is $50 cheaper than the iPhone X 64GB. And even more staggering, the 64GB iPhone 8 Plus is $200 cheaper than the 64GB iPhone X.
We all want the iPhone X, but right now the practicalities of that make it a somewhat difficult choice.
3- Incredible power
In the right circumstances, the iPhone 8 Plus is much, much more powerful than the iPhone 7 Plus. How so? Well, Apple now designs its own GPU too, which gives it control over optimisations. This means that the iPhone 8 is able to make photo processing a real-time endeavour while a lot of phones need extra time to process images.
This is apparent in the new portrait modes which require considerable processing. It’s also visible in the AR apps that Apple is now pushing with its devices. Both of these are slick and smooth and happen in real time or, in the case of some photos very close to it.
This might now sound like much, but when you’re shooting photos you don’t want the camera to be locked up while you want to get on to take the next snap. The power helps Apple do what Apple does best – seamless hardware and software integration.
And the extra speed means that the phone should last you longer too. Apple will support new versions of iOS on this for years to come, so while the phone is expensive there’s no reason to believe it won’t last you two, three or even four years – as long as you get a case.
4 – Stunning video and photos
The iPhone 8 Plus really takes video to a new level thanks to 240fps slow motion at 1080p and 4K video recording at 60p.
Apple doesn’t have the fastest slow motion going, that honor goes to Sony with a massive 900fps. The problem is, Sony’s allows a fraction of a second record time at that rate, and capturing things is hard and requires staggering amounts of light. Apple’s more moderate slow motion is seemingly unlimited in duration, and produces a massive slowdown for high-speed action. It also does so at full HD.
Then there’s 4K video at 60 frames per second. This is a feature that a lot of expensive video cameras don’t have. What it gives you is smooth and crisp video that has insanely high resolutions. It’s an amazing tool for shooting videos of pets, kids and life in general. It won’t look stuttery like 24fps video does, and if you want to apply effects later to make a more “film” look, you certainly can do.
Think of 4K 60p as an archiving format that will give your videos a lot of life for years to come. And right now, the iPhone is the only device that can really deliver these amazing video features.
And we all know the iPhone stills camera is great. New portrait modes make the 8 Plus a stunning camera to photograph things with. Things like Stage Lighting are still being tested, and need some work – but even so, they can produce stunning results.
5 – Wireless charging
Yes, I have a Palm Pre that had this nearly a decade ago and your toothbrush probably uses this tech too. But again, it’s not so much about the fact that Apple has included it, but what it offers on Apple devices. After all, Android users that already have wireless charging aren’t going to suddenly shout “this is the feature that was preventing me from becoming an iPhone owner”.
The thing with Apple’s Qi implementation is that it’s just better than any other I’ve seen. My Note 8 uses the same Samsung charging pad as the iPhone, but it’s more tricky to place correctly, and it takes ages to detect the charger. The iPhone, on the other hand, picks up the charger incredibly quickly and then starts charging far sooner than the Android devices I’ve checked.
And then add in the option of an Apple-built charger that does your watch, the phone and AirPods and you start to see how Apple takes tech and makes it more cohesive and whole.