iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Review: Iteration that holds its own

Sitting in the iPhone X's shadow

iPhone 8

The Pros

  • New camera features are impressive
  • Qi wireless charging is great
  • A11 processor is a substantial upgrade over the A10

The Cons

  • iPhone X is looming on the horizon
  • Not a big upgrade over the iPhone 7
  • Design is showing its age

Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are difficult smartphones to review.

Both devices offer users excellent camera performance, a sleek-looking design and optimization for augmented reality (AR) content thanks to Apple’s powerful new A11 Fusion processor.

iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7However, regardless of how you look at it, the iPhone 8 is not a significant step over the iPhone 7, similar to how the 7 was not a big jump over the 6s. Furthermore, with the iPhone X’s launch looming on the horizon, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that the iPhone 8 will soon feel like an outdated device in many respects, though it does share some features with the upcoming pricier iPhone X.

“Despite its similarities to the iPhone 7, it’s difficult to find a significant fault with the iPhone 8.”

You could also make the argument that this is a good thing. Given that the iPhone X fundamentally changes the way users interact with Apple’s smartphone by revamping iOS to operate without a home button, as well as ditching Touch ID for the tech giant’s new Face ID facial recognition platform, the iPhone 8 amounts to a more familiar alternative.

For those worried about price and the fact that the iPhone X will likely be difficult to find until at least early 2018, the iPhone 8 is a viable, though decidedly less exciting option for those that still intend to purchase a new iPhone this year.

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 8 camera

All things considered, it’s difficult to find a significant fault with the iPhone 8. The main issue most people will likely have with the smartphone is its similarity to the iPhone 7.

Qi Charging is finally here

IPhone 8 Qi wireless charging

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus stick to the same tried and true aesthetic as their predecessors, complete with the now familiar design that has remained a constant since the release of the iPhone 6 back in 2014. Despite the iPhone 8’s sleek new glass back — which is a fingerprint and smudge magnet like other glass back phones — from a purely aesthetic perspective, both Samsung’s S8 and Note 8 are more visually impressive.

First, let’s run through what’s actually new in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Wireless charging powered by the Qi standard has finally hit Apple’s iPhone thanks to the device’s shiny glass back. While Android enthusiasts will decry that this feature has been present in Google-powered devices, particularly those from Samsung for a number of years, this likely won’t matter to Apple faithful. It’s worth noting that Qi wireless charging the iPhone 8 is a slow process. with the phone only charging about 15 percent every 30 minutes. For those looking for a faster charge, the iPhone 8 also supports fast charging.

iPhone 8

Wireless charging with the iPhone 8 works great and is very convenient, though it requires a compatible charging pad accessory that costs anywhere between $50 and $100 CAD. I tested out both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with Belkin’s Boost Up wireless charger and found it worked great, allowing me to easily place the phone on my night stand in the evening when I wanted to charge it overnight.

Apple plans to release an accessory called the AirPower mat that’s capable of charging simultaneously its AirPods via a new wireless charging case, the Apple Watch and the iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus. The accessory’s release date is set for some point in 2018.

Hardware improvements

iPhone 8 side

In terms of specs, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus feature nearly identical internals when compared to its predecessors beyond the smartphone’s new A11 processor, including battery life (which I found to be about the same as the iPhone 7), and 2GB of RAM/3GB of RAM in each respective device.

During my time with the new iPhone, I ran resource intensive AR apps like Sky Guide and The Machine (two of the first ARKit-developed apps), without running into a single major instance of slow down. When playing The Machine the game did experience the occasional bout of lag, though this could be because the game is still in beta.

iPhone 8 ARKit

The same can be said about rapidly multitasking, watching high-resolution video and browsing the web; the iPhone 8 ran smoothly in all instances, leading me to believe Apple’s lofty claims surrounding its new Fusion processor are at least somewhat accurate.

Benchmark wise, the iPhone 8 measures in at an impressive 4,215 single-core score via Geekbench, beating out the iPhone 7 Plus and Apple’s A10 Fusion silicon by a significant margin.

iPhone 8 Geekbench benchmark

Multi-core performance is also similar, with the iPhone 8 hitting a score of 10,139, surpassing the iPhone 7 Plus, which hit 5,411 and the iPhone 7 at 5,387.

“While I was skeptical of True Tone at first, it actually makes a significant difference in screen clarity”

Overall, Apple claims the A11 is ‘up to’ 70 percent faster in terms of its efficiency cores, 25 percent faster with performance cores, and features 30 percent improved GPU performance. While I can’t verify that Apple’s boiler plate performance estimates are entirely accurate, the phone is one of the snappiest I’ve ever used.

iPhone 8 Spotify

Apple has also updated the iPhone 8’s display with True Tone technology, a feature first seen in the now discontinued 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and more recently the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. While I was skeptical of True Tone’s usefulness at first, it actually makes a significant difference in screen clarity, especially under less than ideal viewing conditions.

True Tone utilizes a four-channel ambient light sensor to automatically adjust white balance and match the light around the user for a better using experience. This works especially well when reading in the evening or under direct sunlight, just like it does with Apple’s iPad Pro.

Phone comparison

It’s worth pointing out that the iPhone 8’s and 8 Plus’ screen still measures in at 4.7-inches and 1334 x 750 pixels, 5.5-inches and 1920 x 1080 pixels respectively, which means Apple hasn’t improved the resolution of the iPhone 8’s display over the iPhone 7 (that upgrade is saved for the iPhone X this year).

Apple says that it has also updated the iPhone 8’s display to feature a wide colour gamut, though not with official support for HDR standards like HDR10 and Dolby Vision; this again, is something Apple is saving for the iPhone X. All in, the iPhone 8’s screen looks great, though I’d argue that Samsung’s S8 and Note 8 feature colours that are more vibrant and that the display included in Samsung’s 2017 flagship devices is also brighter when compared to Apple’s offering.

iPhone 8

It’s really only the iPhone X that’s capable of rivalling Samsung in the display department, at least in terms of my initial impressions of the tech giant’s upcoming smartphone.

Finally, if you were hoping Apple would opt for a different route and bring the standard 3.5mm headphone jack to the iPhone line, you’ll be disappointed to hear that once again, the tech giant is banking on the idea that the future of audio is wireless — and no, AirPods aren’t included with the iPhone 8.

Incremental camera improvements

While Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus feature the same number of megapixels as their predecessors, Apple has slightly improved the shooter with a faster sensor and improved ‘True Tone’ flash performance.

“Where the new phone’s camera truly shines is when it comes to the iPhone 8 Plus’ vastly improved Portrait Mode.”

The Plus’ dual-rear shooter, however, unfortunately doesn’t feature optical image stabilization (OIS) in both lenses; only the wide angle camera features OIS and not the telephoto lens. It seems that once again, Apple is saving dual rear image stabilization for its higher-end iPhone X offering. To put this feature in context with the broader smartphone industry, Samsung’s Note 8 was one of the first device to feature dual rear camera OIS.

iphone 8 lightning port

The company’s new image sensor, powered by the A11 Fusion processor, is also able to snap photos with larger dynamic range. But while the colours present in a photo taken with the iPhone 8 are brighter than those shot with the iPhone 7 Plus, the difference is negligible at best. The only significant change I noticed over the iPhone 7 Plus is that focusing is slightly more rapid now, especially when shooting moving subjects and under low-light conditions.

Where the new phone’s camera truly shines is when it comes to the iPhone 8 Plus’ vastly improved Portrait Mode. The depth-of-field effect created by portrait mode feels more natural and the strange-looking blurring that often occurred around the edge of the subject’s face, is now gone.

iPhone 8 plus side view

Unlike the Note 8’s Live Focus feature, however, Portrait Mode still doesn’t work great with subjects that aren’t people — lines become blurred and depending on what you’re taking an image of, the photo often won’t turn out. Apple has also added a new Portrait lighting mode that despite early criticism from photography experts, is actually one of the camera’s best new features.

With this mode, users are able to choose between Studio, Contour, Stage and Stage Light Mono, changing the image’s lighting either while shooting the photo, or in post production. Stage Light and Stage Light Moto have the most dramatic effect since they remove the entire background behind a subject.

While many of these lighting tricks are possible with high-end photo editing software such as Adobe’s Photoshop, the ability to alter a portrait’s illumination with a simple swipe of a finger, is undeniably cool and surprisingly useful.

It’s worth noting these feature are only available with the iPhone 8 Plus and not the iPhone 8.

Finally, Apple has also implemented a new video encoder that enables faster frame rates and high-quality 4K video at up to 60 frames per second. The front-facing camera measures in at the same 8-megapixels as the iPhone 7.

iOS 11

iPhone 8 rear

As with the release of every new iPhone, the latest version of Apple’s operating system is set to drop on September 19th.

While many of the OS’ changes pertain more to the tablet side of things with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro being the marquee example, Apple has also introduced new features on the iPhone side of the equation.

iPhone 8 camera bump

Siri’s voice now sounds more natural, a new File system is finally available that allows users to actually see the files present on their device (this should have been added to iOS years ago), the Control Centre has been revamped, and perhaps more importantly, the mobile AR wars have begun with the release of the ARKit.

Oh and Apple has added slightly chunkier fonts in various places across the OS. Overall, iOS 11 makes a number of small, but still significant positive changes to Apple’s operating system.

Canadian carrier perspective

Freedom mobile screenshot

Since Apple’s iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are Band 66 compatible, that means the phones can be used with Freedom Mobile’s LTE network. There is one caveat though: LTE only works until you receive a call or are otherwise dropped to 3G service. Once the iPhone 8 flips to 3G, only a restart will get the device back on LTE — the same issue that’s been occurring for those bringing unlocked Band 66 Android devices to the carrier. It’s unclear if Freedom plans to resolve this issue in the future.

So while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are compatible with Freedom Mobile’s network, those hoping to consistently access LTE with the smartphone will be disappointed.

iphone 8

I also tested the device out on Bell’s network as well as with my personal Koodo SIM and the experience was smooth.

Update 09/25/17: We’ve looked further into the iPhone 8’s compatibility with Freedom Mobile and have determined that it’s possible the carrier could have released an update to improve network performance with Apple’s new iPhone. While the iPhone 8 still drops to 3G when receiving a call, it now automatically picks up the LTE single almost immediately after the call is finished.

Waiting for the iPhone X

Despite how solid of a device the iPhone 8 is, it's still overshadowed by the impending iPhone X. While the X feels like the future of where Apple intends to take its iPhone line, the 8 is perhaps a little too reminiscent of the past. That's not to say that it isn't a solid smartphone, because it is. The iPhone 8, and the 8 Plus in particular, still offer one of the best mobile photography experiences out there.

If you're an iPhone 7 or even an iPhone 6s owner, the iPhone 8 likely doesn't offer enough to justify an upgrade, though its A11 Bionic processor is impressive from a technical perspective. Those with an older iPhone, however, or those who aren't interested in the various bells and whistles the iPhone X offers, will find a lot to like about the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. Looking to the future, it's also likely that many of the iPhone X's more interesting features will trickle down to Apple's core iPhone releases.

The 64GB model iPhone 8 model starts at $929, while the 256GB model is priced at $1,139. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 Plus begins at $1059 for 64GB of internal storage, with the 256GB model set to cost $1,269. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are available in Gold, Silver and Black.

The iPhone X is expected to release on November 3rd with pre-orders starting on October 27th. The device is priced at $1,319 for the 64GB version.

"Despite how solid of a device the iPhone 8 is, it's still overshadowed by the impending iPhone X"

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Comments

  • Dimitri

    Won’t be getting neither. Pricing is outrages on the X and same with the 8 and 8 Plus. The 8 and 8 Plus doesn’t wow me as it has the design since the iPhone 6 just with a glass back. Nothing else. Wireless charging doesnt wow me anymore as I am using it on my S8+ and have used it for years. The screen resolution is the same. A11 doesnt wow me either but that’s just me. They removed the other color options as well.

    The iPhone X while it’s beautiful, I can’t see my self spending $1,700 (devices and taxes) or even $2,100 ( device, Apple care, case, screen protector and the cable and adapter for fast charging) for that matter for it. It doesn’t justify that pricing. Indeed it does offer new and exciting features, price doesn’t justify it like that here in CAD.

    Apple made a huge mistake not offering atleast the adapter for fast charging with the phone. They offer you a feature but don’t offer you the essentials to use it. You have to buy it ur self. Here in Canada that’s another $100 with taxes for a 2 meter cable and the adapter for fast charging.

    I’ll get the iPhone X only when it goes on sale with a carrier during the holidays or wait until next year and see what they come out next.

    • fmradio68

      “The 8 and 8 Plus doesn’t wow me as it has the design since the iPhone 6”

      Exactly I don’t like Iphones, I’m an Android user BUT EVEN IF I WAS into iphones the fact that there is no change in design since the iphone 6. Which looks like a HTC phone that came before. This for me may or may not be the beginning of a slow downward spiral for Apple.

      It seems Apple is playing catchup now. First they said that a 4i nch screen was big enough.

      Also would release only one phone as they are a premium brand and deserve the hefty price they charge. Now they release different models and are firing on all cylinders so they can get tap into the slightly price sensitive market.

      First the HTC look alike and I know people will say it was HTC that copied apple…

      And now the Essential Phone.

      Don’t get me wrong, Iphones are very good phones, I personally don’t like iOS but it seems Android makers like LG and Samsung are innovating more.

    • fmradio68

      “The 8 and 8 Plus doesn’t wow me as it has the design since the iPhone 6”

      Exactly I don’t like Iphones, I’m an Android user BUT EVEN IF I WAS into iphones the fact that there is no change in design since the iphone 6. Which looks like a HTC phone that came before. This for me may or may not be the beginning of a slow downward spiral for Apple.

      It seems Apple is playing catchup now. First they said that a 4i nch screen was big enough.

      Also would release only one phone as they are a premium brand and deserve the hefty price they charge. Now they release different models and are firing on all cylinders so they can get tap into the slightly price sensitive market.

      First the HTC look alike and I know people will say it was HTC that copied apple…

      And now the Essential Phone.

      Don’t get me wrong, Iphones are very good phones, I personally don’t like iOS but it seems Android makers like LG and Samsung are innovating more.

    • Nick

      Yeah, I agree. The iphone 8 and the iphone X is really expensive here in CAD. And hardware spec wise,the 8 is way behind the competitors. Not even a 1080p on the standard 8.

      Anyways, the only thing that made me happy was the cheaper SE and 6s. LOL.

    • In terms of the accessories you mention, I’d argue that you can pick a lot of those up outside the Apple Store for significantly cheaper, especially a solid screen protector, case, fast charger and wireless charger.

      That said, I totally understand where you’re coming from. The iPhone X has definitely hit luxury price territory, but so has Samsung with the Note 8.

    • Dimitri

      Oh i agree but again if I remember correctly, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 has a few innocenteds that some used third party chargers and they either caught in fire or damaged the phone. So while yes some manufacturers don’t have that problem, it’s going to be behind someone head thinking it.

      Apple should have added those in. There is no excuse why Apple shouldn’t have. You display a feature many wanted for more then 3yrs. They added it and ask you now to buy a charge and adapter for a price in order to use it. Meanwhile other manufacturers like Samsung, LG and some others give you that adapter included in the the box with the phone. So again no excuse why they couldn’t have added it.

      As for the pricing, I posted this on 9to5mac and even said that any phone price beyond $1,000 is to much. That being said, the Note 8 is $200 cheaper then the iPhone X 256GB. Even though the Note 8 does not offer 256GB, you can always buy a SD card which comes with that memory. Samsung included a 128GB with the Note 8 pre orders. So makes up for that.

      The Note 8 has a bigger screen, more RAM, bigger battery, includes a stylus and the adapter for fast charger for $200 cheaper. $1,299 vs $1,513) So the Note 8 does offer more for a less price then the IPhone X 256GB. Even offers more then the 64GB iPhone X (which is a $30 difference between them both.) but again the pricing for both is outrages and its to the point that many won’t be able to afford a new phone or get one due to the pricing for ALL smartphones at that price..

    • fred

      At least with the Note 8 you can get the cheaper Galaxy S8/S8+ instead without making a lot of sacrifices.

    • Dimitri

      Exactly. Even the S8+ is not even more expensive then both the 64GB and 256GB iPhone X and offers way more. Also includes the adapter for past charging too!. So no need to buy another accessory no matter what the price is.

      Both the Note 8, S8 and S8 Plus offer more for the price they are at. However even those prices are outrages for them.

    • ciderrules

      Best part about buying a Note 8 or S8?

      Paying flagship prices and waiting months for the next Android version. And being happy with updates disappearing after only 2 years.

    • Dimitri

      Being able to download videos or movies straight into ur phone with the built in browser. Being able to fast charge the S8 and Note 8 with the included fast charging adapter. Iris scanner which was been out since the Note 7 and has improved (in my eyes it has). SD card slot and more.

      Yes the software indeed is a issue but it you buy the phone from a carrier, its the carrier who are slow. Now that manufacturers.

    • John Lofwire

      note 8 include fast charger at that price and still give much more features and a bigger screen.. but still note 8 is also overpriced..

    • Those were carrier specific deals and limited time offers (Samsung doesn’t really have much to do with them).

    • John Lofwire

      All Samsung phone sold at carrier or directly from Samsung come with a high speed charger bundled in the box.

      I just verified.

      Sorry but no you are wrong.

      The Gear VR was the special limited time offer.

    • Brad Fortin

      Since you’re throwing in everything including the kitchen sink into your let’s-see-how-high-I-can-make-it pricing why not also throw in the cost of the most expensive 2-year plan possible? After all you’re not buying a phone this expensive to use it as an iPod. So tack on another $90/mo for 2 years plus another $150/mo for a massive data plan, that’s almost an additional $6500! Not to mention any repairs that aren’t covered under warranty, new cases when your needs or tastes change, new screen protectors when the old ones wear out, replacement and spare charging cables, Bluetooth headphones and Bluetooth speakers, etc, that could drive the cost well over $10,000!

      But that’s not how most people calculate a new phone purchase. Most people look at the price of the phone on a contract without any bells and whistles (since most iPhone 6/6S/7 cases will fit so anyone upgrading can keep the same case, and most people opt not to get an extended warranty, and most people don’t get the upgraded storage), at which point $229 for the 64 GB iPhone 8 is about as reasonable as just about any flagship on the market.

      They offer you a feature but don’t offer you the essentials to use it.

      Kind of like how many Android flagships offer wireless charging but don’t offer the essentials to use it, but I’ve never seen you bring it up when any of those devices were reviewed.

    • Dimitri

      When you buy a phone, most buy a case and or screen protector with it. Some if not most buy the AppleCare with the iPhone or any apple product. So yes the price will go up more when u add those in. Don’t need ur sarcastic replies either.

      Actually while that is true, Samsung did offer the wireless pad for free with the pre order of the S6 or S6 edge. Did we forget about that or will we ignore that?. I do AGREE that most do not do that and make u pay HOWEVER I am talking about fast charging, not wireless charging. Please pay attention more Brad instead of coming here to stir the pot to whatever you want so u can make arguments over things. Fast charging adapters are included with most LG, Sony and Samsung devices. Why can’t Apple include that? Was it hard for them to include the adapter? What’s the excuse this time? If you promote fast charging with your device, atleast give the adapter with it.

      While Samsung does charge for the Wireless charger, they always have huge sales on them for 50% off at times ( this happened not to long ago even with their new one) and Best Buy offers them for free or half price when u activate a Samsung phone. When I worked at Best Buy we did did it s for the customers. With Apple products u can’t discount or give for free like that. So apple will charge u through the roof for this item.

    • Brad Fortin

      And like I mentioned if the customer is upgrading from an old device of the same size (5/5S -> SE, 6/6S -> 7/8) they can usually keep their old case, some of which come with a screen protector, so it’s not a cost everyone is going to incur.

      Offering a pre-order gift to a limited number of customers isn’t the same as including it in the box, and those pre-order gifts only sometimes come from the OEM (sometimes it’s offered by the OEM, sometimes by the store, sometimes by the carrier), so yes I am ignoring something that the majority of S6 customers won’t get.

      I know you’re talking about fast charging, I’m just pointing out a double-standard. Both fast charging and wireless charging are optional, most OEMs only include the hardware required to use 1 out of the 2 optional features, but you’re making a fuss out of Apple not including the hardware for one optional feature while making no fuss at all about any OEM not including the hardware for the other optional feature.

      You know what also includes an option for fast charging? Electric cars. You know what doesn’t include a fast charger? Electric cars, and they’re considerably more expensive than any phone. Why don’t car OEMs include fast chargers, even at those prices? The same reason some phone OEMs don’t: It’s an option, a luxury, not a necessity. The regular charger works perfectly fine (and doesn’t damage the battery’s lifespan the way most (but not all) fast chargers do).

      Thankfully both Apple and Samsung support the same Qi standard, so those Samsung wireless chargers that go on sale for 50% off will work with the iPhone just as well as they would with a Galaxy.

      You might not be able to discount Apple-branded accessories because of the razor-thin margins but non-Apple-branded accessories can certainly be discounted (MAP pricing for brands like Otterbox aside).

    • Omar

      You will literally defend Apple for absolutely anything, lol.

    • Domino67

      One word for you apple fans….

      DONGLES!

    • I get where you’re coming from, but most of those accessories are optional and not necessary to the phone.

  • Razvan Zamfir

    It’s funny there are already scratches near the charge port on the silver iphone pic.

    On note: I cannot, for the life of me understand the purpose of the 8 (and to an extend the 8 plus) given the X, beyond simply making people swallow the price of the X better.
    “Hey look: we have the same style phone as last year for about the same price, BUT if you want something nicer, spit out a few hundreds more.”
    Now that I think about it, the other reason must be to avoid having wars in the Apple shops over availability issues if only the X was released.

    In any case, kudos to Apple for inevitably moving large quantities of the 8 and 8+ given the short comings (why are they not called 7s and 7s+ again?).

    EDIT: Before you say that people buy it because “it just works” before looks, please be realistic – most buy it for looks and brand before functionality. Matter of fact, I’m wondering if they didn’t make the camera setup vertical on the X just to differentiate it from the legacy iphones when seeing it from the back.

    • My guess is that’s actually just dust (there aren’t any scratches near the port). In terms of the camera set-up, my understanding is that it has something to do with the phone’s optimization for AR.

  • fred

    2GB RAM is simply not acceptable for a phone at this price

    • ciderrules

      What’s unacceptable is a mobile OS that needs as much (or more) RAM than a full desktop OS (like Windows) before it runs smoothly.

    • Smanny

      It’s a mobile OS. That part you got right. But when other mobile OS’s offer real multitasking and split screen multitasking as well. Then those mobile OS’s are like the desktop OS’s. Whereas iOS on IPhones is not.

    • ciderrules

      You’re not a developer so stop with the fake definitions of “real multitasking”. iOS is a fully preemptive, multithreaded, multitasking OS. And so is Android. There is no difference, except how the schedules handles threads/Apps.

      And now with Oreo, Android has adopted much of what iOS has had for years – placing tighter control over what threads/Apps are allowed to do. But don’t worry – Android is still the same preemptive multithreaded multitasking OS as before. Just like iOS. But now with more control.

    • Smanny

      I certainly am. But I don’t need to prove that to you or anyone else. Now with iOS on the iPhones it still automatically suspends each app you leave. With Android that is not the case, an app can continue to run without any extra code needed. With iOS you have to add specific code to run in the background.

      It’s nice that you are pretending to know Android. But in reality Android users could always limit and control their background tasks. But it’s been hidden in the developer options for years. With Oreo they are adding a few more features and bringing some to the foreground in the settings instead of hiding those options in the developer options.

    • ciderrules

      What’s more important? A single high-performance core (like Apple uses) or multiple slower cores (like Samsung/Qualcomm use)?

    • fred

      If iOS doesn’t “need” more than 2GB, why do the iPhone X and iPad Pro have more?

    • ciderrules

      This was all explained last year. The dual cameras require large amounts of RAM for the processing of special effects, like Portrait Mode. Which is why the dual camera iPhones have the extra GB of RAM.

    • fred

      fanboys will beleive anything Apple says.
      Repeat after me “we didn’t increase the RAM from 2 GB and it’s not because we wanted to save a few buck”

      “thanks for being a loyal customer”

    • Brad Fortin

      You would be correct if this was an Android phone, especially one running at 1440p, but it’s not. As an iOS device with a relatively small screen resolution 2 GB is more than enough. Heck, 2 GB is even enough for an iPad Pro to run 4 apps simultaneously without lag, so it won’t be an issue on a smaller phone.

    • fred

      1440 or 1080p doesn’t make that much of a difference on RAM.
      They make iPad Pros with 4GB so it seems there is a use for it.

    • Brad Fortin

      Yup, there certainly is a use for more RAM, but it’s hardly a necessity in iOS phones.

    • fred

      If they released all phones with 4 GB, you’d have been the first one to say it was a good design decision and that while 2 GB was fine last year, 4 GB is better for 2017 especially if you want to keep your phone a few years.

    • Brad Fortin

      Actually no, for the same reason I think it’s a bad decision to start at 64 GB of storage: From what I know about people’s usage habits it’s overkill and the majority of that additional storage (or RAM) would be wasted on the average customer.

      I also think the same way about sedans since so many people never use more than just the driver’s seat, and houses/condos since many people never make full use of their cubic footage.

    • fred

      The problem is that current year iPhones are too powerful (overkill) for the average customer buying them. It’s not only RAM and storage. Display resolution is too high, wifi and cellular speed are too fast.
      The average iPhone customer would be better off with the cheapest iPhone, or even better, a $200-350 Android.

      But my point was that if you are going to pay $1000 for a phone, it should be because you need top performance and as such it better have more than 2 GB RAM.

    • ciderrules

      Says who? You? Is there some sort of standardized rulebook somewhere that dictates how much RAM a device needs to offer top performance?

      iPhone 7 is the fastest phone on the planet, soon to be overtaken by the iPhone 8/X. RAM doesn’t seem to be hurting their ability to rip through tasks with ease.

    • fred

      You don’t seem to understand how RAM is used.

      The iPhone 7 is a fast phone, on any CPU benchmark using less than 2 GB RAM. On a benchmark using more RAM, it is the slowest phone on the planet.
      All the benchmarks you know are designed to use very little RAM so they can run on all phones and test only the CPU.
      Run geekbench on your PC with 4 or 64 GB RAM and you will likely get the same score. That doesn’t mean 4 GB is enough for a high end PC.

    • ciderrules

      And now the other shoe drops. Nice to see you out yourself as someone who knows nothing about performance. You sound exactly like one of those spec whores who think the numbers on a sheet are what determine performance. Moar cores, moar RAM, moar GHz.

      Explain how an iPhone 7 with less RAM can utterly destroy an S8 doing a very processor intensive task (rendering 4K video) where the data being processed is actually larger than available RAM.

    • fred

      You really have no clue on what you are talking about.
      Duh, because you don’t need to load the whole video in RAM. Even loading small chunks at a time is enough to keep the CPU busy.

      It doesn’t mean there aren’t use cases where you actually need more RAM.

    • Domino67

      Apple phones are I believe clocked at 2.34ghz and others are at 1.7ghz…..is this why apple phones are “faster”? regardless of amount of RAM?

    • fred

      No it’s not. There isn’t only GHz that matters in CPU speed. And many Android are faster than 1.7 GHz.

      It all depends how the test is designed. A CPU bound test will give the same result with 1 or 8 GB RAM on the phone.
      A RAM test using 2.0000001 GB RAM will fail on the iPhone 8.

    • Domino67

      The OnePlus 5 is faster. But you knew that already.

    • Cody Woodward

      There’s literally speed tests all over YouTube made by admitted android fan boys even, which run the iPhone 7 beside even the Samsung s8 and the like and they call them real world tests, because they are designed to max out the ram by opening a list of apps once. Then going back and opening the same list of apps that should be stored in the background (here’s where the ram comes into place) and every single time, the iPhone has all the apps ready to go in the background and every single time the higher spec’d android phone has to relaunch a few of them because even with all that ram, the OS doesn’t manage it well and it drops out apps stored in the background. On paper LOTS of android phones are better, but in real world testing for app launching and ram management it’s just doesn’t seem to matter. IOS is much better optomized to its indivdual hardware it seems and if android can figure out how to do the same then and only then could you compare a spec sheet side by side and have it be apples to apples.

    • fred

      Finally a second person here who understand what RAM does.

      No matter how great the iPhone performs with 2 GB RAM compared to phones with a different OS (therefore running different applications), it would perform even better with 4 GB. And when selling this phone $1000, they have no excuse to put so little RAM in it.

  • Smanny

    “Despite its similarities to the iPhone 7, it’s difficult to find a significant fault with the iPhone 8.”

    The iPhone 8 has a low resolution display for 2017, especially when Apple is asking $929 and it only has a HD display. It’s not like they couldn’t have put full HD display on the size of a 4.7″ display. Just look at the HTC one m7 which came out in 2013 had a full HD display which was 4.7″. Look at a price of $929 it’s really hard to call the iPhone 8 a flagship in my opinion, especially since it has that low resolution display with only 2 GB of RAM, and a single camera. Yet you found it difficult to find fault Patrick? Really? No wonder why Apple has record profits.

    • I don’t think in this case a direct comparison to Android device’s is really fair. iOS is a different OS that’s less resource intensive than Android (this means not as much RAM is really needed). Also, packing in additional pixels doesn’t always result in a better screen and can lead to battery life concerns as well.

    • Techguru86

      IPHone has always suffered in battery, they don’t put in a big battery, software can only do so much, IPhone are old news and are getting eclipsed by Samsung, Huawei

    • Suresh Aryal

      So what do you compare to? Windows phone? Android phones are the main competitor. There is nothing more than Apple greed in putting a 750p display in a 2017-2018 phone. Also with such huge bezels, battery size has gone down.

  • southerndinner

    LOL its camera can’t match a year old Pixel and Apple still considers the 8 their ‘flagship’ phone?

  • John Lofwire

    What? An apple device not with 9 and over rating?
    Wow i am truly surprised lol.

    • Smanny

      How could they give it a 9 in 2017. Especially when it’s basically the 4th generation design. Plus there is so many other flagships with better pricing, better cameras, and more features.

    • John Lofwire

      to clarify i mean that usually they are biased to apple way more and always give 9 and more 😉

      I agree with your assessment.

    • I think I’ve put together a very fair review here. I understand that the design hasn’t changed in roughly four years and took that into account. That said, it’s still a solid phone with few faults.

    • John Lofwire

      And i thanks you its refreshing to see less biased review 🙂

  • Captain Pokemon

    I am tempted to just purchase iPhone 8 Plus instead of the iPhone X because of the Touch ID. I felt comfortable with it and not just ready for Face ID just yet.

  • AppleBerrySandwich

    Do yourself a favor – buy an iPhone 7 and save $$.

    • This isn’t a bad option if you have an older iPhone.

    • specialk2000

      Any chance you can update the post as it seems the iPhone 8/8 Plus with the Intel modem works with Freedom’s LTE properly.

  • TheCuddlyKoala

    Amazing phones.

  • Fshumayrqan

    iphone x for me, time to ditch the note 5!!!

  • Thiago

    Can you guys please confirm which model was tested? A1864 or A1897?

    • Geekbench wasn’t able to pull the model number, sorry.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      Did y’all return these already?

      Can’t verify the model numbers from the physical devices themselves?

  • Sergey Wain-Fellowes (My Zest

    Great review Pat. Few thoughts, love the new studio lighting in the portrait mode. I actually like the new blush gold / “pink” color. But obviously, we’re all waiting for the iPhone X. Just nothing special with the iPhone 8, same old same old.

  • Not Jon Snow

    Of course iPhone 8 gets an 8/10 lol. But very ballsy for Apple for releasing basically the same phone for 4 years in a row.

  • jay

    last year the iphone was somehow OK design and screen but holding it beside the Android phones with there small bezels it looks so old. doesnt not matter what apple put inside it is just old. now apple start giving names to there chip so it sounds so cool. i have an iphone 7 plus and this year i will skip because there isnt anything wrong with it.