About 3 years ago, Apple Inc. had totally revolutionized the face of its iPhone series lineup, as the new design not just included the larger size, but the company had also introduced another extra-large variant for those who loved bigger screens. Release of iPhone Plus smartphones is a testimony to that. So, the bottom line is that when you buy an actual iPhone containing a larger and bigger screen, you basically are opting for the iPhone Plus.
However, from the beginning even, the company had hinted towards differentiating its smartphone series through introduction of changes other than just the size of the device. And so, the disparity between the two variants released over the last couple years can be seen. iPhone Plus phones have featured optical stabilization for their cameras. Even though it is a minor change, the idea concerning Plus model as featuring the advanced camera technology was appreciated, and also when the previous year’s iPhone 7 Plus got dual rear camera system, everyone was clear that from now anyone buying between regular or Plus iPhone would not just compare the screen size, but also the camera system installed.
That decision was further complicated this year with the release of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and a new model namely iPhone X, which is regarded as best of all. So, while everyone is putting more attention to the iPhone X featuring Face ID and entirely new design, one cannot just rule out the iPhone 8 Plus.
Moreover, while some buyers would simply say ‘the more the better’, and would simply move on with buying iPhone X rather than the new iPhone Plus as the new high-end option, what exactly the iPhone 8 Plus have in terms of its position, status and market value? The phone still has bigger size than iPhone 8, and it has extended features as well as an upgraded camera though. Moreover, the phone is currently available unlike that of iPhone X, for which the buyers would have to wait for another month.
So why not settle for iPhone Plus this year and leave the X option or its advanced variant for next year? In order to dig further deep into iPhone 8 Plus, let’s talk more about its latest features one-by-one.
Unboxing iPhone 8 Plus
In the box, you will get following accessories along with the device:
iPhone 8 Plus
Analog Headphone adapter
USB to Lightening Cable
Although the new iPhone 8 Plus is heavier and slightly larger in size than its previous variant, the real good thing in it is the new glass back.
The new design suggests that Apple has gotten rid of ‘S’ iteration and it has decided to move to a full number model, and this did require a major makeover in the Apple’s hardware. When compared with the previous iPhone 7 Plus, this year’s 8 Plus is not having any sort of bold new design. When we look into its layout, the 8 Plus does not have any different pattern that was made the last year in case of iPhone 7 Plus. There are extremely minor changes vis-à-vis size and shape. Moreover, the external dimensions of iPhone 8 Plus are only bigger by a few fractions of millimeter as compared to the earlier edition.
There is a barely higher expansion in case of weight comparison, as 8 Plus has 202 grams weight as compared to 188 grams weight of iPhone 7 Plus. Still, you are not likely to subjectively notice about the larger or heavier feel of this year’s iPhone Plus considering the features it is released with.
However, such measurements do not depict the full story, and in case of new models, we saw that Apple has introduced glass back for all of its 2017 iPhones. While that will be great for the phone to get charged wirelessly, it could still just be a maneuvering on part of Apple, which might lead its new series of iPhones to the danger zone.
Apple has tried different ways in terms of options that it gives to the users, and where some years have witnessed the trend of one-size-fits-all, in other years we have seen that the buyers have been given overwhelming choices to buy from. As a matter of fact, the company might be afraid because it was focusing more on the latter option, and that was true when iPhone 7 Plus was released in five color variants.
With the introduction of iPhone 8 Plus, the company is actually bringing few things back in line, and it is offering the phone in just three colors, i.e. gold, silver and space gray. Moreover, waterproofing benefit has also been revived just as was the case in previous year. So, we are delighted that even when new materials have been used for designing the phone, the priority is still given to protecting the hardware of the phone against any sort of accidental water damage.
Additionally, while Apple has kept the older size and shape in case of 8 Plus intact, this also makes it victim to the same lack of shifting design trends as was witnessed in case of HTC U11, as fans were really excited about that too, but it turned out to be a disappointment. So, with the giants like LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 available in market with extra-wide aspect ratio, many people have started to feel about iPhone 8 Plus as just ‘fat’ and ‘obsolete’.
Apple might already be doing something concrete about that through transforming its design in case of iPhone X, but that still does not change the status of iPhone 8 Plus anyway. iPhone 8, the smaller one, is still attractive enough for users due to its regular features, but iPhone 8 Plus is the one that comfortably sits in the middle of two extremes and hence has been considered by the buyers as the least attractive option so far.
Though colorful and sharp features make it great, but the exceptionally high brightness in last year’s iPhone Plus is missing this year!
Though the newest and best screen technology this year has been reserved for iPhone X, which will come with AMOLED panel as well as HDR-video support, still the iPhone 8 Plus manages to contain a bit of hotness in it when compared with iPhone 7 Plus even when having same shape, screen size and resolution.
True Tone is the new tool in this year iPhone Plus. This is the same system that was deployed by Apple in case of iPad Pro, which is first time introduced in an iPhone. True Tone will basically use the sensors of the phone for matching the screen color temperature with the ambient lightning condition. It might not make a greater impact on your phone usage, still it does improve your ‘quality of life’ which is being highlighted by Apple in the first place.
Another significant consideration that you should be aware of while perusing the specs sheet of iPhone 8 Plus is about mentioning of Apple concerning the phone supporting HDR-enhanced video content playback. This is certainly true, but only in case of iPhone X, whose screen is capable of reproducing the high-quality range videos. Therefore, while you will be able to play the HDR footage on iPhone 8 Plus, which will also look great like a standard video on bigger screen, still this phone won’t offer you the same experience that will be provided by iPhone X.
Despite all of the above-mentioned arguments, one thing is assured that iPhone 8 Plus screen will be brighter and versatile. However, this year’s iPhone Plus as well as the regular iPhone will not be evenly matched vis-à-vis display. The 7 models released in the previous year were also capable of providing the same brighter output; however, the new generation of hardware in 8 Plus will not be as brighter as in the case of standard iPhone 8. However, the 8 Plus still has better brightness as compared to a wider majority of smartphones currently available in the market, so it’s hard to get disappointed over it. Lastly, color production is great in the phone.
Interface and Functionality
iOS 11 is considered as a solid upgrade, as it might not reinvent the wheel, but it is still packed with the enough enhancements.
iOS 11 updates had started appearing even when the retail debut of Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus was not made. So, the new smartphones from the company will definitely come with pre-installed iOS 11, as they are unboxed. In comparison of previous updates of iOS, there is not a single major overhaul witnessed in new iOS; however, there are still a few smaller updates that make it a great edition.
Redesigned Control Center is the biggest winner, which not only brings in more functionality, but it also provides the users an ability to customize their app icons. However, even in the presence of many buttons there, you will wonder about the absence of a few, such as brightness controls. You will see a great brightness slider, which is more responsive than the one coming with Android, and which will also toggle for the Night Shift as well as True Tone. However, the completely missing thing is the control about auto-brightness setting of the phone.
Obviously, the extended availability of Siri in the latest App Store along with improved maps and file, you will not get short of enhancements that are equally deserving for greater attention.
Processor and Memory
Whether you are going for the smaller or bigger iPhone this year, or even if you are opting for the upcoming iPhone X, one thing is certain that you are going to get that in the latest as well as greatest silicon chip designed by Apple. This is called A11 Bionic chip.
The performance of this processor is much better than the Snapdragon-based devices running on Android that are currently available in the market. Actually, the only serious competition that this new Apple silicon chip is getting is A10X, which was installed in case of iPad Pro models. While, A10X performs remarkably in those models, iPhone 8 Plus will still be able to manage the better performance owing to the installation of A11 Bionic chip.
When the comparison is made with iPhone 8 featuring slightly low-resolution screen display, iPhone 8 Plus will not be able to deliver the similar frame rates when running graphically-demanded applications. However, you should still not rule out this phone just because its smaller version is faster in a few tasks, as we are simply drawing a comparison of two super-fast race cars in here. Moreover, while we are already trying to give you a complete glimpse of each of the two, both the iPhones are pretty much belonging to the same league.
While Apple will continue to provide some best cloud storage options to its users, the internal storage capacity is still a big winner. Moreover, recently, we have witnessed the other manufacturers to integrate higher internal storage options. 64GB has become a new minimum normal in many Android smartphones, and in case of iPhone 8 Plus too, you will be riding on the same boat. Another good thing is that if you pay just $150 more than the usual price, you will get a major upgrade in storage from 64GB to 256GB.
Apple is great in updating its iPhones with the latest satellite-tracking updates and Bluetooth.
The smartphones manufactured by Apple have matured to a point where they are not hurt in the support for the major standards of connectivity. In the new iPhone 8 Plus, there are several connectivity options for you, and that is due to a few new upgrades as well as the appearance of support for the latest services.
The most remarkable improvement in this regard is the emergence of Bluetooth 5.0, which evolved from Bluetooth 4.2. and while you will not run into any sort of situations in which you would seriously need the Bluetooth 5.0 support for working in the new hardware, the most promising improvement is that it will be extending speed as well as range limits, which will be certainly helpful with the hardware involving internet of things.
Another cool improvement is the support provided by Apple to the additional satellite positioning technology, which will render the iPhone 8 Plus in its ability to get the signals from Japanese as well as EU systems. So, who wouldn’t like the more accurate and faster location lock anyway?
The two great cameras on the back have even got better; however, the beta quality software has again shown its uglier appearance.
The iPhone 7 Plus released last year had demonstrated a great step forward in terms of dual camera system. The introduction of such combination of cameras not only provided the users an option for telephoto zoom, but it also offered the special effects option through selective focus.
Without any surprise involved, Apple is back with the same but advanced dual camera system in case of new iPhone 8 Plus. However, if you are concerned with only the common specs, then beware because Apple is using the same camera system that it used the previous year.
However, it should be ensured that Apple is rarely a company that disappoints its fans. This is true when it comes to specifically its cameras used in the phones. While the introduction of iPhone 8 Plus does not involve any sort of revolutionary step forward in case of the imaging hardware, some actual improvements have still been delivered by the company.
Although, the resolution in case of both the rear cameras would remain the same, i.e. 12MP; however, there are larger sensors this year, and they will result in the emergence of bigger as well as highly-sensitive pixels. Moreover, these pixels would also highlight the enhanced isolation from each other due to enhanced image fidelity. And the data-processing systems added in the new camera are intended to provide the major boost to the things such as auto-focus speed and HDR performance.
Other than that, there will also be extended video options including the high-end frame-rate and resolution combinations, and the camera hardware optimizations with use Apple’s AR kit framework.
There is a rampant issue found in case of call quality in Apple iPhone 8 Plus. When you are on call with someone, there is often heard an intermittent clicking sound that comes from your phone’s earpiece. This sound does not come from the distant end, as we did evaluate it by dialing different numbers.
Due to increased curiosity, we felt that it might be due to the noise-cancelling feature of the phone, for which we did try to turn it off, but still the clicking sound remained continued. It might be that the phone we were testing was a faulty one, but it is still a shocker for us that an iPhone will be at fault for so smaller thing. It is not like the clicking actually makes the calls intelligible, as some of the users have dismissed this issue as being a very minor one; however, a phone of such cadre, price and quality, the voice-call should be perfect.
iPhone 8 Plus does qualify for at least giving us the best battery life as compared to previous iPhones.
The iPhone Plus might have a bigger battery as compared to the standard iPhone, but that does not mean it will have better battery life, because the former has a bigger screen too. However, that does not mean iPhone Plus does not have edge over standard one vis-à-vis battery life, as the larger iPhone’s enhanced power capacity actually outshines the enhanced consumption.
When compared with the iPhone 7 Plus, it has been known that iPhone 8 Plus will also come with the same battery capacity. Moreover, the battery life has also been stated by Apple to be the same. However, the tests reveal that this year’s Plus model has better battery life on relative scale, as the screen-on time stretches up to 10.5 hours, and this difference is larger between the two. But beware that recharging iPhone 8 Plus will take some more time, as it will normally take 3 hours from getting it charged from 0 to 100 percent.
Another good thing is that this phone will have fast-charging option. But this will not be done through the power adapter; rather you will need to connect your phone through high-output USB Type-C power adapter and pair with an Apple Laptop through Lightening cable, so that you will be able to charge your phone at an accelerated rate.
Another option would be the wireless charging one. This would be supported through the system based on Qi standard. This is however newly introduced in Apple, so we must wait before this feature starts getting operational, as the charging pod is not made by Apple, and user has to buy that from third party, for which it is important to check the viability of external hardware first before commenting on the iPhone 8 Plus wireless charging.
Usually, the Plus iPhones stand out against the regular ones. Still, Apple normally makes more sales of standard iPhone rather than the Plus version. Still, 7 Plus was not far behind previous year, and we can expect that the 8 Plus will also put good records for the company in coming months. Therefore, it is quite impossible to deny the significance of iPhone 8 Plus. The new glass back is quite an attractive feature, which will definitely catch viewer’s attention. Though, the 8 Plus comfortably rests in the middle of standard iPhone 8 and the high-powered to-be-released-soon iPhone X, still this phone is expected to gauge a huge market for itself.
Moreover, iPhone 8 Plus would be regarded as the best economical option among all high-powered Plus phones, and that is because it will come $200 less than the price of iPhone X. Moreover, though we are forced to consider that this year’s iPhone 8 Plus is not the everyone’s jewel, as it is not dynamically and relatively more powerful phone than its predecessors, still we can vouch for this iPhone model on the basis that it is still the best option for users who want to buy a high-powered iPhone lesser than the $1000 price tag. So before buying any, you definitely need to make an informed decision that whether you should go for iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X. The differences and comparative views have been outlined above in greater detail. Bottom line is that if you want to buy an iPhone that has more or less a traditional design, but comes with the larger screen, better battery life and specs, then there is not any other best option than iPhone 8 Plus, as one can definitely wait for another year before the release of an advanced version of iPhone X. But this year, the actual catch can still be awarded to the Apple iPhone 8 Plus!