The iPhone 8 Plus is a great phone – there’s no doubt about that. Last year it was a better phone than anything Apple had produced before, and it’s, well, just done in a very Apple way.
That’s not fawning over the brand, it’s a nod to the effort that Apple puts into making sure its phones just work, and in a way that adds in flourishes that impress.
Whether that’s a subtle haptic double buzz when pressing the shutter on the camera, or being able to ‘feel’ the numbers clicking when selecting the time on the alarm, it’s those little delights that… delight.
The glass back on the iPhone 8 Plus is probably the most noticeable change, to enable wireless charging – it’s a different look, and if the drops we inadvertently subjected the phone to are anything to go by, it’s pretty robust.
The wireless charging is a handy addition, but it’s not earth-shattering… you’ll enjoy it if you’ve got a pad, but it’s not as rapid as connecting a lead.
The camera enhancements are subtle, but impressive, as is the speed boost the A11 Bionic chip offers – you won’t notice much out of the box, but the little extras it brings do offer something different.
The Portrait Lighting mode was a nice upgrade from Apple, especially in decent light, and a genuine highlight over the iPhone 7 Plus.
Battery life has sadly not taken the leap forward we’re desperate to see from Apple – if you’ve always lived within the iPhone ecosystem you’ll be pleased with the battery performance on offer, but there’s still the feeling that more could be done here.
In short, the iPhone 8 Plus is a great phone. It’s expensive, but filled with the little touches Apple is known for that smooth the smartphone experience to such a degree that you’ll feel glad you paid more.
The thing is, the presence of the iPhone X
The iPhone 8 Plus is a phone for the Apple fan who wants the longest battery life possible, and the most screen to look at, without having to pay the premium the iPhone X costs.
That said, if you’re going to pay this much, you should think hard about spending a little more to get the headline new iPhones… the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are using the rapidly-tiring shape that Apple has been offering for years, where the XS and XR phones are a whole new experience.
Also, if you’re a video fiend, you should only buy the iPhone 8 Plus if you’re happy to fork out for the 256GB model, otherwise you’ll run out of space within a few months if you don’t siphon off your movies.
(and the 2018 models) renders the 8 Plus unexciting. It’s an old design with the same features as before, just a bit more refined again. The iPhone X/XS/XS Max/XR are exciting, whereas the 8 Plus is just more of the same.