iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus get new guts and cut the cord

I bet you have no idea what Apple released in its latest keynote today. That's right, a new pair of handsets, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Although they slot in under the mighty iPhone X, the sequels to last year's iPhone 7 models bring with them a cadre of enhancements including a new SoC, a refreshed camera setup, and wireless charging.

For us techies, the new A11 Bionic chip is the star of the show. The CPU is a hexa-core setup with two high-performance cores that Apple says are 25% faster than their A10 equivalents, accompanied by four slower cores with a promised 70% boost over their forebears in the previous chips. Apple says the custom-designed GPU in the A11 should be 30% faster than the one in the A10 SoC while using up half the power as its predecessor. There's also a new image signal processor (ISP) for good measure.

That ISP comes in handy for the camera setup in the iPhone 8. Apple says the iPhone 8's camera has a new 12 MP sensor with optical image stabilization, coupled with a quad-LED flash. Sharp-shooters can record video at 4K resolution and 60 FPS, while slow-mo aficionados will appreciate the ability to record 1920×1080 video at 240 FPS. Once again, the iPhone 8 Plus has a two-camera setup. That handset's neatest trick is probably the new "portrait lighting" mode that uses depth sensing to dynamically overlay different lighting on a subject's face. Furthermore, the lighting can also be adjusted in post-processing. The new age of selfies is upon us.

The iPhone 8 has a 4.7" Retina HD display with a resolution of 1334×750 (326 PPI), while the iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5" 1920×1080 screen (works out to 401 PPI). Apple's True Tone software control ensures the displays react to ambient lighting in order to try and maintain a natural appearance, a feature that goes well with the 625 cd/m² of brightness on tap.

Additional niceties in the new phones include stereo speakers, Qi wireless charging (finally!) and support for LTE Advanced and Bluetooth 5. Unlike their predecessors, the iPhone 8s have a glass back instead of aluminum. The multitask-enhanced iOS 11 powers the handsets. The butter-handed among you will be pleased to know that the new phones are both water- and dust-proof.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will arrive in three finishes—silver, black, and gold. Available storage capacities are now 64 GB and 256 GB. The iPhone 8 goes for $699 with 64 GB of storage or $849 for the 256 GB version. The bigger iPhone 8 Plus rings in at $799 with 64 GB of space, while the more capacious 256 GB model will set you back $949. Preorders will begin in September 15, and Apple expects to start shipping handsets in September 22.

Comments closed
    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    Just read that the wireless charging dock is not included (no surprise), but also that the charging cable+wart they include will not be able to fast-charge.

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 2 years ago

    I find these yearly CPU improvements really impressive. Every year they add a huge boost to their single threaded performance, and no one can catch up. It’s like Apple has the only good ARM implementation in the world.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      They were already silly ahead of the game on per-core performance. This year they decided, “hey, what if we embarrass everyone else’s multicore too”. With random variation it’s probably the first ARM chip over 10K GB4.

      That said it seems their single core train is slowing a bit if they’re moving to a focus on multicore now. But 4000 point cores were already really good and others havn’t near caught up, they’re more like Kaby Lake than any mobile phone CPU.

    • christos_thski
    • 2 years ago

    So they’ve taken 4 years to adopt wireless charging, and according to most all reports now they’re using Qi’s bog standard method, and not Qi’s faster wireless charge? Why?

    5V/1A wireless charging is so slow that it becomes borderline useless. And Qi already offers faster wireless charging. It’s available in both Samsung’s S8 and the S7….

    By the way, do we have any news at all on the wired fast charging, that other field Apple had to catch up? They’ve mentioned it on the presentation with no details whatsoever.

    I’m terribly non-plussed with the whole presentation. I’m still hanging on to my Iphone 5S and hardly found anything to be impressed with the newer iterations? Iphone X, in particular, without the home button nor touchid, is abhorrent to me. TouchID plus the atrocious battery life were the reasons I left the android ecosystem for Apple. On both fronts Android seems to have the upper hand now (FAST wireless charging, large batteries, and not screwing around with fingerprint unlocking).

    A plain led-illuminated home button for notifications would be worth more to me than all of Apple’s innovations since the 5S…. Instead they’re doing away with the home button altogether in favour of gestures… In my book, that’s Apple putting aesthetics ahead of functionality once again. First the headphone jack, now the home button, I might be wandering back to android for my next smartphone…

      • trackerben
      • 2 years ago

      The increased screen area would be worth it, IF they get Face ID right. I would wait for reports before deciding, it seems to have intermittent issues in irregular settings.

      Marshmallow on cheap phones showed that gesture-centric interfaces can work smoothly. Surely Apple can do as well, if not better.

      Same argument goes with wireless charging, although why they did not implement teh latest version is a technical mystery. It may have to do with product liability cases.

      Their most questionable move was removing the headphone jack. It does benefit heavy users overall, since it compels better battery and signals-shaping capacities in listening gear.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      not sure you got minused. Everything you said I basically agree with. But there’s no way I’d hold on to an iPhone 5S unless you’re holding out for a faster iPhone SE.

      The iPhone X gestures are not intuitive and getting rid of the home button is a mistake. But by contrast, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are pretty boring. If I wasn’t on an iPhone 6S Plus already I’d probably buy an iPhone 8 Plus, but I have basically no complaints with my 2 year old phone.

        • adisor19
        • 2 years ago

        Well, the 5S will at least get iOS 11 so that’s a nice upgrade to hold him off 1 more year at least. And of course who knows, maybe Apple will figure out a way to implement TouchID behind the screen afterall.. I’d surely be happy if it would make such a return.

        Adi

    • hasseb64
    • 2 years ago

    7s and 7s Plus, but something is wrong in that HQ

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Good grief. $950 for the top spec model.

    • watzupken
    • 2 years ago

    To be honest, I am disappointed with the fact that the iPhone 8 still looks pretty much the same as the iPhone 6, 6S and 7. The bezels still look really big which makes the phone unnecessarily big. The designers are paid for 4 years just recycling design. Despite the fact that they are working on the design of the iPhone X, that is no excuse for 4 years of stagnant design here.

      • arunphilip
      • 2 years ago

      Its exactly your reaction that Apple marketers were probably hoping for: “You want sexy? Hey, look at this iPhone X”.

      Those who want the Apple brand/ecosystem alone have a cheap(er) entry point with the iPhone 8. But anyone seeking to buy an iPhone for looks will be gently shepherded by such product segmentation decisions towards the iPhone X.

        • adisor19
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, this is the year of the tradeoffs. You want the new hotness ? No Touch ID for you. You want the best cameras, you pay for the new hotness.

        The X is definitely a controversial phone but they have room for improvement in software. The fact that it is able to map the face to such high detail has a lot of potential for gestures based on facial expression. I’m thinking outloud here : smile to auto unlock so you don’t have to swipe up, etc.

        Adi

          • NeelyCam
          • 2 years ago

          Or, you switch to Samsung S8/Note8. You get everything.

    • backwoods357
    • 2 years ago

    Has about everything I’m looking for in a phone, I would be all over it if it didn’t run iOS. Pixel 2 is really going to be the only option I can see to replace my 6p, I won’t buy a phone that isn’t running stock android. Really wish there was something on the same playing field as the 6p coming out in the same price range.

      • LiamC
      • 2 years ago

      OnePlus 5?

    • wingless
    • 2 years ago

    Phone manufacturers really need to switch to ceramics. Glass has proven not to be all that great. You would have thought Apple had learned their lesson the first time…

      • davidbowser
      • 2 years ago

      I completely agree with you on ceramics. There are just so many options for strength and toughness coupled with low radio interference characteristics.

      In their defense, Apple uses a ceramic case in one of the watch models, so I am confident they thought about it. It might just be that they couldn’t get it exactly the way they wanted, so they went back to glass.

      • oldog
      • 2 years ago

      Speaking as one who has revised fractured ceramic hip replacements.

      Ceramic backing, with current technology, would not solve the brittleness issue.

      • Laykun
      • 2 years ago

      Except for incredibly brittle ceramic is. Watch The Verge video about the Mi Mix 2, he literally drops the phone 2ft and the ENTIRE CORNER of the phone (like maybe 2cm squared) just straight comes off.

      There is NO perfect material for a phone, it’s all a list of trade-offs between hardness, brittleness, looks, weight, durability and price.

      • RdVi
      • 2 years ago

      Ceramic is pretty heavy also. The 8/8+ are both unreasonably heavier than the 7/7+ already IMHO, with ceramic they would have bordered on being simply too heavy.

      • Zizy
      • 2 years ago

      Nah, they need to switch back to good old plastic. It might not look as nice, but it sure works better.

    • NeelyCam
    • 2 years ago

    Just yesterday I sold an iPhone 7 Plus 256GB on Swappa for $700 (only 4mo old, in flawless condition, and came with another 20mo of applecare). I estimated that as soon as the iPhone8 comes out, this phone would be sold for $799 on apple.com, so $700 seemed like a decent price.

    Well, turns out that Apple doesn’t sell a 256GB iPhone 7 anymore. iPhone 7 Plus 128GB is $769. The cheapest 256GB iPhone you can is the $849 iPhone 8….

      • odizzido
      • 2 years ago

      It surprises me how popular apple products are despite them all lacking sd slots.

        • NeelyCam
        • 2 years ago

        RDF is immune to such logic. Besides, in the US, many folks wouldn’t know how to put the microSD card in. Think about it – no replaceable battery, no microSD, and nobody ever switches SIM cards (actually, most don’t seem to know there is a SIM card in their phone). So, “opening up” the phone would be something only techies should even consider doing.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    I’m going to be looking for bend and drop tests…Hopefully with the new glass the strength isn’t compromised too much.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      I honestly can’t figure out why phone manufacturers insist on glass backs. Surely there are other materials/finishes that can provide a similar “premium” feel without all the major fragility drawbacks.

      Aside from that, it looks like a solid device.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        This time it’s for wireless charging, but they could have done a small circle cutout

          • davidbowser
          • 2 years ago

          The Palm Pre had wireless charging and Palm said on multiple occasions that the plastic case was a requirement at the time.

        • arunphilip
        • 2 years ago

        As others have said, wireless charging. I’m happy to put up with a case for my S8+ just for the benefit of wireless charging due to its glass back. Wireless charging from the Lumias onwards spoiled me, particularly as my phone is set down at a desk a majority of the day.

        To me – its not glass per se that’s the disappointment, but the hype of toughened glass vs. reality. Things like Gorilla Glass improve only scratch resistance, and I don’t think they greatly alter the glass’s ability to withstand drops, particularly when the corners of phones are stressed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This