The new “mainstream” iPhones are called iPhone and iPhone 8 Plus. But they might as well have gone for the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus because that’s essentially what they are. While a traditional “s” upgrade is nothing to scoff at, it does mean that at least from the outside, things mostly stay the same. Other than the new glass back, the new iPhones look exactly the same as the last (so much so that the iPhone 7 cases will work with iPhone 8).
The upgrades are all on the inside. Here are the best new features of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
1. All New Glass Design
While the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus still mostly look like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the back is now all glass. And Apple has made sure that this is the strongest glass ever put in a smartphone. The side frame is still built from stainless steel which is seamlessly fused between the two pair of glass.
The colors have changed a bit too. Now, it’s just Space Grey, Silver and Gold. There’s no Rose Gold or Jet Black. The Space Grey color looks blacker than the previous Space Grey versions. The Gold version though has more of a copper finish.
2. A11 Bionic Chip
At the heart of the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is the new A11 Bionic chip. And this might just be the biggest update between the iPhone 7 and 8 generations. The new chip is a 6 core system with 2 high-performance cores and 4 high-efficiency cores. We’ve seen early benchmarks for this chip and it’s a monster. Not only is it faster than the Galaxy S8, it’s even faster than some MacBook Pros! The high-performance cores are 25% faster than the A10 Fusion chip and the high-efficiency cores at 70% faster than the A10 Fusion chips.
Plus, to make things even better, Apple has designed its own GPU this time around. It’s a 3 core chip. It’s 30% faster than the graphics core in A10 Fusion chip.
A11 Bionic chip has been designed with machine learning and AR in mind. The upcoming games and AR apps that take advantage of Metal 2 framework and Core ML should just fly on the new iPhones.
3. True Tone Display
True Tone is one of my favorite features in the iPad Pro. And finally, it’s available for the new iPhones. True Tone automatically changes the color temperature of the screen based on your surroundings.
4. Better Cameras
iPhones have the best cameras in the smartphone market and with every iteration, they get better. It’s the same case with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 8 still has a single camera unit and the 8 Plus comes with a dual camera setup. In iPhone 8, Apple has added a better sensor and a better color filter.
Both cameras use the image signal processor unit in the A11 Bionic chip to process images. The chip uses AI to optimize photos in real time, even before they’re taken.
Both phones have a 12MP shooter with a 1.8f aperture wide angle lens with OIS. The iPhone 8 also has an f2.4 aperture telephoto lens.
Both iPhones get a Quad LED True Tone flash which lights up your subject in a better way, reducing the noise.
5. Portrait Mode is Better
The best thing about iPhone 7 Plus gets even better with the iPhone 8 Plus. You’ll get sharper detail in Portrait mode shots, with a more natural background blur. More importantly, you’ll be able to take better low light photos.
6. Portrait Lighting
Portrait Lighting is a brand new feature that takes Portrait mode to a whole new level. It brings professional level lighting control for portrait shots to your iPhone. And all you have to do is focus on the subject and change the lighting effect between half a dozen presets. They range from natural light, studio light to stage light. The stage light basically turns the whole background black. Only your subject is visible.
You can preview this feature live while taking the photo or change the lighting effect from the Photos app later. The portrait mode and portrait Lighting features are available only for the rear camera. It is not available for the front-facing camera like the iPhone X.
7. 4K at 60 Fps and Slo-mo at 1080p.
The new iPhones are finally fast enough that they can capture 4k at 60 fps for you. You won’t need this in your day to day life, but if you’re looking to capture more detail from fast moving subjects (like your kids or pets), 4k at 60 fps can be a great thing.
Plus, the Slo-mo feature is also better. You can now shoot at full HD 1080p resolution at 240 fps.
8. Wireless Charging
Thanks to the glass back, the iPhone 8 supports wireless charging. And this time, Apple is supporting an industry standard that’s already established. Any charging pad that’s compatible with Qi technology should work with the iPhone 8. Apple will sell accessories from Belkin and Mophie in their store.
But Apple in their true fashion did announce their own upcoming AirPower accessory which will charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods at the same time.
New Storage Tiers and Pricing
The 32 GB tier is no more and the new iPhones are down to two storage tiers. Just 64 GB and 256 GB. iPhone 8 starts at $699 for 64 GB version and the 256 GB version retails for $849. The iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799 for the 64 GB version and goes up to $949 for the 256 GB version. The new iPhones are available for preorder on September 15 and they’ll start shipping on September 22nd.
Yes, Apple has bumped the starting price by $50 and the storage upgrades are also $50 more.
Will You Be Buying an iPhone 8?
Everything else is the same. The screen, the front facing camera, the water and dust resistance, and the front panel.
Will you end up buying an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus? Or are you going to wait for the iPhone X? Do you think the new iPhones are interesting enough? Share with us in the comments below.