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iPhone 8 Plus: Great hardware on a dated design
September 28, 2017

Is Apple’s latest also the greatest? Read on and find out.

Another year, another iPhone. That’s usually the case with Apple’s flagship smartphone – but this year is different. During its annual September keynote Apple actually revealed three iPhones: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X.

We won’t get to see the iPhone X until after the first week of November when it releases so the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are currently the star of the show. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the ‘7S’ of this year since it largely features the same design that we’ve been seeing the past four years.

If you’ve seen the iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 6S/6S Plus and the iPhone 7/7 Plus then you would know what the iPhone 8 will look like. The iPhone 8 Plus (tested here) boasts the same rounded design and dimensions, with the main difference is the all-glass black.

Yes, it’s already a dated and boring design, considering that its competitors have introduced bezel-less flagships, but that’s what the iPhone X is for. I won’t go too much into the design since well, it’s basically the same as last year’s iPhone 7 Plus – right from the 5.5-inch full HD display to the Lightning port at the bottom (sorry still no 3.5 mm headphone jack).

But the iPhone 8 Plus’s internals is where the magic happens. It’s fitted with an hexa-core A11 Bionic chip that is probably one of the fastest CPUs you will find on a smartphone. Even benchmark scores on the A11 chip annihilated the competition and even revealed that it’s as fast as a MacBook Pro.

Of course, not everyone cares about the numbers but real-time usage of the iPhone 8 Plus truly revealed the CPU’s capabilities. For example, I’ve shot footage in 4K 60 fps and added titles and transitions on iMovie. Rendering that one minute footage in 4K completed in less than 30 seconds.

While the camera on the iPhone 8 Plus features the same dual lens setup and the same 12-megapixel count, the sensors have been improved that simply made it one of the best performing cameras we’ve seen in a while.

Colors are great especially when you shoot in daylight – and HDR processing has been greatly improved from the iPhone 7 Plus. The auto focus works well even when in video mode. It also carries over Portrait mode from its predecessor, but now has a new feature called Portrait Lighting that adds certain effects on the image taken using the information from the dual cameras. It’s still in beta, but it does give you a unique portrait that you’d normally able to do on a dedicated app.

iPhone 8 Plus sample shot

Same image at 100 percent crop

Portrait mode sample

The improvements on the iPhone 8 Plus’s camera is one of its top features and is something that needs to be experienced as opposed to me showing you the samples. You can even read DxOMark’s recent review on the iPhone 8 Plus camera and know why it’s the highest rated camera phone at the moment. 

It runs iOS 11 out of the box, and while there are lesser cosmetic upgrades on this version, most of the underlying functionalities have been improved.

The addition of wireless charging support is a welcome feature, but it also made the iPhone 8 Plus the heaviest iPhone (202 grams). Apple said that battery life is more like the iPhone 7 Plus, meaning that it should be enough to last you for about a day before plugging it in again.

The iPhone 8 Plus comes in 64 GB and 256 GB quantities, costing 3,249 AED and 3,879 AED respectively.

Users of the iPhone 6 and older should find the iPhone 8 Plus a worthy upgrade while iPhone 7 Plus users don’t really need the upgrade at the moment – unless you’re planning to the buy the 4,099 AED iPhone X.

The dated design might put off some people wanting to upgrade to the iPhone 8 Plus, but its speed, performance and camera instantly puts it as one of the best in the market.

by vportiz

Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Has passion for all things tech – you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and recently discovered his love for gaming. Follow him on Twitter at @vp_ortiz17