Apple released the iPhone 8 to the UK market on 22nd September 2017. It was announced a week earlier at the Steve Jobs Theater opened in memory of the great and industry changing Steve Jobs. CEO Tim Cook announced it by saying “This is a huge step for iPhone!” and here, we will review the huge steps Apple have taken to bring you the iPhone 8…
So, to begin with; they’ve built in their own words “the most durable smartphone ever” with glass on both the front and the back which is further supported by an internal, laser welded steel and copper structure and surrounding those, an aerospace grade aluminium band which matches the finish on the three available colours – Silver, Space Grey and Gold.
The iPhone, is water and dust resistant although it’s IP rating is slightly less in comparison to probably its biggest rival – the Samsung Galaxy S8. The latter holding the ability to be as far as 1.5 metres under water whereas the iPhone only able to be 1 metre under water.
The iPhone 8 is; an inch longer, wider and thicker than its predecessor and Apple, have given the iPhone 8, the same screen as the iPhone 7 too – a 4.7” Retina HD display. Though the screen functionality has certainly improved – Apple’s new True Tone Display, the wide colour gamut and 3D touch add a sense of sharpness to the screen’s performance. The True Tone, adapts colour, temperature and intensity to ambient light around the user, whilst the wide colour gamut improves accuracy. Along with the display, the phone boasts stereo speakers, which Apple claim are 25% louder and put out deeper bass.
With the release of this new phone, and as always in their autumn releases; Apple, have included a new A11 Bionic chip to optimise its performance – this chip is Apple’s most powerful and smartest chip yet, they’ve built in more transistors and importantly it comes with 6 cores as opposed the quad core held on the previous A10 version – but does all of this jargon actually bring any noticeable improvement to the average user? Well actually, yes, it does – if you use your phone for gaming, machine learning, for its camera or even just for its fundamental functions, you will certainly notice a change; – overall, the change you will see is a quicker and slicker process that consumes less battery. It is the first Apple phone which uses all of its cores at the same time (this is something rival android phones have been doing for some time), it comes with an all new Apple designed GPU, a new ISP which enables fast focus in low light situations, a much improved pixel processor and hardware enabled multiband noise reduction – all this together is there to give you better performance and better pictures!
Speaking of pictures, the Camera on the iPhone 8, much similar to its predecessor, has a 12MP camera, with the same f/1.8 aperture wide angle lens and the same digital zoom up to 5x; so what is different here? Well in terms of its capabilities – absolutely nothing! There is nothing the iPhone 8 camera can do, that the iPhone 7 camera can’t BUT the iPhone 8 has in its A11 Bionic chip, their own designed ISP; which adds a faster focus in those lower light scenarios, sharpness to the colour of your photos, texture to the look of your photos and greater noise reduction!
The video capability has been advanced too, they claim it’s the “highest quality video capture ever in a smartphone” this highest quality is supported by an Apple designed video encoder which enables faster frame rates, the encoder has the ability to perform real time image and motion analysis to predict changes in content. Furthermore, if you like slow motion capture, this has been enhanced with the ability to shoot at 240 frames per second which is double what the iPhone 7 was capable of.
One of the key highlights of this new phone, truly highlights the direction in which technology is heading in the next few years – is the phone’s Augmented Reality functionality; this basically places 3d visuals dynamically into the real world using the phones 12MP camera for example; Pokemon Go and Minecraft. Using apples AR Kit and Metal 2 framework, AR truly feels more realistic in that, you actually feel like you are in the game and we can anticipate more AR games and apps coming up.
Finally, of the new features on the Apple iPhone 8, they have now included wireless charging capabilities! This has been on Samsung phones for quite some time now but with the glass back on the new iPhone, it’s allowed them to incorporate wireless charging, it’s compatible with any Qi certified chargers.
In addition to the above; the iPhone 8 has retained several other features; the 7MP internal facing camera with an f/2.2 Aperture and 1080p video recording, a fingerprint sensor built into the home button, video calling, Siri and a lithium-ion battery that’s last between 12 – 14 hours.
In terms of prices, the iPhone 8 only comes in two possible options; one in a 64gb capacity which can be brought at £699 and a second option which is 256gb at £849.
So, are these really huge steps for iPhone? Our suggestion is; if you want the convenience of wireless charging, you’re an avid gamer with an interest in AR or you make use of the camera on your phone, this is certainly a phone worth investing in; if you already hold an iPhone 7 or 7 plus, then it probably isn’t worth getting this as no doubt there will be more ground breaking technologies over the next couple of years and if you own a rival phone, then it’s quite possible that your phone has most of the features the iPhone 8 boasts.
At £699, you’re paying a big premium for basically an upgraded iPhone 7; unless wireless charging, decent gameplay or better colour saturation appeals to you – you want to look at the iPhone 7 at £549.