iPhone 8 Plus early verdict
We’re more enthusiastic about the iPhone 8 Plus than we are about the standard iPhone 8. The Plus’s Full HD 5.5in screen highlights the improvements that have been made to the display – namely the addition of True Tone – much more than its smaller sibling. The larger display also helps showcase the AR features more effectively.
The Plus’s larger form factor and the glass back make the phone feel very high-end, although it now tips the scales at a hefty 202g.
Beyond the screen, the Portrait Mode introduced on the iPhone 7 Plus now comes with Portrait Lighting on the iPhone 8 Plus. You can mimic the kind of lighting effects created in professional studios, as well as stage lighting, and the results are seriously impressive.
“Portrait Lighting is based on extensive research into the art and science of portraiture and core photographic lighting principles,” Apple explains, and it uses the dual cameras as well as an image signal processor to recognise the scene, create a so-called depth map and separate the subject from the background. Machine learning is then used to create “facial landmarks and add lighting over contours of the face” in real time.
Like-for-like, the iPhone 8 Plus offers enough improvements to warrant an upgrade from the iPhone 7 Plus. An upgrade is especially warranted if you have the smaller iPhone 7 or previous iPhone models.
The display is a genuine delight, and its AR capabilities really do need to be seen to be believed. Having wireless charging is now a significant selling point for both iPhone 8 handsets, as is A11 Bionic chip.
The iPhone 8 Plus isn’t cheap, however, at A$1,229 for the 64GB model and A$1,479 with 256GB. That entry-level model is $120 more than the Galaxy S8, but $120 cheaper than the Galaxy S8+ and $350 less than the iPhone X.
Overall, the iPhone 8 Plus is our favourite of Apple’s new lineup, delivering the best mix of features, size and value (at least compared to the iPhone X).
Is it better than the best Android phones like the Galaxy S8? We’re not so sure. We’ll report back once we’ve benchmarked and spent more time with the handset.