Apple iPhone 8 Plus review
Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting and Augmented Reality
Our Apple iPhone 8 Plus review takes a look at the new Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting, along with other new features, such as Augmented Reality.
The most durable smartphone glass
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus has a front and back made from the most durable smartphone glass ever. The glass is strengthened by fixing it to a laser welded steel foundation. This strengthening layer is now 50% deeper than before.
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Metal still features in the construction with the two pieces of glass fitted to an aerospace grade 7000-series aluminium band. The fit is so precise that the iPhone 8 Plus is water and dust resistant, to IP67 standards.
The iPhone colours have been tweaked but the naming remains the same. Apple fans have the choice of Space Grey, Gold or Silver. This iPhone weighs 202 grams and is 7.5mm thick.
True Tone Retina display
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus has a significantly bigger screen than the iPhone 8 and the resolution is better too. The 5.5” Retina HD display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, equating to 401ppi.
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The display has pressure sensing 3D Touch again, giving the user extra functionality through soft and hard presses. New to the iPhone 8 Plus is True Tone technology. True Tone has a wide colour gamut, while sensors measure the surrounding light in order to adjusts the white balance. The result is the most natural looking visuals yet.
Additionally, the iPhone 8 Plus’s display has dual-domain pixels, creating wide view angles that make it easy to share content with a group of friends.
Phone Set Up
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus offers biometric security through the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. With this, a fingerprint can be used to unlock the phone, unlock apps or for buying apps and goods with Apple Pay.
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus comes in two versions. The first has 64GB of memory, while the second has 256GB of memory. The choice comes down to the prospective buyer and just how much content they want to keep on the iPhone, before backing it up on a Mac, PC or iCloud account.
AR gaming, AR apps and the A11 Bionic chip
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus can run AR games and AR apps. In both cases, Augmented Reality overlays graphics onto the real world, as seen by the camera. AR and 3D games work really well on the iPhone 8 Plus and this is due to the powerful chips inside.
The A11 Bionic chip and GPU are more powerful, when compared to those on the last iPhone (A10 Fusion chip):
- 4x efficiency cores - Up to 70% faster
- 2x performance cores - Up to 25% faster
- 3x GPU cores - Up to 30% faster
Sound, iOS 11 and Siri
The iPhone 8 Plus boasts 25% louder stereo speakers, that also deliver a deeper bass. This means that epic soundtracks can be enjoyed in all their glory.
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iOS 11 is full of enhancements, one of which is Siri, whom sounds more natural and now has male and female voices. iOS 11 will also allow Apple users to pay money to friends through the Messages app, later in 2017.
Camera & Video
Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting
The 12MP dual camera has a telephoto lens and a wide angle lens. These work together in Portrait Mode to capture sharp foregrounds and naturally blurred backgrounds.
Portrait Lighting (beta) uses depth maps and facial detection to create shadows and spotlight effects. The five Portrait Lighting effects are:
- Natural Light - The face is in sharp focus with a blurred background
- Contour Light - Dramatic shadows, lowlights and highlights are accentuated
- Studio Light - A brightly lit face gets a sharp look
- Stage Light - A spotlit face is set against a deep black background
- Stage Light Mono - Like Stage Light but in black and white
The dual camera system also gives the photographer 2x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom for photos and 6x digital zoom for videos.
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus has an Apple designed image signal processor. This recognises objects, people and motion in the scene and optimises the settings before a photograph is snapped.
Apple have placed a Quad LED True Tone Flash next to the lenses and this offers Slow Sync. Slow Sync creates a short strobe pulse and combines it with a slow shutter speed. This creates a bright foreground and a correctly exposed background, with 40% more uniformed light.
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The Apple cameras can create Live Photo video loops, capture Slo-mo video at a quality of 1080p with 240fps or capture 4K video at 60fps. For video calls and selfies, there is a 7MP FaceTime HD camera with a Retina Flash.
There is another clever piece of software in use when it comes to saving images. The compression software halves the file size of images and videos, while retaining the original quality. This is great news for those who opt for the 64GB iPhone 8 Plus.
Same battery life
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus has about the same battery life as the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which incidentally is far more than the iPhone 8. The battery gives up to 21 hours of talk time or up to 13 hours of internet use, 60 hours of audio or up to 14 hours video playback.
The iPhone 8 Plus supports fast charging and wireless charging but you will need to buy a fast charger or Qi wireless charger, in order to take advantage of this. In 2018, Apple will release the AirPower wireless charging mat and this will be able to charge multiple Apple devices at the same time.
Next: Apple iPhone 8 review
Written by: Michael Brown