The Good Fantastic dual lens camera shoots better than ever in enhanced portrait mode. Adds wireless charging. Fast speed. Starts at 64GB. The best battery life in the current iPhone lineup. There’s still a home button if it’s important to you.
The Bad The dated look. It lacks some of the additional features of the iPhone X. The large body makes it difficult to hold.
The Bottom Line The iPhone 8 Plus is a great phone with an impressive camera that offers much of what the iPhone X has under the hood, but Apple is sure to release an update later this year.
Editorial Note (September 12, 2018): The iPhone 8 Plus reviewed here is now available at a reduced price of $699 . See all of the new iPhones and new products that Apple just announced.
Launched in September 2017, the iPhone 8 Plus is the second best phone available from Apple. It offers most of the features in the top-end iPhone X, but in familiar hardware. Two months after the release of the 8 Plus, the “X” marked Apple’s first major design upgrade in years, but the changes – and the high price – are hard to swallow for some.
Since the release of 8 Plus has come to the place of your iPhone as the greatest opportunity for your money. But there are rumors circulating around three potential ones new iPhones , including the available option, is likely to be eliminated in September this year.
Check out the best CNET smartphones for more information on competitive products.
The original iPhone 8 Plus review – released on December 22, 2017 and for the most part unchanged – should be.
8 Plus is not the “best iPhone to buy” since the larger Plus phones have been around since Apple launched “regular and extremely large” versions of the iPhone in 2014 . And this is no longer the only big-screen iPhone. The iPhone X many steps higher than the 8 Plus, with some additional camera features, a large body-to-body ratio, a bright OLED display, and a surprisingly functional Face ID camera that replaces the home button. Of course, it’s also more expensive.
But don’t sleep on 8 Plus. The 8 Plus feels much bigger than the compact X, and its design is almost unchanged from previous iPhone Plus models. But its powerful performance, still excellent cameras and spacious, standard screen – which maximizes all existing iPhone applications and includes several iPad-like features not available for the X – makes it an old-school Apple iPhone veteran.
IPhone 2017 prices (64GB, 256GB)
|iPhone 8||$699, $849||£699, £849||AU$1,079, AU$1,329|
|iPhone 8 Plus||$799, $949||£799, £949||AU$1,229, AU$1,479|
|iPhone X||$999, $1,149||£999, £1,149||AU$1,579, AU$1,829|
This large, capable phone includes all the features of a smaller iPhone 8 ($ 599 on Amazon) – including wireless charging, a True Tone screen and the same ultrafast A11 Bionic processor you’ll find in the X. But, like last year’s iPhone 7 Plus ($ 249 on Amazon) , you get a larger 5.5-inch screen, water resistance and – most importantly – a great dual rear camera with 2x optical zoom, upgraded for 2017 with a brand new image sensor. This camera, even more than a year ago, has an even more sophisticated and fantastic appearance. In the weeks since the release of 8 Plus, he has impressed both senior CNET photographer James Martin and myself. And although the camera on the iPhone X is a bit better, the difference is more than inches, as Lexi Savvides and Vanessa Hand of Orellan have found deep dive comparison .
Although upgrades for existing 7 Plus owners are minimal (except for wireless charging), the 8 Plus is worth the premium of 8 to get dual cameras, a larger display and a battery that still knocks out the iPhone X. It feels like a big workhorse next to the iPhone X, traditional phone … but powerful. And perhaps one that some will prefer over X.
Now that I’ve been living with both phones for weeks, I prefer the more comfortable iPhone X. But I think the 8 Plus is still a fantastic package and a great chance to incorporate the latest Apple processors without going full speed (financially and ergonomically) to new designs Apple iPhone.
Editor’s note, December 22: This review was updated to add a battery rating and discuss battery life comparisons on the 2017 iPhone. The November 16 update added extensive comparisons to the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, as well as comparing photos with the Pixel 2.
Design: Again (basically) the same
Once again, the iPhone 8 Plus has all the same basic features as the new iPhone 8, except for its larger size, slightly better battery life (in everyday use) and better cameras. If you want to delve deeper into these major new details of iPhone 2017, check out our review of the iPhone 8 .
Best iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus cases
As for the Plus design, this is deja vu again. The iPhone 8 Plus looks identical to the 7 Plus, but it feels different thanks to moving it to a glossy glass back. This time around, the Apple build process uses stronger aluminum body accents, steel fittings inside, and metal backlights around the camera lens. There are only three colors this time: white with silver hues, glossy black and cosmic gray, and pinkish rose gold, which feels pink and gold.
Camera: Starry footage, even better video
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ($ 464 on Amazon) is a great camera . The new Pixel 2 is a great camera . Apple used to have a pristine role as a camera, but now many phones take great pictures. And that’s why Apple once again raised the bar on its camera.
The 8 Plus includes a new sensor and image processor with the new A11 Bionic chip, which promises more intense colors, better low-light shots and faster autofocus. My photos turned out great. The low light ratios are not as dramatic as I expected compared to the already excellent iPhone 7 Plus, but the photos I took usually looked phenomenal.
Portrait mode, which debuted last year, now supports flash photography and HDR (on 7 Plus too with iOS 11). 8 Plus and X add a new photographic technique called Portrait Lighting, a beta feature that adds simulated 3D face lighting and even removes backgrounds to create studio shooting. My mileage varied: sometimes the effect was stunning, but at other times it looked very fake and surprisingly cropped. I wouldn’t want to update my phone for this, but it can be nice to play. This is sure to get better.
At sunset around my house, the comparative shots between the 7 Plus and 8 Plus were not so easy to distinguish until it was almost dark. The new sync flash, which promises richer flash photos, has not had a huge impact for me yet, but I need to keep trying it. But see for yourself: the camera takes damn good photos, and the colors seem enhanced. It may also mean more details. HDR has been improved when shooting sun-drenched clouds.
How the iPhone 8 Plus sees San Francisco
As I mentioned, James Martin also used Plus, and as a professional photographer he may be even more impressed than I am. Instead of new lenses or a really different hardware camera, the software and the processing inside enhances the photos. He was impressed by the low noise in low-light photos, color rendering and textured images.
Unlike traditional TV companies – Nikons, Canons and Fujis in the world – he believes that Apple’s achievements in using a powerful iPhone processor in the photographic process is the most stunning concept. “Apple is engaging in computing photography that has been neglected by traditional companies,” he says.
The video looks fantastic, and the transition to new photo and video formats lets you record 4K videos at 60 frames per second, or slow motion at 1080p and 240 frames per second. Slow motion looks especially stunning. That said, although 8 Plus excelled at capturing low-light video, CNET’s Lexy Savvides found that one Pixel 2 lens moved past it when performing certain tasks when it did compared them head to head .
As big as an 8 Plus camera, the iPhone X is is a bit better . In X, both rear cameras have optical image stabilization (OIS) – compared to the main one on the Plus – and the X telephoto lens has better f / 2.4 aperture than the f / 2.8 of this phone. This means a bit clearer, better low-light photography and improved portrait photography in low light. The X also has portrait mode features on the TrueDepth front camera. This makes the X the best package for iPhone cameras at the moment, but 8 Plus offers most of the best features (minus the selfie Portrait effects).
What can the A11 Bionic chips do? (Hint: AR)
Apple’s new A11 chips (and new motion processors, graphics, camera sensors and image processing) are similar to the 8, 8 Plus and X, Apple reports. Our figures show this with almost identical performance on all three phones. However, the X and 8 Plus come with 3GB of RAM versus 2GB on the iPhone 8.
The six-core processor has two fast cores plus four low-power cores, and multitasking tests show a big jump over the past year. The Geekbench 4 test results crushed all other phones, including even the Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm. This is a major, big increase in speed: Expect 8 models to double the multitasking speed of the A10.
IPhone Tests 2017
|Benchmark||iPhone X||iPhone 8 Plus||iPhone 8|
|Geekbench 4 single-core||4,232||4,259||4,196|
|Geekbench 4 multi-core||10,329||10,394||10,325|
|3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited||63,446||63,229||61,998|
(Each number above is an average of three runs on iOS 11.1)
Apple’s chip plan is to use it for on-board machine learning, as is done in iOS with photo libraries and third-party applications. In addition, reality is added: iOS 11 now has AR apps, though you don’t need a new iPhone to use them (they are backed back to the iPhone 6S ($ 160 on Amazon) ). The ARKit tech does some amazing things while navigating virtual objects in the real world Google’s Tango AR technique also made a year ago.
However, AR alone is not a reason to upgrade with the iPhone 7 ($ 170 at Walmart) . But the capabilities of this fast chip are really great. The next iPad will be crazy.
iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone X
The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X are only available in 64 and 256 GB storage. For an extra £ 100, £ 100 or US $ 150 per storage level compared to the iPhone 8 8 Plus, it offers you the same offer as the 7 Plus a year ago: bigger screen, better dual cameras, better battery. Read my guide below decide which iPhone to choose .
The iPhone X will get:
- 5.8-inch, higher-resolution OLED display – bigger, though taller and narrower than the Plus models
- Better front-facing camera with depth sensing and animoji support
- The best rear camera
- A smaller chassis
- Face ID but no home button
- Otherwise, iPhone X offers everything that 8 Plus does
Again, with the 8 Plus, you get most – but not all – of the iPhone X’s internal qualities without the new design, screen, and external features.
Battery Life: 8, 8 Plus, or X?
You probably already know that drills with new iPhones and battery life: for the most part, year after year, they don’t aim for significant benefits. In fact, the 2017 iPhone (8 Plus, 8) actually is smaller batteries than their 2016 counterparts (7 Plus, 7), though exact same Battery expectations (from Apple) through more efficient ICs of new models.
Indeed, Apple has never claimed a marathon battery life for the iPhone X. Its published battery performance is equal to the iPhone 8’s Internet usage (12 hours) and wireless video playback (13 hours), while the 8 Plus is rated an hour more for each task . Meanwhile, X and 8 Plus ratings are significantly higher than 8 in talk and wireless audio playback (21 and 60 hours on larger iPhones compared to 14 and 40 on iPhone 8, respectively).
In our test of playing a video that cycles through video in airplane mode, the iPhone X actually turned out to be the worst. The iPhone 8 Plus is a bit better in battery life than the 8, but it really is a subtle blow. In all cases, the iPhone in these tests was significantly lower than other phones with the highest Android level.
Note that the Tom’s Guide and Wall Street Journal tests found that the X battery landed right between 8 and Plus. We continue to test the battery on these iPhones as part of a longer analysis of wireless charging, and will update our performance if we notice noticeable changes.
IPhone Battery Life (Video Play Test)
|iPhone 8||13.5 hours|
|iPhone 8 Plus||13.75 hours|
|iPhone X||11.45 hours|
In real life, we are not offline when watching videos without interruption. Anecdotal everyday use tells a slightly different story. I found the iPhone X battery to be great for all day use, and at least as good as the iPhone 8. But I also found that I needed to charge it by noon to be safe. The same applies to some extent even to 8 and 8 Plus. I still don’t feel like the iPhone can last more than a day or even a whole day without a little charge. Bottom line: I would like future iPhones to perform better.
Read the full iPhone 2017 battery life for more information.
Great, safe choice
To be serious, some people don’t want their adapters to change and feel different. And I mean it honestly: if you’re that kind of person, the iPhone 8 Plus is the best choice. It’s every bit the beast of iPhone X performance, and in some ways (as a battery) it comes out on top. Each app in the Apple App Store works great on the 8 Plus screen, which is not the case with the iPhone X. And a new interface to explore.
In doing so, the iPhone X is the best iPhone … if you can afford it, and you like the feeling of something new. Maybe you don’t. You may want the screen for video reading and viewing to be as large as possible. You may think of your phone as a mini tablet.
If you do, 8 Plus will probably make you happiest. It’s a less exciting choice, but a great safety choice for a workhorse phone. Just get ready for the future of iPhone Where more models, similar to X .