Apple’s seductive sports activities automotive of a telephone is the completely redesigned, edgy, giant-screened iPhone X.

So what does that make the Eight?

The iPhone Eight is final yr’s design with this yr’s expertise. It feels acquainted. It is a secure choose. It is a “let’s not spend a thousand on an iPhone” iPhone. It is a “Contact ID and a house button matter extra to me than a leap of religion into the world of Face ID” iPhone.

Similar really feel, just about. You OK with that?


Sarah Tew/CNET

Make no mistake: The iPhone Eight is basically the “iPhone 7S.” Apple saved the cool options and radical new design for the iPhone X, which prices 43 % extra — $999, £999 or AU$1,579 to begin. And if you’d like the really spectacular twin digicam, with portrait mode and 2x optical zoom — each critically good step-ups — you will have to spend money on the a lot bigger iPhone 8 Plus ($996.00 at Amazon.com), or the iPhone X. It is a totally different method than Samsung, which made its complete line of Galaxy S8 and Note 8 telephones look new, however not too dissimilar from Google’s tackle the Pixel 2 phones. With the iPhone, new appears to be like solely come on the prime finish.

2017 iPhone pricing (64GB, 256GB)

US UK Australia
iPhone Eight $699, $849 £699, £849 AU$1,zero79, AU$1,329
iPhone Eight 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

The iPhone Eight’s greatest function is its processor, a quick new six-core A11 Bionic chip, just like the processor within the iPhone X and eight Plus. Because of an all-new picture sensor, picture high quality has improved in low gentle, as has video high quality. The iPhone Eight provides an improved iPad-style True Tone display screen, and the audio system sound good and loud. All the brand new iPhones embody wi-fi charging now, due to a glass again.

You probably have an iPhone 7, you will discover the quicker pace, higher display screen and higher digicam on the iPhone Eight “good to have,” however in need of “must-buy” territory — until you are notably enamored with the wi-fi charging Android homeowners have loved for years.

For anybody with an iPhone 6S ($570.00 at Amazon.com) or earlier mannequin, nevertheless, the advantages of leaping to an iPhone Eight ramp up dramatically. The pace, display screen, audio and digicam enhancements will really feel vital, and you will get good upgrades you missed while you skipped the iPhone 7, together with water resistance.

So, yeah: That iPhone X might look nice within the showroom window. However in the end, you are driving off the lot with the sensible four-door crossover. It is extra reasonably priced. It will get completely first rate fuel mileage. However it nonetheless has the identical good high-end navigation bundle, leisure system and fuel-injected engine as that candy low-slung coupe. Not too shabby.

That is the iPhone Eight. The baseline 2017 iPhone stays a top-tier smartphone — a critically good telephone. Simply do not anticipate it to show heads.

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Look, it is your $700, however we’ve not reviewed the X but.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Must you get iPhone X as an alternative?

The X is compact — it is obtained a 5.Eight-inch display screen in a physique that is taller however barely wider than the Eight — and it feels nice. Its twin cameras are higher. Its show is super-bright and packs extra show in almost the identical dimension. However, the X is much more costly, a bit extra fragile and does not have a house button: You may should get used to Face ID, Apple’s camera-based tech for utilizing your face to unlock the telephone and pay for issues. It really works, however it may be annoying.

If any of that sounds enticing to you — or in the event you’re keen to pay an enormous premium for “the very best iPhone” — go for the iPhone X. 

Should you do not care about that stuff, or in the event you simply cannot see your self paying $1,00zero for a telephone, the iPhone Eight is ok. Sure, it is mainly what we had been calling all of it yr: the “iPhone 7S.” However S telephones are sometimes the very best values, and the iPhone Eight is not any exception. It is an improved iPhone that appears the identical. However, in gentle of what the Eight Plus and X convey to the desk, and digicam positive aspects made by Android telephones just like the Pixel 2, the Eight is not fairly the slam-dunk iPhone the 7 was.

Editors’ notice, Dec. 22: This evaluate has been up to date with battery benchmarks, telephone sturdiness drop test results, and comparisons to the iPhone X. The ranking has been adjusted from Eight.6 (four.5 stars) to eight.four (four stars).

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Mophie’s wi-fi charging mat will work with the 7.5W quicker iPhone Eight charging that got here later this yr.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Wi-fi charging: Cool, however BYO

The iPhone Eight comes with a Lightning cable and plug, nevertheless it works with the prevailing Qi wireless charging standard. Meaning there are already many reasonably priced third-party chargers in the marketplace, and plenty of public locations — like McDonald’s, as an example — have already got counters with Qi-compatible chargers built-in.

Apple does not have its personal wi-fi cost base in any respect, not less than not but: AirPower arrives subsequent yr, a mat that prices the brand new iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 3 and AirPods ($190.99 at Amazon.com) with a brand new cost case. Some Qi-compatible chargers like ones from Belkin and Mophie can cost up a bit quicker (7.5W), however they’re nonetheless not what I might name quick-charging. However, they’re handy: Lie your iPhone on them, and cost away, supplied your telephone’s within the cost space.

If you need quicker nonetheless, spring for a separate higher-wattage MacBook charger — and, after all, the USB-C-to-Lightning cable, bought individually. The brand new iPhones will cost as much as 50 % in half an hour this fashion, however not with included chargers.

Nonetheless, now that Apple’s on board with an current commonplace — Samsung and others have lengthy supported Qi — wi-fi charging appears to be like to lastly turn out to be a common comfort. Starbucks has already pledged to make its current wi-fi chargers iPhone appropriate, and there are many Qi chargers accessible on Amazon for as little as $20 within the US.

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The iPhone Eight (left) lacks twin cameras as soon as once more.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Higher digicam, however not twin cameras

The iPhone Eight does not get a twin digicam just like the Eight Plus and the iPhone X, and that is a disgrace. However its pictures and movies do look improved.

This time round, the entrance and rear cameras get higher largely through new sensors and a brand new picture sign processor. Whereas low gentle photographs do look nicer, and shutter pace and focus appear a bit quicker, I did not see sufficient of a change from the iPhone 7 to astonish me, however the pictures I took all regarded actually, actually good. The Eight’s digicam nonetheless lacks the intelligent Portrait results of the 7 Plus ($1,299.11 at Amazon.com) and eight Plus, and telephoto lens (2x optical zoom) discovered on these telephones, too.

Automated settings at an artwork truthful. (Artwork by Primitive Twig.)


Scott Stein/CNET

This telephone additionally now shoots 60fps, 4K video and 240fps, 1080p slow-mo, and people video adjustments make a distinction for severe video work. However if you’d like the very best iPhone digicam this yr, the iPhone Eight Plus or iPhone X supply additional portrait modes and higher rear zooming cameras that undoubtedly make a distinction. I exploit the closer-range 2x telephoto digicam consistently.

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The shiny black iPhone 7 (left) versus the silver and white iPhone Eight (proper).


Sarah Tew/CNET

Design: Outdated-school, however effective

When the iPhone 6 ($339.99 at Amazon.com) debuted, its display screen dimension and design made large waves. However that was 2014. Very like with the MacBook Air or iPads, Apple has locked within the design yet one more time right here, however with a building facelift. A return to a glass again, the primary for the reason that iPhone 4S again in 2011, allows extra than simply aesthetics: That is what permits the aforementioned wi-fi charging to work. The telephone feels good, although, type of like final yr’s Pixel ($699.99 at Amazon.com), with the same grippiness to the matte black iPhone 7. The glass truly makes it really feel much less slippery.

Colour choices have shrunk to house grey, silver and gold. I am testing the silver mannequin, and it is largely white with silver aluminum touches. Gold appears to be like a creamy blush-pink with gold metallic highlights — extra towards the older rose gold than “true gold” finish of the dimensions. House grey may be very near what was simply “black” on the iPhone 7. The excellent news is that the majority iPhone 7 instances will work on the Eight, as long as they’ve some flexibility. (The iPhone Eight is a fraction of a millimeter larger than the 7 throughout.)

It isn’t shatterproof

Apple says the glass within the new iPhones is 50 % extra sturdy than final yr’s iPhone 7 glass, with impression and scratch enhancements and metal body reinforcements (and extra sturdy aluminum). It is onerous to inform how impact-proof these telephones can be in follow as a result of Apple will not make any particular claims.

So CNET purchased some iPhone Eight fashions and submitted them to drop tests. The outcome? At three ft (zero.9 meters), it survived. At 5 ft (1.5 meters), it shattered. Backside line: do not drop these iPhones. Preserve them in a case. My pure inclination is to coddle all-glass telephones. It’s, nevertheless, more durable than the iPhone X.

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The spectacular audio system outdo the smaller display screen.


Sarah Tew/CNET

True Tone and higher audio system are tiny AV enhancements

The iPhone Eight display screen is not OLED, the show expertise used on the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy telephones, which is extra vitality environment friendly and presents much better distinction and black ranges. The truth is, the iPhone Eight’s LCD display screen is similar dimension and determination because the 6, 6S and seven: four.7-inch diagonal, with 1,334×750 pixels. It does get True Tone, nevertheless, a colour warmth-adjusting ambient impact that the iPad Professional added final yr. It makes the show appear much less harsh in on a regular basis studying, a bit like a extra superior all-day Night Shift.

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