iPhone 8 Plus review: Cutting-edge power in a familiar design

    The eight Plus is not “the perfect iPhone you should purchase,” because the bigger Plus telephones have been since Apple began its “regular and extra large” iPhone releases in 2014. And it is not the one big-screen iPhone. The iPhone X is a step above the eight Plus in numerous methods, with some additional digicam options, an ideal size-to-body ratio, a vivid OLED show, and a surprisingly practical Face ID digicam that replaces the house button. After all, it is also dearer.

    However, do not sleep on the eight Plus. The eight Plus feels loads greater than the compact X, and its design has barely modified from earlier iPhone Plus fashions. However its highly effective efficiency, still-excellent cameras, and roomy, standard-shaped display screen — which maximizes all current iPhone apps and features a few iPad-like options not out there on the X — makes it the old-school, “get it carried out” veteran of Apple’s iPhone lineup.

    2017 iPhone pricing (64GB, 256GB)

    US UK Australia
    iPhone eight $699, $849 £699, £849 AU$1,079, 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

    Wi-fi charging: Qi for now, Apple’s personal AirPower in 2018.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    This large, succesful cellphone consists of the entire options of the smaller iPhone 8 ($699.00 at Apple) — together with wi-fi charging, the True Tone display screen and that very same superfast A11 Bionic processor you may discover within the X. However, like final 12 months’s iPhone 7 Plus ($1,299.11 at, you get a bigger 5.5-inch display screen, water resistance and — most critically — a wonderful twin rear digicam with 2x optical zoom, upgraded for 2017 with an all-new picture sensor. That digicam, already nice a 12 months in the past, has gotten much more refined and fantastic-looking. Within the weeks for the reason that eight Plus launch, it is impressed each CNET Senior Photographer James Martin and me. And whereas the digicam on the iPhone X is a bit higher, the distinction is extra one among inches than miles, as Lexy Savvides and Vanessa Hand Orellana discovered of their deep-dive comparison.

    Whereas the upgrades for current 7 Plus homeowners are minimal (past wi-fi charging), the eight Plus is well worth the premium over the eight to get the twin cameras, bigger show, and a battery life that also beats out the iPhone X. It seems like a big workhorse subsequent to the iPhone X, a standard cellphone… however a strong one. And, maybe, one which some will desire over the X.

    iPhone 8 PlusiPhone 8 Plus

    Twin cameras: Largely the identical on the surface, higher processing inside.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Now that I’ve lived with each telephones for weeks, I desire the extra hand-friendly iPhone X. However I believe the eight Plus continues to be a improbable bundle, and an ideal likelihood to get onboard with Apple’s latest processors with out making the complete transfer (financially and ergonomically) to Apple’s new iPhone designs.

    Editors’ be aware, Dec. 22: This assessment has been up to date so as to add a battery ranking, and a dialogue of how battery life compares throughout 2017 iPhones. A November 16 replace added intensive comparisons of the iPhone eight Plus and the iPhone X, in addition to photograph comparisons to the Pixel 2.

    iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone XiPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone X

    The iPhone eight (left) and iPhone eight Plus (proper) flanking the iPhone X (heart).

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Design: As soon as once more (largely) the identical

    To reiterate: The iPhone eight Plus has the entire similar fundamental options as the brand new iPhone eight, apart from its bigger measurement, barely higher battery life (in our on a regular basis real-life use) and higher cameras. In order for you a deeper dive into these most important new particulars of the 2017 iPhones, check out our iPhone 8 review.

    So far as the Plus design goes, it is deja vu another time. The iPhone eight Plus seems equivalent to the 7 Plus, however it does really feel totally different, because of a transfer to a shiny glass again. Apple’s building course of this time makes use of stronger aluminum physique accents, metal reinforcement inside and metallic highlights across the digicam lens. There are solely three colours this time: white with silver highlights, shiny black and area grey, and a blush pink-like gold that feels rose-goldish.

    Digital camera: Stellar photographs, even higher video

    The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ($910.37 at is a great camera. The brand new Pixel 2 is a great camera. Apple used to have an untouchable lead in digicam high quality, however now many telephones take glorious images. And that is why Apple has as soon as once more raised the bar on its digicam. 

    iPhone 8 PlusiPhone 8 Plus

    Portrait Lighting is a brand new mode that provides simulated lighting results. Typically it is wonderful. Typically not.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    The eight Plus features a new sensor and picture sign processor to go along with its new A11 Bionic chip, promising richer colours, higher low-light photographs and sooner autofocus. My images usually turned out nice. Low-light positive factors aren’t as dramatic as I anticipated in comparison with the already glorious iPhone 7 Plus, however the images I have been taking have usually regarded phenomenal.

    Portrait Mode, which debuted final 12 months, now helps flash pictures and HDR (on the 7 Plus, too, with iOS 11). The eight Plus and the X add a brand new photograph approach known as Portrait Lighting, a beta function that provides simulated 3D lighting to faces and even strips out backgrounds to create a studio-shot impact. My mileage various: Typically the impact was gorgeous, however different occasions it regarded very faux and weirdly clipped. I would not improve my cellphone for it, however it may be enjoyable to toy with. It can undoubtedly get higher.

    Stage Gentle Mono impact in Portrait Mode. Initially this was an workplace background.

    Scott Stein/CNET

    At sundown round my residence, comparability photographs between the 7 Plus and eight Plus weren’t that straightforward to inform aside till it was practically darkish. The brand new slow-syncing flash that guarantees richer flash images did not have a big impact for me thus far, however I have to preserve attempting it out. However see for your self: the digicam takes rattling good images, and colours do appear enhanced. That may additionally imply extra particulars. HDR was improved when taking pictures sun-drenched clouds.

    As I discussed, James Martin used the Plus, too, and as knowledgeable photographer is perhaps much more impressed than I’m. As an alternative of recent lenses or a very totally different digicam, the software program and processing inside are making the images higher. He was impressed by the low noise in low-light images, the colour rendering and the feel illustration. 

    Versus conventional digicam firms — the Nikons, Canons and Fujis of the world — he sees Apple’s advances in making use of the iPhone’s highly effective CPU to the photograph course of to be probably the most gorgeous ideas at play. “Apple is doing issues in computational pictures that the normal firms have uncared for,” he says.

    Portrait Mode feels much more refined.

    Scott Stein/CNET

    Video seems improbable, and the change to new photograph and video codecs allows 4K video recording at 60 frames per second, or slow-motion in 1080p and 240 frames per second. Sluggish movement seems notably gorgeous. That stated, whereas the eight Plus excelled in low-light video seize, CNET’s Lexy Savvides discovered that the only lens of the Pixel 2 nudged previous it on sure duties when she compared them head to head.

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