From the outside the iPhone 8 looks almost identical to the iPhone 7 but there are enough new features and improvements to make the latest model much better than its predecessor.
But, in a first for Apple, there is also a better iPhone – the iPhone X – about to be released in a matter of weeks.
So where does that put the iPhone 8? It will still be extremely popular.
Not everyone will be able to afford the more expensive iPhone X and the iPhone 8 is still a worthy choice – easily one of the best smartphones you can buy today.
Customers coming off a two-year contract from the iPhone 6S or those still hanging in there with a three-year old iPhone 6 (and there are a lot) – will find the iPhone 8 like stepping out of a Mercedes Benz and into a Ferrari.
It adds a new all-glass design, a much faster processor, an even better camera, wireless charging and amazing augmented reality.
The shape and size of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are the same as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
In fact, the covers and cases for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will still fit the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
So that’s four years where Apple has offered basically the same design.
Yet the iPhone 8 still feels a little different thanks to the new all-glass design.
Apple says it’s the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone.
Underneath is an aerospace-grade aluminium band that gives the device additional integrity.
And with the new glass rear panel, there are three new finishes – space grey, silver and gold.
The feel of the iPhone 8 is completely different from the previous generations of iPhone.
Its curved edges and smooth glass surface feels great in your hand.
And it has Apple’s typically impeccable build-quality and remarkable finish to make it feel like you’re holding a work of art.
The Retina HD displays on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are the same size as those found with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
But the iPhone 8 has one major difference with the addition of True Tone technology which uses an ambient light sensor to adjust the white balance of the screen to the lighting conditions around you.
The result is more accurate and dazzling colour that looks natural and, in the case of text, a lot easier to read.
This is one already quite impressive feature that has become even better with the iPhone 8.
It has a larger and faster sensor along with optical image stabilisation for both lenses.
There is also a new colour filter on board with deeper pixels so colours have found a new level of brilliance.
The speed and intelligence of Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip also plays a huge part when dealing with people, motion and lighting in your photos.
On the video side, Apple’s new video encoder allows users to capture high-quality 4K video at up to 60 frames per second.
There are even more features at your disposal with the dual cameras on the iPhone 8 Plus.
The combination of a telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens enables Portrait mode and the new Portrait Lighting.
Portrait mode gives you an amazing depth of field in your images with sharper detail in the foreground and a blurred background.
One new feature that still in beta mode is Portrait Lighting which uses facial landmarking and depth maps to allow for different shadows and effects for your portrait subject.
The choices include natural light, studio light, contour light, stage light and stage light mono.
Each of these options offers a remarkable effect on the image – a real testament to the technology and processing power on board the iPhone 8 Plus.
The images we shot with the iPhone 8 Plus were nothing short of stunning, especially the portrait shots.
But other photos and videos delivered incredible detail, natural colours and fantastic results in low light conditions.
This is easily one of the best smartphone cameras we’ve ever used.
A11 BIONIC CHIP
One thing is for certain with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – the devices are fast and powerful and it’s all thanks to the new A11 Bionic chip.
This new silicon intelligently and efficiently directs tasks between the multiple cores of the processor so you can actually do more while using less power.
In some areas, users are receiving a 70 per cent improvement in performance.
The power of the processor is evident when using sophisticated apps, playing high-end 3D games and enjoying incredible augmented reality experiences.
For the first time with the iPhone 8, Apple has introduced wireless charging.
Wireless charging has been around for a while and the good news is Apple has joined in and adopted the universal Qi standard rather than creating its own.
This is going to have quite an effect on the number of wireless charging products and wireless charging venues in cafés, restaurants, airports and shopping centres now that Apple is involved.
Wireless charging is possible with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus thanks to the new glass back design which allows a device to be charged simply by placing it on a charging mat.
This even works when the iPhone 8 is in a case.
Customers can purchase one of two charging mats that will work with the iPhone 8 –
one from Mophie and the other from Belkin.
Of course, users can still charge the iPhone with the included Lightning cable.
Wireless charging and charging with the cable will recharge the iPhone at the same speed.
We’ve used a lot of iPhones over the years and we’d have to say the battery performance with the iPhone 8 is the best we’ve seen.
And you can put that down to a combination of the A11 Bionic chip and the new iOS 11 operating system which have created some remarkable efficiencies.
The upside of that is a battery that will run even longer on a single charge.
For our reviews using the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus the battery absolutely cruised through the day and into the middle of the next day.
The iPhone 8 is priced at $1079 (64GB) and $1,329 (256GB) while the iPhone 8 Plus costs $1,229 (64GB) and $1,479 (256GB).
Even though the iPhone X is just weeks away from release, the iPhone 8 is still one of the best smartphones money can buy with excellent design, a brilliant camera and unbeatable performance. It has raised Apple’s already high standards for the iPhone.