Apple iPhone 8 Plus Review

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Interface and Functionality

iOS 11 may not reinvent the wheel, but it's packed with enough enhancements to be a solid upgrade

Apple iPhone 8 Plus Review

Just before the retail debut of the iPhone 8, Apple's iOS 11 updates started landing, and this new handset is understandably running 11 right out of the box. Compared to past iOS updates, we're not seeing a major overhaul, but instead a lot of little updates that still add up to a nice new edition.

One of the biggest winners is the new Control Center redesign, not only cramming in more functionality, but also giving users the ability to customize what toggles they see here. But for all the buttons that are there, it's a bit maddening which aren't. Take brightness controls, for example: there's a fantastic brightness slider (that's way more responsive than anything you'll find on Android), with toggles for Night Shift and True Tone. But utterly missing is any way to control the phone's auto-brightness setting.

Of course, this is just scratching the surface, and from extended Siri availability, to a new App Store, to Files and improved Maps, there's no shortage of enhancements worth paying attention to here.

Processor and Memory

Apple's new A11 chip isn't just the fastest for iOS devices – it's the fastest mobile CPU we've seen so far

No matter whether you're going with a big or little iPhone – or even holding off for the upcoming iPhone X – you know you're going to get Apple's latest and greatest silicon: the A11 Bionic chip. The processor's performance flies right past the entire pack of Snapdragon-based Android devices available now, to say nothing of last year's iPhone lineup. Really, the only serious competition it's got right now is the A10X at the heart of the latest iPad Pro models, and while those perform quite admirably, the iPhone 8 Plus still manages to eke by them in a few key tests.

Compared to the iPhone 8 with its slightly lower-res screen, the 8 Plus can't quite deliver the same insane frame rates from really demanding graphical apps, but you shouldn't dismiss this handset just because its sibling is slightly faster at specific tasks; we're talking about the difference between two super-fast race cars here, and while we're trying to give you the complete picture on each, these two are still very much in the same league.

While Apple continues to offer its users some well-done cloud storage options, local device capacity is still king, and in recent years we've seen manufacturers everywhere transitioning to higher and higher starting levels. Over on Android, 64GB is the new minimum on some of the highest profile flagships, and with the iPhone 8 Plus Apple gets on board the same boat.

Even if that's overkill for your needs, that lofty starting point is still quite empowering, freeing many users from ever worrying about storage space. And if you do need more, the 8 Plus is also available as a 256GB model – for a $150 premium.


Apple keeps up with the times with Bluetooth and satellite-tracking updates

Apple iPhone 8 Plus Review

Apple's smartphones have long-ago matured to the point where they're not hurting for support for major connectivity standards, and even after holding back on tech like NFC, the hardware's finally caught up. As a result, there's not a lot of new places to go, but the iPhone 8 Plus still sees a few upgrades and arrival of support for new services.

Probably the most interesting improvement is the evolution from Bluetooth 4.2 to Bluetooth 5.0. While you're not likely to run into any situations where you absolutely need 5.0 support to work with new hardware, it does promise improvements that could extend speed and range limits, helping especially with internet-of-things hardware.

Another small enhancement comes in the form of support for additional satellite positioning tech, rendering the iPhone 8 Plus able to receive signals from both European Union and Japanese systems. And who doesn't like a faster, more accurate location lock?


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PhoneArena rating:
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera12 megapixels
Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz, Monsoon and Mistral processor
3 GB
Size6.24 x 3.07 x 0.30 inches
(158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm)
7.13 oz  (202 g)

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