Apple iPhone 8 Review

Introduction


For the better part of the last decade, smartphone lovers everywhere have been doing the iPhone shuffle. It's a simple maneuver, played out on a dance floor that stretches through the years. Big step, little step, big step, little step. One year brings us an iPhone that tends to feature a bold new design, then the next year upgrades that with an “S” model that refines the hardware and introduces key new features.

This year, the smartphone industry is positively oozing with change. Old flagship lines find themselves replaced by new visions, and even some of the longest-standing traditions are being sent back to the drawing board, like we see with the introduction of new super-wide-aspect-ratio screens.

Apple iPhone 8 Review
Even Apple, the company that's found near limitless success by confidently ignoring passing trends and instead crafting phones to the beat of its own drum isn't immune to this shift, and that's causing some major shakeups for this year's latest batch of iPhones.

Not only are we skipping an S year, but we're witnessing the launch of some of the most powerful, daring, and potentially controversial iPhones ever, not just with the introduction of the mold-breaking iPhone X, but also with the changes arriving for the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

We're going to be giving all these Apple smartphones their due, and today we get things started on the ground level as we tear into the iPhone 8.

In the box:

  • iPhone 8
  • Lightning EarPods
  • Analog headphone adapter
  • Charger
  • USB to Lightning cable
  • SIM tool
  • Welcome card
  • Advisory card
  • Stickers!!!

Design

Apple brings back the iPhone's glass back while changing precious little else

Apple iPhone 8 Review

Apple skipping its S-year iPhone and going right to the next full number might be enough to have you thinking that there's a bold new look waiting for the handset this year, but oddly enough (as is perhaps only befitting one of the most unusual iPhone lineups to hit us so far) this time that's not quite the case.

Apple iPhone 8 Review
Apple iPhone 8 Review
Just look at some photos, and you might start thinking that the iPhone 8 is very much a rehash of last year's admittedly well-received iPhone 7. At least, in terms of looks and layout, this new iPhone doesn't stray very far from the pattern established last year. What changes we see in shape and size are extremely minor, and the iPhone 8's external dimensions, though admittedly larger than last year, are only bigger to the tune of one-fifth of a millimeter. Slightly more significant growth occurs when we look at the iPhone 8's mass, which grows seven percent from last year. Still, even that change isn't enough to negatively impact the iPhone 8, and without an iPhone 7 in your other hand for comparison, you're going to be hard-pressed to notice the difference.

But measurements only tell half the story, and with the iPhone 8 we see Apple adopt a new glass back for its smartphones. While that may help empower the phone to take advantage of wireless charging, it could be a move that has a few shoppers thinking twice, as it also feels more damage-prone than the old design.

Apple's not a company that likes to overwhelm its users with too many options, but over time we've seen that level of control start to slip a little, eventually leading us to a situation where the iPhone 7 was available in your choice of five colors. With the iPhone 8, Apple's reining things back in, and culling that selection down to just space gray (ie, black), silver, and gold.

Waterproofing is back, just like we got on the iPhone 7, and we're glad to see that even with the new materials this time around, protecting the hardware against accidental water damage is still a priority.


Apple iPhone 8

Apple iPhone 8

Dimensions

5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches

138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.22 oz (148 g)

Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

LG G6

LG G6

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Apple iPhone 8

Apple iPhone 8

Dimensions

5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches

138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.22 oz (148 g)

Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

LG G6

LG G6

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

Apple saves its best new display tech for the iPhone X, but the iPhone 8 still learns a new trick or two

Apple iPhone 8 Review

Of all Apple's new handsets, it's the iPhone X that really gets to benefit from a bold new display, but that's not to say that the iPhone 8 is getting left out of the excitement, either. Though the 4.7-inch panel shares the same size and resolution as the last few generations of iPhone, we continue to see the manufacturer push forward with incremental upgrades to its screen tech.

This year, that means True Tone – the same system we saw Apple deploy with the iPad Pro last year – coming to the iPhone. As Apple helpfully demos while you set up the iPhone 8, True Tone uses the phone's sensors to match screen color temperature with ambient lighting conditions. While that won't have any major impact on how you use your phone, it's exactly the kind of little “quality of life” improvement that Apple loves to highlight.

One important consideration to keep in mind if you're perusing the iPhone 8 spec sheet is Apple's mention that the phone supports playback of HDR-enhanced video content. While that's true, of Apple's new iPhones only the iPhone X has a screen that's capable of actually reproducing that high-dynamic range video. So while HDR footage will play on the iPhone 8 – and will look great, just like standard video on this beautiful screen – it just can't offer the same experience as it would on the iPhone X.

Like we've come to expect from iPhone displays, the screen on the iPhone 8 is bright and versatile, and even its manual brightness control can generate output that's easily viewable outdoors. Color reproduction is very good, and only the slightest hint of colors leaning towards the cyan side detracts from its accuracy.

On one hand, we love that Apple's still giving users a sub five-inch premium smartphone option – and to say that there are precious few such options around would be a serious understatement. But one thing that we've been criticizing a good number of 2017 smartphones for has been sticking with familiar screen shapes and sizes while the highest-end phones graduate into super-widescreen territory with barely-there bezels. And while Apple is taking that route with the iPhone X, part of us wishes the company was ready to go all-in on the idea. Or at the very least, give us a small-iPhone-sized version of it, since, as it is, the 5.8-inch iPhone X has more in common with the iPhone 8 Plus than this model.

Maybe we'll change our tune once spending some more time with the X, but right now we can't help but look at the iPhone 8 and wonder what this might turn into if Apple were willing to take a leap of faith with its new screen tech.



FEATURED VIDEO

204 Comments

3. scarface21173

Posts: 584; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Can't believe 9.2 it's the same phone as last years iphone 7 with wireless charging. Still running 1080p screen. Total and utter shambles.

24. bucky

Posts: 3765; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

What can you fault it for at this point besides being boring ? It’s a pretty complete package. I won’t be upgrading to the new phones for the record.

27. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3083; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

The iPhone 8 running a 750p display it is even worse.

63. bucky

Posts: 3765; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

and yet its widely considered top 2 or 3 displays on the market somehow.

88. srgonu

Posts: 484; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

And not listed in cons

199. aBoss

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 15, 2014

iPhone 8 big bezels, single camera, slow charging, no headphone jack,etc and iPhonearena.com gotta give it 9.2 its because ratings like this the iSheep get crap smh NOTE 8 = KING (besides it not having a removable battery)

201. Sloiz

Posts: 20; Member since: Jul 21, 2017

To run this display I dont even know if puting new A11 chip in phone is nacessary.

4. max1c

Posts: 103; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

Worse phone than the GS8 get's a better mark. wtf?

9. Wickedsamaritan

Posts: 73; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Was it 2013 or 2014 ? Please someone remind me The Samsung galaxy s4 came with a 1080P Super Amoled screen .. few years later Apple still releases an HD screen phone.. that to me is a negative 20.. Most Bias tech Site Period!

11. hmd74

Posts: 539; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

Wireless and Fast charging are now PROS? then why we don't see them in PROS list of Android phones you review?

48. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Because.......iPhone! Nothing left to say.

194. sgodsell

Posts: 6592; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Fast/quick charging with the new iPhone 8/X you have to buy extra hardware. Whereas other smartphones with fast/quick charging, include the charger in the box. Apple doesn't. So you have nothing left to say? Really?

204. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

You failed to comprehend my statement. I was actually taking a jab at PhoneArena for not listing those features in the Pros list for Android phones. Do you even sarcasm bro??

106. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

So, when the iPhone lacked Wireless and Fast charging, it wasn't mentioned as CONS in iPhone 7 review, but now that the iPhone 8 has them, they're now labeled as PROS in the review... I'm impressed.

205. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

It's PhoneArena. They are known for doing such stuff.

17. blkkobra

Posts: 39; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Not sure what qualifies this phone for such a high score. Even my IPhone friends who have received their pre-orders are "meh" about this phone. The main improvements have been on other manufacturers' devices for years. And the call quality issue alone should have been a big drawback that would've put any other device under a "8.5" score. Given how locked down the phone is and how apple has control over everything that goes into the design, shouldn't reviewers be more critical of such mistakes than less?

21. blkkobra

Posts: 39; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

And on a site where other device manufacturers(sony, asus, etc) are getting points taken off for "dated designs" you would think running the exact same design for, now, a fourth year in a row would result in the same "cons". It just makes no logical sense to me.

52. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I agree with you, for the most part. Reviewers should also discuss the iPhones' animation lag even though they are running those beastly A-series chips, bloatware-free simplistic software on a 750-1080p screen, and the OS being coded using C++, which is claimed to be better than java (in most aspects), of which the latter is used for coding Android.

87. blkkobra

Posts: 39; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Right! I understand the reasoning behind keeping the screens the same size/resolution to make things easier for app developers, but you would think that having relatively the same hardware for four years would create much more exponential improvements in the software space. Especially given that the processing power has only gone up. I feel like there's no one at Apple that can match Steve Jobs with his eye for innovation. The iPhone has stagnated and lagged behind the times so long that I feel they're customers are just used to it. Aside from the custom processors, there's really no appeal for technophiles to even consider the iPhone anymore. The raw performance enhancements seem to be going to waste over the last few years.

99. Leo_MC

Posts: 5914; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Don't they use Swift?

23. dnomadic

Posts: 346; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

True Rating – 8.5 (Good Phone but formula has been superseded by more modern phones that include Headphone jacks, higher resolution screens, better designs, greater features, flexibility…...) the most powerful, daring, and potentially controversial iPhones ever Powerful, yes!! Daring – By sticking to essentially an unchanged OS and a “ran to the ground” design? Nothing New here!! Same tired resolution and small screen Extremely expensive for a 4.7 inch 720p screen NO Freaking Headphone Jack, if true tone is a quality of life plus, this is a DEFINITE Negative. You can’t tell me you have not ran in to issue with this at least once. As a wired user it was the number one reason I sold my Iphone 7. Camera is good but still not S8 Note 8 quality regardless of what DXO was paid to make you believe. That being said Video is unmatched by any other smartphone (not the smoothest, but overall the best). Here’s a good one --- Fast charging, but not out of the box! How’s that for quality of life. And we know real battery life, which includes a lot of gaming for many, will be well short of the S8 That was the case for me with 7 plus versus my S8 Plus… I also see this repeated in other test. Wireless fast charging is a plus??? News Flash - Back is more expensive than front to repair? CRAZY, this is just what I read.

29. Iodine

Posts: 1469; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Yep it’s a monster ! Another review showing a noticeably better battery life ! That’s important. Just wondering how much those 2 hours more will turn out to be in iPhone X.

30. shemeer

Posts: 21; Member since: Sep 07, 2017

what idiotic camera review your's???? please upload full resolution photos

35. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 409; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

There were your badpoints: Extra glass causes durability concerns Voice-call quality needs work Fewer color options Presence of more and more higher-end iPhone models makes this one feel like a compromise. Should have included: No SD Card Slot, Low resolution display especially for a flagship costing device, No FPS sensor, No headphone jack. In the Note 8 review you said screen brightness could do with a little kick and that was a bad point but its brightness can go upto 1200 nits which is higher than the Iphone 8's so maybe you could have included that too in the Iphone 8 conclusion.

58. AmashAziz

Posts: 2867; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

The iPhone 8 has an FPS sensor.

37. Modest_Moze

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 23, 2015

Design: It looks like an iPhone 7!!!

38. qolamreza

Posts: 56; Member since: Jul 01, 2015

Do want help for more cons iphonearena? Fast charging with no brick and cable in box Hd display in 2017 for 700$ Bezels in 2017 like it's iphone 3g or something Same design (not design language like sony) for 4 generation

40. legiloca

Posts: 1673; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Huge Facepalm ugh. This deserves an 8 to me. You can’t put a 9.2 on a phone that hasn’t even broke the 5 inch display barrier, 1st generation wireless charging, needs extra dough for u to acquire Fast Charging, and of course the price, oh btw with that price you can get yourself 2 Axon 7’s or maybe the OP 3T. Skip this one, or just maybe get yourself a 6S Plus

41. notfair

Posts: 661; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

I think "fast charging support" is misleading because it's not coming out of the box, you have to buy a separate cable and charger and it costs a lot.

47. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

a 4.7 inch 720p display gets 9.2 in 2017???? just pure shame on this reviewer.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPhone 8
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 1821 mAh

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