Apple’s new iPhone 8 is the best iPhone the company has released, but will only be so for a matter of weeks.
It’s difficult to review Apple’s latest flagship product knowing the iPhone X – the 10th anniversary edition iPhone with Face ID facial scanning and a bezel-free, OLED screen – will be released on November 3 and prove superior to the iPhone 8 in many ways.
The size difference between iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is negligible – 0.1mm to 0.2mm here and there. Weight-wise, iPhone 8 is 10 grams heavier, and iPhone 8 Plus is 14 grams heavier.
Still, iPhone 8 and the larger iPhone 8 Plus have a number of long-overdue features, like wireless charging, along with a few stand-out new ones – Augmented Reality – that will entice new users and upgrade holdouts in droves.
There are reasons to look elsewhere for a new phone, of course. Be it cost, compatibility with your other technology, a general disdain for the cult of Apple or the now-excellent Android operating system, consumers have plenty of choice.
But if like millions of others you are considering the new iPhone, here are some of new features on Apple’s latest smartphones.
Augmented Reality for the people
There’s been a lot of talk of Augmented Reality (AR) in recent years, but mostly in the form of Pokémon Go. iPhone 8, along with Apple’s new mobile OS, iOS 11, gives users powerful AR features in the palm of their hands.
Using Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip, which boasts 30 per cent greater graphics power than its predecessor, AR is now an everyday reality.
Simply launch your chosen app and watch as digitally created elements merge almost seamlessly with the world around you.
At the time of writing, there are around 15 AR apps available – ranging in function from ‘twee’ to ‘truly useful’.
You can expect AR apps with a greater range of both function and usefulness within the next 12 months.
Sure, there’s a certain macabre novelty to dissecting a cadaver on your dining room table, all via your spanking new iPhone, but the true impact of AR is yet to come.
As I type, iPhone 8 Plus rests next to me upon a Mophie wireless charging pad.
I can pick it up without a charging cable slowly winding into an inevitable mess and place it back on the pad where it continues charging.
Of course, this freedom has been enjoyed by Samsung, Microsoft, Google and even BlackBerry users for years now.
Holding out on iPhone has been a perplexing move on Apple’s part, but now the company has joined the family, it will make life a lot easier.
Apple won’t have its own charging pad on the market until 2018 so, for now, there are a number of third-party charging pads you can use.
The aforementioned Mophie wireless charging base is a sturdy, if heavy, black plastic puck.
Or you could opt for the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad; a lighter alternative. Both come in at $99.95.
Smile for the camera
The new camera in the iPhone 8 is smarter and faster, thanks to improved image processing software and a redesigned camera sensor.
In a side-by-side test with iPhone 7 Plus, which became the gold standard for smartphone cameras upon its release, images show a noticeable improvement in colour, sharpness and dynamic range.
A larger sensor with larger pixels allows iPhone 8 to literally ‘drink’ in more of the light passing through the camera’s lenses, revealing greater detail in shadows and blacks.
There are more aspects of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus that make this model a great choice for an upgrade, or even a sea change.
However, some users may hold out for iPhone X, without question. The choice is up to you.
Will you upgrade to the new iPhone 8? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.