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Apple iPhone 8 review – GSMArena.com tests

Introduction

This should have been a 7S. That simple. But it’s complicated. Too complicated perhaps for Apple as we used to know it.

Apple iPhone 8 review

A new chipset with an extra couple of processor cores and the first in-house GPU, an all-glass body, a superior camera. Any other year, those sorts of things would’ve made a perfectly acceptable S upgrade. You know what we mean, we’ve all been there. Apple tells everyone it’s hard to believe how much has changed. Pretty much everyone eventually agrees on the hard-to-believe bit. Some hundred-million-units-sold later, we’re back at step 1.

It used to be that simple. Well, not anymore. Apple is in fast-forward mode and skips straight to number eight.

So, there we are. The iPhone 8 is out with an all-glass design, the powerful new chip, the improved camera and, at long last, wireless charging. The True Tone support for the display is duly noted. The doubled base storage and Bluetooth 5 support are welcome additions as well. But it’s all iterative, as you’ll notice reading the specs below.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus key features
Body: Aluminum 7000 frame, reinforced glass front and rear, IP67 certified for water and dust resistance. Gold, Space Gray, and Silver color options.
Screen: 4.7″ 16M-color LED-backlit IPS LCD screen of 750p resolution, 326ppi, True Tone adjustment via four-channel ambient light sensor, wide color gamut, 3D Touch.
OS: Apple iOS 11.
Chipset: Hexa-core (2 Monsoon + 4 Mistral) 2.09GHz Apple CPU, tri-core Apple GPU, 2GB of RAM, Apple A11 Bionic SoC.
Camera: 12MP camera with F/1.8 lens, optical image stabilization, quad-LED flash with slow sync, phase detection auto focus, wide color capture.
Video recording: 2160p@60/30fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps video recording
Selfie: 7MP F/2.2 front-facing camera with BSI sensor and HDR mode, 1080p@30fps video
Storage: 64GB or 256GB of built-in storage.
Connectivity: 4G LTE Cat.16 (1Gbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0; Lightning port; GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS; NFC (Apple Pay only).
Battery: 1,821mAh battery, wireless charging (Qi compatible).
Misc: Stereo speakers, pressure-sensitive Home key with fingerprint scanner, Taptic Engine.

Main shortcomings
Poor screen-to-body ratio (too much bezel for the size)
No 3.5mm audio jack (ships with a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter)
No microSD slot
iTunes is still required for manual music upload
No fast charger provided in the box (and the optional one is expensive)
Video camera still recording mono audio only

On paper – and in actual fact – there’s enough new stuff in that package. Yet, the Apple iPhone 8 doesn’t go beyond the iterative upgrade we’ve come to expect from an S model. Is it because it’s impossible to not take into account the iPhone X? Or is it the new all-glass design is looking too familiar?

Maybe it’s the way Cupertino handled some of the upgrades. Like the camera did get better thanks to a new sensor and larger pixel size but Apple isn’t exactly verbose about the new imaging technology. There’s fast-charging support too but with a caveat: you’re not getting it right out of the box. Not with the supplied charger and cabling.

Apple iPhone 8 review

That, and the steep price may give Apple a hard time justifying the iPhone 8, especially to iPhone 7 users. With no intention whatsoever to downplay the good stuff about the iPhone 8, the new model and its spec sheet are pretty predictable. The price is therefore a bit of a surprise – and not a pleasant one either.

Then again, Apple’s never had a problem getting the price it thinks is right. Plus, the iPhone 8 may turn out to be convincing enough. We’re back right after the break to pop the box open and begin to find out.