The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus bring a stack of improvements over their predecessors, including better cameras, a new design and wireless charging.
But what do these improvements mean in terms of actual usage? And which iPhone is right for you? Read on for our explainer, and you’ll have no trouble making up your mind.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Charging
One of the headline changes in the new iPhones is the addition of wireless charging. This allows you to place your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus on the charging mat and have it power up, without having to plug in the handset.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, however, are stuck with charging over the Lightning cable.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Processor
The new iPhones are more powerful, as you’d expect. They feature the A11 bionic chip that’s 50 per cent quicker than the A10 fusion chip, and 30 per cent more power-efficient.
Though as anyone who’s used them will tell you, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are no slouches. Their A10 fusion chips keep them running nice and quickly, and are more than fast enough for any task you can throw at them.
The 8 and 8 Plus also feature the neural engine. This handles all the AI (artificial intelligence) tasks, like facial recognition, voice recognition for Siri, and image processing. And they have the M11 motion coprocessor, which is a step up from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus’ M10.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Capacity
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus come in either 64GB or 256GB models. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus only come in 32GB or 128GB versions. What with photos, videos, games, apps and films, iPhones tend to fill up pretty quickly, so we’d advise you buy at least a 64GB model.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Screen
All four phones use the same screen technology, namely a Retina HD widescreen multi-touch LCD with IPS (in-plane switching) technology. (IPS allows for wider viewing angles.) The only difference is the sizes.
The iPhone 8 and 7 have a 4.7-inch screen, while the 8 Plus and 7 Plus bump up to 5.5 inches. The resolution of the smaller screen is 1,334x750 pixels, and the larger 1,920x1,080 pixels.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Cameras
There’s no real change on the camera front. The iPhone 8 Plus and 7 Plus have the same dual 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto snappers, while the iPhone 8 and 7 have identical single 12-megapixel cameras. They all have optical image stabilisation to compensate for shaky hands, too.
The 8 Plus and 7 Plus have portrait mode, which their smaller brothers don’t. And the 8 Plus has Portrait Lighting, which uses artificial intelligence to read the contours of your face and light you in more flattering or dramatic ways.
It’s only in beta at the moment, so it’s still a bit of an experimental feature. Sounds interesting though.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Battery
As ever, Apple doesn’t say what size batteries their iPhones use. Though it claims the iPhone 7 Plus lasts about an hour longer than the 6S Plus, and that the iPhone 8 Plus and 8 last about the same as their predecessors.
In terms of hard figures, you’ll get up to 21 hours of talk time from the iPhone 8 Plus and 7 Plus, and up to 14 hours from the iPhone 8 and 7. Internet use is 13 hours for the 8 Plus and 7 Plus, and 12 for the 8 and 7.
You’ll get 14 hours of video playback from the 8 Plus and 7 Plus, and 13 hours from the 8 and 7. Audio playback is 60 hours for the 8 Plus and 7 Plus, and 40 for the iPhone 8 and 7.
The 8 and 8 Plus also benefit from fast charging, which gives you 50 per cent battery after just 30 minutes of charging. No such luck with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Price and availability
The iPhone 8 starts at £699, which is more than the iPhone 7, which starts at £549. The iPhone 8 Plus is also pricier than the 7 Plus: £799 compared to £669. Though remember, the newer models do have more storage.
You can buy the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus right now. The 8 and 8 Plus are up for pre-order on Friday, with shipping starting a week later, on 22nd September.