Yesterday I attended an event hosted at the Three Discovery store in Islington where I got to play around with the brand new iPhone 8 and learn all about the new features in the latest iOS update. As if on cue, earlier in the week my Facebook memories showed me a status update I wrote when I got my first iPhone 4 five years ago. I’ve always been a little bit behind when it comes to iPhones, just because of the cost of family life really but my old second hand iPhone 4 converted me over and I haven’t really looked back since. Since then I’ve owned and recycled a 4S, 5S and now I’m really happy with my almost a year old 6S. I’ll be upgrading my phone next November to the iPhone 8 Plus now I’ve learned all about it. Why the 8 Plus I hear you say? Well even though I’ve got tiny hands, I now know about the one-handed keyboard feature so gone are the days where I worry my tiny thumb won’t be able to reach the other end of the screen. Let me tell you all about Apple’s brand new iPhone 8 before heading into the iOS 11 update.
What’s In The Box
Getting your new iPhone 8 you will find your new phone, EarPods with lightning connector, lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack converter, Lightning to USB connector and USB Power adaptor. The phone has no headphone jack and is fully optimised for wireless headphones or AirPods through Bluetooth. These you need to buy separately.
Apple iPhone 8 Features
The iPhone 8 is 4.7 inches and comes with two storage options, 64GB or 256GB. 64GB is more than enough memory for me as I pay to get an extra 50GB storage with iCloud and with the fantastic new camera and 4K video capabilities. 256GB seems like a massive jump to me but then I suppose it depends on what you use your phone for. If it’s something you use a lot for work or photography then having this larger storage size is really helpful.
You can choose from three colours which include Gold, Silver and Space Grey. I got to see all three colours and I personally prefer the gold iPhone 8. It’s lovely. Perhaps next year there will be a rose gold edition too as I really love the rose gold colour on my iPhone 6S but there’s no news on that just yet. There is of course always the option of buying a nice new phone case to display the colours and protect the phone.
The iPhone 8 is an all-glass design. Apple say this is the most durable glass ever. The reason for this is to make it suitable for Wireless charging. The iPhone 8 charges regularly with a micro USB cable however with more companies, businesses and establishments introducing wireless charging it’s great that the phone is ready for this. The iPhone 8 does not come with a wireless charger but it is available on Amazon.
I was really impressed with the iPhone 8 camera although for those wanting to take beautiful photos or video than the iPhone 8 Plus would be a better option. However, the camera on both is way superior to my iPhone 6S. iPhone 8 features a more advanced 12MP camera. With a larger, faster sensor. A new colour filter. Deeper pixels. And optical image stabilisation for photos and videos. We had the chance to take a few photos during the event and the difference was amazing. I also did a few little videos to test out the stabiliser on the camera and it’s fantastic. A great camera for people like me that vlog frequently.
The display is fantastic and the true tone makes a huge difference. The camera can now sense if you’re in natural or artificial light and will display whatever you’re looking at on your phone much better. I was impressed to know that the iPhone 8 is water, dust and, technically, sand resistant too. The phone can be submerged for up to 30 minutes in water, however, Apple explicitly states that it is not waterproof. If you drop your phone in water and pick it straight back up again, follow the manufactures recommendations on drying the phone then it should be okay. The apple warranty does not cover water damage so the iPhone is not suitable for underwater photography or anything like that. With frequent use in the rain the resistance will, over time, be less effective so just be mindful of using the phone in wet conditions.
Processing is better than ever with the new iPhone 8 as it comes with the A11 Bionic Chip which is, according to Apple, the smartest and most advanced chip yet. With four efficiency cores that are up to 70 per cent faster than A10 Fusion. And two performance cores that are up to 25 per cent faster. A second‑generation performance controller provides more power when you need it. While delivering the same great battery life. The new Apple‑designed three‑core GPU is up to 30 per cent faster than A10 Fusion – From Three
iPhone 8 Emergency Mode
Do not try this…but, the emergency mode is pretty cool on the new iPhone 8. You click on the power switch five times in quick succession and this signals an alarm, immediately calls 999 and sends a text message to your emergency contacts informing them that you have been in an emergency. You need to ensure your emergency contacts are set up in your health app which is very easy to do and something I only learned about yesterday.
iPhone 8 Plus Differences
So why do I want the 8 Plus instead? Well, it comes with all of the above, which is fantastic but there are a few noticeable differences. Firstly, obviously, it’s bigger than the iPhone 8 at 5.5 inches and the display is better with 1920×1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi. This makes it an ideal choice for watching videos, filming and taking photos – three things I use my iPhone for now and want to continue doing and improving when I upgrade.
The iPhone 8 Plus has 10x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom whereas the iPhone 8 only has 5x digital zoom and no optical zoom feature. The best thing about the iPhone 8 Plus camera is potrait mode and portrait lighting which gives you so many options, blurred backgrounds and live photo editing whilst taking a portrait photo. This is fantastic and the main reason why I want to upgrade to the iPhone 8 Plus. Video recording capabilities are also better with 2x optical zoom and 6x digital zoom.
The iPhone 8 Plus also has superior power and battery than the 8. Talk time increases to 21 hours, internet use is 14 hours on 4G, wireless video playback is up to 14 hours and audio playback is up to 60 hours. This is really impressive, I think, and much better than the power I experience on my current iPhone 6S.
iOS 11 Update
iOS 11 is available from 5S/5C and all the way to the brand new iPhone 8. It’s also available on many of the newer generations of iPads. Both the Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are optimised for iOS 11 which is actually a pretty cool update. Firstly, when on your home screen, flick up to bring your control centre up. This provides shortcuts to things like the torch, calculator, clock and is fully customisable. You can edit this in your iPhone settings. Force touch (press hard on the touchscreen icon you want to use for extra options) comes in handy here where you can adjust the brightness of the torch, for example. Map flyover mode is really cool and gives you a birds-eye view of major cities. This is great if you’re trying to find where something is and as you move around you can see the map moving too. You can also manage your phone storage much more productively and see exactly what Apps are taking up room on your phone. You can now offload apps too that you don’t use very often. Your data for the App will be saved but the app itself will be deleted. If you need to download and use the app again you will still be able to get all of your information back.