There’s a lot that’s still the same as last year’s 7:
* The screen size and resolution
* Its water- and dust- resistance
* Its non-physical home button with Touch ID
* No headphone jack (RIP)
* The camera megapixels and aperture
* 3D Touch
And here’s what’s been updated:
* Wireless charging support (cool, but not perfect)
* A new copper-y gold color (which ultimately doesn’t matter because you’ll put it in a case anyway unless you’re a monster)
* TrueTone display (which makes the screen easier on your eyes, in a very subtle way)
* Dolby vision and HDR 10 support (do you know what that is without having to look it up?)
* 25%-louder speakers
* Improved, more even flash
* New chip (A10 vs. A11)
* A new “color filter” and “deeper pixels” in the camera
* 1080p slo-mo videos at 240 fps
There’s a new camera sensor in the 8 and 8 Plus, and to understand what that means, you have to really zoom in to the details.
The iPhone 8 photos are slightly warmer and more saturated.
But it’s pretty hard to tell the difference. Click on each photo to see 'em up close — and decide for yourself.
Both cameras have the same megapixels and aperture.
The Plus has two lenses, which enables “Portrait Mode,” and makes food look SO GOOD.
There is also a new feature called “Portrait Lighting,” which, I mean, this dog!!
The dual lenses also let you creep on Good Dogs with 2x optical zoom.
One of the more significant camera updates is good news for videographers.
The recording rate (or frames per second) has now doubled. That means you can record smoother high-action 4k videos at 60 fps (previously limited to 30 fps), and slo-mo at 240 fps (previously limited to 120 fps).
Plz enjoy the above slo-mo of my bf belly flopping.
Here's another game for ya: True Tone edition.
Going wireless is the ultimate F U to every Lightning cable I’ve ever owned.
Speaking of charging, the battery life hasn’t changed, but the charging speed has (officially).
The battery life hasn’t improved with the 8 or 8 Plus. Apple claims it’s “about the same” as the 7 and 7 Plus: 12 hours of continuous Internet use for the iPhone 8, and 13 hours for the 8 Plus.
With the 8, I got an average of 13.5 hours of intense use (a couple hours of Spotify streaming, 30 minutes of YouTube, and an hour of texting, Instagram browsing, photo taking, with intermittent bouts of emailing and Slack-ing all day long) before the phone died. With the 8 Plus, I averaged about 14 hours under the same conditions.
I want to note that the performance of this battery, like all lithium-ion batteries, will decay over time, and need replacing in 1.5 to 2 years. After 500 charge cycles, iPhone batteries will only retain 80% of their charge.
What’s different about the iPhone 8, however, is that it now supports fast charging (or, officially, anyway). That’s supposed to give you 50% in 30 minutes with any charger that’s 29 watts or higher. Regular charging, with the included five-watt iPhone adapter, powered up the devices 50% in one hour. In my tests using the 29W USB-C adapter with a USB-C to Lightning cable (sold separately for $74), I got 40% in 30 minutes almost every time, for both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
Curiously, when I plugged my iPhone 7 into the fast charging setup, it was...also charged 40% in 30 minutes. Did the iPhone 7 unofficially support fast charging?
( ͠° ͟ل ͡°)
I swam with the iPhone in the Pacific Ocean. Again.
You don’t need the new iPhones to use the augmented reality apps coming to iOS.
Bonus: a note on the Plus.
The TL;DR is: if you need a new iPhone, get this one. But only if you really need it.
Nicole Nguyen covers products and personal technology for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Nicole Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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