“We believe that everyone can take great photos.” – Apple
We have been using the iPhone since 2008, back when the Apple iPhone 3G was launched in India. And since then we have been using Apple products religiously; we have the iPhone 3G, iPhone 5 and the last one being iPhone 6s. So when the iPhone 8 lineup was announced, two things caught our attention – the upgraded camera features and the design change. The iPhone 6s has been doing great and we do almost all of our travel photography on that. But we thought it was time for a camera upgrade. So in this review, we are going to cover the top 3 things we like about this new iPhone and how our experience has been using it over the last 2 months.
This is THE reason we upgraded and so far it has been a delightful experience. As travelers and riders, it’s cumbersome for us to always carry our DSLR and the various paraphernalia it comes with. And that’s why the iPhone 6s had been our preferred photography device for the last 2 years. What we love about the iPhone 8 plus camera is the image stabilization, portrait mode, and inbuilt filters.
The colors are much brighter, the lenses capture light better and we think the photos are optimized to occupy lesser space. These are huge improvements over the 6s and a major reason for an upgrade if you are looking at a great camera phone. This dual camera setup is one of the highest rated in the market and we have taken some amazing shots with it. The camera utilizes a 12MP dual camera with a f/1.8 aperture for the wide angle lens and f/2.8 for the telephoto lens. Similar specs to the one found in the iPhone 7 plus but we did see some improvements over the latter.
What’s new in the Portrait Mode is the introduction of 5 lighting effects and to be honest we prefer the first 3 – Natural, Studio and Contour Light. There are minor differences in the 3 but can be noticed once a pic is taken. We frequently use the Natural and Studio lighting and noticed that the saturation is more enhanced in the Studio mode.
The selfie camera is the standard 7MP f/2.2 lens used in earlier models and does a good job as well. However, we hardly take selfies (yes, that’s true!!) so can’t comment much on the performance. Video recording comes with an added support of 4K at 60fps making videos crisper with better light and color capturing capabilities.
One of the most welcome changes to the iPhone lineup is the True Tone display that the 8 plus comes. When compared side by side with our iPhone 6s we can see a considerable difference in the display; it takes a while getting used to but it’s definitely better for the eyes. The brightness level is more enhanced and the display is easier to read now. Photos look more colorful and website reading is a more pleasurable experience.
All though a technologically superior iPhone X boasts of the AMOLED screen I do prefer the Retina display over it due to fears of screen burn in the former. The 5.5-inch screen is a little big for our pockets and we did take time getting used to the increased size and weight. But it does provide a lesser strain on the eyes, enhanced visibility, better ambient light and a wider gamut of colors noted on the photos. If you still don’t like the True Tone you can always disable it through the Settings menu.
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One of the biggest drawbacks of the iPhone lineup and something that poses a challenge for travelers like us since we are on the road and don’t always get chances to charge our phones much. During our purchase, this was a concern. Larger screens drain more battery and we were wondering how this would play out with the iPhone 8 Plus. Apple has decided to go for a smaller battery size here with the 2691 mAh option. Frankly, we aren’t sure why Apple can’t go for a bigger battery size. It sounds like a deal breaker but this is where iOS 11 and the A11 chip make a difference.
Due to improvements in both these areas, the iPhone 8 Plus still delivers a full day of battery life without any issues. We use the phone heavily for Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, YouTube, Music and Photography and are still left with enough juice to carry it forward to the next day. All this on a mixture of WiFi and 3G usage without the battery saver turned on.
Charging times have also reduced a bit and we are able to get a full charge in about an hour. The only disappointment is that Apple just doesn’t sell an in-the-box fast charger and it has to be purchased separately. Wireless charging support is added and we haven’t used it due to the high market price of the Qi devices. For now, we are extremely satisfied with the battery performance and hope to see bigger batteries in upcoming iPhone models.
- A11 Bionic chip makes this one of the fastest phones in the market
- Better battery life than previous models
- Great camera
- True Tone Display
- iOS 11 in its updated form brings in more stability, security, and new features
- It’s heavier than all previous models
- No fast chargers yet
- Hardly any design change
Some sample pics were taken with the iPhone 8 Plus. See more of Apple India’s products here!
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