“Unlike the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 Plus isn’t all that different from its predecessor, the 7 Plus”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard that Apple has just launched new iPhones. The Cupertino giant took the wraps off a slew of products including a new Apple TV, the next generation Apple watch, the futuristic iPhone X and the iterative upgrades to the iPhone models of last year dubbed the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone X is in a league of its own, but the iPhone 8 Plus isn’t all that different from last year’s model. If you are planning on upgrading to the newer 8 Plus and are wondering what new features it brings to the table, then you’re at the right place. Read on, as we detail all the major differences between the iPhone 7 Plus (review) and the new iPhone 8 Plus. 

Design and Display

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The iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone 7 Plus are eerily similar when it comes to design. So much so, that you might confuse the newer iPhone 8 Plus with its predecessor. However, while their outer shells might look the same, the materials used are completely different. This time around, Apple has gone the glass route and the iPhone 8 Plus comes bearing a glass back design with an aluminium frame sandwiched in between the front and the back panels. Although a glass back design does make the smartphone more susceptible to damage, it also helps makes the device Qi charging-ready. Therefore, you’ll now be able to charge the iPhone 8 Plus wirelessly too. Moreover, the iPhone 8 Plus carries IP67 certification for protection against dust and water like the iPhone 7 Plus did. Unfortunately, since the design language has been kept the same, the headphone jack has been omitted from the 8 Plus as well and the camera bump at the back makes a return too, making the 8 Plus wobble when laid flat on a table.

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In terms of the display, the 8 Plus has seen no major improvements over its predecessor and ships with a 5.5-inch Retina HD display. The stereo speaker unit on the 8 Plus however, is now 25 percent louder than the setup on the 7 Plus and promises deeper bass too. Both the smartphones use the same Touch ID functionality for biometric security. 

Performance, storage and software

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In the performance department, the iPhone 8 Plus has gotten a massive spec upgrade over its predecessor and ships with a brand new A11 Bionic chip, which is a hexa-core processor comprising two performance cores and four efficiency cores. If you are going to talk numbers, then the performance cores on the A11 are supposed to be 25 percent faster than the ones on the A10 Fusion chip. Moreover, Apple has outfitted the 8 Plus with a 25 percent faster GPU when compared to the 7 Plus too. Suffice it to say, you’ll get a fairly good jump in performance when you upgrade from the 7 Plus to the 8 Plus.

One of the biggest changes that the iPhone 8 Plus brings to the table is better support for AR games and apps. Backed by a more powerful processor and a GPU which has been optimised for AR gaming, the 8 Plus should be your choice of a smartphone if you’re serious about Augmented Reality.

For storage, the 8 Plus ships in two different models of 64GB and 256GB internal storage. The 7 Plus, on the other hand, comes in two different variants sporting either 32GB or 128GB of storage. While the iPhone 8 Plus will ship with iOS 11 out of the box, the iPhone 7 Plus will receive an update for the same starting September 19th. 

Camera, battery and connectivity

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On paper, both the iPhone 8 Plus as well as the iPhone 7 Plus feature the same dual-camera setup at the back comprising two 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto lenses which boast apertures of f/1.8 and f/2.0 respectively. However, Apple has introduced a new sensor on the 8 Plus which, coupled with the company’s new A11 Bionic chip, promises much better picture quality. There have been some software based improvements too, such as an improved portrait mode which captures images with more natural blurring. A new feature called Portrait Lighting (currently in beta) has also been added, which uses facial detection and depth maps to add shadows and cool lighting effects to a portrait. Lastly, the iPhone 8 Plus can now shoot 4K videos at 60 fps which were originally capped at 30 fps on the iPhone 7 Plus. The front facing camera hasn’t been upgraded and both the smartphones sport 7MP sensors up front which can record videos at 1080p.

In the battery department, the 8 Plus hasn’t seen any improvement over the 7 Plus in terms of battery life. However, the handset does come with fast charge technology this time around, giving users 50 percent battery level in just 30 minutes.

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Connectivity-wise, both the handsets ship with standard options, however, the iPhone 8 Plus one ups its predecessor by being equipped with Bluetooth 5.0. 

Closing thoughts 

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Although the iPhone 8 Plus does bring about some useful changes and upgrades, buyers who already own a 7 Plus need not upgrade to this model. Instead, we’d recommend buyers of the iPhone 7 Plus to shell out a bit more and opt for the iPhone X, seeing how there’s a considerable change in design as well as specifications. 

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