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The iPhone is arguably the first phone to shape the smartphone market we know today. However, with the release of the new iPhone 8 Plus, it marks the fourth year that the iPhone has used the same design. The 8 Plus is almost identical to the iPhone 7 Plus in almost every way. The iPhone 8 Plus and 7 Plus both have the same 5.5 inch screen size and resolution, same dual camera, same front facing camera, and same design. With the phones side by side it’s hard to tell them apart. So what exactly is different with the 8 Plus?
iPhone 8 Plus Finally has Wireless Charging and Fast Charging Capability
Apple finally added two features that have been seen on just about every other phone to date…wireless charging and fast charging. Fortunately, they are using the wireless Qi standard which means you have more choices for third party wireless charging pads instead of buying a wireless charging pad through Apple which is a plus.
Also with Fast charge, it only take 30 minutes to get a 50 percent battery charge. This is great for people pressed for time, however, a major setback is that Apple (for some reason) chose not to include a fast charge brick with the iPhone. Instead, you have to purchase the brick separately meaning the cost of your new expensive phone just went up.
The next advantage the iPhone 8 Plus has is the new A11 Bionic chip. It sports 2 more cores than Apple’s A10 Fusion chip found in the 7 Plus. This means you will have better performance with apps, including games and AR apps, more efficient use of your phone’s battery, and updates the lighting of contours from portrait photos in real time. All of this may sound like nerd talk, but just know that the iPhone 8 Plus will be blazing fast.
Bigger Hard Drive
Both the iPhone 7 Plus and the 8 Plus used to have 256 GB configurations. However, Apple has just discontinued the 256 GB option for the iPhone 7 from their site. This gives the iPhone 8 Plus a leg up over the 7 Plus. With the larger memory Apple hopes to sell more 8 Plus units.
Camera Improvements & 4k Video at Multiple FPS
When it comes to the camera, both phones can shoot at 4K but the 8 Plus wins over the 7 Plus because it gives you a variety of frame rates: 24 fps, 30 fps and 60 fps while the 7 Plus shoots 4K at only 30fps. What’s more, the 8 Plus can shoot 1080p slow motion at 240 fps while the 7 Plus shots 1080p slow motion at 120 fps. This basically means that slow motion video will look even smoother and sharper on the 8 Plus which can really make your videos pop.
The final thing to note on the camera improvements is the new Portrait Lighting Mode on the 8 Plus. It’s more so a new set of lighting effects for the portrait mode. You can choose from natural lighting, studio lighting, contour lighting, stage light, and stage light mono. From initial tests, natural light, studio light, and contour light perform the best. Stage light and stage light mono has trouble working 100 percent but it’s still in beta at the time of this post, and will be getting improvements over time.
Although the 8 Plus has a lot of impressive improvements on paper, the fact is this is just an incremental update to the 7 Plus. On the plus side, the extra $100 doubles the hard drive space for the base model. On the downside, you’re paying just under $1,000 for a phone that has only a few advantages over the 7 Plus. If you are really set on paying that much for this phone, we would recommend passing on the 8 Plus entirely and purchase the iPhone X(10) that is available for pre-order right now. It comes with the same features plus a new design and slimmer bezels. You’ll sacrifice the home button and touch ID for the new Face ID feature.
iPhone 7 Plus
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More Storage Options
This technically still holds true as of the time of this comparison. The iPhone 7 Plus comes in 3 different configurations, 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB respectively. As mentioned above, Apple decided to stop selling the 256GB option directly. You can still purchase the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus through Verizon and Sprint, however, AT&T has also discontinued their 256GB option so AT&T customers may have to try their luck on eBay.
More color options
This is more of a picky reason, but the iPhone 7 Plus have more color choices than the 8 Plus. They still offer the 7 Plus phone in Rose Gold, Gold, Jet Black, Black, and Silver whereas the iPhone 8 Plus only comes in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. Rose Gold is a really nice color on the iPhone so we were sad to see it go with the iPhone 8 Plus.
iPhone 7 Plus’ body is more durable
With any smartphone, the best protection is using a case. With that said, we thought the iPhone 7 Plus’ aluminum material feels more durable than glass. Apple claims that the iPhone 8 Plus uses the strongest glass ever in a smartphone, however, glass is glass. If you drop it, you will likely shatter some part the phone. On top of that, glass feels more slippery in the hands unlike the aluminum on the iPhone 7 Plus.
With every new iteration of any device, the previous generation gets a price cut — The iPhone 7 Plus is no exception. While still expensive, the 7 Plus now starts at $700 for the base 32GB configuration and the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $800 for the 64GB. $100 may not seem like a big difference but it could make it more affordable for someone’s budget.
The 7 Plus simply has more options when it comes to hard drive space and color options. It may not have the latest processor or wireless charging but it still performs optimally at a slightly cheaper price point. Expect to see deals on smartphones come Black Friday and Holiday Season 2017.