Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

GSMArena team, 30 September 2017.

Retail package

Apple has been consistent with the bundle for over 5 years, and the box of the iPhone 8 Plus hides no surprises. Inside you'll find a somewhat dated 5V/1A plug, a Lightning cable, a pair of EarPods and a Lighting-to-Analog jack adapter.

To take advantage of the fast charging support, you'll need to spend on a more powerful MacBook charger. However, the latter is available only with a USB Type-C plug so that a USB-C-to-Lightning adapter will be in order too. That's an extra 100 bucks or so to make use of a feature, which supposedly came built-in. Not to mention that the MacBook charger is way too big compared to a normal phone charger.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus retail package - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review Apple iPhone 8 Plus retail package - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review
Apple iPhone 8 Plus retail package

Apple iPhone 8 Plus 360-degree spin

The iPhone 8 Plus measures 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm which is a hair (0.2mm, to be precise) larger than the 7 Plus in each direction. This means most of the old cases won't be a perfect fit (mostly in depth though as our experiments confirmed).

Apple iPhone 8 Plus next to the iPhone 7 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review Apple iPhone 8 Plus next to the iPhone 7 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review Apple iPhone 8 Plus next to the iPhone 7 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review Apple iPhone 8 Plus next to the iPhone 7 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review
Apple iPhone 8 Plus next to the iPhone 7 Plus

The new 8 Plus model has gained 14g of weight and is a pretty heavy set at 202g.

Compared to the bezel-less iPhone X and the Galaxy S8 boasting 5.8" screens, the iPhone 8 Plus is noticeably bigger. The iPhone X is 15mm shorter and 7mm narrower, while the Galaxy S8 shaves off 10mm in both directions.

Finally, the size gap between the regular iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is significant - 20mm in height and 10mm in width. But that's not exactly breaking news.

Design

Apple was the first maker to push the glass-sandwich design with the iconic iPhone 4. The unthinkable became possible (using glass on a phone), and it has since become mainstream. It was somewhat short-lived though, replaced in just two years by the all-metal iPhone 5.

Fast-forward five years to find Apple pretty much the last company revisiting all-glass builds to catch with the likes of Samsung and many others who adopted glass and wireless charging years ago. Better late than never we guess.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

So, what's up with the iPhone 8 Plus? Not much, at least over at the front side. Everything else is as we left it on the iPhone 7 Plus: the footprint, screen size, sizeable bezels, physical Home key, sensors, and the selfie camera placement. The oleophobic coating against fingerprint smudges is a given, and that's something we wish to see on every flagship out there. Oh, and the 8 Plus is still IP67-grade water resistant.

The front glass ends on a subtle curve - a departure from the once popular 2.5D finish. This would make applying screen protectors on the iPhone 8 Plus easier and let them last longer.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

The rear glass is the highlight of the refined design. It's flat for the most part but also ends on a subtle curve where it meets the aluminum frame. There are no antenna bands you can notice, as these are now well hidden beneath the glass.

Thanks to this change of heart Apple is finally bringing wireless charging - a feature rumored to be coming with quite a few iPhones already. The team over at Cupertino chose the Qi standard, so the iPhone 8 Plus is compatible with all existing Qi chargers - the most common standard for the technology. You bet Apple will be pushing some fancier units later this year. In 2018 Apple hopes to, we will likely also see a proprietary Apple wireless charger that will replenish a Watch, an iPhone, and the AirPods all at once all while showing the charging progress indicator of all three on the iPhone's screen. This won't be easy as allegedly, the Qi charging standard would have to be adjusted to accommodate that feature so that it remains universally compatible. Only time would tell if that will really happen.

The dual-camera on the iPhone 8 Plus uses new sensors though it keeps the same specs for both - 12MP with f/1.8 lens for the wide-angle and 12MP with f/2.8 lens for the telephoto cam. There are some new cool portrait effects and a slow-sync flash though. As far as the hump is concerned - it's still there, bulging over everything, but protected behind sapphire glass (which is not that hard to scratch mind you).

Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

Apple likes to tout its new reinforced glass panels used on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X as the toughest glass on the planet. If drop tests all over YouTube are anything to go by, the new Apple phones somehow fail to live up to the hype, though. Even worse, our own 8 Plus got its screen scratched by the smaller iPhone 8 we stacked on top of it for a quick comparison picture.

The final piece of the Apple iPhone 8 Plus is the Series 7000 aluminum frame running along the sides. This is the only place you can see the beginning and the end of the antennas. The frame has a sandblasted-like finish and improves the otherwise slippery grip.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

The iPhone 8 Plus with its prominent screen bezels is one of the largest 5.5-inchers on the market. It's not huge by any means, it just feels oversized, and it is heavy. But handling the 8 Plus is as premium experience as ever, the build is solid, and the profile thin enough. The aluminum frame boosts the grip, while the glass panels are sweet on the eyes. Even though the 8 Plus is not comfortable to work with just one hand, the added one-hand-friendly gestures will surely help in improving the overall usability.

Handling the iPhone 8 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review Handling the iPhone 8 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review
Handling the iPhone 8 Plus

Device overview

A quick look over the iPhone 8 Plus reveals no surprises. Most of the front is taken by the 5.5" IPS LCD screen and its bezels. Above the display is the earpiece, which also serves as a speaker, the FaceTime camera, and a couple of sensors.

Below the screen is the Home Key, force-press enabled just like on the iPhone 7 series. The ultra-fast fingerprint sensor, also known as Touch ID, is embedded within that key.

The iPhone 8 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the earpiece and the FaceTime cam - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the Home key - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review
The iPhone 8 Plus the earpiece and the FaceTime cam the Home key

The left side of the iPhone 8 Plus has the silencer toggle and the volume keys. The power/lock button and the nanoSIM tray are on the right.

The left side - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the volume controls - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the right side - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the SIM tray - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review
The left side the volume controls the right side the SIM tray

The top is completely bare. The Lightning port is at the bottom flanked by two grilles - one for the mouthpiece, and the other one for the second speaker.

The top - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the bottom - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the Lightning port - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review
The top the bottom the Lightning port

Finally, the dual-camera is seen on the back, accompanied by a quad-LED dual-tone flash.

The back of the iPhone 8 Plus - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the dual-camera setup - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review the camera hump - Apple iPhone 8 Plus review
The back of the iPhone 8 Plus the dual-camera setup the camera hump

There is nothing out of the ordinary so far and no wonder. Apple is now using this design for the fourth year in a row after it was first introduced on the iPhone 6. Sure, the back is all glass now, but you would never guess you are holding the latest iPhone just by looking at the front.

Reader comments

  • Areef oman

Please just think about the iPhone mobiles battery,when ever we are using internet in the mobile suddenly battery coming low....... please do something thanks......

  • Anonymous

Why didn't you bought a new android phone for your daughter instead of giving her you 6s Oh and thd iphone 8 plus's camera isn't that great the 6s have a trash camera

  • Anonymous

love the 8 plus we use apple at work so the apps are the same no learning curve at all switching to ios I love it all my apps work all the time not some of the time with andriod(free)