Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

GSMArena team, 30 September 2017.

Display

The display on the iPhone 8 Plus is a 5.5" unit with a 1080p resolution (that's 401ppi). It's a LED-backlit IPS LCD screen with RGB matrix, it supports 3D Touch, and has wide color gamut support like last year's.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

True Tone is a new addition - it's a white balance adjustment possible via the newly added four-channel ambient light sensor. Once turned on, the True Tone algorithm will correct the screen's white balance according to the ambient light and thus make the picture look its best regardless of the ambient light. That's completely different from the blue-light filter called Night Shift, which reduces the blue colors in the evening hours to help you get a better night's sleep.

The color correction coming from the True Tone adjustment is noticeable when you compare a True Tone-enabled iPhone with a non-True Tone one. It's not a big difference, but arguably it's better for both perception and ease on the eyes. But if you don't have a device for comparison, you won't know what's different.

We did our measurements on the iPhone 8 Plus screen with True Tone turned on, and we got very accurate hues when it comes to color representation. The screen has an average deltaE of 1.3, while the maximum deviation is at the white hue - 4.3. All measured colors except white are well below deltaE of 4, which means the screen has a close to perfect calibration.

Disabling the True Tone adjustment brought the average deltaE up to 2.0, while the white deviation remained the same.

As you can see - True Tone or not - the iPhone 8 Plus display is pretty well calibrated and has a flagship-grade color representation.

As far as HDR content playback goes, things are a bit complicated. From a purely technical standpoint neither the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 8 Plus have HDR displays. That is to say, they do not cover some of the various color and contrast requirements to be certified for HDR10, Dolby Vision and the like. In contrast, the iPhone X does have official certification. However, on both the iPhone 8 Plus and its little siblings specs pages, Apple clearly states: "Supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 content" under video playback.

Apple makes that claim since even without full HDR capabilities, the panels in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus do manage to render some of the extended visual features of HDR content. So, it's not exactly certifiable HDR grade quality. Then again, HDR has kind of a broad definition to begin with. The thing that will matter most from a user standpoint is that Apple has already convinced Netflix to grant the two iPhones access to its HDR library. And since it is currently, more or less the definitive source for HDR video, on a practical level, there isn't really much to complain about here.

Dragging the brightness slider all the way up allows for a maximum brightness of 530 nits. The black levels are about the average and the iPhone 8 Plus delivered the promised screen contrast of 1300:1. You can achieve an even higher brightness of 620 nits if the phone detects bright sunlight - it's an automatic adjustment to help you see better outdoors.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone) 0.392 530 1352
Apple iPhone 8 Plus (Standard) 0.392 530 1352
Apple iPhone 8 Plus (Max Auto) 0.471 621 1318
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 0.41 573 1398
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (max auto) 0.50 681 1362
Huawei Mate 9 0.41 665 1622
Samsung Galaxy S8 0 440
Samsung Galaxy S8 Max auto 0 618
LG V30 0.002 414 207000
LG V30 (Max Auto) 0.032 616 19250
Sony Xperia XZ1 0.409 575 1406
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 0.463 573 1238
LG G6 0.228 468 2053
LG G6 max auto 0.277 564 2036
Huawei P10 Plus 0.335 547 1633
Nokia 8 0.382 703 1840
OnePlus 5 0 435

We should mention Apple has buried the auto brightness toggle deep in the accessibility settings so finding it is not easy. By default, the brightness is always on.

In our sunlight legibility test the Apple iPhone 8 Plus posted an excellent contrast ratio beating most other LCD panel we have tested to date and on par with quite a few AMOLEDs out there. It matched the iPhone 7, while noticeably improved since the iPhone 7 Plus.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Battery life

The iPhone 8 Plus is equipped with a non-removable Li-Po 2,691 mAh battery, which is about 7% smaller than the one of the iPhone 7 Plus. But there is a new energy-efficient Apple A11 Bionic chip, which combined with the new battery and optimized iOS 11, should offer same battery life as before.

And in case you need your phone by the end of its charge, the Low-Power mode, which you can enable manually, should prolong your iPhone 8 Plus battery life once the charge drops below 20%.

The iPhone 8 Plus ships with a regular 5V/1A charger plug that replenish 20% of a dead battery in 30 mins. If you own a 29W MacBook charger, you will be able to fast charge 50% of an empty battery in half an hour.

We also tested the iPhone 8 Plus on a Qi-compatible Samsung wireless fast charger - it recharged 17% in 30 mins.

The iPhone 8 Plus posted balanced scores across the board - it can do about 17 hours of 3G calls, 12 and a half hours of web browsing on a single charge, or you can watch videos for about 15 hours. The standby endurance turned out above average and thus the very good endurance rating of 81 hours isn't a surprise (a few hours more than the 7 Plus).

Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

Our endurance rating estimates how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the iPhone 8 Plus for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Connectivity

The Apple iPhone 8 Plus comes with a bunch of wireless connectivity features. Some of the Apple iPhone 8 Plus models come with the latest Qualcomm modem with support for fast LTE Cat. 16 (up to 1Gbps down, 150Mbps up), while others have the latest Intel baseband with LTE Cat. 12 (up to 600Mbps down, 150Mbps up). No matter which model is intended for your market, the LTE will cap at Cat. 12 meaning 600Mbps uplink. Whether this was done for the sake of fairness or not, that's what it is. At least all the models have one of the widest LTE band coverage we've seen. Regular 2G and 3G connectivity are all safely covered as well with a multitude of supported network bands.

The iPhone 8 Plus also supports the latest Voice over LTE (VoLTE), HD Voice and Wi-Fi calling protocols, but those are carrier dependent features so not everyone will get to enjoy them.

Naturally, the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 standards are dully covered.

There is also support for NFC and thanks to iOS 11's new Core NFC API, the reader's functionality works for NFC tag reading besides Apple Pay. The iPhone 8 Plus supports reading any NDEF formatted tag but only within an app, which can read and take action. This last requirement makes us doubtful whether this also means the iPhones will now be able to make use of the NFC-assisted pairing to various wireless peripherals and accessories, which Android users have been enjoying for ages. Unfortunately, we didn't have one handy to try it out, but we'll update this section when we grab hold of more info.

The iPhone 8 Plus uses a proprietary Lightning connector for wired data transfers, charging, and audio. There is limited USB Host support - you can attach some certified accessories or access your digital camera storage via proprietary adapters sold separately. You can pair a Bluetooth keyboard to the phone should you need this sort of peripheral.

Now that there is no 3.5mm audio jack on board the phone, you can use the provided Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter to continue using your favorite pair of wired headphones with the iPhone. Or buy some very expensive inhouse or third-party wireless headphones, if you will.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus review

Finally, the iPhone 8 Plus supports wireless charging through every run-of-the-mill Qi-compatible charger. It's refreshing to see Apple comply with an established industry standard for once.