First look: iPhone 8 series with A11 Bionic chip, wireless charging, more

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2017
If Apple hadn't introduced iPhone X at a special event on Tuesday, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus would have been its premium priced, stand-out smartphone models for 2017. But even with the new X shamelessly showing off, the relatively less exciting pair of 8s actually offer a compelling upgrade for buyers who want and need less than the absolute best, most expensive option in smartphones.


What am I, chopped liver?

Steve Jobs made "one more thing" into an anticipated meme at Apple Events, but iPhone X took the unusual path of being "the one more thing" that threw the just-previously-detailed iPhone 8 under a metaphorical bus. On Twitter, there were jokes that iPhone 8 suffered the most rapid fall into obsolescence ever.





However, outside of technical enthusiasts who are ready to spend $999 or more on the latest and fanciest mobile computer phone, there is actually a major market for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. In fact, the majority of new iPhone buyers will almost certainly spring for the significantly less expensive new 8 models, even if they do lack True Depth and the Super version of Retina HD offered by iPhone X.

Journalists looking to report on "the new" spent more time playing with iPhone X, but as outlined and demonstrated in the hands on area, iPhone 8 is a solid product that looks great.It delivers as large of a generational leap (if not more so) than last year's iPhone 7 did, without demanding the additional $300 premium of iPhone X.

Consider that the majority of the market gets by with a basic Android priced below $300, puts up with white box generic Windows PCs, and, statically speaking, eats whatever goat meat can be obtained rather than the finest Kobe beef chateaubriand available for consumption. Price is definitely a factor in decision making.


The most expensive iPhone ever, for a few minutes

That said, Apple's iPhone 8 lineup is -- outside of iPhone X itself -- the most expensive iPhone it has ever offered, starting at $699 rather than the typical $650 for a base new iPhone generation. Clearly Apple didn't care about the memos advising it that low-priced hardware is how one achieves the booby prize of "market share." Remember how much "market share" Nokia, Palm, Motorola and BlackBerry once had?




Apple isn't opposed to selling affordable products; it just reduced the entry price of its least expensive iPhone SE to $349. That model is a perfectly serviceable device with a very good camera, fast performance and a high-quality build. However, the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE!

Clearly, while some need a low price, others are willing to pay far more. And in between the two extremes there's a mass market willing to pay a bit more, but certainly less than the maximum. That's the zone of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Automakers have long been known to market high-end show off models designed primarily to cast a halo over their more basic offerings. iPhone X appears to be an effort to define the best smartphone one can buy. Underneath it, Apple now has a second tier of fanciness. In fact, in a world without iPhone X, iPhone 8 would have been the "best" models alongside two earlier generations that Apple will apparently continue to sell: iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s, beyond the smaller and least expensive iPhone SE.

Distinctive styling


iPhone X has definitely generated intense interest, but it appears iPhone 8 will continue to make up the majority of Apple's sales. It's as significantly differentiated from the last, best iPhone 7 by its wicked fast A11 Bionic processor; in stand out features (including iPhone X style enhanced Portrait lighting effects and wireless charging); and in its appearance.




In particular, the new iPhone 8 features distinctive styling springing from its new polished stainless steel case design, set apart with its glossy frosted glass back, available in three colors.

The Gold option, arguably the nicest color option, is exclusive to the iPhone 8 line this year. And if you prefer a new iPhone with a white face, you can only get that on iPhone 8, as both the silver and space grey iPhone X have black faces (in part to help hide the True Depth sensor.

Familiar, enhanced

Even while it's not the most advanced iPhone that can be bought this year, iPhone 8 is still appealing and fresh. And even at its premium price, it's certainly easier to afford.




Additionally, users who are concerned about how well Face ID can work, or who like the idea of physical Home button or the familiarity of the existing iOS gestures can convince themselves that they're not just saving money but actually prefer the iPhone 8 lineup.

iPhone 8 delivers rear camera features effectively on par with iPhone X, thanks in part to having the same A11 Bionic brain and its built in camera logic supporting new 1080p Slo-mo at 240 fps and 4K video recording at the fast, smooth new 60fps capture mode. It even features the same front facing camera, although it lacks iPhone X's 3D sensors supporting Face ID and app effects including Animoji.




iPhone 8 (like iPhone X) also adopts Bluetooth 5 (versus 4.2 on earlier iPhones), and extends support for new alternative satellite positioning systems: Europe's Galileo Japan's QZSS, in addition to the American GPS and Russian GLONASS supported on previous iPhones. It's basically iPhone X without the ultra-premium frosting and a commensurate price tag.

Apple's iPhone 8 and 8 Plus handsets are offered in three colors -- silver, space gray, and a new shade of gold -- and go on sale Friday, Sept. 15, with shipments slated to arrive on Sept. 22. Prices for the base level 64GB iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are pegged at $699 and $799, respectively, while step-up 256GB models run $849 and $949.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    " the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE"

    This is slightly disingenuous.  The correct comparison (both price-wise and feature-wise) is not the iPhone 8 but the iPhone 8 plus.  The 8+ and the X have a MUCH more similar screen size and camera functionality. The price comparison between these two is "only" $150.  Seems to me if you're already spending $850 on the iPhone 8+, springing for a X at $150 is a no-brainer.

    The only reason NOT to do this is that you will probably have to wait until January (or maybe even March) to get an iPhone X.  So if you can wait, seems worth it to me...

    I do wish they had made a 128 GB version.  64 GB is a tad too small (especially when considering the 12 MP cameras), but 256 is overkill (at least for me)...  128 GB (which is what I have on my iPhone 6 is just right.  Oh well... 
    GeorgeBMackayessmwhitepscooter63repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 33
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,339member
    I'm really thinking that Apple will not be able to meet demand at all on the iPhone X, and when I say that, I'm thinking through late spring. In my own case, I hadn't planned on purchasing one, but I am really interested in the X2, hoping that it gets Pencil support, a year from now.

    It's conceivable that the pricing for the iPhone X isn't going to have much effect on demand; people will just adjust their initial outlays, or their payment plans, to get one. Demand is almost certainly going to exceed supply; would 50 million iPhone X's even be enough to meet demand for the next year?
  • Reply 3 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 16,907member
    With the price of the SE going down by $50 it's a great time to prefer a smaller phone. An SE sized iPhone X would be nice. The price would not.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 4 of 33
    The reason I'm only tempted by the 8/8Plus is because I really don't want to give up the home button and TouchID. With TouchID, if you choose to, you can select other fingers to activate it. You've only got one face for FaceID. Siri on the button one the side (the one that shuts off the phone) - seems like it's going to cause problems - short press, shut off. Longer press - Siri. Longer press - reboot. And as someone who activates his phone many times during the day - FaceID has to use more energy than TouchID. I LIKE having a bezel I can grab.
    racoleman29supadav03
  • Reply 5 of 33
    for buyers who want and need

    knowing the difference between want and need = winning

    Steve Jobs made "one more thing" into an anticipated meme

    You know, they really should have used the stage elevator... 

  • Reply 6 of 33
    " the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE"

    This is slightly disingenuous.  The correct comparison (both price-wise and feature-wise) is not the iPhone 8 but the iPhone 8 plus.  The 8+ and the X have a MUCH more similar screen size and camera functionality. The price comparison between these two is "only" $150.  Seems to me if you're already spending $850 on the iPhone 8+, springing for a X at $150 is a no-brainer.

    The only reason NOT to do this is that you will probably have to wait until January (or maybe even March) to get an iPhone X.  So if you can wait, seems worth it to me...

    I do wish they had made a 128 GB version.  64 GB is a tad too small (especially when considering the 12 MP cameras), but 256 is overkill (at least for me)...  128 GB (which is what I have on my iPhone 6 is just right.  Oh well... 
    I totally agree with all of that -- especially the part about missing the 128Gb size.
    Jumping directly from 64Gb to 256Gb makes the $849 iPhone 8 $200 more than than the $649 128Gb iPhone 7 for those who need more than 64Gb.  That makes the cost of iPhone 8 nearly 1/3 more than the iPhone 7 -- which makes the 7 much more attractive.

    Functionally, it seems that the iPhone 8 probably doesn't offer the average buyer a lot today over an iPhone 7.   But, the 8 seems to be more 'future proofed' for AR and wireless charging. So, is that future proofing worth the 30% premium?    
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 7 of 33
    DED, your note about the stainless steel band on the 8 is incorrect..."In particular, the new iPhone 8 features distinctive styling springing from its new polished stainless steel case design, set apart with its glossy frosted glass back, available in three colors.", as the stainless steel is only available on the X, with the 8 carrying over with the 7000 series aluminum. For most people, that's not going to be a dealbreaker, as the strength benefit of the steel vs aluminum won't matter in these applications.
    repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 16,907member
    gadgetdon said:
    The reason I'm only tempted by the 8/8Plus is because I really don't want to give up the home button and TouchID. With TouchID, if you choose to, you can select other fingers to activate it. You've only got one face for FaceID. Siri on the button one the side (the one that shuts off the phone) - seems like it's going to cause problems - short press, shut off. Longer press - Siri. Longer press - reboot. And as someone who activates his phone many times during the day - FaceID has to use more energy than TouchID. I LIKE having a bezel I can grab.
    The X still has bezels.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    I wish people would stop writing about Apple as if it is a luxury product.  It is the only USEABLE product.  It is qualitatively different from Android, not a wasteful indulgence like jewelry or premium branding for snob appeal.  
    macky the mackyRayz2016urahararepressthis
  • Reply 10 of 33
    When I upgrade it will be to an 8, not an X.  However, the 8 doesn't offer anything over my 6 except portrait mode and I don't care about that.  So when my 6 breaks I'll upgrade but this isn't driving an upgrade for me. 
  • Reply 11 of 33
    " the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE"

    This is slightly disingenuous.  The correct comparison (both price-wise and feature-wise) is not the iPhone 8 but the iPhone 8 plus.  The 8+ and the X have a MUCH more similar screen size and camera functionality.
    Not so MUCH similar screen sizes. The X has the width of iPhone 7 in logical pixels (375). The Plus has 16:9 aspect ratio offering a larger vertical viewing area in landscape mode, the X is just similar to iPhone 7 in landscape. This is a ribbon-like tall, bizarre display dented by a notch.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 12 of 33
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,179member
    " the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE"

    This is slightly disingenuous.  The correct comparison (both price-wise and feature-wise) is not the iPhone 8 but the iPhone 8 plus.  The 8+ and the X have a MUCH more similar screen size and camera functionality.
    Not so MUCH similar screen sizes. The X has the width of iPhone 7 in logical pixels (375). The Plus has 16:9 aspect ratio offering a larger vertical viewing area in landscape mode, the X is just similar to iPhone 7 in landscape. This is a ribbon-like tall, bizarre display dented by a notch.
    Or is it a slightly longer display with two extra panels for hardware info?
  • Reply 13 of 33
    " the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE"

    This is slightly disingenuous.  The correct comparison (both price-wise and feature-wise) is not the iPhone 8 but the iPhone 8 plus.  The 8+ and the X have a MUCH more similar screen size and camera functionality. The price comparison between these two is "only" $150.  Seems to me if you're already spending $850 on the iPhone 8+, springing for a X at $150 is a no-brainer.

    The only reason NOT to do this is that you will probably have to wait until January (or maybe even March) to get an iPhone X.  So if you can wait, seems worth it to me...

    I do wish they had made a 128 GB version.  64 GB is a tad too small (especially when considering the 12 MP cameras), but 256 is overkill (at least for me)...  128 GB (which is what I have on my iPhone 6 is just right.  Oh well... 
    Functionally, it seems that the iPhone 8 probably doesn't offer the average buyer a lot today over an iPhone 7.   But, the 8 seems to be more 'future proofed' for AR and wireless charging. So, is that future proofing worth the 30% premium?    
    Even the optical image stabilization is a big update for the average buyer. Wireless charging may be passed on right now but its convenience after a few uses, cannot be denied.

    The A11 Bionic chip makes the platform jump forward as a whole. Just like the iPhone 5s which moved the platform to 64 bit. Such jumps don't occur every year. This is the most significant update since the release of 6 series. And all of these without giving up on the convenience of 16:9 display and TouchID. This is really a big deal.
    repressthis
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Rayz2016 said:
    " the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE"

    This is slightly disingenuous.  The correct comparison (both price-wise and feature-wise) is not the iPhone 8 but the iPhone 8 plus.  The 8+ and the X have a MUCH more similar screen size and camera functionality.
    Not so MUCH similar screen sizes. The X has the width of iPhone 7 in logical pixels (375). The Plus has 16:9 aspect ratio offering a larger vertical viewing area in landscape mode, the X is just similar to iPhone 7 in landscape. This is a ribbon-like tall, bizarre display dented by a notch.
    Or is it a slightly longer display with two extra panels for hardware info?
    Add the two bezels together and compare it to the height of the 16:9 display Not slightly longer, but ridiculously longer. Compare 16:9 to 19.5:9:

     16/19.5 ~= 82% the difference is 18%: not slightly longer.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,179member
    Rayz2016 said:
    " the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE"

    This is slightly disingenuous.  The correct comparison (both price-wise and feature-wise) is not the iPhone 8 but the iPhone 8 plus.  The 8+ and the X have a MUCH more similar screen size and camera functionality.
    Not so MUCH similar screen sizes. The X has the width of iPhone 7 in logical pixels (375). The Plus has 16:9 aspect ratio offering a larger vertical viewing area in landscape mode, the X is just similar to iPhone 7 in landscape. This is a ribbon-like tall, bizarre display dented by a notch.
    Or is it a slightly longer display with two extra panels for hardware info?
    Add the two bezels together and compare it to the height of the 16:9 display Not slightly longer, but ridiculously longer. Compare 16:9 to 19.5:9:

     16/19.5 ~= 18%: not slightly longer.
    Okay, but so what? What is being lost by having a longer display? Will photos and videos look stretched?

    One other thing: I understand that the two panels can switched off during video/photo play, so I'd measure from the bottom line of the camera strip, not the top of the screen. 
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 16 of 33
    airnerd said:
    When I upgrade it will be to an 8, not an X.  However, the 8 doesn't offer anything over my 6 except portrait mode and I don't care about that.  So when my 6 breaks I'll upgrade but this isn't driving an upgrade for me. 
    Except for great performance improvement of about 4 times being faster, twice the RAM, 4K video recording, far better camera, water resistance, AR capability etc etc
    SoliStrangeDaysurahararepressthisbrucemc
  • Reply 17 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,196member
    airnerd said:
    When I upgrade it will be to an 8, not an X.  However, the 8 doesn't offer anything over my 6 except portrait mode and I don't care about that.  So when my 6 breaks I'll upgrade but this isn't driving an upgrade for me. 
    Except for great performance improvement of about 4 times being faster, twice the RAM, 4K video recording, far better camera, water resistance, AR capability etc etc
    … fast charging, Qi charging, TrueTone, better cameras in pretty much every way, neural net processing, etc.
    repressthis
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Rayz2016 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    " the price premium of iPhone X over iPhone 8 is just $50 shy the price of a new iPhone SE"

    This is slightly disingenuous.  The correct comparison (both price-wise and feature-wise) is not the iPhone 8 but the iPhone 8 plus.  The 8+ and the X have a MUCH more similar screen size and camera functionality.
    Not so MUCH similar screen sizes. The X has the width of iPhone 7 in logical pixels (375). The Plus has 16:9 aspect ratio offering a larger vertical viewing area in landscape mode, the X is just similar to iPhone 7 in landscape. This is a ribbon-like tall, bizarre display dented by a notch.
    Or is it a slightly longer display with two extra panels for hardware info?
    Add the two bezels together and compare it to the height of the 16:9 display Not slightly longer, but ridiculously longer. Compare 16:9 to 19.5:9:

     16/19.5 ~= 18%: not slightly longer.
    Okay, but so what? What is being lost by having a longer display? Will photos and videos look stretched?

    One other thing: I understand that the two panels can switched off during video/photo play, so I'd measure from the bottom line of the camera strip, not the top of the screen. 
    So what, so giving up on 16:9 display brings absolutely NO benefit in terms of content consumption and user interface. In contrast it harms game playability significantly in landscape, causing the player's palms obscure the left and right of the screen. Obviously that thing is not designed with gamers in mind.

    Would you tolerate a dent on the left of your Macbook Pro display? Let Apple put a dent on the left or top of you Macbook Pro display with a bunch of sensors, IR, UV, XRay, gamma ray cameras for example...  >:)
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 19 of 33
    My biggest gripe about the iPhone 8 was also my gripe about the iPhone 7.  You don't get the better camera without going for the ridiculously large chassis size.  I don't want such a large chassis.  The iPhone X gets me the camera in the smaller chassis.  
    repressthischarlesgresGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 33
    tadd said:
    My biggest gripe about the iPhone 8 was also my gripe about the iPhone 7.  You don't get the better camera without going for the ridiculously large chassis size.  I don't want such a large chassis.  The iPhone X gets me the camera in the smaller chassis.  
    What made the Plus series camera better was the optical image stabilization. The second lens provides only a 2x optical zoom, not a big deal. The 8 is different from 7 in that now the optical image stabilization exists on both models. If you can afford paying $300 premium for a 2x zoom lens then go with X.
    slprescott
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