Apple's iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus - what are the differences?

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2017
With Apple's preorders now open, some people may still be on the fence about whether to get a regular iPhone 8, or spring for an iPhone 8 Plus -- here's what separates the two models.


Displays

The most obvious difference is size, since the standard iPhone 8 has a 4.7-inch screen, while the Plus scales up to 5.5 inches. But there's more -- the Plus has a 1080p display rated at 401 pixels per inch (ppi), whereas the smaller phone has a lower-resolution 1,334-by-750 panel, with 326 ppi.

In practice there should be little difference in sharpness, but screen area could be an important factor to consider. The Plus can show more icons on the homescreen, and should simply be more pleasant to use when reading websites or watching video. A relative handful of apps -- namely ones by Apple -- can take advantage of the extra space when the Plus rotates into landscape mode.

The regular iPhone 8 may be preferable for people who prefer to use their phone one-handed as much as possible, or for whom pocket space is at a premium.

Cameras




The 4.7-inch phone has a single-lens, optically-stabilized 12-megapixel camera with a maximum f/1.8 aperture -- wider apertures allow more light and shallower depth-of-field. An accompanying quad-LED flash includes a new "Slow Sync" feature, which Apple claims should result in more consistent lighting.

To this the Plus adds an f/2.8 telephoto lens, which means that it can provide 2x optical zoom instead of just simulated 5x "digital" zoom. Digital zoom should be avoided whenever possible, since it simply crops and expands a part of the sensor image.

Another luxury of the Plus is Portrait mode, which artificially blurs the background behind a subject. A sub-feature, Portrait Lighting, adds simulated highlights, and can even drop out the background entirely.


Batteries

The iPhone 8 can theoretically handle up to 12 hours of internet access, 13 hours of video playback, 14 hours of talk time, and 40 hours of audio. The Plus extends these numbers to 13 hours of internet, 14 hours of video, 21 hours of talk, and 60 hours of audio.

In reality, of course, users are liable to switch between several tasks on any given day, but the gist is that the Plus is probably the best option for people who go long stretches away from a charging point, or who otherwise find their battery running dry

It's worth noting that both devices support Qi wireless, and can cable-charge to 50 percent in 30 minutes, albeit with costly accessories.

Prices

A 64-gigabyte iPhone 8 will set you back about $699, and an equivalent Plus is $799. Still higher premiums are in effect for 256-gigabyte models, which cost $849 and $949 -- the second just $50 short of a 64-gigabyte iPhone X.

Both phones may be more affordable under the iPhone Upgrade Program, assuming you have a previous iPhone to trade in. Prices start at $34.50 and $39.50 per month, rising for more expensive models.

Preorders for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus began earlier Friday, with new shipments already delayed until October in the face of demand.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    The 2X camera on the Plus is not stabilized.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    My first time ever getting in on preorders...  my wife is replacing her 16gig 5 with a 64gig 8 and I am replacing my 32gig 5s with a 256gig 8+  May be too much as really wanted a 128gig but Apple has spoken.  So far a 9/22 delivery from ATT.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Only the iPhone X has dual optical image stabilization.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    hmlongco said:
    Only the iPhone X has dual optical image stabilization.
    Where does it specifically say that.  Apples site just says the cameras use stabilization and also that the front camera uses it too.  Not arguing the point just trying to clarify from a source.

    A little more digging and it is not mentioned that the 2x camera has the stabilization.  So guess it does not.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 5 of 12
    OferOfer Posts: 15unconfirmed, member
    It's ridiculous that the "zoom" lens on the 8+ isn't stabilized. Image stabilization is more often needed with zoomed photos, where hand movements would affect the photo more than in a wide angle shots
  • Reply 6 of 12
    Ofer said:
    It's ridiculous that the "zoom" lens on the 8+ isn't stabilized. Image stabilization is more often needed with zoomed photos, where hand movements would affect the photo more than in a wide angle shots
    Indeed. Confusing specs. In one place on Apple site, it appears that both cameras on 8 + are stabilized. On other, not.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Compared 7+ vs 8+
    differences are minor
    not compelling enough
    10X is worth waiting for
  • Reply 8 of 12
    MaxxHoo said:
    Compared 7+ vs 8+
    differences are minor
    not compelling enough
    10X is worth waiting for
    The differences between A10 and A11 are not minor. We witness a platform jump here, just like the A7 in 5s signals a jump to 64-bit.

    If the X is the future, Apple has implemented that future already in 8 series. And the 8 is available today.
    edited September 2017 lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Ofer said:
    It's ridiculous that the "zoom" lens on the 8+ isn't stabilized. Image stabilization is more often needed with zoomed photos, where hand movements would affect the photo more than in a wide angle shots
    It is more complicated than that. The iPhone uses optically stabilized regular lens more often than you think in zoomed photos. That depends on the lighting and noise. The iPhone always strives to give to you the zoomed photo with the best lighting and less noise. You don't have any control over the use of zoom lens except the zoom option, so the lack of OIS on the zoom lens should not be a deal breaker.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Ofer said:
    It's ridiculous that the "zoom" lens on the 8+ isn't stabilized. Image stabilization is more often needed with zoomed photos, where hand movements would affect the photo more than in a wide angle shots
    It is more complicated than that. The iPhone uses optically stabilized regular lens more often than you think in zoomed photos. That depends on the lighting and noise. The iPhone always strives to give to you the zoomed photo with the best lighting and less noise. You don't have any control over the use of zoom lens except the zoom option, so the lack of OIS on the zoom lens should not be a deal breaker.
    So you are saying that if you touch the 2x button on the camera screen that the iPhone uses the 1x lens to stabilize the image? How is that possible? When you touch the 2x button, does that not switch the camera?
  • Reply 11 of 12
    Ofer said:
    It's ridiculous that the "zoom" lens on the 8+ isn't stabilized. Image stabilization is more often needed with zoomed photos, where hand movements would affect the photo more than in a wide angle shots
    It is more complicated than that. The iPhone uses optically stabilized regular lens more often than you think in zoomed photos. That depends on the lighting and noise. The iPhone always strives to give to you the zoomed photo with the best lighting and less noise. You don't have any control over the use of zoom lens except the zoom option, so the lack of OIS on the zoom lens should not be a deal breaker.
    So you are saying that if you touch the 2x button on the camera screen that the iPhone uses the 1x lens to stabilize the image? How is that possible? When you touch the 2x button, does that not switch the camera?
    As I said above, not always. That depends on the lighting and noise. When you click the 2x button, the use of the zoom lens is in the iPhone's discretion, it may use or may not. You have no control over that.
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