Apple's iPhone 8 combines the power of the new A11 Bionic processor with Apple's new iOS 11.
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When does the iPhone 8 come out? Pre-orders from 15 September 2017, Available 22 September 2017 in Australia
What’s new about the iPhone 8? A11 Bionic processor, improved camera
How much does the iPhone 8 cost? $1,079/$1,329
What is the Apple iPhone 8?
Apple has kept to a consistent update mechanism for its iPhone lines for some years now, with a new "full number" model one year followed up by its "s" upgrade the following year. Except for this year, when it's opted instead to jump straight from iPhone 7 to iPhone 8.
For 2017, the iPhone 8 is effectively the smallest member of the iPhone family, alongside the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. That's pronounced as iPhone 10, if you were curious.
The iPhone 8 features a mostly traditional iPhone design with a front-mounted TouchID home button and a 4.7 inch "RetinaHD" display at 1334x750 pixels, giving it 326 pixels per inch. It measures in at 138.4x67.3x7.3mm with a carrying weight of 148 grams. Apple will sell the iPhone 8 in just three colours initially, with the phone coming in silver, gold or space grey finishes. The silver and gold finishes have a white front facing, while the space grey version has a black bezel instead.
The new design element for the iPhone 8 is the inclusion of glass backs, which give the iPhone 8 a distinct sheen, as well as enabling the new wireless charging feature. Apple's claim is that it's using robust glass, but it may be advisable to invest in a case to protect your phone investment in any case.
The display screen on the Apple iPhone 8 is an LED display utilising Apple's "TrueTone" technology. TrueTone dynamically adjusts the white balance of the display relative to the conditions the phone detects around it, giving you constantly and correctly balanced visuals even in low light or brightly lit scenarios.
The iPhone 8 will run on Apple's new iOS 11 operating system, and should be able to access most of the features of the new OS, although it lacks the specific cameras found on the iPhone X that enable features such as FaceID and Animoji. If you want those features you'll have to opt for the more expensive iPhone X when it goes on sale in Australia on 3 November 2017.
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Is the iPhone 8 powerful?
Apple pitches the iPhone 8 as a powerful phone, although we're yet to have time to test that claim out. It's running on Apple's new A11 Bionic processor, which is a 64-bit, 10nm processor with an inbuilt neural engine and embedded M11 motion coprocessor. Apple has a unique position in the smartphone industry, because it controls all aspects of phone production, including hardware and software. Android has to work on a massive variety of hardware form factors and approaches by comparison.
That's meant that Apple has been able to get every last drop of performance out of its own A series smartphone processors, not that they've been slouches in the first place. Apple was the first smartphone manufacturer to switch to 64-bit processors, and the iPhone 8 will also see the full shift to iOS 11, which mandates 64 bit apps. That is an important consideration if you're upgrading from an older iPhone, because older apps that haven't been recompiled for 64-bit support simply won't work on the new OS at all.
Does the iPhone 8 have a good camera?
Apple prides itself on the quality of its cameras, but the smaller iPhones have always kept to a single lens approach where the "plus" models have adopted dual lenses with telephoto and portrait photography capabilities. That's a trend it's kept to for the iPhone 8, which features a single 12MP f/1.8 camera with 5x digital zoom only.
Apple's claim with the iPhone 8 is that while it still only features a single lens, it has a faster and larger sensor, which should lead to improved light sensitivity and quicker focusing times compared to previous iPhone generations. Apple's standard iPhones have generally had excellent general performance, but again, if photographic quality and iOS are what you're after, expect better results out of the iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X.
How do I charge the iPhone 8?
The iPhone 8 will charge with Apple's standard Lightning connector if you've already got accessories that suit that connector, but where it changes up is with the inclusion of Qi standard wireless charging. Apple will develop its own wireless charging pad under the "AirPower" branding in 2018, but for now any standard Qi charger should be able to supply power to the iPhone 8.
Apple doesn't formally announce the battery capacity of its new iPhones, and this remains true for the iPhone 8 as well. We'll have to wait for a third party teardown to see what Apple has done for the iPhone 8, but for now all it claims is that it "lasts about the same as iPhone 7". In our tests, the iPhone 7's battery life wasn't very impressive, so it may make a lot of sense to invest in a wireless charger to keep your iPhone 8 topped up with power throughout the day.
Is the iPhone 8 water resistant?
It most certainly is, with an IP67 rating for water resistance. It's worth noting that this is a lab test and Apple does not recommend charging a wet iPhone. Apple specifically notes that water damage is not covered by its standard warranty.
When will the iPhone 8 be available in Australia?
Apple has confirmed that the iPhone 8 will go on pre-sale from 5:01pm on Friday 15 September 2017, with availability from 22 September 2017 in Australia. That is also when you'll be able to pre-order it from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, and like Apple, they'll start delivering and selling iPhone 8 from 22 September 2017.
How much does the iPhone 8 cost?
Apple prices all of its phones in the premium space, but the iPhone 8 will be the most "affordable" of its new phone range. It's available in 64GB and 256GB storage variants only for $1,079 outright while the 256GB version will retail for $1,329.
That compares quite favourably against the outgoing iPhone 7, where a 32GB model would cost you $1,079, although the 256GB pricing is identical.
iPhones are phenomenally popular here in Australia, and all the major carriers, including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile will all offer iPhone handsets on contract terms as well. At the time of writing, only Vodafone has pre-announced its contract pricing for iPhone 8, but we'll update when other carriers go live with their plans.
Given Apple's pricing and market position, expect significant handset repayment premiums on top of your contract.
iPhone 8 Specifications
- Product Name
- iPhone 8
- Display Size
- 4.7 inches
- Apple A11 BIONIC
- Operating System
- iOS 11
- Front camera
- Rear camera
- 12MP f/1.8
- $1079/$1329 (64/256GB)
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