iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
It’s September, and that can only mean one thing: Apple just announced some new iPhones. This year, the company unveiled the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which launch later this month, alongside an overhauled iPhone X set to arrive in late October.
It can be tough to resist the allure of a shiny new Apple device, but before you commit to the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus there are a few things to consider. Here’s a quick rundown of whether you should upgrade to Apple’s latest, depending on what device you’re currently using and what you’re looking for in a new smartphone.
You have an iPhone 6s or older
If your current iPhone is two years old or older, you’re probably due for an upgrade. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus offer some worthwhile improvements over earlier models, including wireless charging, an upgraded camera for studio lighting effects and better slow-motion videos, a faster processor, and the same True Tone display introduced on the iPad Pro last year.
Since you’re upgrading from an older device, you’ll also be able to take advantage of the iPhone 7 features your friends have been bragging about; like last year’s model, the iPhone 8 is water-resistant and offers portrait mode photography. Plus, it features an upgraded version of the stereo speakers introduced with the iPhone 7.
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are slightly more expensive than previous models, starting at $US699 ($872) and $US799 ($996) respectively, but they come with an upgraded 64GB of storage (or 256GB for an extra $US150 ($187)). So unless you just can’t live without a headphone jack, this is a pretty easy upgrade to make.
You have an iPhone 7
To be honest, Apple should have just called the iPhone 8 the iPhone 7s. It’s a pretty minor upgrade over last year’s iPhone 7, and probably not worth the cost of a new device. The biggest change is the wireless charging, which is nice but not life changing, and the new glass back design to support it.
Wireless charging with the iPhone 8
But if you’re the type of person who needs to upgrade your smartphone every year, you’re in luck. Apple had “One More Thing…” to reveal at end of Tuesday’s presentation.
You’re waiting for the iPhone X
The iPhone X is a total overhaul of the iPhone design, and it may be the biggest change to the product since it first launched 10 years ago. If you’re an early adopter this is the phone for you.
The most noticable change is the screen, which now covers almost the entire front of the device except for a small cutout up top for the front-facing camera. It’s also the first iPhone to sport an OLED display, and it’s the biggest screen yet at 15cm across — though Apple says it still fits comfortably in your hand.
The other big change is hidden in that front camera cutout: An array of sensors that work together to scan your face and unlock the iPhone X automatically. Apple calls this Face ID. It works in the dark and can’t be fooled by a picture.
The same sensors powering Face ID also support some cool new augmented reality features. Apple showed off a few super-realistic Snapchat filters that use the upgraded camera. There’s also Animoji, a fun (and slightly creepy) new Apple Messages feature that lets you record a video message with an animated emoji that tracks your facial movements.
With any new technology there’s bound to be some bugs — Apple actually ran into an issue while showing off Face ID onstage. So it might be worth holding off for next year’s iPhone Xs (or whatever they call it) if you value a smooth experience over cutting-edge features. In the meantime there’s always the iPhone 8 or even last year’s very similar iPhone 7.