It has been ten years since Apple revolutionized the smartphone industry by introducing the iPhone. It was the beginning of the smartphone era and even though now that there are millions of smartphones out there, Apple has completed a decade in the field and is still going strong. The company has now launched the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10). We got our hands on the iPhone 8 and here are the first eight things that jumped at us right away:
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1. “Glass back apart, haven’t we seen you before?”
You have often heard us complaining about similar, repeated design in the budget and mid-range segment smartphones but the disappointment increases exponentially if a smartphone with a premium price tag follows the trend. And in this case, it is no other device but the Godphone itself. We will not be exaggerating if we said that Apple has not REALLY changed the design of the iPhones since the iPhone 5/5s. Ever since Apple changed screen sizes to 4.7 and 5.5 inches, we are more or less getting the same design with minor tweaks. And the iPhone 8 is no different. The size of the display is the same (4.7 inches), and the front is exactly the same as the last two generations in terms of appearance. The major difference is the glass black. Instead of going with a metal back, Apple this time has added some glamour to the iPhone, taking us back to the iPhone 4/4s – the days of the glass back. The addition of the glass back also comes with wireless charging feature for which the company has gone with the Qi standard. The new glass back is shiny, reflective, slippery and a fingerprint and scratch magnet. Need we say more? Get a cover already. It is a dated design, and we will not say that like wine it gets better with age, but it still is rather good looking.
2. Still reasonably compact
While we have been highly disappointed with the lack of change in the design of the iPhone 8, there is one thing we are glad Apple has not changed in the smartphone – the iPhone 8 is still reasonably compact. In the era where smartphones are just getting bigger and bigger and bigger, we think iPhone 8 at least provides the consumers with the option to buy a premium phone with a display which is not ”wannabe tablet.” Even though it is slightly larger than the iPhone 7 (it is 138.4 mm x 67.3 mm x 7.3 mm as compared to 138.3 mm x 67.1 mm x 7.1 mm of the iPhone) and weighs 10 grammes more at 148 grammes, the phone still fits right in your hand, in most pockets and blends in without looking too gigantic. If it is the comfort that you are really looking for, then the iPhone 8 definitely is the one to go for.
3. Them big bezels
After having a major affair with dual cameras, we think the smartphone industry is moving on to a new lover: bezel-less displays. And while the rest of the world is looking at the edge to edge displays and near bezel-less screens (even in the mid-range segment), it looks like the iPhone 8 still wants to stay in the past and does not want to come to the bezel-less party anytime soon. The smartphone still has huge bezels around its display and although it was somewhat acceptable in the past, this time it just does not go down well. Yes, the phone looks good, but really it would have looked a darned sight better with a zero bezel look or at least smaller bezels.
4. New Colors
Last year when Apple launched the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, there was a lot of hype about one particular thing (or two), the jet black and the matte black editions of the smartphone. Those ones that were reportedly out of stock even before they hit the stores initially. Well, this time around there is no such hype around a particular color of the iPhone 8 but Apple has definitely brought new colors, one of the very few distinguishing factors from its predecessor: silver, new space grey, and gold. Those might sound familiar, but actually are very different from what we have seen in the past – for instance, the new space grey is darker than the space grey of the past but lighter than the black. Similarly, the silver actually has a white tone to its back, reminiscent of marble.
5. True Tone display
With the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple has introduced the True Tone display feature, which adjusts the white balance as per your surroundings. And this is not just marketing speak – it actually works. It may look a little weird to the ones switching from past generations of the iPhone and you might feel like there is a yellowish hue on your display but once you get used to it, the feature actually is remarkably easy on the eyes. We switched from iPhone 7 Plus to the iPhone 8 and God! Now it almost feels like we are looking directly at the sun in the month of July and at noon (a little exaggerated) when we look at the iPhone 7 Plus.
6. It is what’s inside that matters
There may be very few difference between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8 in terms of design but Apple has definitely introduced changes on the inside. The iPhone 8 comes with Apple’s all-new A11 bionic chipset which is the fastest chipset by the company till date. As per the Cupertino giant, the A11 Bionic chip is up to 70 percent faster than the A10 Fusion because of the four efficiency cores and is 25 percent faster because of two performance cores – it is believed to handle Augmented Reality (AR) a whole lot better too. It also comes with a new 3 core GPU by Apple which is 30 percent faster than the A10 Fusion and better battery life management. The company has also improved the sound on the smartphone which is reportedly 25 percent louder than its predecessor.
7. Improved cameras
There is no denying that Apple’s cameras are one the most appreciated and consistent smartphone cameras in the industry right now. And the company has improved the camera on the iPhone 8 further. The iPhone 8’s camera comes with the same megapixel count (12) and aperture (f/1.8) as the iPhone 7 but has a bigger sensor and is also faster than its predecessor, and also allows full HD slow motion at up to 240 fps. The smartphone also has a new color filter and improved OIS for photos and videos. On the selfie camera front, there have been some minor tweaks although the megapixel count stays on same – there is a new retina flash, “advanced pixel technology” and something called “auto image stabilization” (some relative of OIS, we suspect). Stay tuned for more on this, with samples.
8. Premium feels, premium price
We have had the kidney jokes from the world and a number of trolls, reminding us every second of the day how expensive the new iPhone 8 is. Well, no one cannot shy away from the fact that the iPhone 8 definitely comes with a premium price. The 64 GB version of the device is priced at Rs. 64,000 and the 256 GB version is available for Rs. 77,000. That said, the iPhones have always felt premium and this one is no different. The phone has an amazing hand feel, sits in the hand beautifully and we assure you that the premium price you pay will definitely translate into some major premium feels. But will the performance justify that price tag? Heck, this is a first cut. Stay tuned for our detailed review as well as follow up articles on different features.