Everybody has heard the news by now. The fancy new iPhone 8 and it’s more impressive bigger sibling, the iPhone X, have finally arrived, and people are getting excited about the unveiling of all the features within it. Like it’s two predecessors, the new iPhones come in the standard 5.5 inch size and the plus size at 6.3 inches. But whenever a new iPhone model comes out, current iPhone holders always beg the question: is it worth the upgrade?
Let’s break it down.
New Features – iPhone 8
A typical trend with new generations of iPhones is the lack of actual new meaningful features. The biggest jump was arguably the overall design of the 5-series of iPhones and the sleeker designed touted by the 6 and 7 newer siblings. However, since the iPhone 6 dropped, the overall physical design of the iPhone hasn’t changed. The size and shape is still relatively identical. New generations of iPhones stick to fancy new software updates (which the iPhone 7 will get anyway) and camera upgrades, but beyond that, there’s not much worth writing home about with the new iPhone 8.
The new features do include some material changes, such as the glass backing of the iPhone and the claim that the screen glass and rear glass makes for the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone”, as per Apple’s own claim, meaning you wont need to worry about paying for an iPhone screen repair. But haven’t they said the same thing with both the iPhone 6 and 7? That the glass was essentially unbreakable and that you shouldn’t ever need to get an iPhone 7 screen repair? Well, working to repair those screen cracks at our shop in Cardiff would tell you that the unbreakable glass then wasn’t strictly true, and likely isn’t now either. The advent of the glass back and dismissal of the traditional aluminum shell allows for wireless charging. However, we’re asking ourselves here what use the wireless charging really has anyway. Is plugging in a wire really so much trouble? Is this just a kitchy feature? We’ll let you answer that question for yourself.
The iPhone 8 also has a battery that is fast-charging enabled, meaning it takes only 30 minutes of plug-in time to charge 50% of the battery. This is arguably the most useful feature, as battery life is a common complaint among iPhone users of all generations. This feature comes with a catch, though, as the fast-charging only works if you’re charging via a USB-C cable, which isn’t included in the box. Unless you have the 2016 or newer version of the MacBook, you’ll need to also buy an adapter to be able to plug the USB-C cable into anything. This adds to the already steep investment that the iPhone 8 requires at £699 and £949 for the standard size and the Plus respectively.
Other than that, there are a few interesting changes that are definitely worth mentioning. For starters, there’s a more powerful processor, the A11 Bionic processor, in the phones that make the processing super fast and optimized for the best user experience yet, particularly it’s the enabling of AR video games to be played on the new iOS. However, sluggish processing has never been a complaint of iPhone 6 and 7 users, so the difference is really negligible.
There are also some differences in the appearance and temperature of the screen that change depending on the lighting that you’re in, making it easier on your eyes depending on your environment. Again, did anybody even ask for this?
The camera gets some slight upgrades to a larger and faster sensor, as well as Optical Image Stabilization and slight improvement upon video recording and flash. However, the dual lenses that are beloved by iPhone 7 Plus users are still only reserved for the larger models of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
New Features – iPhone X
The iPhone X is the more impressive, more in-demand sibling of the iPhone 8 Plus. The price difference between the two phones is substantial, but the differences aren’t so much so. Their processing speeds are equal, and they also share the glass back and wireless charging capability. In fact, they share the majority of the new iPhone features.
The difference between the two phones lies in the camera and the advent of some high-tech features. The iPhone X touts a slightly better front and back camera, and has gotten rid of the home button completely in favour of an “all screen” OLED-display, and allows for the phone to be unlocked via facial recognition.
All in all, the new iPhone features are interesting, but are they worth upgrading? Our verdict is a resounding no. Monetarily, they’re just not worth paying another thousand quid on a phone that you likely haven’t had for more than a year. The iPhone 7 still sits on the virtual top shelf of smartphones, and the tech is far from being outdated. Save your money and hold off on upgrading until you absolutely need to. Until then, you’ll be living with an “inferior” processor (queue laugh) and a breakable glass screen. But hey, paying for an iPhone screen repair with us here in Cardiff is much better than dishing out about a thousand pounds for a new phone, right?!