Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have been unveiled. The company took to the stake at a special event at Apple Park in California to show off the new iPhone, which is an update to the iPhone 7 and separate to the dramatically redesigned iPhone X unveiled at the same event.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus get a new glass design to allow for inductive charging, and there’s better camera technology too. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the iPhone 8, including its release date, price and new features.
When is the iPhone 8 coming out?
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus release date is 22 September, but you can pre-order right now. Pre-orders began on 15 September.
How much does the iPhone 8 cost?
The iPhone 8 handsets are more expensive than the iPhone 7 was, now starting at £699 / $699 for 64GB storage, or £849 / $849 for the 256GB model.
If you’re looking for the iPhone 8 Plus with its bigger 5.5in screen and dual-lens camera set-up, you’ll pay £799 / $799 for 64GB or £949 / $949 for 256GB.
All models are available in Space Grey, Silver or Gold. There’s no Rose Gold option anymore, but the Gold now has a pinkish hue.
Where to buy the iPhone 8: Pre-orders
You can pre-order the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus now, until 21 September. They’ll begin shipping on 22 September, and from that date they’ll be available to buy in stores.
Apple’s pre-order page is already showing a 1-2 week dispatch estimate for its iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models, which means pre-ordering now is unlikely to result in an iPhone landing on your doorstep on the 22 September release date.
This is likely to slip even further as we approach release date, so if you’re keen to get your hands on an iPhone 8 asap we’d recommend pre-ordering soon.
Alternatively, Apple isn’t the only place selling the iPhone 8 and you might get it quicker elsewhere. Vodafone, Three, O2 and EE have confirmed that they will stock the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X in the UK, and now have contract options available to pre-order for the iPhone 8 models.
Design and features
The iPhone 8 retains the familiar 4.7 and 5.5in displays that have adorned iPhones since 2014’s iPhone 6 so yes, the design is a tad tired. Three years is a long time in technology, and the design is looking less than fresh despite the positive new features.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are Apple’s first glass phones since 2011’s iPhone 4S. Get ready to take out a decent insurance package. They’re still water and dust resistant, though, which we’re very pleased to hear.
For the first time on iPhone, the 8 and 8 Plus have the True Tone displays from the iPad Pro. It’s all powered by the A11 Bionic CPU, a six-core processor that is supposedly 25% faster than the A10 found in the iPhone 7.
The phones also have an Apple-designed GPU, a first for the iPhone. Expect ridiculously fluid gaming.
Apple did not comment on the battery life of the iPhone 8, which suggests it is akin to the iPhone 7 – the company made a point of bigging up the battery in the iPhone X.
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The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus include improved cameras, although Apple is keeping the dual lenses reserved for the 8 Plus model. It can deliver faster auto focus, and hardware based multiband noise reduction to help even the most amateur of photographers get decent snaps.
The sensor in the iPhone 8 is 12Mp and is larger and faster than previous generations. You’ll also get optical image stabilisation.
The 8 Plus has two 12Mp sensors and offers apertures of f/1.8 and f/2.2. The Plus has a new feature called Portrait Lighting, which will ship in beta and adds to the Portrait Mode that Apple has improved with software over the last year.
As with the last generation, the single lens iPhone 8 misses out on this. Both phones though do gain improved video recording.
As predicted, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support wireless charging, hence the glass casing. The handsets use the Qi standard common in many competing smartphone handsets.
You’ll be able to use any Qi charger for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but Apple has its own called AirPower on the way too. There’s no price yet (expect it to be expensive), but when AirPower launches next year it will be able to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously.
Apple leaned heavily on showcasing how ARKit during the launch of the iPhone 8, its first foray into augmented reality, will work. Both iPhone 8 models are capable of running software developed using ARKit, and the iPhone 8 will handle motion tracking to aid with this relatively new foray into the world of AR.
Expect apps to pop up pretty quickly that showcase the tech; they will range from fun games to practical things like maps and directions.
The handsets now sit alongside a considerably large iPhone line up. The iPhone X (pronounced ‘ten’) will cost £999 and features more advanced technology and longer battery life. Interesting, Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 7 and 6s lines, both of which have only received price drops of £50 per model.