Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were unveiled back in September 2017 and were available to buy from 22 September. The 2017 iPhones were 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. At launch, the new iPhone 8 models were offered in Apple’s silver, Space Grey and a new shade of gold. Then on 9 April a new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 launched. Apple will make donations from the sale of the new Red iPhone to help fund research into HIV and AIDS in Africa.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the iPhone 8, including its price, new features and post-launch issues with the smartphone.
(PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 release date
The red version of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus was announced on 9 April 2018. The (PRODUCT)RED iPhone will be available to order online from Tuesday 10 April and will be in stores from 13 April 2018.
The limited edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 will be available exclusively to Virgin Media customers, according to an internal memo that was obtained by MacRumors. It’s unclear right now if the same exclusivity will apply in the UK, but it’s likely.
Fans of the red finish will be pleased to see that the front of the red iPhone is black. Back in 2017 Apple was criticsed for choosing to offer a white finish on the front (as per the below image), with many suggesting that black would have looked better.
Apple has a TV ad for the new Red version of the iPhone 8, you can watch it on Apple’s website.
There were also reports that Apple might introduce a gold version of the iPhone X, but all the iPhone X got was a new red cover, read more about updates to the iPhone X here.
You can buy the existing iPhone 8 handsets in gold, silver and Space Grey from the Apple Store or on a contract from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Vodafone, O2 or Three. You can find out more about how to get the best deal in our article about where to buy the iPhone 8.
iPhone 8 price
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.
The new red version of the iPhone 8 is available in the same capacities and at the same price.
Where to buy the iPhone 8
You can buy both handsets from the Apple Store or on a contract from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Vodafone, O2 or Three. You can find out more about how to get the best deal in our article about where to buy the iPhone 8.
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.
The fragility of the rear has been called into question, with reports suggesting a smash might cost more to repair than the screen. We hope not.
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.
The iPhone 8, when it launched was the first Apple product to sport a new shade of gold – a more rosy shade than previously. Since then the new iPad has also gained this new shade of gold. The iPhone X doesn’t come in the gold finish currently.
The new red iPhone 8 joins the initial three shades offered by Apple. This new iPhone is the latest (PRODUCT)RED product to come out of Apple. Apple has been working with the (Red) charity for over 11 years. (RED) supports HIV/AIDS programmes that provide counselling, testing, and medicine that prevents the transmission of HIV from a mother to her unborn child.
On a dedicated page on its website, Apple says it’s donated over $160 million through the sale of its (RED) products.
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.
DxOMark, the sometimes controversial camera tech kingmakers have scored the iPhone 8 Plus as the best phone camera it has ever tested, with a score of 94/100. The iPhone 8 follows with 92/100 and beats the HTC U11, the previous best ever with 90/100.
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.
All of this is a lot of tech to stuff into a phone. iFixit have, as they do every year, torn the iPhone 8 open to see what’s inside and then comment on how easy it is to repair. Here are the results, which are more pleasing than Apple’s MacBooks are in these tests.
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.
To find out more about how the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus compare with other iPhones, visit:
iPhone 8 issues
As with the launch of any new product, the iPhone 8 has had some teething issues since it was first made available to the public. Here are some of the high-profile issues plaguing the iPhone 8 at the moment:
Following the launch of the smartphone, users started to notice a ‘crackling’ sound coming from the earpiece of the iPhone 8 on both phone calls and FaceTime calls, suggesting it isn’t an issue with mobile connectivity but instead with the earpiece itself.
It was picked up by several online forums including Apple’s own support page, and is something we at Macworld UK have experienced first-hand when using the iPhone 8. The crackling seems to occur sporadically and isn’t present on every call made, which makes it harder to find a potential fix.
After a wall of silence from Apple, the company has finally admitted that there is a crackling issue with a ‘small number’ of iPhone 8 units, and that it should be fixed by an upcoming software patch. “We are aware of the issue which is affecting customers in a small number of cases. Our team is at work on a fix, which will be included in an upcoming software release,” Apple told Business Insider.