iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are very similar handsets, but which one is best for you?
Apple took the wraps off its refreshed iPhone models, dubbed iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, at an exclusive media event in Cupertino, California this week.
The updated smartphones include a number of improvements, including faster processor, better camera and display.
But how much has really changed, and is it enough to make you rush out to buy these new smartphones?
Apple has forgone its traditional S moniker this year, instead jumping straight from last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
But don’t be fooled by new branding, these new iPhone models are very much evolutionary – rather than revolutionary.
That’s not a knock on the latest hardware from Cupertino, after all, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were great smartphones.
Out of the box, the most noticeable change with these new devices is the glass back.
Apple has ditched the anodised aluminium shell that characterised the 6, 6S and iPhone 7 in favour of the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone”.
The move to glass is not merely cosmetic, since it enables wireless charging – a first for the iPhone range.
iPhone 8 owners will be able to place their devices on any Qi-compatible wireless charging points, like you’ll find built into the tables in your local branch of Starbucks or McDonalds.
Speaking of battery life, Apple has included fast-charging in its new iPhone 8 range.
The US technology company claims its new smartphone line-up will be able to recharge 50 per cent of its total battery capacity in only 30 minutes plugged into the wall socket.
That should prove to be popular amongst iPhone owners, especially since battery life has not improved with this latest generation of iPhone.
iPhone 8 boasts the same powerful A11 Bionic processor that ships inside the top-of-the-line iPhone X.
It’s easily the fastest silicon Apple has ever produced. The iPhone maker says it has “optimised” the new processor to guarantee the best experience when playing any of the plethora of Augmented Reality (AR) video games that have been built for the latest version of iOS.
That said, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus was no slouch.
If you’ve never noticed a stutter in performance from the year-old flagship smartphone, you might not need to upgrade to the A11 Bionic.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus both have True Tone displays.
This subtly tweaks the appearance and temperature of the LCD display to match the room you’re in – and avoids the screen appearing too blue or harsh to your eyes.
It’s a very pleasant effect, but not worth an upgrade alone.
But one new feature that might convince you to trade-in your old device is the camera.
Like the iPhone 7 before it, iPhone 8 misses-out on the dual camera set-up available on its 5.5inch sibling.
However, iPhone 8 does still ship with the same primary camera as the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
Apple has made a number of improvements to the iPhone 8 Plus rear camera
Apple claims its new 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera has a “larger and faster” sensor than the iPhone 7, which should improve your photos, especially in low-light.
iPhone 8 also boasts Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and is capable of recording 4K Ultra HD video footage at 24, 30 and 60 frames-per-second (FPS)
Slow-motion has also been improved in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, with users now able to record at 240FPS in 1080p HD.
Both smartphones in the iPhone 8 range also get the new Quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync, which Apple says results in more uniformly lit backgrounds and foregrounds.
Meanwhile, iPhone 8 Plus gets almost all of the same goodies included in the dual-camera set-up on the iPhone X.
The 5.5inch smartphone can take advantage of the new Portrait Lighting mode, which uses depth-mapping to add studio lighting effects to your photographs.
Users can cycle between the lighting effects after the photo is taken, creating an entirely new feel to portrait pictures.
It also has the same Portrait Mode – which uses the same depth-map to add a bokeh-style blurred background to the image – that debuted last year with the iPhone 7 Plus.
Sadly, unlike the iPhone X the telephoto lens does not have Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS).
The telephoto portrait lens on the iPhone X’s dual-camera also has a better aperture than its counterpart in the iPhone 8 Plus (f/2.4 vs. f/2.8).
And that’s about it.
So, Should You Upgrade?
Honestly, if you’re perfectly happy with your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, there’s no reason to move to the iPhone 8.
Apple has included a slew of small improvements – like True Tone, wireless charging, and optical image stabilisation – that make for a more compelling package.
But honestly, none of these features are…