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iPhone 8 Review: Perfecting the Familiar

iPhone 8

This review comes thanks to Claro. You can buy the iPhone 8/8 Plus from November 3 at the Customer Service Centers, or from the online catalog, here

This is a different year. Where the iPhone 8/8 would be Apple's only releases as far as smartphones are concerned, this year we had a new model, the iPhone X (ten, not X) that takes a new place in Apple's lineup of phones. It is not a replacement for the 8/8 Plus, but a phone that occupies what is now called the premium high-end, a phone that costs $ 999 in its base configuration of 64 GBs, and can cost up to $ 1,150 for the model of 256 GBs.

This does not mean that the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus are inferior. Yes, the X offers a few additional features like a revamped layout and FaceID instead of TouchID, but many of the 8's internal components are in the X; the A11 processor is the same in the X as in the 8, the operating system is the same.

And as we might expect, this iPhone improves many of the things that were presented in the iPhone 7, in addition to incorporating new features, which we will review in this review.

A11 Bionic: A processor ready for the future, and a new GPU

The iPhone 8 is a monster in performance. Their scores lag far behind the competition, and the scores I got at Geekbench are pretty close to what Intel offers on the latest laptops. Yes, we have reached such a level of performance that the performance of a smartphone is comparable to that of current laptops.

And this performance feel when we use the phone. There is never an instant of lag or slowness; the whole experience is fluid. The games run wonderfully well, even heavy titles, which we are more used to seeing on PC, such as The Witness, Flower and other great titles.

The most exciting thing about all of this is that Apple now controls the entire process of designing its own chips; Both the CPU and the GPU (the main and graphics processor) are designed by Apple. This is why we have seen such a huge performance jump between the iPhone 7 – which already demonstrated exemplary performance – and the iPhone 8.

But in addition to being faster – something that was not needed, really, since the iPhone 7 is still as capable as the iPhone 8 for all kinds of games or apps – this improved CPU is put to work in photo or image processing. It is thanks to this processor that the iPhone can now record more frames per second, for example, or process images in real time to give us not only the improved portrait mode, but the new portrait lightning or portrait lighting, unique so far among others smartphones.

True Tone display

One of the most important changes is the implementation of the True Tone screen that debuted on iPad Pro 9.7 last year. This technology allows the screen to vary the temperature according to the environment in which we are. Perhaps you may have noticed, when you are in an environment with warm light, that the screen of your phones looks hurtfully blue and bright.

True Tone corrects this by detecting the tonality of the light in the environment we are in, and accommodating the White Balance, the white balance of the screen around the environment. This makes the screen much more readable in any light condition, and makes our eyes less tired.

It's hard to describe the enormous advantage of having a True Tone screen over other types of screens – and yes, it is different from the Night Shift / Eye Comfort that applies a yellow layer to the screen. Here the change is more subtle, as if the white balance of the screen is slightly varied to suit the environment, and works very well.

The screen is still 4.7 LCD in the case of the iPhone 8, and 5.5 in the 8 Plus, and it still looks just as good. It doesn't match the screen of the S8, Note 8, or iPhone X, but it's not bad either. Readable in any type of light, and good for viewing all kinds of content.

Wireless Charging / Wireless Charging

It is not a novelty in the technological world, but it is for Apple. And best of all, it has implemented a universal standard, the Qi standard for wireless charging.

This means that we can buy any wireless charger that we find on eBay, and the iPhone 8 charges without problems; we do not have to use a proprietary standard. And because this has been implemented across the entire range of iPhones (8, 8 Plus, X), there is no doubt that the popularity of Apple phones will help expand the adoption of this standard. Let's hope, in the not too distant future, to see adapted chargers on restaurant tables, on hotel room nightstands, on car dashboards.

Wireless charging is usually slower than wired, but is perfect for, for example, putting a charger next to the nightstand in our room, or on the desk in our office and leaving the phone charging while we are working. It works quite well and is extremely practical.

Enhanced Photo and Video Camera

Another great leap that we will see on the iPhone 8 is in the camera. Both photos and videos, the iPhone 8 sensor proves to be a significant leap forward not only against the iPhone 6S, but also the iPhone 7. In my tests, the iPhone 8 sensor achieved better dynamic range, night photos with less noise, and less lag since we pressed the button to take photos, until we captured the moment.

See also

The iPhone 8 comes with a wide, 28mm equivalent lens with a /1.8 aperture and 12 megapixels. The iPhone 8 Plus complements it with a telephoto lens, equivalent to 56mm that is ideal for portraits, with a /2.8 aperture. Both can be used in parallel to achieve portrait mode with the background out of focus. But the great novelty of the iPhone 8 Plus is that we now have Portrait Lightning, or portrait lighting, which, thanks to the A11 and the artificial intelligence that this CPU is capable of processing, can generate lighting variations by software, giving a much more dramatic effect to our photos, or adding a touch of professional lighting. it's really impressive to see it in action. As with Portrait Mode, this feature is still in Beta, so we will definitely see how it improves over time.

In the video section, however, it is where we see a greater jump. The iPhone camera is now capable of capturing 4K video at 60 frames per second, and 240 frames per second in Full HD.. No other Android phone is capable of recording 4K video at 60 frames per second and it looks spectacular. In addition, the videos in Super Slow Motion, at 240 frames per second, look amazing in Full HD. Yes, I know that Sony has phones capable of recording videos at 960 frames per second, but the implementation is terrible. Because due to processor limitations it can only capture a fraction of a second at this speed, it is almost impossible to capture what we want. Furthermore, the quality leaves a lot to be desired. 240 frames per second is not that fast, but we can record as long as we want, and the quality is very good. Especially for moments of action or sports.

Something great about the iPhone 8 is that it has a Slow Sync in the Flash. This we usually see more in DSLRs, but what slow sync allows us is that the flash fires when the camera's shutter closes. In Spanish, this means that instead of the flash photo coming out like the typical flash photo, where nothing is perceived of the background or the environment and the person is extremely illuminated, slow sync manages to capture the environment and the person, resulting in a much more natural and visually appealing effect.

A perfected design, but boring.

Where we will not find many novelties, is in the design. Apple continues to implement the same design for 3 years now and in front of phones like the Galaxy Note 8, or the Mate 10 Pro, it looks outdated. It is not a bad design, and in fact, it is very comfortable and ergonomic. Having switched to glass at the back for wireless charging has the benefit of making the phone much less slippery than it was before, when it was metallic. But now, the phone, like any other glass-body equipment, is a fingerprint magnet.

Personally, it seems to me that last year's matte black on iPhone 7 looks better than this year's space gray with iPhone 8. But it doesn't bother me at all to sacrifice the metal back for having the option to charge the phone. wirelessly. The white or silver color, looks better, that s.

Conclusion

This year is different from the rest. The iPhone 8 is not the best iPhone we can buy this year, as it happened on past occasions. This year, we have a new proposal with the iPhone X. But the thing is that, for the vast majority of people, including myself, paying a thousand dollars for a smartphone is too much. In addition, many developers still do not adapt their apps to the iPhone X screen, leaving empty spaces, and certain elements – such as Control Center – are more uncomfortable to find on the X than on the iPhone 8; It is as if the current version of iOS, 11, was still planned more for phones like 8, than for X. This will undoubtedly change over time: developers will adapt their apps, iOS 12 will be better adapted to a user interface. gestures. But by then, surely we will already have the iPhone XI, iPhone X2 or whatever Apple wants to call it.

For people like me, then, the iPhone 8 is an excellent alternative. A solid phone, complete, with a refined classic design, and with several improvements over the iPhone 7.

Now, is it worth upgrading from an iPhone 7? No, as for quite a few years, it is not worth updating every 12 months. But if they come from an iPhone 6S? Well, waterproofness, wireless charging, a much superior camera, a much faster processor, are enough excuses to upgrade.

Thanks again Claro for lending me the phone! You can get them here