Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Hands-On and First Impressions: Incremental upgrades over the iPhone 7 duo

The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are now on sale in select global markets, and we had a chance to play around with the new phones.

iphone 8 hands on 1

At its annual launch event on September 12 and as expected, Apple unveiled the new iPhones. For the first time, three new iPhones were unveiled, with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus going on sales in select global markets on September 22. The much-anticipated iPhone X is slated to be launched in November, so buyers who need an immediate upgrade are likelier to consider the incrementally improved iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

The phones are set to go on sale in India on September 29, priced from Rs 64,000 for the iPhone 8 and Rs 73,000 for the iPhone 8 Plus. We had a chance to play around the phones ahead of their India launch. Here are our first impressions.

At first glance

While the iPhone X stands out as unique thanks to its edge-to-edge display and OLED screen, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus aren’t quite as radical. The phones look very similar to their predecessors, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. However, the iPhone 8 Plus does feel a bit lighter than its predecessor, and the edges are nicely curved. The glass back does add a bit to the thickness of the phone. Surprisingly, it doesn’t feel too slippery, as is often the case with ceramic or glass-back smartphones.

The Control Center on iOS 11 has changed and needs some time to get used to. The contours on the sides of the phone are curved and make the phones comfortable to hold and use. However, the design is certainly dated. With brands such as Samsung, LG and Xiaomi opting for wide-screen ratios and the trend clearly moving towards bezel-less design as we’ve seen on the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2,  it makes sense why the iPhone X is getting more people excited. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 First Impressionsiphone 8 hands on 6

Through the lens

Although there doesn’t seem to be much difference on the face of it, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have significant improvements in place when it comes to shooting modes on the camera. Although the popular Portrait mode was introduced first on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, there are other modes that are worth talking about.

You do get the standard portrait mode of course, but there are also a handful of new shooting modes available now, including natural light, studio light, contour light, stage light and stagelight monochrome. These modes add various effects to photos to give them an artistic feel. For instance, the stagelight mode lets the light fall on the subject’s face, while keeping the background dark. The phone uses a combination of the typical depth-sensing capabilities of the dual-camera setup, along with AI algorithms to create a depth map of your face and distinguish between the foreground and background.

We were most impressed with the stagelight and stagelight monochrome modes, as these created some impressive effects that are similar to what you’d get if you had your pictures taken by a professional photographer in a studio. In portrait mode, these options appear in the form of a dial, which you can slide to change modes. Take a look at the pictures below to get an idea of how this works. ALSO READ: Apple CEO Tim Cook believes Rs 89,000 for the iPhone X is a ‘value price’, but reality begs to differiphone 8 hands on 5 iphone 8 hands on 4 iphone 8 hands on 3 iphone 8 hands on 2

Final thoughts

There is, of course, a lot more to explore in the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and we will bring a more detailed outlook on these in our full review. But for now, we’re particularly excited by the photography capabilities of the new devices.

Stay tuned to for more news, views and updates on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

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  • Published Date: September 23, 2017 12:54 PM IST