In the review of iPhone X i praised the new form factor, the camera, some aspects of the screen and speed but I expressed my concerns over the Face ID, the software and the ghosting of the screen.
I was not completely satisfied and the wow effect left place for some frustration, which should not come with such a premium price.
That’s why i went back to something familiar that doesn’t stop innovation.
The iPhone 8 is the latest evolution of the iPhone 6 design. In this perspective we can conceive it as an iPhone 6sss. I was pleased to learn that the glass is back in style. For a big fan of the iPhone 4 this was a great news.
Let’s analyze the design or at least the little details that have changed.
The front is the usual glass with the two symmetrical bezels on the top and bottom part. Since the iPhone 7 the second speaker and microphone grill is almost flush to the screen. I guess it’s due to the water proofing.
Again since the iPhone 7, the home button is not physical so when you press it you just get back a feedback from an vibration generating engine called Taptic Engine. You will be tricked thinking you are actually pressing something so just look at it: it doesn’t move at all. Jony Ive says that the best technology is the invisible one and this is the case. It just does its magic.
So how do we recognize the new iPhone 8 from the front? Pretty difficult but if you pay attention you would notice that the bezels are slightly larger (0,2 mm) and the new color is not a matte black but a sideral grey.
I’ve found only two little flaws in the design:
The antenna bands are back and they’re thicker than ever, from the 3 elegant thin lines of the iPhone 4 (let me say it: the most beautiful iPhone ever) to 4 bands here…apparently today’s connectivity takes its tool. With the black of the 7 they were less noticeable.
The plastic frame of the edges between the metal and the glass bulges too much. This was an enormous issue at the iPhone 4 time, with the iPhone 5 it was better and with the 6 and the 2.5 D glass the swipe would always start in a smooth area. The use of glass needs a reinforced frame and that’s why sometimes sometimes you feel an uneven surface when holding the phone
The back of the phone is where the noticeable changes are. The panel is a full glass unit and Apple stated that it’s the strongest they have ever used. This made possible to implement the wireless charging following the QI standard so it will be compatible with all the third party accessories. They achieved a new design without revolutions and a new feature with this move.
The new Space Grey is absolutely beautiful, if not Apple has pushed too many colors around making it impossible to have an iPhone, iPad, MacBook and Apple Watch perfectly matching. It’s changing a lot depending on the light from a dark grey to a much lighter shade when directly hit by sunlight. It’s also more prone to fingerprint but, unless you suffer from hyperhidrosis, the oleophobic coating does its job in maintaining the phone in great conditions. I’ve read that the grip increased but this is not true when you have your phone against a surface like leather. While the iPhone 7 held in position the 8 will slide even with a slight inclination so be careful.
Another great news is that now the Apple logo and the flash are behind the glass making it a true pleasure to touch and reminiscing of the iPhone 4 time when even the camera was flushed. As with the iPhone X gone are most of the horrible regulatory logos and statements. When the CE and the bin logo will be gone we will finally celebrate the complete extermination of clutter.
A critical point for the design is the ring around the protruding camera. After two horrible years with the 6 and 6s cheap metal looking solution, the 7 had the back panel seamlessly curved, beautiful! With the glass they opted for an aluminum ring made of the same color of the edges, probably the best solution. It looks good.
The news people changing phone every year wants to listen to is here: it is noticeably faster. If you want to be technical there’s a flexible liquid crystal polymer circuit board in the iPhone X and iPhone 8, which allows for faster performance and low-latency data transfer. I was a bit disappointed when my brand new iPhone 7 wasn’t snappier than the 6s. I thought it was a matter of time before the developers took full advantage of the new chip but, even after one year I’d put the A9 and the A10 very close to each other. This new A11 chip, the same as the one in the iPhone X, has blazing fast performance right out of the box.
I can’t stop praising the Touch ID, super fast, reliable…it works like a charm and I think it’s one of the key of iPhone success since it was introduced in 2013.
The camera is pretty much the same with some improvement in slow motion and 4k videos, it improves every year but this time it’s not a major upgrade.
The screen is the old but gold LCD IPS. As I found some problems in adapting to the ghosting effect when scrolling in the new OLED display of the iPhone X i am not unhappy to stick with the best IPS screen around, this is the apex for this technology and Apple pushed it close to the limits.
CONCLUSION AND IPHONE X CONSIDERATIONS
The iPhone 8 is a super solid choice for everyone. It’s the fastest smartphone ever. Its design is close to perfection and it has no weakness. And with the offers you can find online is a no brainer. It absolutely deserves The Princeple Approved seal.
It lacks the bezel-less design and the dual camera of the iPhone X but it’s my choice for this year and this is why.
I’ve never considered the Plus due to its monster dimensions. That one is not a phone it’s a phablet, something without grace. And barely usable with one hand mostly because of its width. And phones do their job if you can use them with one hand.
The iPhone X? Well after more than one month I’ve rationalized better the reason I abandoned it and I don’t miss it. It’s unusual for me, and probably for the most of you, to abandon the newest and latest technological product. But a product must be used and it should be fast and reliable. When you find out that you can’t unlock your phone when it’s too close or too far and, even at the right distance, you have to regulate the inclination, you become frustrated. Add the ghosting effect and you start to ask yourself some questions.
From a design point of view Ive said that they hadn’t made a bigger phone before the iPhone 6 because the results were lousy due to the thickness. The iPhone 6 was 6,9 mm thick; the X is 7,7 mm thick and it’s wider and taller. The result is a phone that lost those optimal proportions, it’s a bit too hefty. I felt that something was wrong with the size but I was not sure. It’s only when i went back to the 7 and 8 that I noticed that I had missed the slimmer body. The X doesn’t feel right.
Are you going to buy an iPhone this year ? And if yes, which one?