A lot of people might ask, “Why bother with the iPhone 8 or its Plus variant?” After all, the iPhone X is available for pre-order on 28 October, Friday here and will be on the shelves of the Apple store the following week on 3 November. Well, discounting the fact that the iPhone X starts from a whopping S$1,648, there have been ambiguous reports that Apple’s supply chain is not producing the smartphone at a fast enough rate.

Back to the iPhone 8 Plus. It’s essentially an upgrade of the iPhone 7 Plus, which we genuinely enjoyed using but with one big difference. Apple has installed the new hexa-core (that’s six cores for non-Ancient Greek people) A11 bionic chip, engineered for augmented reality applications, in the 8 Plus and it is blazingly fast. Don’t take it from me. Tech website Tom’s Guide did its own independent testing with the phone and its Android competitors and the Apple smartphone smashed all of them, with a speed that was almost double the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

As always, taking photos on an iPhone is always a treat and the 8 Plus comes with a 12-megapixel sensor and a host of new Portrait Mode features that are fun to play with, albeit a tad gimmicky. We’re not complaining though. Anyone who has used an iPhone knows that the camera is always top-notch and will probably continue to be so, as Apple continually updates its current iOS 11 software.

A huge difference between the iPhone 8 Plus and its predecessor is the low-light capability. This might sound a tad hyperbolic but the iPhone 8 Plus camera performs amazingly well at night and in dark locations. People and products are not darkened in photos and have brilliant colour accuracy despite the lack of light.

Now, the kicker. The iPhone 8 Plus comes with wireless charging and thankfully, Tim Cook and his team have wisely decided to adopt the current Qi wireless charging standards instead of creating their own proprietary standards. So, if you’ve bought any wireless charging pads or mats, your iPhone 8 Plus can use them.

However, that means that the iPhone 8 Plus comes with a glass back, unlike the metal in previous iterations. As with anything made from glass, you have to treat it with kid fingers if you decide to make your phone naked. We suggest buying a cover to prevent any cracks from forming due to accidental falls.

The all-important question is: should you buy the iPhone 8 Plus? If you’re currently using the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, we reckon that you can still hold off from upgrading from another year. However, if you’re using an iPhone 6 or older, the iPhone 8 Plus is a worthwhile upgrade. Plus it’s S$300 cheaper than the most basic iPhone X.

apple.com/sg

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