×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

iPhone 8 Review Roundup: Solid but Boring Sequel to Classic Smartphone

Apple’s real innovations await in the higher-end iPhone X

The critics have weighed in on Apple’s new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, delivering a consensus that they’re perfectly good smartphones — but not game-changing breakthroughs.

Reviewers noted that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus include two big hardware enhancements: They (finally) add wireless charging capabilities and both models include a 12-megapixel rear camera and 7-megapixel front-facing camera.

But other than that, they’re more or less indistinguishable from the iPhone 7 line that was released last year (with some wags suggested they should have been labeled “iPhone 7s”), apart from the iPhone 8 models’ glass backing.

Apple’s real innovations are in the forthcoming iPhone X, the high-end version priced starting at $999 that features a “Super Retina Display” that stretches across the entire front of the phone and includes a facial-recognition security. According to financial analysts, there’s evidence that pre-orders of the iPhone 8 tracking below industry expectations — likely tamped down by consumers waiting for the iPhone X, which is slated to start shipping Nov. 3.

Wired’s David Pierce praised the iPhone 8 models, calling them “virtually perfect phones.” But he also said “they’re already obsolete.”

“The iPhone X looms large over the 8, with its tiny bezel and Face ID and amazing cameras,” Pierce wrote. “The iPhones 8 are probably just the last, best version of what your phone looks like now,” adding that “they don’t cost $1,000.” The iPhone 8 with a 4.7-inch screen starts at $699, while the 5.5-inch-display 8 Plus starts at $799.

The iPhone 8 is “not the upgrade you’re looking for,” the Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler opined in his review. They look like smartphones from 2014, and if you don’t care about wireless charging or the iPhone 8’s new camera, you can spend $550 for a “nearly-as-good iPhone 7 (albeit with less storage),” he wrote.

Fowler compared the iPhone 8 to “the fifth ‘Transformers’ movie — you know it’s new, though you can’t for the life of you figure out how it’s different.”

CNET’s Scott Stine dubbed the iPhone 8 a “status quo upgrade,” saying it has “the same pedestrian design, missing headphone jack and battery life as the iPhone 7 — and no dual camera either.” He noted, however, that the iPhone 8 starts with a “roomy” 64 gigabytes of storage, twice the 7.

Other reviewers voiced the sentiment that the iPhone 8 is the last iteration the classic smartphone design. “The 8s feel like a swan song — or, to put it another way, they represent Apple’s platonic ideal of that first iPhone, an ultimate refinement before eternal retirement,” said the New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo.

“Apple told us it thinks of the 8 as an ‘all-new design,'” the Verge’s Nilay Patel wrote, “but that’s also what Apple said about the iPhone 6s and 7. It must take a lot of effort to keep reinventing the same basic design without actually changing it.”

More Digital

  • Lester Holt

    Chris Berend Tapped to Oversee NBC News' Digital Efforts

    Chris Berend, an executive who has been overseeing digital video for CNN and helped launch Great Big Story, a streaming-video site aimed at younger audiences, will jump to NBC News to lead its digital efforts. Berend will replace Nick Ascheim, who will move into a new role that is described as “improving digital and product [...]

  • Vogue, Conde Nast Entertainment Make Robert

    Robert Semmer Joins Condé Nast Entertainment & Vogue as Vice President of Video

    Condé Nast Entertainment and Vogue have named former Vice and Fader video executive Robert Semmer as their new vice president of video. Semmer will be based in New York and report to Croi McNamara, senior vice president of programming for Condé Nast Entertainment. “Anna and I are thrilled to welcome Robert to our award-winning video [...]

  • CEO of T-Mobile John Legere (L)

    FCC Chairman Backs T-Mobile, Sprint Merger With New Conditions

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a thumbs-up to T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed $26 billion merger, after the companies committed to enhanced 5G buildout commitments and agreed to spin off Sprint’s Boost Mobile. T-Mobile and Sprint first announced their plans to merge in April 2018, looking to combine forces to take on industry leaders AT&T and [...]

  • Tyffon Raises $7.8M, Prepares Launch of

    Disney-Backed VR Startup Tyffon Raises $7.8 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Disney-backed immersive media startup Tyffon has raised a new $7.8 million Series A round of funding. The company wants to use the new cash infusion for an international expansion that includes the opening of a Santa Monica, Calif.-based virtual reality (VR) center. “We will also accelerate our IP licensing activities with major Hollywood studios,” Tyffon [...]

  • Huawei Restricted From Using Google's Android

    Huawei Restricted From Using Google's Android as U.S.-China Tensions Mount

    Google has prevented controversial Chinese tech firm Huawei from accessing the latest versions of the Android mobile phone operating system. The move follows U.S. government attempts to blacklist the Chinese firm. “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” Google sources told news agencies Sunday. “Huawei will only be able to use the [...]

  • JUMP camera

    Google Is Shutting Down Its Jump VR Video Program

    Google will shut down Jump, its cloud-based video stitching service, this summer. The company emailed creators Friday afternoon to tell them that Jump would be shuttered on June 28, and detailed plans for the shut-down on its website as well. In its email, Google justified the closure of Jump with the emergence of new video [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content