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iPhone 8 and 8 Plus hands-on: Familiar, but not too familiar

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus hands-on: Familiar, but not too familiar
From Engadget - September 12, 2017

I realize most people are probably drooling over the iPhone X, but make no mistake: the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have important jobs to do. They have to keep the lion's share of the world's iPhone users happy while Apple gets more experimental with its thousand-dollar phone. After a little bit of playtime, I do not doubt that people will ultimately enjoy Apple's conventional new iPhones -- they just might not be too excited by them.

That's because, design-wise, Apple did not get particularly adventurous with these things. Sure, they both now sport glass backs in addition to glass fronts to make wireless charging possible. And true, both are available in a pretty sweet gold hue that looks a little... creamier than the gold finishes we have seen in the past. With all that said, Apple stuck to the same screen sizes -- 4.7 inches on the 8 and 5.5 inches on the 8 Plus -- and both devices are a little thicker and a little heavier than the devices they replace.

Is the difference really noticeable? Well, partially: the iPhone 8 is still comfortable to hang onto but the 8 Plus is now especially unwieldy. At least both versions of the iPhone 8 come with more storage out of the gate -- Apple made 64GB of storage the floor for these things, and it's about time.

It's always hard to gauge performance while fighting other journos for hands-on time, but the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sure seem to bring the good stuff. General navigation was as slick as always, and a couple of included AR demos ran well too... once I went back and closed a few apps. Still, that's pretty impressive considering this was unfinished code running on unfinished hardware -- the nearly imperceptible lag was a testament to the kind of horsepower the new A11 Bionic chipset brings to the situation.

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