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The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus review roundup: Wait for the iPhone X

Updated Sep 19th, 2017 7:58AM EDT
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Review
Image: Apple Inc.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are two of Apple’s shiny new iPhones that are currently available for preorders, set to hit stores on Friday. That means a flurry of iPhone 8 reviews are now out, and you may be interested to read them more than ever before. You see, the iPhone X launches in early November, and if you’re one of the many people who hasn’t preordered an iPhone 8 yet, now’s the time to find out what you’re missing out on.

The New York Times

The iPhone 8 is a “worthy refinement before the next generation,” The New York Times believes:

Unsurprisingly, both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are very good phones. Most of Apple’s improvements over the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are minor, but if you have an older model, either of the 8s will feel like a solid upgrade. And if you are considering upgrading from an Android phone, there’s one area where the new iPhones still rank head and shoulders above their competition — the processor, the engine that runs the entire device, where Apple is so far ahead that it almost feels unfair.

The Wall Street Journal

But The Wall Street Journal disagrees. The iPhone 8 are not the upgrades you might be looking for:

Putting the iPhone 8 through its paces for the past week, I learned Apple should have called it the iPhone 7s. (The company skipped the “s” model this year, calling it a “new generation.”) The iPhone 8 is a good smartphone, but only a slight improvement, mostly in the camera department.

Image source: Apple


The iPhone 8’s camera is a big deal, and TechCrunch seems to agree with The Journal. In its review, the tech site only addressed the camera features of the iPhone 8. But make no mistake, the camera features are only a culmination of everything that is iPhone, including hardware and software advancements.

Nearly every iPhone upgrade for the past several years has been driven by the camera. There have been impressive updates in hardware and feature additions, but anecdotally I cannot count the number of times people have cited the camera as the primary reason that they’re interested in updating their phone.

So, how does the camera in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus stack up?


When people talk about Apple’s silicon team, they often concentrate on the A-series processors, which is fine. But that team also contributes heavily to the image pipeline in the iPhone’s camera systems.

The Verge

For The Verge the iPhone 8 is “an iPhone.” It may also be the default option for buyers:

[Apple] will ship millions of iPhone 8s — to people on upgrade plans, people who don’t want to pay $999 for an iPhone X or wait for what seems like limited availability, and people who just need a new phone without thinking about it too much. If the iPhone X is Apple’s bold vision of the future, the iPhone 8 is Apple making sure everyone else at the party has a nice time too. If you know what an iPhone is and you want one, then the iPhone 8 is exactly that, one tick farther down the line. It’s an iPhone.

Image source: Apple


The iPhone 8 is for people “who aren’t ready to forgo the home button,” Engadget believes, so enjoy them while they last:

They’re familiar-looking phones that mostly operate the way people expect them to. They’re conventional. But that doesn’t mean they’re inherently lacking — far from it, in fact. While I suspect all iPhones will look like the iPhone X soon enough, the 8 and 8 Plus are expertly built, high-performance devices for people who want to ease into Apple’s vision of the future. And who knows? These just might be the last conventional iPhones Apple makes.

Daring Fireball

You don’t ignore one of the most influential Apple bloggers out there when looking for iPhone 8 reviews. And John Gruber has a lengthy take on both devices over on his Daring Fireball. And he thinks the “iPhones 8” are much more than a “half-hearted or minor update over the iPhone 7.”

These are solid year-over-year updates — at least as impressive as the iPhone 7 was over the iPhone 6S.

And, almost nobody is excited about them because the iPhone X is on the horizon.

Image source: Apple


Just like anyone else, CNET tries to explain who should upgrade to the iPhone 8 and who shouldn’t. Long story short, if you’ve got an old iPhone and you’re not too keen on spending $1,000 on an iPhone, the iPhone 8 is for you.

So why buy an iPhone 8 when that sexy iPhone X is just around the corner? The 8 is last year’s design with this year’s technology. It feels familiar. It’s a safe pick. It’s a “let’s not spend a thousand dollars on an iPhone” iPhone. It’s a “Touch ID and a home button matter more to me than a leap of faith into the world of Face ID” iPhone.

Financial Post

For the Financial Post, the iPhone 8 sets the stage for the iPhone X:

All said, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are easily the best phones you can get from Apple at the moment if you are looking for an upgrade. Just keep in mind, however, that it’s already scheduled to be replaced as the latest and greatest come Nov. 3 with the iPhone X.

Image source: Apple

USA Today

The iPhone 8 is an “excellent phone forced to the shadows by iPhone X,” thinks USA Today , echoing the feeling of many reviewers:

For many potential buyers, especially those with an older iPhone looking to upgrade, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus represents a solid purchase option. But I’m holding out for the next “latest” iPhone, the looming iPhone X.


David Pogue writes in Yahoo’s review that the iPhone 8 are nice, “but nothing to buzz about.” Unlike Gruber, he really thinks the iPhone 8 is a minor upgrade over last year’s iPhone 7:

Good thing, too—because if Apple hadn’t unveiled the iPhone X, there’d be no buzzing at all. The other phone Apple unveiled that day, the iPhone 8, is a very minor upgrade indeed.


Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.