3.5 —> 4 —> 4.7 —> 5.5
Apple has added 2” diagonally to my primary mobile computing device in 10 years. It wasn’t forced on me but to upgrade each year, a larger screen was inevitable driven by how people are using their Internet Communication devices today versus 10 years ago. Checking your Stocks on the go was so important to the iPhone’s creators that it had its own app on the home screen. You couldn’t move it or delete it or download an alternative. Don’t own stocks? Too bad, here’s an app for stocks.
I use my iPhone just like I did in 2010. I haven’t started streaming music yet or watching YouTube or playing mobile games, augmented reality or really taking photos outside of photos of beer for Untappd. The improvements to iPhone since the iPhone 4 don’t truly apply to me. I can appreciate them but the last huge upgrade for me to the iPhone was FaceTime and the Retina Display. These still feel like cutting edge to me and the last Android phone I used was the original Droid with a slide-out keyboard. That was a piece of crap and if Android continues to require I login with a Google account to use it, I’ll continue to never touch an Android phone. Ignorance is bliss when the company powering the device is evil. It’s good to think of Apple as the only game in town.
What has driven me to go iPhone 8 Plus over the iPhone 8 or 10? For that answer, you can read my post from September 14th. I received an iPhone 8 Plus on launch day about 2 hour before the West Coast Apple Stores opened for business. It’s the first time I’ve ever received an iPhone by mail. It’s not as if I haven’t tried to pre-order but for the last 4 years, I set my alarm for 3AM EST, I login to Verizon’s site and the model I want is already sold out. I go to Verizon 2 weeks later and stand in line with 20 people and I’m always first in line and then that store doesn’t have the iPhone I want either so I go with the highest capacity in whatever color they have and since the iPhone 6 came out, this has always been a non – Plus sized model.
Thanks to the iPhone 10, I was able to get the iPhone I wanted without any fanfare. When I woke up 4 hours later for work, Verizon’s site still showed the iPhone I wanted as in stock. It’s a combination of Apple perfecting the iPhone 6 design and needing limited re-tooling for the iPhone 8 and the millions of early adopters waiting for the iPhone Ten.
I’ll take it :)
First, a few photos of the new iPhone:
It’s replacing my iPhone 7 Black with the same case. Both are 256GB iPhones that hold my entire music library along with 500 gigabytes of iCloud Photos (thumbnails of course as I have Optimize Storage enabled) and about 100 applications even though I regularly only use 5 apps per day.
Initially, the large screen felt freeing. It’s huge and my photos look pretty good on it and the extra space means sound played through the speakers is much louder and I pull the phone out of my pocket after not using it all day and it’s at 99% battery..8 hour of standby, 1% of battery used. WOW. I never needed the battery life of the plus model as I charge at home on my iMac as soon as I get home, dock it next to my bed to sleep, charge it in the car via a dock or on my motorcycle also on a dock and I have a dock at my desk. The only time it’s not charging is on days I have a lot of meetings in which it stays in my pocket as I have a notebook or those times where I’m walking from my desk to my car. The phone is almost always charging. In 2 weeks, the lowest battery percentage I’ve seen is 90%.
So why go plus at all? Well, I’ve always wanted one and if I go iPhone 10S next year, I’ll be happy that I experienced the massive phone at least once.It’s only for one year, no big deal and worth trying for myself.
That’s where this experience ends though. The first night in bed browsing /r/Apple on Reddit, I couldn’t hold the phone with one hand while I scrolled with my right index finger. It fell on my face 4 times. I’ve stopped using it in bed.
I’ll try to go back to a previous page and my large hands hurt as I stretch my thumb out as far as I can to reach a navigation element. I decided not to dock my iPhone on the motorcycle as I’m just going down to the store and the iPhone pushed into my hip bone in my pocket wielding its huge size yelling out “notice me!” and I had to pull off to take it out of my pocket because it was frankly annoying. When the battery is slightly depleted, it’s noticeably longer to charge it than my iPhone 8. When I was restoring from iCloud, the phone came with 90% charge. I plugged it into my 2013 MacBook Pro and it didn’t gain a single percent of charge for 8 hours while it restored. My MacBook Pro couldn’t charge it during the restore process as it was using as much as the MBP could send it
The size is unwieldy at times. I had to buy a new motorcycle mount because the old spot covered up my entire view of the tachometer on my bike. I had to buy a new dock for my car & my desk that fit it and of course a new iPhone case.
True Tone = Great. I have this on my iPad Pro which is my primary mobile computing device at home as I read long articles on it and triage emails
The processor speed = good? It doesn’t seem any faster than my iPhone 7 but remember, I’m not doing anything that an iPhone 4 could do so I haven’t felt any speed improvements since probably the iPhone 6
The Camera = Pretty good. The photos are almost as good as my 1” Sensor Lumix LX-10 camera. The color accuracy is definitely better than the Lumix but the iPhone is about 1/10th the camera of my Canon 5D. Not a surprise but my Canon is always on me as is my Lumix. I still grab those way before I’ll even consider grabbing the iPhone. Low-light performance is comically bad on the iPhone 8 again compared to my full frame sensor but I’m going to compare the tools I have on me. I was beside a fire trying to take a photo of a can of beer and everything I could do aside from using flash was bad.
Here’s every photo I’ve taken with the iPhone 8 Plus in the past 2 weeks (yes seriously):
Now yeah I know people think this camera is amazing. It is for a phone but based on the tools I own in my arsenal I’ll continue to treat this as a way to document beers I drink and use my Canon for photos I want to experience a few decades from now with fond memories.
iPhone 8 Plus:
You can see the color argument pretty clearly here but natural Bokeh, Depth, focal point it’s all better on the Lumix which has a sensor 4x+ larger in size
To people who argue I’ll miss the shot by using an old school camera versus iPhone. Going into Portrait mode, clicking the AF area, locking exposure and then fooling around with lighting affects takes way longer than pulling out my Canon, dropping aperture to f2, ISO to 800 and snapping a photo. The downside is the processing time of syncing my camera with Lightroom but I always love photos taken on a real camera.
and honestly, its hard to grab the iPhone Plus out of my pocket and reach my left thumb across the screen to slide open the camera anyway. It’s a 2 handed ordeal. If my Canon is on my wrist strap, it’s a 1 handed ordeal with a 1 second boot period.
I am slowly getting used to the huge screen. It’s nice to read notifications better while on the go and on my motorcycle. I used the iPhone’s GPX Viewer Application this weekend off road and road a trail that I was on in June with the iPhone 7 and the larger screen to see the bread-crumbs was noticeably easier while also dodging rocks and mud. I’m guessing on a long trip where I don’t have a charger, the battery will come in handy. I tried portrait mode on a beer..the algorithm did okay but not great but it’s built for people so I understand.
I’m pretty excited about 4K 60FPS and will be using it today at the drag strip and leaving the Lumix at home…I hope it shines!
The LED light as a flashlight is brighter but when I click it via control center, it takes 2 seconds to turn on. The iPhone 7 was instant. Control Center’s redesign is painful but it’s progress and I’m okay with that and maybe will get used to it eventually.
Overall, it’s a nice upgrade and I’m happy to have owned a Plus model before I move to a smaller OLED iPhone next year. You should always read my tech-reviews with a grain of salt. I’m not the target audience for tech things these days. I have my workflows and how I use my devices and really don’t utilize the new features.
iOS11 is a nice upgrade. The new siri voice is way too enthusiastic for me. I feel like Walter from UP dealing with the excitable boy-scout. Siri is way too happy to set an alarm for me and I’d like her to chill out a bit. I wish Apple allowed me to enable a lighter iMessages. I don’t want all of these features and still actively block people who send me stupid graphics and balloons and secret messages. I force them into my Google Voice space and message them from that number which is text only and is far cleaner of an interface. Google Voice on the iPhone is a 3rd party application so it’s much slower than iMessage but it’s a short-hand email service for me which I like. I feel like Mail.app for iOS wastes a lot of space for that huge font “All Inboxes” header and wish I could make it go away and I don’t like the dock on the iPad Pro. I know it can be disabled but I’m trying to use these features versus disable them. Apple knows best, it’s just painful at first.
I think that’s it for this review. Thanks for reading!