I was in a dilemma. The iPhone 8 (Rs 77,000 for 256 GB) and iPhone 8 Plus (Rs 86,000 for 256 GB) looked way better unshod, but knowing my propensity to drop phones, there was no way I could endanger the superb glass back. Shod in the protective cases I was carrying two of Apple’s latest creations, without a soul in the world being able to tell at first glance if it was last year’s model or this year’s.
I noticed both phones had a “True Tone” setting, which essentially sets the screen colour based on ambient lighting. What this means is there’s less strain on your eyes to adjust to different lighting conditions (as I had discovered while reading extensively on the iPad Pro, which uses the same technology, during a recent trip). I read in direct sunlight and indoors and the Retina HD performed magnificently considering it’s an LCD screen. Using the phones, I found calls to be loud and clear over a Reliance Jio network, while the speakerphone worked very well in crowded spaces. Also, listening to music on these phones was a happy affair, provided one set the equaliser right. On the iPhone 8 Plus, I binge-watched Season 3 of Fuller House on Netflix and could still get through the day on a single charge, with some juice to spare.
The seven-megapixel (MP) front cameras on both the phones impressed, while the 12MP back camera (dual cameras in case of the iPhone 8 Plus) impressed while shooting with a flash. Outdoor photography is brilliant in daytime while at night, the iPhone 8 Plus performs better than the iPhone 8. Yet, while photographing the parking lot at my housing society, a singular street lamp caused much distraction. Portrait mode is standard on the iPhone 8 Plus and “Portrait Lighting” makes its debut; these five modes are like filters and you can switch between them while shooting or even later. A pity one can’t customise them.
There’s another aspect of the iPhone I couldn’t test: Its wireless charging capabilities, as I didn’t have access to a charging mat. That said, Belkin will soon come out with one for Apple, while these phones support any Qi-based wireless charging mat. A caveat: I’ve heard it takes longer to charge an iPhone 8 wirelessly.