Video Comparison: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus vs. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

With two of Apple’s newest iPhones in hand, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, we thought we’d compare them to the previous-generation iPhones, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, to give our readers a clear picture of the differences between the devices and an idea of whether the new phones are worth the upgrade.

We checked out a 64GB iPhone 8 Plus in the new rosier Gold shade and a 64GB iPhone 8 in the new dark Space Gray color. Design wise, there’s a noticeable difference between the iPhone 8 models and the iPhone 7 models just due to the new glass body.

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It’s sleeker, heavier, easier to hold, and it looks great with the seven-layer color process Apple used to create the colors for this generation. The display looks pretty much the same as the display in the iPhone 7, but with True Tone, it’s able to adjust to the ambient lighting conditions in a room for a more natural paper-like viewing experience.

Other than that, the bezels are the same, there’s still the same old Touch ID home button for people who prefer Touch ID, all of the buttons and components are in the same places, and it’s IP67 water resistant. One notable difference — the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have more powerful speakers.

There is, of course, also the wireless charging component. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus both charge wirelessly on Qi-certified charging mats, and this charging functionality works through a case. The smartphones also include a new A11 processor that brings serious speed gains, but these improvements aren’t always noticeable in every day use over the iPhone 7’s A10 chip.

So, should you upgrade? Most people who are coming from an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 7 Plus aren’t going to notice a world of difference aside from the implementation of wireless charging and some camera improvements, so it may not be worth the cost to buy one of the new devices. Those coming from an iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, or earlier iPhone will see notable speed, camera, and performance improvements, making a purchase more worthwhile.

Lots of people are still holding out for the iPhone X with its radical redesign, despite the fact that it’s a good deal more expensive than the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus at its $999 starting point. That device offers up an edge-to-edge screen and facial recognition, but it’s going to be hard to get and some people may prefer the Touch ID and more standard design of the 8 and the 8 Plus.
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iPhone 8 Component Costs Estimated to Start at $247.51

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are more expensive for Apple to manufacture than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, according to component cost estimates research firm IHS Markit shared today with Bloomberg.

An entry-level iPhone 8 with 64GB of storage costs Apple an estimated $247.51 in raw materials, an increase of almost $10 compared to the $237.94 it cost Apple to make last year’s 32GB iPhone 7.

The 64GB iPhone 8 Plus costs an estimated $288.08, up from $270.88 for the iPhone 7 Plus.

Image from iFixit‘s recent iPhone 8 teardown


To compensate for the increased cost, Apple charges $699 for the 64GB iPhone 8 in the United States, up from the $649 starting price it charged for the 32GB iPhone 7 in 2016. The iPhone 8 Plus is priced starting at $799, up from $769 in 2016.

“The added value went to memory, camera, and processing. That’s where we can materially identify where they’ve improved the overall product, and hence why they can command a higher price for it,” according to Wayne Lam, an analyst at IHS.

According to Bloomberg, some of the most expensive components in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus include the screens and the mechanical enclosures. Apple’s new glass-bodied devices are built around a strong internal frame and include new displays with True Tone support.

Compared to iPhone 7 pricing, the wireless charging module increases costs by $2, the A11 Bionic chip costs $5 more, and the larger 256GB storage options increase prices by $6.

IHS’s component costs are only estimates of what the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus cost to manufacture, and sometimes those estimates are not spot on. For example, while IHS told Bloomberg cost $237.94 to manufacture an iPhone 7 in 2016, its initial estimates following the iPhone 7’s release were at $219.80.

These estimates also only look at raw component costs and do not take into account other iPhone manufacturing expenses like research and development, software creation, advertising, and distribution, so this information, while interesting, is not an accurate measurement of Apple’s profit margin for the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus.

Back in 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that cost breakdowns are generally “much different than the reality.” “I’ve never seen one that is anywhere close to being accurate,” he added.
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iMovie for Mac Updated With HEVC Support

Following this morning’s public release of macOS High Sierra, Apple has updated its iMovie for Mac app with support for High Efficiency Video Coding, aka HEVC or H.265.

As outlined in our in-depth post on HEVC, HEVC is a next-generation video compression standard that’s been introduced in both macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. HEVC brings high-quality video with better compression rates, for files that are approximately half the size of H.264, the previous standard.

With support for HEVC, iMovie is now able to import videos in the HEVC format on macOS High Sierra. Today’s update also improves compatibility when sharing to YouTube, a feature introduced in iMovie for iOS a couple of weeks ago.

Though iMovie has been updated with HEVC support, Final Cut Pro X, Apple’s professional video editing software, has yet to gain support. iMovie can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free. [Direct Link]

All iOS devices and Macs on High Sierra will support HEVC playback, with encoding/decoding hardware acceleration available on newer iOS devices and the latest 2017 Macs for faster performance and less battery drain.

In other Mac-app related news, iBooks Author, Apple’s free app for creating iBooks, has also been updated following the release of macOS High Sierra. iBooks Author, includes support for wide color gamut images and the ability to add images and video from the Photos app using the Media Browser or drag and drop.
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Glass-Bodied iPhone 8 Shatters Repeatedly in Drop Tests

According to Apple, the glass used for its new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 devices is the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone, but that hasn’t helped the device resist shattering in a series of drop tests.

SquareTrade, a company that provides extended warranties for electronic devices, conducted drop tests on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and, for comparative purposes, the Galaxy Note 8, which also has a glass body.



Both of the iPhone 8 models and the Galaxy Note 8 shattered on all sides in every single drop test, including front and back drops at a distance of six feet, a 22-foot shot drop test, and a tumble test. Each test was conducted using the same equipment.

Ultimately, Square Trade gave the iPhone 8 a breakability score of 67, the iPhone 8 Plus a breakability score of 74, and the Galaxy Note 8 a breakability score of 80. At 67 and 74, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are at “medium risk” of breakage from a drop, while the Galaxy Note 8 is at “high risk.” The Galaxy Note 8 fared worse because it was non-functional after some of the tests, while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus remained usable despite the broken glass.



YouTuber JerryRigEverything also did a drop test on the iPhone 8 in a case and without a case. It survived a drop from knee height and was okay after one fall from waist height because it landed on the aluminum frame, but the glass broke after a second waist-high drop. The iPhone 8 in a case unsurprisingly fared better.



Another YouTube drop test that compared the iPhone 8 Plus to the iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone 8 Plus shattered on the first drop. The iPhone 7 Plus survived a drop on its back, of course, as it has an aluminum body.



Drop tests are never scientific and are not a reliable measure of durability because of the many variables involved when a device is dropped, but it’s clear that even with the most durable glass used in a smartphone, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are more prone to catastrophic breakage than previous-generation iPhones.

While both sides of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are now made of glass, the display and the body don’t appear to share the same repair costs, so if you drop it on the wrong side, it’s going to be an expensive fix.

With AppleCare+, Apple charges $29 for replacement for a broken display, but a broken glass body is subject to the $99 “other damage” repair fee rather than the screen replacement fee. Sans AppleCare+, a display repair for the iPhone 8 costs $149 and an “other damage” repair costs $349. iPhone 8 Plus repairs are even more expensive at $169 for the display and $399 for the body.

Apple is also charging more for its AppleCare+ plans this year, with AppleCare+ for iPhone 8 priced at $129 and AppleCare+ for iPhone 8 Plus priced at $149. AppleCare+ covers two incidents of accidental damage.
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Glass-Bodied iPhone 8 Shatters Repeatedly in Drop Tests

According to Apple, the glass used for its new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 devices is the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone, but that hasn’t helped the device resist shattering in a series of drop tests.

SquareTrade, a company that provides extended warranties for electronic devices, conducted drop tests on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and, for comparative purposes, the Galaxy Note 8, which also has a glass body.



Both of the iPhone 8 models and the Galaxy Note 8 shattered on all sides in every single drop test, including front and back drops at a distance of six feet, a 22-foot shot drop test, and a tumble test. Each test was conducted using the same equipment.

Ultimately, Square Trade gave the iPhone 8 a breakability score of 67, the iPhone 8 Plus a breakability score of 74, and the Galaxy Note 8 a breakability score of 80. At 67 and 74, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are at “medium risk” of breakage from a drop, while the Galaxy Note 8 is at “high risk.” The Galaxy Note 8 fared worse because it was non-functional after some of the tests, while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus remained usable despite the broken glass.



YouTuber JerryRigEverything also did a drop test on the iPhone 8 in a case and without a case. It survived a drop from knee height and was okay after one fall from waist height because it landed on the aluminum frame, but the glass broke after a second waist-high drop. The iPhone 8 in a case unsurprisingly fared better.



Another YouTube drop test that compared the iPhone 8 Plus to the iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone 8 Plus shattered on the first drop. The iPhone 7 Plus survived a drop on its back, of course, as it has an aluminum body.



Drop tests are never scientific and are not a reliable measure of durability because of the many variables involved when a device is dropped, but it’s clear that even with the most durable glass used in a smartphone, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are more prone to catastrophic breakage than previous-generation iPhones.

While both sides of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are now made of glass, the display and the body don’t appear to share the same repair costs, so if you drop it on the wrong side, it’s going to be an expensive fix.

With AppleCare+, Apple charges $29 for replacement for a broken display, but a broken glass body is subject to the $99 “other damage” repair fee rather than the screen replacement fee. Sans AppleCare+, a display repair for the iPhone 8 costs $149 and an “other damage” repair costs $349. iPhone 8 Plus repairs are even more expensive at $169 for the display and $399 for the body.

Apple is also charging more for its AppleCare+ plans this year, with AppleCare+ for iPhone 8 priced at $129 and AppleCare+ for iPhone 8 Plus priced at $149. AppleCare+ covers two incidents of accidental damage.
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macOS High Sierra is available to download

Apple's last major operating system update of the year is here at last: as promised, you can now download the upgrade to macOS High Sierra through the Mac App Store. So long as you have a qualifying Mac (2009 or newer iMacs and MacBooks, as well as a…

Apple extends iTunes movie rentals to 48 hours

It used to be that when you rented a movie from Apple's iTunes service, you'd have 24 hours to finish watching it. You could start streaming the rental within 30 days of purchase, of course. Just a couple of weeks after Apple made 4K an affordable op…

Apple Shares ‘8 Things to Love About iPhone 8’ Video

Apple this morning published a new iPhone 8 ad to its YouTube channel, highlighting eight things to love about the new device.



In the 46 second spot, set to the song “Namesake” by Tunde Olaniran, Apple lists the following features as reasons to get an iPhone 8:

– Most durable glass in a smartphone

– Portrait Lighting (the new Portrait Mode feature)

– Wireless charging with Qi inductive chargers

– The A11, the smartest most powerful chip in a smartphone

– The world’s most popular camera

– Water resistant

– New Retina HD display with True Tone

– Augmented Reality support

Apple’s new iPhone 8 ad comes just as the device is launching. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus went on sale today, with pre-order customers receiving deliveries and retail stores beginning to offer the devices for purchase.

This is Apple’s third iPhone 8 video, following two that were shown on stage during the September 15 keynote event. One of those videos described the iPhone 8 in 8 seconds, and the other was a 40 second unveiling video.
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