The iPhone X looks different and does things different, whether that’s the screen, dual camera arrangement or the face detection — I’m certainly hoping for bigger things from this feature. Apple’s Senior Vice President Phil Schiller added we can expect another two hours of battery life compared to last year’s iPhone 7 — and I’d do a lot of things to gain a few more hours of use without having to plug my phone in. (I bought an Apple Watch with similar lofty aims, remember?)
No such battery improvements are promised with the iPhone 8 duo, which will apparently match their predecessors. (The larger Phone 8 Plus will apparently still last longer — but given the bigger size and smaller screen, that’s no shocker.)
The biggest deal breaker for a lot of readers remains the premium Apple has assigned to its anniversary smartphone. But look at the other options: The Galaxy Note 8 (one of the closest rivals, both in design and specification) is $930 — just 70 bucks less. At the same time, both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus cost $50 more than their predecessors. Barring a few features (wireless charging, and what appears to be a substantially beefed-up processor), the iPhone 8 doesn’t push Apple’s phone design forward — and nor did the iPhone 7 to be honest. Think about it this, over two years (the average life cycle of a phone), that $200 difference between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X is less than $9 a month.
If you were just waiting for a new iPhone, they’re all going to cost you. But when you already own a smartphone that is perfectly fine, shouldn’t you upgrade when a phone is capable of more? Or — and this is a very Apple thing — when a new device is just downright more desirable than whatever you’re currently holding? It’s not be the best reason to buy a new phone, but the smartphone is a fashion accessory in its own right, and iPhones have always traded on their desirability.
At a time when Samsung has been pushing its own gorgeous bezel-less phones, and even smartphone startups are in on the trend, the iPhone 8 already looks dated. The iPhone 6 came out in 2014 — a glass backed makeover doesn’t change much. Barring a predilection for the older design (or that home button), I’d say either hold onto your existing phone, save a bit more for the iPhone X, or wait for number 11. Or XI.
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