The iPhone 8 Plus remains a solid option in the iPhone ecosystem despite seeing some competition since it launched. Since this review was originally published, we’ve added comparisons to some of the alternative phones you might be considering. So what is the Iphone 8 Plus Price?
The newest contenders into this competition congregation are 2019’s iPhone line. That’s the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, and they’re far more powerful than 2017’s iPhone 8 Plus – but with iOS 13,
Usually when Apple announces new iPhones, older ones get the axe, but Apple keeps the iPhone 8 Plus securely in its lineup alongside the iPhone 8 as its affordable iOS devices. So if this review gets you interested in the smartphone, it should be easy to find and easier on the wallet to buy.
Iphone 8 Plus review
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus represent the last hurrah for the old iPhone design with a Home button and thick chin bezels. While we now have the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR to drool over, Apple has kept the iPhone 8 handsets on sale for pragmatic buyers.
In terms of what came before this phone though, The iPhone 8 Plus looks like the iPhone 7 Plus, which looks like the 6S Plus, which looks like the 6 Plus…you get the idea. The only thing that tips us off that the 8 Plus is the newest model is the addition of the glass back and the two-tone effect it creates… if it wasn’t for that, it would be impossible to tell this and the 7 Plus apart.IPHONE 8 PLUS SPECS
Dimensions: 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 5.5-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 1920
CPU: Apple A11 Bionic
Rear camera: Dual 12MP
Front camera: 7MP
Apple has never changed things for the sake of it, but the 8 Plus is the company’s final nod to the design it relied on for years before the iPhone X arrived in 2017 to move the dial dramatically, plug in reams of new technology, and change the way we think about the iPhone.
We can only interpret that this is now the ‘default’ iPhone – the one for folks who aren’t looking to spend exorbitant sums of money on a handset, or not keen on big changes, when shopping for a new iPhone.
One benefit of the newer iPhones appearing is that the iPhone 8 Plus is steadily getting cheaper.
There are some strong upgrades from the iPhone 7 Plus too: the camera has been enhanced, the internal workings are still among the most powerful in the industry, and little tweaks throughout smooth off rough edges in a way that makes us feel Sir Jony Ive climbed inside his computer and lathed them off himself.
Add to that a better battery and screen, and the iPhone 8 Plus is the better iPhone compared to the smaller 8.
Watch our iPhone 8 Plus video review by clicking the play button above.
iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone XS
The first difference here is cost – although not to the same level as vs the iPhone 8. The iPhone XS (which has replaced the iPhone X) starts at$999 / £999 / AU$1,579 if you want the 64GB model, where the iPhone 8 Plus now begins at $699 / £699 / AU$1,149 for the same capacity.
So what are you getting for that (slightly) higher cost? Primarily, the screen – you’ve got a bezel-less 5.8-inch display with a 1,125 x 2,436 resolution, and it’s OLED display technology too – that’s superior to the 5.2-inch 1,080 x 1,920 screen on the iPhone 8.
That’s a larger phone with a smaller screen – that’s what losing the bezel brings.
The other big difference to consider is how you unlock this phone. With the iPhone 8 Plus, it’s Touch ID fingerprint scanning, as it has been for years; with the iPhone XS, you’re unlocking with your face, using the nattily-named Face ID.
The notch at the top of the iPhone XS contains a camera that allows for Animoji and Memoji, where emoji can be animated by mapping your face – this feature is locked to the iPhone X, XS, XS Max and XR, and isn’t a feature that appears on the iPhone 8 Plus, so bear that in mind.
Both the iPhone XS and iPhone 8 Plus have dual cameras, which allows for background de-focus and a more comprehensive photographic experience – however, due to the way the phones are packaged (to accommodate for the iPhone X notch), the camera array is vertical on the XS but horizontal on the 8 Plus.
Basically, the iPhone 8 Plus is the larger-screened version of the 8, with better battery and more heft. It is starting to look dated next to the iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XR phones though.
iPhone 8 Plus price and release date
- iPhone 8 Plus price (64GB): $549 (£579, AU$949)
- iPhone 8 Plus price (128GB): $599 (£629, AU$1,029)
- Launch price (64GB): $799 (£799, AU$1,229)
- Launch price (256GB): $949 (£949, AU$1,479)
- Launched September 22, 2017
The iPhone 8 Plus price remains high, but not as high as it was. At launch the 64GB model was $799 (£799, AU$1,229), while the 256GB option came in at $949 (£949, AU$1,479).
However with the arrival of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple has cut the iPhone 8 Plus price even more: the 64GB variant now starts at $549 (£579, AU$949) and the 128GB iPhone 8 Plus price is down to $599 (£629, AU$1,029). (Somewhere along the way, Apple dropped the max storage.)
The average user might struggle to fill the 64GB variant with photos, apps and music, and it’s good to see that Apple is starting to get back ahead of how much storage most people need.
However, given that the iPhone 8 Plus can record in 4K at 60fps, and three minutes of that comes in at 2.16GB, if you’re going to do much filming at that quality then you’ll fill the 64GB variant fairly easily.
Of course, opting to get the iPhone 8 Plus on contract will reduce the upfront cost, but it will increase your monthly outlay. Check out the best iPhone 8 Plus deals out there with our dedicated guide (UK only).
The iPhone 8 Plus release date was September 22, 2017, and even though it’s been superseded by Apple’s new iPhone trio, it’s still widely available (and is still sold direct from Apple).
Glistening gold back offers new powers
- Glass back allows for wireless charging
- Looks luxurious in gold
The main thing you’ll notice about the iPhone 8 Plus from an aesthetic point of view, at least compared to its predecessors, is the outer coloring. The new gold version is the main event, with a gold aluminum rim and a gold/white glass back mixing together.
It’s a striking combination, and compared to the 7 Plus is really rather visually different, creating a more luxurious effect. Also alluring are the special edition Product Red iPhone 8 and 8 Plus phones that exhibit a deep red for mid-cycle freshness.
The silver and space gray colors don’t quite have the same visual punch, but in the hand those phones still feel different with the glass back.
- iPhone 8 colors: what shades does it come in?
The reason for the glass back isn’t primarily aesthetic, though. Apple finally jumped on the wireless charging bandwagon in 2017, just when it looked like it might be losing steam. Samsung has been the main promoter of the technology for the last couple of years, and now that Apple’s on board, wireless charging has now hit the mainstream at last.
There’s no denying it’s convenient, as popping your iPhone down on a charging pad is so much simpler than connecting and disconnecting a cable. But it’s hardly revolutionary – the tech has been baked into phones for years.
It would, perhaps, be more impactful here if there was a wireless charging pad in the box, but you’ll need to spend around $40 / £40 / AU$60 to buy one from Mophie or Belkin right now, with Apple’s own AirPower pad still mysteriously missing.
The speed of charging is impressive though, as it’s not too far off that of a wired connection. We can still remember the trickle charge you used to get with wireless, so you can see why Apple waited until the experience was good enough to put it in its handsets.
New Portrait Lighting mode
- Portrait mode is faster and better than before
- Portrait Lighting is a small but impressive new feature
The headline feature of the 12MP dual sensor on the rear camera is the enhanced bokeh mode – dubbed Portrait Lighting.
The abilities here are pretty astounding, and show how powerful the A11 Bionic chip is inside – being able to algorithmically work out the contours of the face and change the lighting dynamically is impressive.
This can be done either while the picture is being taken or after, via the gallery. It’s a powerful tool, albeit not one that really impressed anyone we showed it to.
And that’s kind of indicative of the iPhone 8 Plus as a whole – while the overall experience is smoothed and enhanced, the headline features aren’t really there. Portrait Lighting is, well, fine – and we almost feel guilty for not evangelizing about it more, given how much intelligence has gone into creating it.
But taking a Portrait mode picture takes some setting up as it is – so achieving the level of quality where Portrait Lighting makes a big difference to the outcome is rare.
However, the new Portrait mode is one of the places where the iPhone 8 Plus is a significant upgrade over its predecessor – it’s brighter, faster to recognize the object you’re trying to snap, and it’s also got that Portrait Lighting feature, which isn’t available on the older models.
The Portrait Lighting modes change things slightly, but nothing mega – and the Studio and Studio Mono modes look a little too cut-out, despite the edge detection being really accurate.
If you spend some time setting up a subject to take the perfect photo, you can get some decent results – but modern smartphone cameras need to take a brilliant quick snap, and we can see this feature being shunted off to the ‘rarely used’ section of your phone.Image 1 of 4
A11 Bionic engine
- Brilliant benchmark results
- Doesn’t seem speedier in practice than 7 Plus or Note 8
It’s hard not to like the names Apple is appending to its chips these days. Following A10 Fusion, A11 Bionic doesn’t really make a lot of sense in terms of what it actually does, but it’s evocative.
Anyway – that’s that dealt with. The 2017 chipset inside has six cores, with four efficient ones doing the basic stuff and the other two doing the heavy lifting, whether that’s photo-editing, intensive multi-tasking or providing real-time camera effects.
Those previously mentioned Portrait Lighting effects need some real power, and that’s where the A11 chip comes in. Any app that uses high levels of photo manipulation worked pretty flawlessly in our tests, with no lag when working with multiple image layers.
It’s hard to convey the usefulness of all this power for the average user, one who might not use such features regularly – but it’ll keep your iPhone singing more sweetly for the next two or three years compared to the previous generations.
Everything feels fast under the finger than the 2016 iPhones – although that seems like a redundant thing to say given that most iPhones feel that way when taken out of the box. The real test comes when you start loading it up with apps and content.
Generally, even when loaded up the iPhone was zippy as anything, with nothing flickering under the finger. However, we had a few moments where the interface juddered and bounced a bit – it still moved swiftly, but the frame rate slowed so it looked jagged.
It righted itself quickly, but it was surprising to note for an iPhone – it’s not something we’re used to.
What’s more surprising is that the iPhone 8 Plus didn’t perform any better in testing than the iPhone 7 Plus – we opened and closed apps on the two phones simultaneously, and the response times were identical – and was similar in performance to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
In fact, when saving a large video to Files, the iPhone 7 Plus was actually faster at completing the task, despite being older and having more storage taken up. The A11 Bionic chip is certainly powerful, but we’ve not seen anything that shows off the raw power in terms of regular interaction – it’s only evident in extra features like the Portrait Lighting.
In terms of out-and-out power though, this was the most powerful phone we’d ever benchmarked when it launched. The Geekbench results were off the chart for the time, powering past 10,000 for the multi-core score and easily beating anything from the Android world. Even in 2019 its performance still impresses.
Will you notice the power of the iPhone in day-to-day use? Nope. iPhones have been rapid enough for years – but people are starting to expect even more and more from their device, whether that’s adding filters to photos, exporting content to friends, or playing the most powerful games around, and you’ll be glad of the bionic chip in one or two years’ time.
Apple doesn’t make a song and dance about the raw power in its devices, but it does build its reputation on phones just working as they should, and the iPhone 8 Plus will carry on working as it should for a good long while.
Of course, the 2018 iPhones up the ante again with the A12 Bionic chip, which is faster yet: but the A11 Bionic remains capable of handling everything you can throw at it.
Ways to Save Money on an iPhone
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IPhones don’t come cheap. The new iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple’s most expensive phone in the lineup, starts at $1,099.
1. Choose a smaller phone
Larger iPhones and those with more storage capacity are more expensive. You can save considerably by opting for the basic model over a beefed-up version.
A new iPhone 12 with 64GB of storage retails for $799 to start, while the 256GB is $150 more, at $949. You’ll save $100 by picking the 128GB iPhone 12 Pro over the larger iPhone 12 Pro Max with a longer battery life and the same storage capacity, which is priced at $1,099.
2. Buy an older model
One of the best times to buy an iPhone is in September (or October, as is the case this year), when new models are typically announced and older ones are discounted. After the iPhone 12 series announcement in October 2020, Apple dropped the price of the previous generation iPhone 11 from $699 to $599.
Used technology marketplaces tend to get an influx of old iPhones around new releases, which drives prices down.
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3. Wait for a promotion
Cell phone carriers and electronics retailers offer some of their best iPhone deals during the holiday shopping season, particularly around Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. For example, Best Buy’s 2019 Black Friday sale included the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro for up to $500 off with qualified activation and trade-in on select networks.
Cell phone carriers and electronics retailers offer some of their best iPhone deals around Black Friday.”
Fall is a prime time to find savings, but keep your eye out for promotions year-round.
4. Pick a payment plan
Purchasing a phone, rather than leasing, gives you the ability to eventually sell or trade it and put the value toward a new phone. But if you can’t afford the full cost, or don’t want to cough up the entire amount upfront, consider paying for your iPhone in monthly installments.
Apple and every major carrier have their own monthly payment plans. Some agreements allow you to upgrade to a new phone after a certain amount of time or once you’ve paid off a specific percentage of the phone’s sale price.
Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program spreads out the cost of the device and AppleCare+ coverage — which includes repairs and software support — over 24 months with 0% interest and lets you turn in your existing phone and upgrade to a new one after 12 payments. Monthly payments for the iPhone 12 Pro start at $49.91, so after 12 payments, you’ll have paid $598.92 — that’s about $400 less than the phone’s retail price.
Verizon’s device payment program doesn’t include insurance, but it offers a lower monthly charge of $41.62 for the 128GB iPhone 12 Pro, and you’re eligible to upgrade after paying 50% of the cost. With both plans, your device must be in good physical and working condition to meet upgrade requirements.
An upgrade plan may be best if you get a new iPhone every year without fail.”
An upgrade plan may be best if you get a new iPhone every year without fail. Shop around and pick the carrier or payment plan that best suits your needs.
5. Buy a pre-owned iPhone
Used or refurbished phones often have a stigma attached, but when purchased from a trustworthy seller, they’re actually reliable — and affordable — options.
“Used doesn’t necessarily mean lesser quality of function. A well-cared-for phone that has a previous owner will have a lot of life left,” says Ben Edwards, CEO of Swappa, a marketplace for used technology.
A well-cared-for phone that has a previous owner will have a lot of life left.”Ben Edwards, CEO of Swappa
At the time of this writing, we spotted an unlocked 256GB iPhone 11 in excellent condition for $640.90 on Gazelle. The same model sells for $749 new at Apple. If you can handle one with a few minor imperfections, like scratches or dents, you’ll save more.
Before you buy a device from a third-party reseller, make sure it’s compatible with your carrier and isn’t broken, stolen or still under contract. Look for websites like Swappa that perform a serial number, or ESN, check on phones or require sellers to upload verification photos. You can also run a check yourself, using tools like CTIA’s Stolen Phone Checker.
6. Sell or trade in your old phone
If you don’t need your previous device as a backup, sell it or trade it in. You might end up with a few hundred dollars in cash, gift cards or credit that you can apply toward a new iPhone. You’ll typically get more money for selling a phone rather than trading it in, Edwards says, but it may be more of a hassle.
Estimate the resale or trade-in value of your device through Apple, your carrier or trusted sites like Swappa and Gazelle.
Buying an iPhone New
There is no better feeling than buying something brand new for yourself. That’s the reason “unboxing” videos are so popular online—even if we can’t afford a shiny new gadget, we can live vicariously through the internet.
The iPhone is no exception and Apple knows this—their packaging is some of the most satisfying to open. And nothing beats that final tug on the final plastic tab as you watch your brand new iPhone rise from its box and into your hands. A brand new iPhone comes at a price and not all buying experiences are equal. It’s important if you’ve decided to buy a brand new iPhone, that you do it the right way.
Leasing vs. Buying
Today, it’s typical to have two options available in your quest for a brand new iPhone. You can either own the iPhone outright, paying full retail price for the privilege of total ownership of your device, or you can “lease” your iPhone via monthly instalments.
What is Leasing an iPhone?
Be it through your carrier or Apple, when you choose to lease an iPhone you’re not so much paying to own your iPhone as you are paying to use it. While the iPhone isn’t technically yours, it gives you much more flexibility when you’re ready to upgrade.
Most iPhone leasing situations come with an “early upgrade” program of some kind. Typically, after making 50% of the payments on that device you’re given the option to trade in your iPhone for a new one, thus continuing the cycle of monthly payments. Leasing is a great strategy for those consumers who would rather have a new iPhone every year.
Why Should I Buy an iPhone Outright?
Buying an iPhone outright is the more expensive option upfront but is a cheaper solution overall. While you’re paying full retail price on an iPhone, you own that iPhone once you’ve finished the transaction. What you do with that iPhone afterwards is up to you. And if you keep it in great condition, it should hold much of its value down-the-road when you want to sell it or trade it in. To put it simply—buying an iPhone is a financial commitment toward ownership. Leasing an iPhone is a financial commitment toward the use of a new iPhone.
Buying through a Carrier
If you’ve settled on buying an iPhone, the first place you can start shopping around is your carrier. Your town should have a brick-and-mortar location to walk into, typically with phones on display for demonstration purposes. You can also buy your iPhone through your carrier’s online portal and have it shipped to you.
Pros of Buying Through Carrier
- They have stock that other outlets may not have.
- Sometimes they have great promotions to push out stock.
- Most carriers have physical locations nearby.
Cons of Buying Through Carrier
- Customer service can be hit-or-miss.
- Some stores do not have live demos.
- Online eCommerce portals for carriers can be clunky.
Buying an iPhone Through Apple
Buying your iPhone is going straight to the source. You can purchase your iPhone through the online Apple Store or at a physical Apple Store if you have one near you. While Apple typically does not offer discounts on its products, they do have “back to school” deals for students, which can score you discounts or get you nice accessories like earbuds.
Pros of Buying Through the Apple Store
- The Apple retail experience is unrivalled in its customer service.
- Apple retail employees are product experts and will have answers to all of your questions.
- If you’re a student, Apple sometimes offers back-to-school promotions.
Cons of Buying Through the Apple Store
- Apple does not offer promotions beyond their student promotions.
- Apple retail stores are not always convenient and are not in every town.
- If you’re unaware of your carrier credentials you could get stuck activating your new iPhone—Apple employees have limited access to carrier resources.
Buying iPhones at Retail Stores
Big box retailers are the go-to outlets for almost every product we buy in our lives, from toilet paper to 80-inch 4K televisions. They should have the iPhone you’re looking for in their electronics department. Retailers will have limited iPhone stock, but they are worth looking at in the middle of an iPhone buying craze—you never know when they’ll get a new shipment.
Pros of Buying Through a Retail Store
- Could score a marginal discount if you have a credit card through your retailer (i.e. a Target Red Card)
- Buying from a big box store is convenient—you can grab the newest iPhone on an evening diaper buying run if you want to.
- Retailers have a large selection of phone accessories—sometimes larger than Apple and your carrier stores.
Cons of Buying Through a Retail Store
- Electronics department employees aren’t well-versed in every product they sell.
- Customer service will be minimal—about as good as at a carrier store.
- Limited access to your carrier credentials means you should know your passwords and pins beforehand.
Buying Used iPhones
If you’re not the type of consumer that is easily mesmerized by the latest and greatest, then you might as well look into buying a used iPhone. After all, a last-gen iPhone is still a great phone, assuming it’s in good cosmetic condition and was taken care of by its previous owner. There are many ways to buy a used iPhone, all have their place in the marketplace. In general, used iPhone can be broken down into three categories, all with their own price points:Get Cash For Your Used iPhoneWe buy used and broken iPhones for top dollar! Get free shipping, a 14-day price lock, and our highest price guarantee.GET A FREE QUOTE
Used—this is a blanket term, typically for any iPhone sold by an individual.
Refurbished—if you see this term, it means the iPhone you’re buying was checked at a factory, where it was repaired, re-tooled, and is now back on the market. Refurbished iPhones are usually more money but are in better shape—they should function almost as if they’re new.
Unlocked—while this term doesn’t say anything about the condition or the origins of the iPhone, it means that it’s not “locked” to a specific carrier and can be used by anyone, even international folks. Unlocked iPhones fetch much higher prices because they’re so much more versatile than your average carrier-locked iPhone.
Buying a Used iPhone Through eBay
eBay is still the world’s digital yard sale and it’s easier than ever to use the site to find deals on secondhand items—iPhones are no exception. Buying an iPhone through eBay is as easy as searching for the model number and storage capacity of the iPhone you want. But there are some things to consider:
- Bid on items that have real photos of the product, not stock photos.
- Verify the phone carrier and ensure it’s the same one you use.
- Only buy an “unlocked” iPhone if you know what you’re getting, otherwise, you’ll be spending unnecessary money.
Buying a Used iPhone Through Craigslist
Craigslist is, in essence, a big community board for all kinds of interactions including buying and selling. Your mileage may vary using Craigslist but great deals can be found here. While eBay is driven by a bidding system, which keeps iPhone prices on their marketplace steady. On the other hand, Craigslist runs entirely on direct transactions, so you could score yourself a deeply discounted iPhone if you look hard enough. With Craigslist, take your time and remain sceptical. And remember to consider the following:
- Craigslist can be full of scammers, so understand the premise of the most popular online scams so you don’t fall victim to one.
- Meet in a public setting—many police stations have a “craigslist transaction zone” in their parking lot for this very purpose.
- If something is too good to be true, it is.
Buying a Used iPhone Through Swappa & Other Marketplaces
A business model is emerging amid used electronics buying and selling; companies like Swappa facilitate the buying and selling of this technology, giving users a straightforward approach to transacting sales by providing pricing guidelines paired with an intuitive interface that allows consumers to buy used electronics with just a few button clicks. Buying through these types of marketplaces is clear, user-friendly, and will net you a solid discount on a gently used iPhone. Although, marketplaces like Swappa have a couple of caveats:
- Pricing is so standardized that you won’t find the best prices, but these companies hope the convenience factor outweighs the cost-savings you’re missing.
- Swappa and websites like it are best for “gently used” and more recent technology. Anything outside of that category is best found elsewhere.
- Swappa’s refund policy will only cover “not as described” scenarios—buyer’s remorse is not considered a valid reason for a refund, like at a retail outlet.
Consider Your Options
Whether you’re buying your iPhone used or new, you’re investing in the ownership of that technology, which will benefit you greatly when it’s time to upgrade. There’s no better feeling than getting cash for an iPhone trade-in, especially if you’ve done your due diligence to keep your phone in perfect shape.
And while other consumers may lease their iPhone and always have the latest model in their hands, you can sit back and find satisfaction in the fact that you’re forgoing monthly payments on your iPhone and when the time comes, you can trade the device in and put that cash toward your next purchase.