Monday, 3 September 2018

Review of iPhone 8 Plus and Mobile WiFi

For the month of August, I was lucky to be able to borrow a new iPhone handset to review from the team at Three. I'm an Apple addict and I upgraded to an iPhone 6S Plus at Christmas last year, so when I was offered an iPhone 8 Plus to try out, I thought I could see if it was worth the extra money.
iphone 8 plus

So how different are the two phones?
The 6S Plus was released back in 2014, which makes it feel positively ancient, whereas the 8 Plus was released just last year. I'm not going to run through all the specs (you can find all the ones for the 8 Plus on the Three website); instead I'll just focus on the points which mattered to me. When the iPhone 8 Plus arrived, it looked and felt very similar to my own phone. It's almost the same size (0.2cm wider and longer) and weighs just slightly more - 202g vs 192g. 

The home button is different on the newer phones; touch sensitive rather than something you can press in. I didn't like it at first but got used to it after about a week. I'd probably still choose what I have now, given the option - but maybe that's just me showing my age and not embracing change?! The other main different feature is that there is no headphone jack on the 8 Plus. This means you can only use bluetooth headphones. Which are great of course, as long as you've remembered to charge them....

In terms of what features I look for most in a phone, the camera is always the most important part for me. The iPhone 8 Plus is 12MP, same as the 6S Plus. This raindrop on our window at the start of summer was one of the first snaps I took with the iPhone 8 Plus and it was just a point and press moment with a fairly decent result.
raindrop on patio window
The 8 Plus took over as my favourite, largely due to the extra 'portrait' function which is available as standard. I found that I loved these portrait photos of my girls and felt like this phone camera could easily replace my DSLR which I rarely use because of the bulk carrying it around.
portrait of tamsin

portrait of sasha
In all honesty, although I do love this function, I did forget to use it at my brother's wedding, which I was a bit gutted about! In my defence, it was a pretty full-on day. I did make good use of the 8 Plus camera for all the wedding photos and video though and was very glad to have it.
our family in wedding outfits
 After the wedding, we had a quick visit to my old hometown to stay with my parents, and I love this photo of three generations also taken on the portrait setting:
sasha, steph, nana and tamsin
Another function (which is also on the 6 Plus) is the panoramic setting, so of course we had to try that out too...
panoramic of st annes beach with 3 tamsins
We have so many great photos taken on the iPhone 8 Plus, including from our trip to Disneyland Paris and the Paris Center Parcs (called Villages Nature - review on that coming soon!). It was so difficult to pick only a couple to show you!
Sasha in front of Villages Nature outdoor pools


Disney village panoramagique balloon
The following two collages are photos which I took from the same spot with both the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone 6S Plus. In both cases, the 6S Plus shot is on the left.
Disney Magic kingdom castle collage
Above was a simple shot and below, I'd zoomed in to see if there was any difference in quality on the zoom. The 8 Plus has a digital zoom of 10x compared to the 6S Plus zoom of 5x. I'd say the right-hand (ie 8 Plus) photo below seems to be slightly brighter:
zoom in on Disney castle
We were very lucky in that there was WiFi available almost constantly where we stayed when away on holiday, both in the Disney hotel and at our Villages Nature lodge. What we hadn't appreciated in advance though was that the restaurants in Disney's Sequoia Lodge hotel are downstairs in the basement. This means they do not have WiFi reception at all. So the Huawei mobile WiFi unit, which we had taken away with us 'just in case', was a lifesaver on the two occasions we managed to persuade Sasha to sit with us with her iPad and headphones while we grabbed a buffet meal. 
Huawei mobile wifi unit
Super simple to use, you literally just press the button then enter the passcode which can be found under the back cover next to the battery. It can be charged via a normal cable and seemed to last quite a long time (up to 4 operating hours according to the website).
Clear Tech 21 iPhone case
The phone we were loaned had a Tech21 case on it which I loved - made from silicone, it was smooth and soft, and gave great protection from bumps and drops. It didn't add any unnecessary bulk, and they have a good range of colours and designs to choose from. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Three have the Go Roam service which means you can use your data abroad, as if you were at home, in 71 countries.

So in summary, I definitely recommend the iPhone 8 Plus if you can afford it, and I'm looking to invest in a mobile WiFi unit for any future trips without guaranteed WiFi!


Disclosure: Thanks to Three who loaned me the very helpful mobile WiFi unit, and this handset so that I could compare it to my existing phone!


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1 comment:

  1. Love the quality of the photos! Good luck in the bibs :)

    ReplyDelete

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