With the somewhat-unexpected-but-actually-not features of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, we get to spend some time with the iPhone 8 while waiting for our iPhone 8 Plus.. which just arrived this afternoon.
1. A11 Bionic – Fastest Mobile SoC Yet
A 6-core CPU, 3-core GPU, NVMe SSD controller, and a custom video encoder. Sure, the iPhone 8 doesn’t have the Neural Engine like the iPhone X has, but the A11 was more than enough to blow everyone’s socks off.
This new 3-core GPU is in-house and is also built directly into the processor ala-AMD’s APU’s. Apple has also mentioned that it is 30 percent faster than the Imagination-based GPU models found in iPhone 7 models. What’s more is that this new GPU is able to match an A10 Fusion GPU while only using half of the energy.
In 3D rendering, this new GPU architecture uses TBDR or Tile Based Deferred Rendering. What is TBDR? Let me lay it down for you: imagine a 3D scene. Like, a whole section of a map in Injustice 2 or the whole track in Real Racing 3. In their entirety, they’re 3D scenes. With TBDR, what’s rendered is what only the users see in those 3D scenes, maximizing performance. TBDR breaks down a scene into ’tiles’ and determines what are needed for each ’tile’. The output or what the users see is then cached into high speed, low latency Tile Memory. This rendering method allows for a more efficient GPU usage without risking overheating.
What does the future hold for Apple with this move? A lot. Considering that they are designing the GPU and software under one roof, we can expect faster GPU and GPGPU progress.
2. Utter Hexacore Efficiency
With the A11 Bionic’s introduction comes a new CPU along with the GPU. Taking advantage of the Android phones’ octa-cores’ weaknesses, the A11 Bionic uses asymmetric multiprocessing that scales with what is needed and actually enables usage of all 6 cores concurrently. Apple has mentioned that two of the A11 Bionic’s performance-optimized general-purpose CPU cores are up to 25 percent faster than in last year’s A10 Fusion. And its efficiency cores that have doubled up, from two to four, are now up to 70 percent faster.
3. Take more pictures and videos with HEIF and HEVC
High-Efficiency Image Format and High-Efficiency Video Codec were made available in iOS 11. Accessing them is as easy as tapping your way through the Camera settings. When on, photos and videos are compressed tight enough that a minute-long 4K 30FPS video recorded in HEVC will output at about 170MB, whereas taking the same minute-long video using H.264 would be around 350MB.
Although I haven’t gotten into it myself, this is a huge feature for a video junkie like me who likes to vlog or just take scenery in and save it in a data bank.
Apple devices that run an A9 and above will decode in hardware since its introduction. Older devices are forced to decode in software which will take longer and consume more battery in the process.
4. 4K 60FPS, 1080p at 240FPS & Portrait Mode
Capturing in real 4K is no joke, and Apple’s introduction of actual 4K 60FPS for this year’s Apple trio was more than a cause for celebration. It in itself is pretty amazing with just hearing it, considering that no Android phone as of writing has been leaked or announced to be able to do so.
For slow-mo junkies, 1080p at 240FPS is a decent addition that allows for more detail. For 24FPS takers like us, this is a great thing to have, especially for some sick B-rolls. Being able to ramp down a video to 10 percent of its speed gives cinematographers quite a huge breathing space for montages and whatnot.
Whilst the two aforementioned features haven’t been necessarily hyped as much as Portrait Mode, I do want to commend Apple for their very personal take on Portrait Mode. While background blur cannot be adjusted in post-processing like in the Note 8, lighting manipulation in post is a feat to behold.
5. Wireless Charging
Well, it’s about time. Five years after its formal adoption by Nokia, Qi-based wireless charging is finally on this year’s iPhones. Initially, without looking a bit deeper, this is another cause for celebration for the true Apple fans.
But let me hold you there a bit – for the iPhones of 2017 use the older 1.1 Qi wireless charging standard that supports up to only 7.5W or 5V & 1.5A of wireless charging. Samsung’s Fast Wireless Charging (Samsung) is based on version 1.2 of the Qi specification and allows for up to 15W charging capacity. Yikes, Apple!
On the bright side, it is quite possible that next year’s line of Apple products will have a Qi-adapter based on the 1.2 specifications. But, knowing Apple, they might just make an in-house Qi-adapter.
‘Upgraded’ storage options
I did add this in as an honorable mention since I’m still torn whether this is a feature to look out for or not. Apple basically upped the 32GB and 128GB variants to a 64GB and 256GB. If this is a good thing for you, congrats, Apple heeded your prayers and realized it for this year’s iPhones.
What do you think of these years’ iPhones’ Top 5 features that I have mentioned? Do you have anything of your own to add? If any, I think these year’s iPhones are really great, promising.. and that’s it. Do watch out for our upcoming comparisons of it with the likes of the Note 8, OnePlus 5 and XZ Premium. If you have any suggestions, drop them down below.
Apple iPhone 8 & 8 Plus Specifications, Pricing, Availability
|SPECS||iPhone 8/8 Plus|
4.7″, LED-backlit IPS LCD, ~326ppi
– Wide color gamut display
|Size||138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm, 148g/158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm, 202g|
|Design||Metal frame,Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating
IP67-certified, – dust and water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes
|Colors||Gold, Space Gray, Silver|
|Chipset||Apple A11 Bionic|
|Processor||Hexa-core (2x Monsoon + 4x Mistral)|
|Graphics||New Apple 3-Core GPU|
|Memory||64/256 GB, 2GB RAM / 64/256GB, 3GB RAM|
|Connectivity||GSM/HSPA/LTE-A (4CA) Cat16
WiFi ac, dual-band, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, A-GPS, BDS, NFC (Apple Pay Only)Apple Lightning Connector
|Battery||Non-removable 1821/2691 mAh Li-Ion battery|
|Official Price||PhP 44,500/48,500|
|Availability date||September 2017|
|Where to buy||Apple Stores and authorized retailers|