Sci & Tech editor Katie Jones and writer Sonal Tandon review the new iPhone 8 – is it worth the money?
“Say hello to the future” are the words which greet you on the iPhone website. If this slogan was used by any company other than Apple, it would probably be seen as a little pretentious. However, with the hype which always surrounds the release of every one of their products, you could argue that this statement is simply a reflection of reality. While some people may have some issues with Apple as a company, there is no denying the enduring popularity of their iPhones.
Part of the allure for people buying the most recent iPhones are the cumulative technological advancements which are ready and waiting for the masses to explore at their fingertips. Nearly all iPhones, when released, challenge the capabilities of its predecessor with an abundance of new features. The iPhone 8 and X are no exception to this rule. Both are powered with the A11 Bionic multi-core processor – the fastest and most powerful chip in an iPhone to date – which not only enhances the performance of the device, but also prolongs battery life by up to twelve hours due to four of the six cores in the processor being dedicated to energy efficiency. This innovation vastly improves the new iPhones’ suitability for mobile gaming and augmented reality apps. In addition to this, both iPhones also boast wireless charging, water resistance and a 12MP camera – Apple’s best rear camera in a mobile phone to date. As an even bigger step up, the iPhone X has left behind the traditional setup of previous models by completely ditching the home button in favour of a more streamlined screen without bevels. There has also been the introduction of facial recognition instead of touch ID, made necessary through the lack of a button, which Apple claim is actually safer than the original fingerprint technology, although it is still far from foolproof.
Sounds all good, right? Let the price hit you like the realisation that a degree no longer equals a job: £699 for the cheapest iPhone 8 and an eye-watering £999 for the cheapest iPhone X. Are the new features really worth the price? Especially as many of these new features are clearly added with a target market in mind: young people – the vast majority of whom just don’t have the money.
As someone who doesn’t have an iPhone, Sonal Tandon tells us why she was never impressed:
I have often wondered what the hype was about iPhones. Never having owned one myself, I have never experienced the hypnotic lure that seems to send everyone to the nearest Apple store to procure the latest model.
Whether you’re Team Android or a self-confessed slave to Apple, there is no denying that an iPhone has become a must-have accessory in the so-called millennial age with their distinctive design and user-friendly interface. Apple have always been clever enough to recognise trends and cash in on them (rose gold iPhones being the obvious example).
However, when the key features of a smartphone focus on aesthetics and a few snazzy features (even I was impressed with Siri when it came out), other aspects of the device are bound to suffer. The most obvious is durability (or the lack thereof). Perhaps it is an unfortunate coincidence that so many iPhones I have seen have smashed screens, ranging from the few cracks in the corner to the complete spider web effect, most likely a result of the cheap, poor quality components from which iPhones tend to be manufactured. I would hope, however, that the iPhone X would be a little more durable, especially with its glass casing, the ever-increasing price of their already expensive screen repair service and its hefty £999 price-tag.
Also, how can anyone justify that kind of money for a phone? I wouldn’t willingly go and carry a thousand pounds in my hands around the neighbourhood, in a queue, or at a party. So why would I want to carry around the equivalent: a flashy iPhone X? As well as making yourself a target for theft (or giving yourself a heart attack if you misplaced it accidentally) why purchase the iPhone X when you can buy a more powerful computer for less?