iPhone 8 PLUS $799

Solid upgrades out before new iPhone X

Apple has three new phones coming this fall. While most of the attention has been focused on the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 ($699) and iPhone 8 Plus hit stores last week — and at a lower price than the iPhone X’s $1,000 price tag.

Both are solid updates to the iPhone line. If you don’t mind the size and the price bump, the iPhone 8 Plus is more appealing. The camera features are worth paying for — as is the extra battery life — even if the size feels a little cumbersome at times.

The iPhone 8 Plus is larger, at 5.5 inches to the iPhone 8’s 4.7 inches. In terms of the way they operate, the most noticeable difference between the two is in the camera. The iPhone 8 Plus has a dual camera, which allows it to provide a greater sense of depth in your pictures and helps the camera distinguish between foreground and background.

There are also some usability differences, which mirror closely what we have seen from other iPhone/iPhone Plus lines. The iPhone 8 Plus is more like a tablet, and those who watch a lot of video will appreciate its larger screen.

Perhaps most important for the productivity focused, there is a battery life difference. The iPhone 8 Plus definitely has better battery life than its smaller sibling, even when being used heavily. The iPhone 8 will get you through the day. You will have some juice left with the Plus.

A new feature that has come to both of these phones is wireless charging. You can use any charging pad that uses the Qi standard — the most common wireless charging technology. Charging didn’t seem superfast on the wireless charger — and can be derailed by a bump to your nightstand or a misbehaving pet, for example. But it felt like the phones filled up at about the same pace as they would on the cord.

The most gee-whiz feature of the phones is the augmented reality function that overlays digital objects onto the real world through the camera. These made it feel like these phones are pushing the iPhone forward — even if they are set to be outshone by the iPhone X on the innovation front.

Not that interested in the camera features, but want a new iPhone? Stick with the iPhone 8, which has received a very nice upgrade even if it’s not going to blow you away. Of course, if you want the most innovative iPhone of all, you may want to wait until we get more time with the iPhone X, which is due for preorder in late October.