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Apple's Larger Smartphone Version: The Best iPhone 8 Plus Deals
Boasting an extra large 5.5-inch screen, an impressive Retina display, some snazzy improvements to the iPhone camera, and a beefed-up quad-core processor, the iPhone 8 Plus is a fitting addition to Apple's smartphone range.
This buyer's guide looks into what the newest Plus iPhone has to offer, how it relates to the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, and how buyers can find an iPhone 8 Plus at the lowest prices around.
iPhone 8 Plus: New Mobile for the Tenth Anniversary
The iPhone 8 Plus is one of the 8th generation phones in Apple's massively successful iPhone product line and a direct successor to the iPhone 7 Plus.
iPhones first appeared in 2007, when Steve Jobs sent a ripple of excitement through the tech world as he announced the release of a touchscreen based smartphone device. For the first time, people could use the same device to surf the web, play games, listen to music, take photos and send SMS messages or make calls. It was a genuine tech revolution and created a vast fan base for Apple's mobile phones.
10 years on, Apple's iPhones had changed a lot, but still retained the core look and feel. iOS was faster and better at multi-tasking than before. The phones could take 4K video. Screen size had increased, while the actual thickness of phones had diminished as the internal designs became ever more efficient and sophisticated.
In September 2017, the company announced the release of the 11th iPhone generation, sparking a rush to pre-order the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. All of these models included new features and improvements -- just as you'd expect. The release date of the iPhone 8 Plus UK was the 22nd September 2017.
What Puts the “Plus” in the iPhone 8 Plus?
Apple have been producing two versions of their iPhone for a few years now, with standard models and Plus models both being launched at the same time. Ever since the iPhone 6 Plus appeared, the Californian tech giant have offered consumers a choice of a smaller, slightly less powerful standard phone and a noticeably larger version which borders on “phablet” territory -- that is, Plus models tend to be halfway between a smartphone and a tablet.
In the case of the iPhone 8 Plus, you get a 5.5-inch Retina display as compared with the 4.7-inch screen included with its sister phone the iPhone 8. The resolution of the screen is higher as well at 1920 x 1080 pixels compared with 1334 x 750 for the standard model, and the camera is more advanced. With its dual wide-angle and telephoto rear camera, the iPhone 8 Plus has the ability to take some seriously beautiful landscape shots and family portraits.
Another area where the Plus outdoes the iPhone 8 is battery life. You'll get 21 hours of talk time compared with 14 hours and 60 hours of audio playback compared with 40 hours if you go for the larger option.
So, those are the main differences with the standard iPhone 8. However, it's what the two phones have in common that mark them out as a big step forward from the iPhone 7. For starters, they have exteriors made out of aerospace-grade glass. This doesn't just look good and limit their weight, it also enables wireless charging.
Both models come with Touch ID for security, and feature True Tone image processing via their Retina displays. This means that images and text will adjust themselves to make them easier to see in bright or dim conditions, and that the backgrounds of photos are cleverly blurred while the foregrounds are ultra-sharp, helping amateur snappers come up with some stunning images.
Both phones also have a brand new A11 Bionic processor, which whizzes along, making them more capable in the gaming, video streaming, app running, and VR departments, and both iPhone 8 models have excellent battery performance compared with their predecessors.
So it's easy to see why Apple have confidently applied the suffix “Plus” to the larger iPhone 8. It's a level up from the standard model, and a long way from last year's iPhone 7. In fact, the only Apple phone which beats it is the iPhone X -- a 10th anniversary special which has high-end specs (and a very high-end price tag).
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Unveiled
iPhone 8 Plus: Key Specifications
As usual with Apple iPhones, the iPhone 8 Plus has some very impressive specifications, and true tech fans will want to know all about them, so here's a quick run down of what you need to know:
CPU: An A11 Bionic quad-core processor with a neural engine and an embedded M11 motion coprocessor
Dimensions: 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm
Storage space: 64GB or 256GB
Display: 5,5-inch Retina HD display with True Tone technology
Display resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 401ppi
Camera: 12MP rear camera with telephoto and wide angle features and a 7MP FaceTime camera
Video recording: 4K at 24, 30 and 60 fps, 1080p at 30 or 60fps
Security: Features Touch ID
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 5.0
Connectors/ports: Single Lightning port
Battery life: 21 hours talk time, 13 hours internet use, 14 hours video playback, 60 hours audio playback
Charging time: Reaches 50% of charge in 30 minutes
Operating system: iOS 11
SIM Card: Nano SIM
Apple box includes: Apple AirPods, Lightning to 3.5mm adapter, Lightning to USB cable, USB power adapter, manual
Different iPhone 8 Plus Buying Options
Apple currently offer two different ways to buy the iPhone 8 Plus: a 64GB version and a 256GB version, where the GB refers to the size of the phone's disk storage space.
The iPhone 8 Plus64GB version is significantly cheaper, as you would expect. That's purely due to the fact that it has less storage space. Aside from that, there are no differences between the two models. The price difference can be as much as £150, so we're not talking about a small issue. What kind of factors would lead you to spend the extra cash for 192GB more space?
Well, there are a number of reasons why you'd opt for the iPhone 8 Plus 256GB version. If you intend to download a large amount of apps or games, you could well come up against capacity constraints if you go for the 64GB version. The same applies to people who take a lot of photos, and those who like to have large audio libraries on their smartphone. 64GB holds around 1,000 tracks -- enough for most people, but not nearly enough for others. So, if you're a fanatical audiophile, go for the larger capacity model.
Videographers are also advised to go for as much storage space as possible. 4K video is one of the iPhone 8 Plus' great strengths, but 4K footage is very memory intensive. If you intend to capture hours of footage, the 256GB model will allow you to do so without worrying about hitting a brick wall when the disk becomes clogged.
However, there are also sound reasons to choose the 64GB iPhone 8 Plus. Most of us don't need that much space for games or 4K footage. And with Apple Music, audio files can be stored elsewhere and called up when we need them. Essential apps like Facebook aren't that space intensive, and for many of us, they are what we spend most of our time on. So if you have minimal data needs, don't be swayed by the 256GB option. You can save cash by downsizing your ambitions, and spend the balance on extra data in your contract or accessories to use with the phone.
Ways to Buy an iPhone 8 Plus
Another key consideration for buyers is how they make the purchase. When it comes down to actually buying an iPhone 8 Plus, you've got a few options, and all of them will pop up at HotUKDeals from time to time. Here's a brief introduction to the payment methods available:
Buying from Apple – The most straightforward way to get your hands on an iPhone 8 Plus is to buy via the official Apple shop. Apple are just like any retailer, and regularly schedule discounts for customers, so look out for deals as they emerge. When you buy, everything can be handled online, including issues like insurance or membership of the iPhone Update Programme. In many cases, buying with Apple will entail larger upfront costs. They rarely offer massive savings for the handset itself, but while you'll pay more at first, you can customise them the way you use your phone to connect to mobile networks. For example, when you've got hold of an iPhone 8 Plus, you can scour the web for a SIM only deal which includes what you need and no more instead of all of the extras you'll get from mainstream mobile firms which add cost upon cost.
Buying from other electronics retailers – Apple aren't the only company who sell iPhones in the UK. In fact, you'll find deals from a wide range of merchants from John Lewis and Carphone Warehouse to Argos and Currys. All of them offer SIM-free unlocked phones, usually at prices close to those offered by Apple. The differences often lie in things like offering flexible credit, so that payments can be staggered over a few months. For example, Currys offer interest free credit for 6 months as an inducement to buy with them (before ratcheting up the interest rate for the remainder of the deal). Sometimes, these deals can be more generous than Apple, but not all the time, so exercise caution when buying. The advantage is that you have reputable retailers to turn to for support, and you can visit Currys or John Lewis for a chat (though Apple Stores are also fairly easy to find these days as well).
Buying an iPhone 8 Plus and a contract – The most popular option is to purchase your phone and a SIM contract at the same time. This can be done via mobile network providers like Vodafone or Three or via retailers like Carphone Warehouse, who also let you buy unlocked SIM-free phones. These contracts always come with bells and whistles like access to BT Sport, free Apple Music subscriptions or global roaming, and these features may well make them appealing for some buyers. For instance, Vodafone's Global Roaming packages are great for travellers. However, these deals are almost always more expensive than buying the phone and then a SIM only deal. If they come with features that you definitely want, that's great. However, don't be persuaded by a few big promises, and filter out the dubious deals from the genuine value for money spectaculars. HotUKDeals make separating the two fairly easy, and there are some excellent handset and contract deals out there.
Should You Go for an iPhone 8 Plus, a Plain iPhone 8 or an iPhone X?
Right. Here's one of the biggest questions for 11th generation iPhone buyers: should you go for the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 8 Plus?
We've already run through a few of the differences between the two models, but it's well worth recapping some of them. For starters, the iPhone 8 Plus has a much larger screen (5.5-inches as opposed to 4.7-inches). That's a lot more real estate for watching Game of Thrones, playing games or just reading web pages.
The iPhone 8 Plus also has a superior camera with telephoto and wide angle capabilities that the iPhone 8 doesn't possess. If you are a camera buff and want to exploit your phone's image-making abilities to the full, you'll want to go for the Plus variety just for this reason.
Travellers might also prefer the battery life on the iPhone 8 Plus. With 20 hours more audio listening time and more gaming, web surfing, talking and video watching time too, the iPhone 8 Plus is less likely to let you down mid-flight.
Then again, there are some big advantages to the iPhone 8. Firstly, it's cheaper -- quite a lot cheaper in some cases. Secondly, it's smaller. The 60g difference might not seem like much in the hand, but if you use the phone for hours on end, you'll notice the difference. The smaller dimensions also make it more portable and pocket-friendly -- a key consideration for some users.
The Plus is great for people who want to stand their phone up as a streaming device and who prefer larger screen sizes. But the standard iPhone 8 is almost as impressive. Sometimes, the decision just comes down to which deals are available. If you see an iPhone 8 Plus at an eye-catching price, go for it. If not, the iPhone 8 is almost as good.
To add an extra element of choice into the mix, some buyers might also want to consider the iPhone X. Released on the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, the X has a completely new (and huge) OLED display without bezels or a Home button, extremely high-end specs and an amazing contrast ratio. As far as the technical side goes, it's out of this world -- but it's also vers expensive, so it won't be for everyone.
Some Handy Accessories to Buy With an iPhone 8 Plus
When you purchase an iPhone 8 Plus, the range of accessories you buy at the same time really matters. Apple has its own range of add-ons to suit the new phone, while there's no shortage of third party accessories either. Here are some major contenders for your cash:
Wireless charging pads – Why invest in a smart new iPhone with wireless charging if you don't have the hardware to do it justice? With tools like the Belkin Wireless Pad, all you need to do is place an iPhone 8 Plus on the pad and let the magic of wireless charging take effect.
Covers and screen protectors – The new glass exterior of the iPhone 8 Plus allows it to charge wirelessly and looks the part, but it also feels a little vulnerable to scratches and knocks. With a good case from companies like UAG or Olixar, you can keep your phone safe and sound wherever you take it.
In-car holders – Many people love to have their iPhone at their fingertips in the car, and the only way to do this safely is to have an in-car wireless holder like the Goji Qi.
Battery packs – Brands like Belkin offer a little bit of extra insurance for people who are taking their iPhone on the road. If you intend to go camping of you're hitting the festival circuit, power banks like the Belkin 6600mAh battery pack are a real essential.
Extra long charging cables – Sometimes, the charging cable provided by Apple just isn't long enough, but help is at hand. Brands like Nomad offer rugged, 10-feet long cables that will provide total freedom to charge your phone when and where you need to.
How to Purchase an iPhone 8 Plus at the Best Price
The 11th generation of Apple's iPhone range is a formidable addition to the smartphone scene, and it comes at the traditional iPhone price. So it makes sense to take whatever opportunities arise to find the cheapest iPhone 8 Plus on the market.
We've had a look at some of the ways to purchase an iPhone, and noted some of their potential pitfalls, but so far we haven't looked at how to actually find the best deals. Well, thanks to the web, doing so isn't hard.
If you want to find the latest iPhone 8 Plus discounts, HotUKDeals is your first port of call. Our iPhone 8 Plus listings aggregate deals from all of the UK's biggest mobile tech merchants, including familiar names like Carphone Warehouse, John Lewis, Currys, the Apple Store, and Amazon. There are also plenty of contract and SIM deals from networks like Vodafone, O2, Three, and Sky Mobile – so the whole iPhone market is covered.
Shop around by browsing the list of deals until you find a device at the lowest possible price. Always remember to total up the initial outlay and the cost of payments, and don't be fooled by low upfront costs. It's the price over the term of the contract that matters.
If you can wait until November, Black Friday is also a great time to order an iPhone 8 Plus. Many leading retailers cut the cost of marquee electronics, and iPhones are always part of the fun. But remember that Black Friday deals are always short-lived. You'll find a digest of the best of them at HotUKDeals, so don't miss out!
Update Your Smartphone with the iPhone 8 Plus Offers at HotUKDeals
Apple's iPhone 8 Plus has an extra-large screen, a beautiful new camera, wireless charging and one of the most powerful processors ever implanted in a mobile device. Overall, it's a worthy successor to the iPhone 6 and 7, and is sure to be another huge hit for the tech giant. Anyone who needs an affordable way to update their phone can do so by consulting the iPhone 8 Plus listings at HotUKDeals.