Is iPhone 8 Still Worth Buying in 2021?

Some people might be reluctant to consider getting an iPhone 8 because the model seems outdated. After all, the iPhone 8 became available in September 2017. 

On the other hand, current-gen smartphones can cost more than 1000 dollars. Given such a price, it makes sense to seek an older model that still has the necessary smartphone features and is not too expensive. 

The question is how far back you can go to still have a reliable smartphone without overspending. 

Let’s take a look at where the iPhone 8 model stands and whether it is still worth getting one in 2021. 

Missing iPhone 8 Features

Since iPhone 8 is old, it is natural that it lacks certain things one can find in newer models. Some of the notable missing features on iPhone 8 include:

  • Face ID
  • Portrait mode
  • Night mode
  • 5G support
  • LiDAR Scanner for Night mode
  • Compatibility with MagSafe accessories
  • HDR display
  • Haptic Touch
  • Next-gen Neural Engine
  • Audio zoom
  • QuickTake video
  • Stereo recording
  • Streamed video playback

While these missing features are a problem, iPhone 8 has a few things that make it a superior option in the eyes of some smartphone users. For example, the lack of the home button means that there is a missing sense of familiarity for those who have owned an iPhone with the home button before. 

If an iPhone owner is used to pressing the home button to return to the Home screen, switch apps, or push-to-talk to enable Siri, they will no longer have this luxury.

The recent switch to Face ID from Touch ID might also be a deal-breaker for some users. Not everyone is keen to use their face to unlock a smartphone because it takes more time than just to tap a finger.

Another thing to note about Face ID is that new iPhone models had problems identifying owners wearing masks on their faces, which is quite an issue during a global pandemic.

Even if these features might not seem like that big of a deal, they still make a difference and should be considered when you are on the fence about getting an iPhone 8.

Design and Display

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are available in gold, silver, and space gray. 

One of the first things that stand out about the iPhone 8 design is the glass rear, which is better than the aluminum body that was used since the iPhone 5. 

Does iPhone 8 have wireless charging?

The inclusion of the glass rear means that you can take advantage of the wireless charging feature. In fact, Apple first introduced wireless charging with the iPhone 8.

iPhone 8 also has a notch, a design choice which some people refer to as a flaw rather than a feature. Housing the smartphone’s sensors and front-facing cameras, the so-called notch can look awkward, especially on a white-colored iPhone 8. 

In terms of size, it would be difficult to notice a difference between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 or iPhone 6. 

At the height of 5.45 inches and the width of 2.65 inches, the iPhone feels rather comfortable in your hand. Besides, the smartphone weighs 5.22 ounces, which is not that different from other models. If you compare the iPhone 8 to the iPhone 12, the latter weighs only 0.52 ounces more. 

The iPhone 8 is rated IP67 under IEC standard 60529, meaning that it can last up to 30 minutes in the maximum depth of 1 meter if thrown in the water. 

The 4.7-inch Retina HD display may be inferior to the Super Retina XDR display one can find in the most recent iPhone models. However, the display is still solid enough to justify using the iPhone 8 over newer models.

The iPhone 8 also has a True Tone display and Wide color display—features that are identical to those available on the iPhone 12.

Headphones – does iPhone 8 have a headphone jack?

Some people might find the lack of a traditional headphone jack disappointing, but this feature has been discontinued for a while. Instead of relying on the traditional headphone jack, you have three other options: the Apple earbuds that come with the smartphone, wireless headphones, such as AirPods, and an adapter for the standard headphone jack. 

  • Included headphones

EarPods are Apple earbuds that come with the iPhone 8. You connect the accessory to the Lightning port (bottom of the smartphone) to enjoy the sound. The sound quality is good, though there is one drawback—charging or syncing the iPhone is unavailable when the earbuds are connected to the Lightning port.

  • Wireless headphones

AirPods are usually the go-to choice for wireless headphones, but any headphones should work so long as they are Bluetooth-compatible. 

To pair the headphones with your smartphone, open the iPhone’s Settings tab, tap on Bluetooth, and enable it.

  • Headphones with an adapter

If you are not a fan of the included iPhone 8 earbuds or do not wish to bother with wireless headphones, get the Apple’s Lightning Headphone Jack adapter and combine it with any headphones that have a standard headphone jack and use that instead.

Camera

On paper, a single wide 12MP camera should be decent enough to cover your needs. The f/1.8 aperture, a 5X digital, and optical image stabilization make for a solid package.

The iPhone 8 camera also shoots 4K video at 60 FPS and offers 240fps slow-mo recording. The recording is available not just in 720p but also in Full HD at 1080p.

Like with most other iPhone models, it is not that difficult to use the iPhone 8 camera. There is no overabundance of camera settings. The photo quality is pretty great, especially if you take photos outside, when there’s lots of light.

On the other hand, photography becomes trickier if you want to take pictures in low light settings. More often than not, the picture quality is lackluster. Unlike its successors, the iPhone 8 is missing the Night mode. 

The missing portrait mode might be a hindrance to some users. The feature that is available in newer iPhone models comes in quite handy when you want to create a depth-of-field effect. Some photos just look sharper when the focus is on the subject and the background is blurred.

Filming a one-minute 4K video at 60 FPS will take around 400MB of storage. If you buy the 64GB iPhone 8, you will need to keep tabs on the smartphone’s storage in case you wish to film high-quality videos with the phone.

Finally, because the iPhone 8 lacks the TrueDepth camera, which is available in iPhone X and later models, there is no compatibility with Animoji. You can still receive animated emojis from iPhone users whose smartphone has TrueDepth, but creating emoji characters on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is not available.

Overall, the camera does its job pretty well. There are a few inconveniences, most notably, the missing Night mode and Portrait mode, but for the most part, you should be more than happy with the iPhone 8 camera.

Battery Life

A built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery is the standard for iPhone batteries. Even though Apple doesn’t like to reveal exactly how long an iPhone’s battery lasts, one can still make an educated guess after some testing.

In the case of the iPhone 8 battery life, so long as the battery is in good condition, it should last just about a day on a single charge, which is not too bad. After all, many people are used to charging their smartphones every day anyway, especially if they use the device a lot.

Like previously mentioned, the iPhone 8 was the first model to come with wireless charging, courtesy of the glass rear introduction. Since wireless charging could not work through metal bodies, Apple had to adapt and use a different material. They chose sturdy glass instead, and it worked.

Keep in mind, though, that while the idea of wireless charging has its advantages, such as the conveniences of not relying on cables and adapters, the iPhone will take more time to charge. If you are in a hurry and need to fill up the iPhone’s battery bar fast, a wired connection is still the way to go.

If you purchase a used iPhone 8 model and notice that the battery is pretty much dead, you can order a replacement from the official Apple store. A new iPhone 8 battery costs $ 49 with a $ 6.95 shipping fee. 

Performance and Processor

Let’s talk about the smartphone’s performance and processor. The iPhone 8 model was the first to receive the A11 bionic chip. A six-core processor was a welcome step-up from previous iterations. At the time, people who purchased the iPhone 8 noticed that the overall performance of the new model has improved, even if only slightly.

So long as the hardware is in decent condition, the iPhone 8 should load its applications promptly. If you are a fan of mobile games, you should not run into performance issues when playing games. However, do not expect the battery to last a long time if you plan to play mobile games on your iPhone 8.

Software Updates – does ios 15 work on iphone 8?

The upcoming iOS 15 update is expected to hit in September 2021. So far, Apple has revealed that the new operating system will offer spatial audio to FaceTime, the feature for the Android users to join FaceTime, a redesigned weather app, and more.

Does iOS 15 work on iPhone 8? Apple has recently announced that iPhone 8 will, indeed, receive the iOS 15 update

How long will iPhone 8 be supported?

Of course, the odds of the iPhone 8 receiving all the iOS 15 benefits are pretty much nonexistent, but even so, new software updates are appreciated.

If you were to look at previous-gen iPhones, some of the support after discontinuation stopped as early as 47 months in (iPhone 5C), and some lasted for as long as 93 months (iPhone 4S). 

The best we can do is speculate, but the most recent trends do suggest that iPhone 8 should receive Apple’s support for at least a couple more years, especially since the company already announced that iPhone 8 is getting an iOS 15 update.

Verdict and Competition

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the iPhone 8 might seem outdated. Just because there are more recently released iPhone models, like iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone XS, iPhone SE 2020, the iPhone 8 is still a solid option overall.

The model fits the bill for an average iPhone user. Sure, it might not boast of having the latest features, but given the price tag of around $200 and what the smartphone has to offer, it is still worth consideration.

So if you are an iOS fan and are looking to get a new smartphone for yourself without splashing more than you can afford, the iPhone 8 is a good pick.

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