Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus: Should you upgrade?

Thinking about ditching last year's dual-camera beast?

With the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple finally gave us a compelling reason to pick the larger Plus-sized model for something other than screen size: the camera.

Or cameras, rather. With the addition of the dual-camera setup on the back, we picked up a nice handful of shooting perks that helped elevate the overall benefit equation, making it the must-have iPhone over the last year.

Now, has Apple done the same with the iPhone 8 Plus a year later? Unlike the 7 Plus, it doesn't pack many additional huge benefits that really set it apart from the standard iPhone 8, but it does bring a few extra perks over last year's phone.

But given the £719+ (RM4000+) you spent on your big phone sometime in the last 12 months, do you really want to do it all over again? Here's what we think based on the specs, features, and our hands-on time with the iPhone 8 Plus.

Design: Glass-tastic

If you catch a glance of the iPhone 8 Plus from the front, you might think you're looking at your own iPhone 7 Plus. Or the iPhone 6s Plus. Or even the iPhone 6 Plus.

It's true: Apple kept the same core design here, from the front of the phone to the aluminum frame. But what's this on the back? It's glass! Beautiful, reflective glass, returning to the iPhone for the first time since the iPhone 4s.

It looks great, whether you opt for Silver, Space Gray, or Gold, and it adds just a hair of thickness to the phone in the process – but hopefully not enough to ruin any accessories you might carry over. Going for glass brings another big perk (keep reading!), but otherwise, it's the one big visual switch here to Apple's three-year-old design.

Screen: Much the same

Likewise, Apple hasn't made any big moves with the iPhone 8 Plus display, unlike the new OLED screen on the iPhone X. Here, it's all about small refinements.

Once more, it's a 5.5in LCD display at 1080p resolution, much as it's been since the iPhone 6 Plus. Last year's screen was a sharp, bright beauty, albeit just a step behind in crispness from the Galaxy S7 and other top Android flagships.

This time around, Apple is using bringing over its True Tone technology from recent iPad models, which automatically adjusts the colour based on your ambient lighting conditions. We should see stronger contrast on this model, too – but otherwise, don't expect any big leaps or advancements from the iPhone 7 Plus. It should seem mostly the same in everyday usage.

Camera: Some perks

The iPhone 7 Plus packed big camera enhancements, as previously mentioned, with the second camera added to the back to enable optical image zooming without shedding detail, as well the cool Portrait mode for DSLR-like blurred backdrop shots.

By comparison, the iPhone 8 Plus doesn't have a huge camera addition, and it doesn't have the cool True Depth front-facing camera system from the iPhone X. But it does offer refinements on last year's theme, making it very much like an "iPhone 7s Plus" in that respect.

Only one of the 12-megapixel back cameras, the main wide angle f/1.8 sensor, has optical image stabilisation – like the iPhone 7 Plus had last year. The Portrait mode gains a new Portrait Lighting feature, though, which lets you play with faux lighting conditions to really amplify and embellish those special shots.

Apple says the sensors are also faster and larger, while the Portrait mode should work even better than before. But really, these seem like pretty modest tweaks overall.