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iPhone 8 goes on sale amid eXpectations

Physically, the main difference between Apple's iPhone 8 (right) and 8 Plus and last year's models is a glass back which facilitates wireless charging.

Here's a sneak peek at the new Apple iPhone 8 & 8 Plus:


GADGET lovers who must have the latest and greatest Apple iPhone will be tempted by the official retail release of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus on Friday, but likely conflicted too.

Ordinarily, there would be no quandary for Apple fans because the two models are indeed the latest and greatest from Apple that one can buy right now.

For the first time, however, another flagship iPhone model, the iPhone X, will go on pre-order on Oct 27 and become available a mere seven days after that.

The iPhone 8 (S$1,148-S$1,388 without contract) and 8 Plus (S$1,308-S$1,548 without contract) sport designs almost identical to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus they replace, while the iPhone X (S$1,648-S$1,888 without contract) features a complete redesign.

The iPhone X has a larger 5.8-inch screen than the 5.5-inch screen on the iPhone 8 Plus, yet is smaller and lighter, although the iPhone 8 remains the smallest and lightest among the trio.

What is a gadget shopper to do? Buy now and potentially regret that impatience when the iPhone X is released or wait for the iPhone X when either of the iPhone 8 models is actually the right fit?

The decision isn't really that difficult, especially since there are now only two storage capacities to choose from for both models: 64GB or 256GB.

The iPhone X's significantly higher price is already a dealbreaker for some. Meanwhile, in spite of the external similarities of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus to their predecessors, their internals are significantly upgraded in most areas.

Phone processors may have long gone past the point where raw speed makes a difference to the average user, but brawnier chips also enable some unique abilities, such as Portrait Lighting in the iPhone 8 Plus, which provides dramatic photo effects that are far from being gimmicks. The cameras take better photos. The touchscreens feature the True Tone colour technology introduced in Apple's 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which makes for ideal colours regardless of ambient lighting.

Physically, the main difference between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and last year's models is a glass back. And while it's pretty, it more importantly facilitates wireless charging. Although wireless charging isn't included in the box, any charger that supports the Qi wireless standard will work.

True, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus owners won't be tempted to upgrade, but for anyone who owns an iPhone 6s or older and isn't willing to pay the premium for an iPhone X when it becomes available, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are worthwhile upgrades.

The real question is whether or not to also buy an Apple Watch Series 3 (starts at S$498), which also goes on sale today, although the top end LTE version hasn't been launched here yet.

Watch BT's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus video as we demo wireless charging and the new Portrait Lighting feature:

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