Agonizing over whether or not to upgrade your iPhone has become a ritual of Fall. At first, it was all about timing your two-year contract period to end right at the moment the new one came out. Now that we've (generally) moved past that in phone plan land, however it's all about whether or not you think the newest features are worth shelling out for. As a result, scrolling through endless reviews with your Autumn-flavored latte in hand is just about as common as apple picking or being caught off guard by the sun setting far too early for you to catch any rays on your way home from work. So let's just cut to the chase: I've spent a whole lot of time with the iPhone 8 over the past few weeks, and I can absolutely, unequivocally say that it's totally worth it to make the switch.
My iPhone 6s has treated me well — we've spent a full two years together, after all — and while it's definitely on its last legs, the perfect case-and-screen-protector combo (found after years of intense trial and regrettable error) enabled me to skip last year's upgrade cycle. Full disclosure: I wasn't completely sold by the 7 and hadn't really been able to muster the enthusiasm needed to drag myself to the store to get a device that was eerily similar to the one that I had spent hours Candy Crushing on as I waited in line. But the 8, however. . . the 8 is worth that waiting and that line. Don't just take my (evidence free) word for it, though. Below, I've pulled together the five features that truly swayed me after getting the iPhone 8 into my hands — and, bonus, I promise you won't encounter any of that overly technical reviewspeak that tends to hijack even the most helpful of guides.
First, some real talk: anyone who says that they're totally OK with throwing down hundreds of dollars for something they don't actually love is probably lying. Second, with a starting price of $699, the iPhone 8 definitely still costs a lot — but it doesn't cross into that over-a-thousand-what-am-I-doing territory. The biggest selling point for me was being able to more effectively use the features that were introduced with iOS 11, like augmented reality (see below), but didn't quite run right on my older-model phone. In other words: you can get a whole hell of a lot more memory and a stronger processor with the 8, and it actually feels like an upgrade — so that makes the price tag worth it. And again, as much as we all desperately want the gorgeous beauty that is the X . . . the 8 feels like a different enough phone to make you feel pretty good about not spending all your savings in one fell swoop.
As I mentioned, as soon as iOS 11 rolled out, I was ON IT. But with my 6s, I wasn't able to get the sort of magic that I was expecting. With the 8, it actually makes AR feel natural and part of your everyday life — something I've never quite felt with VR. From games to home design to the most incredible photo and video editing that makes you feel like you're living in the future, the iPhone 8 has the processor that makes it feel like something that truly could be the future technology (at long last!) To get a sense of what I'm talking about, check out this rundown of my favorite apps and games that I dug into with my trusty iPhone 8.
I'll be honest: I was one of those people who figured that there was a good reason behind why wireless charging took so long to roll out and had kind of accepted that it was not an essential feature. Consider me schooled, though. Saying goodbye to annoyingly rooting behind my couch, beside my bed, and in drawers full of cords to find the right one that hadn't frayed and fit the current model — that has been one of the most cathartic things about the whole experience. Being able to calmly place my phone on a delightfully space-aged disc to bring it back to life has made me a much calmer person on a daily basis — and means that I'm not always fighting with my boyfriend for custody of the one Lightning cable in our living room. Bonus: being able to choose to charge things manually is great, too.
I have no clue how it is that Apple was able to get this feature to be so damn perfect, but my eyes are eternally grateful for the fact that looking at my phone is now so much more pleasant. True Tone at first is somewhat disorienting — it looks totally different than what you're used to, and you keep wanting to change it back — but it means that I'm finally looking at a Retina screen with the level of brightness that it's supposed to have (and not just guessing based on some Yahoo! Answers response I read like four years ago). Reading has never been so pleasant on a mobile device — full stop.
As someone who has always had relatively jittery hands, it's always been a bit of a challenge to get the perfect shot on the first try. As a result, I'm constantly having to go back and delete the 249 other versions of the photo that are slightly blurry before I'm able to isolate the perfect photo. No longer! The image stabilization definitely comes in handy (especially when I'm on the run, or want to take video) and let's be honest: every iPhone camera is successively better. The colors are brighter, the light is handled better, and frankly, I'm using a whole hell of a lot less memory. This is the one point on which I knew I'd be sold (I always am!), but it was still a pleasant surprise that I was as impressed with this latest camera upgrade as I was.