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iPhone 8 release date, price and specs: Handset faces off against the Galaxy S8 in a, er, blender

APPLE HAS UNVEILED the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the respective successors to last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. 

The duo of smartphones, which were rumoured to arrive as the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, offer some major upgrades over last year’s models, including a new all-glass design, a new A11 Bionic chip under the hood and support for wireless charging for the first time.

See also: iPhone X release date, price and specs

We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about picking up the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and will update this article when we hear more.

Release date
Pre-orders for the iPhone 8 will began on Friday 15 September, with shipping kicking off on 22 September.

However, you’ll be hard pushed to bag yourself an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus on launch day, as all models are now showing as shipping within “one to two weeks” over on the Apple Store and at some UK networks. 

Price
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are now available to buy at the Apple Store with a choice of 64GB or 256GB storage, with models fetching £689, £849, £749 and £949, respectively.

Carphone Warehouse is offering the iPhone 8 on tariffs with EE, iD, O2, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone. Prices start from £59.99 on a 24-month £49 contract with O2, which comes with unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 5GB data. It’s also offering the iPhone 8 Plus, with prices starting at £129.99 on a £49 per month O2 contract.

BT has started taking orders for the iPhone 8, with prices starting at £250 on a £47 tariff that comes with 400 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB data. It’s also offering the iPhone 8 Plus on the same contract, but it’ll cost you £300 upfront.

EE is selling the iPhone 8, with prices starting at £99.99 on a £47.99 tariff which comes with 1GB monthly data. EE is recommending you sign up to the firm’s £67.99 (!) per month tariff, which comes with a £9.99 upfront cost and a hefty 100GB monthly data. Orders have also kicked off for the iPhone 8 Plus, with prices starting at £149.99 on a £52.99 tariff with 2GB data included.

O2 has opened up iPhone 8 orders over on its website, and is promising delivery in “up to three weeks.” The operator is recommending its £63 per month tariff, which comes with a £29.99 upfront cost and 20GB data. The iPhone 8 Plus is available on the same 20GB tariff but will cost you £67 per month. 

Sky Mobile is offering the iPhone 8 on its ‘Swap12’ and ‘Swap24’ plans, with pricing starting at £32 per month for 500MB data and unlimited calls and texts for Sky TV customers. If you’re after more data, Sky has 1GB, 5GB and 10GB plans priced at £37, £42 and £47 per month, respectively. The iPhone 8 Plus is available on identical 500MB, 1GB, 5GB and 10GB plans, but will cost you can extra £5 per month.

Three is taking orders and is offering the iPhone 8, which is available from £79 on s £55 tariff which comes with 12GB data and unlimited texts and minutes. The iPhone 8 Plus is available on the same plan but will cost you £60 per month. 

Vodafone has promptly kicked off pre-orders and is offering the iPhone 8 for £30 from £54 per month, which will get you 4GB data, unlimited texts and unlimited minutes. It’s also selling the iPhone 8 Plus, which is available for £58 from £60 per month with 4GB data.

Virgin Mobile has, as promised, is also taking orders for the iPhone 8. Pricing starts at £29 per month with no upfront cost, a tariff that comes with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1.2GB data. You can upgrade to 4GB data for £32 per month. It’s also offering the iPhone 8 Plus from £37 per month.

In the US, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus can be picked up from ATT, Best Buy, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon

Latest news and specs
29/9/17: 
The iPhone 8 has faced off against the Galaxy S8 in a, er blender. It didn’t fare too well, either, as after just a spins the iPhone 8 was reduced to pieces. The Galaxy S8’s metal frame, however, somehow managed to survive the ordeal, and even came out with a few bits of glass clinging onto the robust frame. 


27/9/17: 
Apple has confirmed an issue with the iPhone 8’s earpiece after some users complained that it makes a “crackling” sound that disrupts the audio. The firm said in a statement that a “small number” of users are affected, and said that it is “working on a fix, which will be included in an upcoming software release.”

A27/9/17: If you’re the proud owner of an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, try not to drop it. SquareTrade has tested the ‘breakability’ of the smartphone duo using a variety of tests including face-down drops and a water resistance and bendability tests, and found that, although not a prone to shattering as the Galaxy Note 8, Apple’s new iPhones are  pretty fragile, with the iPhone 8 cracking on the first drop. The iPhone 8 earned a breakability score of 67, while the iPhone 8 Plus scored 74. 


25/9/17:
Despite news of lacklustre queues across the UK as punters hold out for the iPhone X, Tim Cook has boasted that the iPhone 8, along with the Apple Watch 3, has sold out in “so many places.” Speaking to CNBC, Cook said: “We’ve sold out of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in some stores, but we’ve got good supply there. You can see what’s going on here this morning — I couldn’t be happier.”

22/9/17: Apple’s new iPhone arrived in the UK today, but was met by underwhelming queues. The Metro reports that lines outside Apple Stores are “shorter than usual”, with many likely holding out for the iPhone X.

12/9/17: Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus at its much-hyped ‘Apple Event’, which also saw the launch of the Apple TV 4K, Apple Watch 3 and, of course, the 10th-anniversary iPhone X.

The duo of smartphones feature a new aluminium-reinforced all-glass design, reminiscent of that seen on the iPhone 4. This glass, Apple claims, is the most durable glass to ever feature on a smartphone, while both phones also offer IP67 certification.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the first phones to pack Apple’s new A11 processor, a six-core CPU that’s divided into two low-performance cores and four high-performance cores, with the regular cores being 25 per cent faster than the previous A10 chip, and the high-performance cores being up to 75 per cent faster than the A10 SoC.

This new A11 chip comes paired with the first Apple designed GPU, which explains why Apple dumped Brit graphics outfit Imagination Technologies. This GPU offers a 30 per cent performance boost compared to the A10, according to Apple.

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There’s a Retina HD (1334×750) screen with True Tone display at the forefront of the smartphones, measuring in at 4.7in and 5.1in, respectively, and you’ll find a Home button sitting underneath and new stereo speakers at the top and button of the handset.  

On the camera front, the iPhone 8 features an “all new” 12MP sensor, while the iPhone 8 Plus features new-and-improved f/1.8 and f/2.8 sensors.

Wireless charging support is also included, and while Apple tends to opt for its own proprietary tech, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will support the Qi standard, which means customers will be able to use third-party accessories. µ

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