2017 was the first time Apple released three mainstream iPhone models in the same year. The first announcements at the stage were the iPhone 8 and 8+, and the iPhone X was revealed after that.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus didn’t get the most media attention since the X was the show’s star. Many iPhone 8 and 8 Plus units still sold since the X came with a staggering 999$ price tag at the time.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus miss out on Face ID, a good-resolution OLED panel, and the new design. However, these two phones shipped with the same chipset as the iPhone X- the A11 Bionic.
Recap of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
For 699$, iPhone 8 did not have any cutting-edge specifications. A 4.7″ 625 Nits 720P LCD wasn’t competitive in an era of 1080P and even 1440P OLED displays.
There’s only one primary camera for the iPhone 8, a 28mm 12MP camera- with OIS. There’s also a 7MP front camera. This phone also had physical hardware components to enable proper 3D Touch.
The only saving grace for the iPhone 8 is the 10nm A11 Bionic SOC. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X share this same SOC.
The iPhone 8 Plus sold for 799$ and had slightly better internals. The size difference aside (4.7″ vs. 5.5″), the 8 Plus also has a larger battery.
Two main highlights of the 8 Plus are the addition of a second 2X telephoto camera and a 1080P display. The 2X zoom camera is responsible for much better portrait mode photos since the 50-85mm range is the best for portrait mode photos.
People still bought the 8 and 8 Plus since they were much cheaper phones, and the 8+ had the same performance and camera quality. These two phones also have a familiar design with Touch ID and a home button.
Many people had to re-learn how to navigate on an iPhone with the X, and to this day, many people still prefer a home button navigation system. This is why the recent iPhone SE 2022 with a home button still sold over 20 Million units.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus update history
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus shipped out of the box with iOS 11. The App Store got a new design, adding many extra categories and new apps. Several first-party apps got modern designs and more features.
Portrait mode didn’t support HDR earlier, and OIS didn’t work with it. After iOS 11, the portrait mode shots were sharper since the camera is more stable with OIS, as the lens physically moves to counteract your hand movements.
Standard photo and video formats, JPEG and MOV, were very heavy on storage. With videos filling up much of it, Apple introduced HEIF and HEVC formats for better storage efficiency.
The first significant update for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus was iOS 12 on September 17, 2018, which brought UI responsiveness and performance refinements. There were new features for first-party apps like Apple News, Books, Messages, Music, Stocks, Podcasts, etc.
The phones got iOS 13 on September 19, 2019, with dark mode and a better photos app. And on September 16, 2020, two significant features were added with iOS 14- the App Library, which collected all your apps into one neat page instead of needing to put them all on the home screen. Another feature was widgets on the home screen.
On September 20, 2021, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus got the iOS 15 update, which brought Live Text and some ecosystem features.
They got the iOS 16 update on September 12, 2022. It was feature-packed, with new features for iMessage, Lock Screen customization and widgets, battery percentage indicator, haptics on the keyboard, and many more.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus also recently got the latest iOS 16.5 on May 2023.
Apple has simplified the process of installing beta software. They have added a new “Beta Updates” menu within the Settings app. If you own an iPhone X and iOS 17 is available for your device, you can check out our comprehensive guide to install the iOS 17 developer beta.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus iOS 17 update status
All iPhones with the A10 Bionic chip and under could not receive the iOS 16 update. Since Apple does not explicitly promise six major updates, it is currently unclear if the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be able to receive the iOS 17 update.
These two phones already got the number of updates they were promised. Apple might drop support mainly because of Boot ROM security vulnerability. This is a hardware issue with the A11 Bionic; they can’t fix it with software. You can jailbreak the phone if exploited, which is a huge security risk.
If Apple considers this a significant security flaw, it probably won’t receive iOS 17. That’s unfortunate since iOS 17 might bring many features, new icon designs, and more home screen customization.
If you currently own an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus and think the battery isn’t up to the mark, it’s worth upgrading to the newer models since they have much more to offer.
If Apple drops support, you will miss out on many new features. We’ll update you if there’s further information about iOS 17 support on older devices.