- Middling battery life
- No fast charger in the box
The battery life on the iPhone 8 Plus has been pleasing – the day-to-day tasks, those that don't require intense effort on the part of the phone – don't eat away the battery anywhere near as much as they did on previous iPhones.
If we were just playing graphically easy games, using WhatsApp or browsing social networks we were easily able to make it to the end to the day without a problem.
A day of taking photos, moving around a lot (which triggers the motion sensor) and playing (non-intensive) games saw us with over 20% of battery life still left at 8pm. Add in a wireless charging pad for regular top-ups and you'll rarely have a battery emergency.
That said, between 8pm and midnight the battery level slipped rather rapidly – you'll want to switch to Low Power Mode at this point, and it's still irritating that you can't set this as the default.
It's also frustrating that while the iPhone 8 Plus supports fast charging – 50% in half an hour from dead – you'll need to buy a dedicated cable and charger in order to take advantage of it, which sucks.
Most rivals offer fast charging right out of the box, and it's a shame that Apple hasn’t joined the revolution.
The speed of wireless charging is impressive though. It's not linear, in that your phone will start charging rapidly but can then slow a little, but the general speed isn't too far off that of a wired connection, which is what you'd hope for if you're going to be picking up and putting down your phone regularly.
In our standard battery run-down test, where we loop a Full HD video for 90 minutes at full brightness, the performance was about average. We expected the iPhone 8 Plus to perform better to be honest… it dropped 23%, which is similar to many other flagship phones - though the likes of the newer iPhone XR have it slightly beat, with that phone dropping 20%.
It's hard to see why it didn’t do better – with a more efficient processor, it’s actually a slightly worse score than on the iPhone 6S Plus. It just shows that Apple hasn't really improved the battery performance much – although, given it's got a lot smaller battery than in previous Plus models (for some reason) that's actually an impressive feat of engineering.
Apple has gone from a large 2,900mAh battery to the smallest its ever shoved into its phablet, presumably to facilitate the wireless charging. It's still a shame that's the case though, as we always want more battery life in the handset.
If you're a regular user of an iPhone, especially one who's not used a Plus model before, you'll be happy with the amount of battery on offer, and the ability of the iPhone 8 Plus to hold onto power when it's not doing much.
However, its battery life is a long way from being the best on the market, with many Android handsets able to last much longer.