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Apple iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED 1st Photo Review: 7 Things You Need To Know

David Phelan

Apple iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED special edition – with shiny glass back

Announced on Monday April 9, the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in (PRODUCT)RED livery arrived in stores on Friday the 13th. But, don’t worry, it’s not unlucky, because Apple donates funds to the Global Fund for every phone sold. Here’s everything you need to know to make up your mind if this year’s (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are for you.

David Phelan

Apple iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED special edition 1 It’s much redder, much shinier in reality than photos do it credit Seriously, you need to see this phone in your hand before you judge what it looks like.

Because this year’s iPhones have glass backs instead of the anodized aluminum of 2017, it’s unsurprisingly much more reflective and shiny. The upside? It looks amazing.

The downside? It’s really hard to do it justice in photographs. David Phelan

Apple iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED special edition: oh my, it’s shiny

The new red seems brighter than last year, as a result, as you see when new and old are side by side. David Phelan

The black framed screen on the iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED 2 The new black front is a real improvement

Many people will right now be saying, ‘I told you so,’ with some smugness today. Last year’s (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus had a white front, like the silver and gold finish models. Not everybody liked this, it’s fair to say and made clear Apple should have gone for a black frame, as found the black and jet black iPhone 7.

Personally, I always prefer phones which have light-colored front faces around the screen. True, when the screen is off it highlights the blackness of the display, but when it’s on it makes the colors look brighter – though I suspect this is an optical illusion. Anyway, despite that, I’m won over by the new design which looks tremendous, the darkness of the red complementing the dark frame of the display.

David Phelan

The black frame on the iPhone 8 Plus (right) disappears when the screen dims The other effect of the black frame is it de-emphasizes the chin and forehead common to every iPhone except the iPhone X. In black, it looks less expansive than it does in white, I’d say.

David Phelan

The Touch ID button has a ring that matches the button and black front 3 Now the Touch ID button looks right The other design issue that caused controversy last year has also been fixed.

The edge of the Touch ID button was not previously color-matched to the back of the phone, as the gold and silver versions were. This had a silver ring around the button. I don’t know the thinking behind last year’s design, maybe Apple just couldn’t find a red colored-shiny ring it was happy with last time.

Of course, the ring still isn’t matched to the rear of the phone, but it matches perfectly with the dark screen frame! v

Apple iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED special edition – the logo stands out in gleaming silver 4 The Apple logo really pops and it’s the only bit that’s not (PRODUCT)RED

The Apple logo on the back of the phone has not been tinted to match its surroundings. Unlike the gold iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus which have a gently gilded logo, this one is pure silver, though in certain lights it looks like it has a dash of red in its gleaming stainless steel finish. And the wording (PRODUCT)RED that appears under the word iPhone on the phone’s back also looks good, also not colored, though it’s small enough that you have to search for it.

David Phelan

Anodized aluminum on the edge matched to the glass back. 5 The anodized aluminum edges are perfectly color-matched to the phone’s back This is no surprise.

As with other iPhones, the aluminum edges are color-matched to the phone’s back. If they weren’t they’d really jar. Apple matches the edging on its iPhones routinely now, so there’s a hint of gold on the gold-finish models, for instance.

David Phelan

The silver Lightning socket In fact, apart from the Apple logo, the only part of the phone that isn’t red or black is the Lightning socket which is silver, and the two screws on either side. I don’t know the reason for this but I’m certain it wasn’t an oversight – Apple micro-manages its design so it will have been discussed in depth.

So, assuming it’s a deliberate choice, I imagine it’s so you can see it more easily. David Phelan

Apple iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED special edition – the flash. Oh, actually, there’s one other bit that’s not black or red: the multitone flash on the rear camera, but there’s not much you can do about that, is there?

David Phelan

There’s no visible antenna on the phone’s back this year 6 The lack of visible antenna band is a real improvement over last year’s iPhones On the iPhone 7, for instance, the antenna band ran discreetly, but not invisibly around the edge of the phone.

This time, there still is an antenna, obviously, but the signal transparency which glass gives means the band doesn’t have to sit on the top layer any more. As a result, the back of the phone has a much simpler, smarter look to it. David Phelan

The antenna band visible on the iPhone’s edges – last year and this year’s models.

You can still see the antenna band on the iPhone’s edges. As these are made of aluminum, the band sits on top here, seen towards the top and bottom of the long sides and colored a lighter shade of red. David Phelan

Last year’s iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED and this year’s iPhone 8 Plus

7 Inside it’s, you know, an iPhone I’ve been trying out the new phone and, you know what? It’s the exact same experience to using the iPhone 8 Plus in its gold finish.

Surprise, surprise. The point of (PRODUCT)RED items is they are identical performers to their space grey, gold or silver siblings. Same processor, same memory, same performance.

This year’s are the first (PRODUCT)RED iPhones with wireless charging capabilities. David Phelan

This year’s iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED looks deeper red than last year’s – it’s just the light VERDICT

This iPhone is only superficially different from the other iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, so the only choice to make is on color, and that’s subjective. The red here is so bright and gleaming that it won’t be for everybody. I like it, it’s reminiscent of the brightest part of a Rothko masterpiece.

The gleaming back is the best part, so the only problem is you won’t see this as much as you’d like if you put it in a protective case. Apple’s choice of a black screen frame is the biggest change this year from last, and it’s a wise one. Now, everything about the phone looks intentional, organically conceived.

It’s worth remembering that the iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED and its iPhone 8 Plus sibling are special editions without a special price.

There is zero price premium for choosing this version and for the first time (PRODUCT)RED is available in the entry-level capacity, not just the 256GB model.

In other words, if you are in the market for an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, and you like the red, choosing this version makes a guaranteed donation to a worthy cause.

If you enjoyed this story, you might also like these:

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Apple iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED Official: 1st Photos, Prices And All You Need To Know

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