Review: Glitzy iPhone X aside, the iPhone 8 is fine for most

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The difference between Apple’s new iPhone models is a bit like flying first class compared with coach. We envy first class, but coach gets us there without breaking the budget.

The iPhone 8 will do just fine for $300 less than the glitzy iPhone X , even though it won’t make your friends and colleagues jealous. It’s also available much sooner — this Friday — starting at almost $700. The X (read as the numeral 10) won’t be out until November.

Still, the iPhone 8 remains a fairly straightforward update of the iPhone 7 , which itself was a fairly straightforward update of the iPhone 6S. Then again, no one expects much different from a coach seat.

WHAT YOU’RE NOT GETTING

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It’s hard to talk about the iPhone 8 without comparing it to my 15 minutes with the iPhone X last Tuesday.

The X wowed with a fancy new display that flows to the edges of the phone. The phone is compact, yet features a screen slightly larger than the one on the supersized iPhone 8 Plus. The X also features facial recognition that lets you unlock the phone with a glance; you can also create animated emojis that match your facial expressions.

The 8 has none of that, although it does share other new goodies the X is getting, including wireless charging. The 8 and the X both have faster processors and sensors to enhance graphics in augmented reality, a blending of the virtual and physical worlds, though older iPhones will also run AR apps with a software update Tuesday.

WIRELESS CHARGING

Apple is embraces wireless-charging technology that Android phones have had for years. It’s a rare case in which Apple isn’t going its own way; instead, it’s adopting an existing standard called Qi (pronounced chee). That means the iPhone gets all the technical advancements from the consortium behind Qi — and can take immediate advantage of a slew of public wireless-charging stations.

It worked perfectly for me while waiting for a connecting flight in Los Angeles — no need to rummage through my backpack for a charging cord.

Apple says the wireless system should charge as quickly as the wall adapter included with iPhones. But I found wireless slower in testing, using a Belkin charger with the same power output as the iPhone charger.

Wireless charging is largely about convenience; it’s terrific if you can just drop your phone on a charging pad overnight or during the…

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