The iPhone 7 has caught a lot of flack over the past couple of months for being a dud, but it actually got a lot of things right. Aside from being the fastest iPhone ever released, both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feature excellent cameras (the Plus has two!), water resistance, stereo speakers, an advanced taptic engine and, best of all, a bigger battery.
But that’s not to say it was the best smartphone of 2016. In fact, despite the iPhone’s reputation as being one of the most popular and widely-sold smartphones in the world, the iPhone 7 actually lacked a lot of the stuff its competitors brought to the table — and it’s paying the price.
Rumors are already circulating that less than three months after the iPhone 7’s official release, Apple has already begun scaling back on orders for the 7 due to waning demand leading into the holiday season, and are now instead directing their attention to the iPhone 8.
So uhh, out with the old and in with the new, I guess. Here are some of the things we’re hoping for in the iPhone 8.
iPhone 8 — A New Design
When Apple introduced the rounded-edge design of the iPhone in 2014, everyone felt it was a much-needed improvement. The rounded body and bigger screen were excellent touches to the phone that made handling it a lot easier and also, miraculously, less prone to complete obliteration after a small fall.
Unfortunately, since that time, there have been no major improvements in the phone’s outward appearance. That could definitely use an upgrade. Rumors indicate Apple is looking to re-adopt the all-glass body, so there’s that — for better or worse.
An AMOLED Display — Finally
The Huawei Mate 9 Pro, The Samsung Galaxy, The Google Pixel, The Nokia Lumia 930…Christ, even a Blackberry model out there somewhere has an AMOLED display. The iPhone 7? Nope. Not even close. A lot of people were shocked when the specs for the iPhone 7 leaked and didn’t include an AMOLED display, considering that it’s basically standard equipment these days. The iPhone 7 does well for what it is, but it needs the facelift. Period.
The rumor mill is already going nuts over the prospects of an edge-to-edge display, and so far, the prospect looks bright and beautiful. Aside from its lack of AMOLED, tech nerds frequently bitch and moan about the iPhone’s limited display, which is due largely in part to the phone’s top speaker, camera and home button. An edge-to-edge display would be an excellent and completely feasible addition to the iPhone 8 that would definitely help bring it up to par not just with the industry, but tech nerds’ expectations.
iPhone 8 and the A11 Chip
The iPhone 7 is far and away the undisputed fastest smart phone on the market right now, and not at all by a small margin. Thanks to its A10 Fusion chip — brand new for the 7 — the iPhone outperforms every single one of Samsung’s smartphones, as well as mops the floor with Google’s Pixel and Huawei’s P9. In other words, it’s surgically quick.
But, if the rumors are true, that won’t stop Apple from introducing an even faster A11 chip for the iPhone 8 that should be in the 10nm range (much faster than the current 16nm A10). At that point, it wouldn’t really be anything revolutionary, as the Snapdragon 830, which is slated for use in everything from the Galaxy S8 to the Microsoft Surface phone coming out next year, is also in the 10nm range. At the very least, it’d just be nice to see the iPhone keeping up with trends, at this point.
Reports from Bloomberg suggest the dev team at Apple is looking heavily into wireless charging, which would honestly kill two birds with one stone for the tech giant — updating their technology in order to compete with companies like Samsung, whose phones already support wireless charging, and helping to rectify the iPhone 7’s issue regarding charging and headphone use at the same time. It’s such an obvious upgrade that if Apple doesn’t make it available on the iPhone 8, I’ll be shocked.
Dual Lens Camera Standard on Every Model
There are no real rumors to support this desire, but God damn Apple, please hook it up! The camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus is nothing short of exceptional. The dual camera rig offers 12MP, one 28mm f/1.8 lens and one 56mm f/2.8 lens, and an awesome “Portrait Mode” that applies a narrow depth of field effect that actually mimics DSLR-quality portraits.
The standard iPhone 7 only has one camera, and while it’s great at f/1.8 and still takes great photos, it just doesn’t hold a candle to the versatility of the 7 Plus. I’d like to see the dual camera setup become standard equipment on the iPhone 8, especially since Apple is considering three different sizes instead of the traditional two (4.7 inches, 5.5 inches, and the new 5 inches).
iPhone 8 Camera: Better Quality Than Ever Before
Awesome iPhone 7 camera or not, the iPhone 8’s photo rig could still use a big upgrade. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much aware the at the iPhone 7’s 12MP f/1.8 camera was a massive upgrade from the 6’s 8MP f/2.2 rig, but the fact is, there’s still room for improvement.
Sony’s Xperia Z5 boasts a 23MP camera with a snappy autofocus, the LG G5 bangs on a big 16-megapixel sensor, and even the BlackBerry Priv comes out swinging with a 18MP. That’s not to say megapixels are the only thing to consider here, but it is to say that there’s some very obvious room for improvement with the iPhone 8’s camera.
Ability to Shoot in Raw Through a Menu Option
The introduction of iOS 10 shortly after the release of the iPhone 7 brought with it the ability to shoot RAW photos. For photographers, the ability to shoot RAW is critical because the images are uncompressed, and thus, retain more image data—color profiles, shadow details, contrast, etc. The problem is that, if you want to shoot images in RAW, there’s no way to do it natively from the Camera app.
It makes a frustratingly small amount of sense as to why Apple would enable such an awesome feature, yet not make it more accessible. The only way to shoot RAW currently is through a third-party app like ProCamera, Manual or Obscure Camera. It’d be nice to see the iPhone 8 offer the ability to shoot RAW without making users jump through a million hoops to do it.
4K Display Resolution
The release of Sony’s Xperia Z5 proved that the mainstream smartphone market is ready for the crystal clarity and incredible color depth of 4K displays. Samsung executives have already confirmed their belief that the market will open up to the mainstream, and the rumors are already spinning about the Samsung Galaxy S8 having one, too. Most people would just be excited to see an iPhone without a dated-ass LED screen, so no one is really holding their breath on an 4K display for the iPhone 8, BUT GOD DAMN IT, A MAN CAN WISH.
Everything and everyone is trying to figure out VR. Between the standalone setups like the Oculus Rift, to Google’s Daydream project that works directly with Android’s new Nougat operating system, everyone is slowly and carefully trying to carve out their slice of the pie. With the tech for VR compatibility exploding right now, it’s almost shocking that we haven’t heard a peep about it from Apple yet.
Then again, we’re also talking about the company that thought removing the headphone jack from their flagship phone would somehow make it more diverse. As far as the iPhone 8 goes, with the potential for an upgraded chip and unbelievably fast processor speeds, running some kind of VR compatible setup makes a lot of sense. All Apple needs to do now is get their heads out of their asses.
For more reading on the iPhone, check out our camera test between the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel.