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iPhone X vs iPhone 8: What's the difference and which one should you get?

13 September 2017 5

The much-awaited Apple event at the newly opened Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California is over and as speculated, we got to see the launch of three new iPhone models this year: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. While the first two are standard upgrades which we have seen from Apple every year, the last one is the 10th-anniversary special edition which Apple referred as the "biggest leap forward since the original iPhone".

There is no doubt that these three new offerings have a few things similar and a lot of different ones but in this comparison, we will focus only on the special edition iPhone X and the smaller sibling of the standard upgrade, the iPhone 8. We will have a look at what these two models have to offer, what makes them different, and which one should you get. So without any further ado, let's get started.

70.9 x 143.6 x 7.7 mm
5.8 inches - 2436x1125 px
67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3 mm
4.7 inches - 1334x750 px
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Build and Design

The design is one of the major differences between the iPhone X and iPhone 8. It is something that will help you recognize and differentiate between the two models even from a distance. The iPhone X comes with one of the biggest design changes in the history of iPhones and as for the iPhone 8, you get the same design which we have seen Apple using for past one year or so.

The all-new iPhone X has an edge-to-edge display which means there are almost negligible bezels except for the top bar which is the only significantly-sized bezel but that too only at the center part. There is not even the Touch ID button on the front which means it is only the glass you will be looking at while holding the new model. If you are wondering how you will unlock or go to the home screen and perform other actions, we will talk about it in later in the comparison. As for the back panel, you will find a horizontally aligned dual camera setup with LED flash sandwiched between the two lenses. It also has a lot more rounded or you can say more curved edges when compared with the iPhone 8.

On the other hand, the iPhone 8 has pretty much the same design as the iPhone 7 from last year. It means you will get the same big bezels and Touch ID button on the front. And as it is not a Plus variant, there is only a single shooter on the back with placement similar to the predecessor.

Talking about the build quality, both the iPhone X and iPhone 8 boast an all-glass design which Apple is claiming to be "most durable glass ever in a smartphone, front and back." It is something which will surely be tested in the real world situations once both models become available to critics and users. You will also be getting stainless steel on the iPhone X. Additionally, both these models feature IP67 rating for dust, splash, and water resistance.

In terms of dimensions and weight, the iPhone X is definitely the bigger/taller and heavier between the two. It measures 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm and weighs 174 grams in comparison to iPhone 8's 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm and 148 grams weight.

Display

Starting with the iPhone X, it sports an edge-to-edge OLED display with almost no bezels which are firsts for any iPhone ever made. It is a 5.8-inch Super Retina HD (2436 x 1125 pixels) display with a pixel density of 458ppi and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. The display also has support HDR, wide color gamut (P3), and obviously Apple's 3D Touch. With the use of the OLED panel, you will see a better and more accurate color reproduction with blacks being truly black.

On the iPhone 8, you will find a smaller 4.7-inch Retin HD LCD display with 1334 x 750 pixels resolution and 326ppi pixel density. It means this one will be a lot more convenient to use for one-handed usage. It also has support for wide color gamut (P3) and 3D Touch but there is no HDR compatibility here. This basically means that you will essentially be getting the same experience as last year's iPhones.

Performance

Both iPhone X and iPhone 8 come with the new hexa core 64-bit A11 Bionic processor with the in-built neural engine which Apple is claiming to be "most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone." The chipset has two performance and four efficiency cores with an improvement of 25% and 70% respectively over A10 Fusion from last year. As and when needed, all six cores can be used at the same time and with the help of the second-generation performance controller, Apple is assuring a performance improvement up to 70% during multitasking. This new chipset is accompanied with a new three-core GPU which is said to offer 30% better graphic handling which should offer better gaming and augmented reality (AR) experience.

As for the neural engine, it features a dual-core design and is capable of performing 600 billion operations per second as well as is an integral part of features like Face ID and Animoji on the iPhone X about which we will talk later in this comparison.

While the overall performance should be similar on both iPhone models, we might see notice some difference if Apple has decided to ship the iPhone X with a gigabyte of RAM than the iPhone 8. But even in that case, it is safe to assume that there would not be any drastic change.

Camera

The iPhone X comes with 12-megapixel dual cameras where primary one is a wide-angle lens and the second one is a telephoto lens with f/1.7 and f/2.4 aperture respectively. Both sensors offer optical image stabilization which means you will not have to worry about ending up with shaky images or videos regardless of the lens you are using. You will also find a Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync for better low-light shots.

They also offer optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, and Portrait mode. But this time around, there is a new Portrait Lighting mode which is currently in beta stage. This feature basically allows you to capture Portrait shots with studio-like lighting effects for more professional and better-looking photos. These cameras are also capable of shooting 4K videos at 60fps and slow-motion videos at 240fps and that too in 1080p quality. For those who love to take selfies, it has a 7-megapixel TrueDepth camera with f/2.2 aperture, auto stabilization, and Retina flash. The new thing is that the front camera also supports Portrait Mode on the iPhone X.

As for the iPhone 8, you will get a single 12-megapixel wide-angle shooter on the back with f/1.8 aperture, OIS, and Quad-LED True Tone flash. It is capable of offering up to 5x digital zoom but due to the lack of dual cameras, you will not be getting the Portrait mode or any such related functionality. If you don't want to go for the iPhone X but would like to have the Portrait mode, you can go for the iPhone 8 Plus which has the same sensors and functionality as the special edition. But the good thing is that the iPhone 8 can offer you 4K video recording at 60fps and Full HD slow-motion videos at 240fps. The selfie camera on this iPhone model is a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD shooter with f/2.2 aperture and Retina flash.

Storage and Battery

Apple has launched the iPhone X and iPhone 8 in two storage variants of 64GB and 256GB with no 128GB model this time around. And as it has been the case with iPhones, there is no support for microSD cards.

In terms of the battery, the battery capacity of both models is unknown at the moment but Apple did share some info on the battery life. It said that users will be getting same battery life on the iPhone 8 as they are getting on the iPhone 7 but for those who will buy the iPhone X, they can expect up to 2 hours longer battery backup than the iPhone 7. But the good thing is that both these iPhone models support fast as well as wireless charging (compatible with any Qi wireless charger). Apple is claiming up to 50% charge within 30 minutes of charging with the help of its fast charging technology.

Software

Both iPhone X and iPhone 8 will be running Apple's new iOS 11 out of the box which means while most of the features will remain the same, you will be getting some additional features on the special edition device. For example, the iPhone X comes with Animoji which basically stands for animated emoji. With the use of its FaceDepth selfie camera and A11 Bionic processor, you can now look at an emoji and make expressions which will be copied in real-time and can be shared by you. It can even record your voice as you say something while looking at the emoji which will be sent to the recipient like a looping video. There are currently 12 Animoji to choose from and can only be used and shared via iMessage.


There are also various new gestures on the iPhone X which compensates for the lack of the Touch ID button. You can now go to the home screen by simply swiping up from the bottom, regardless of on what screen you are. To multitask, you simply need to swipe up from the bottom but stop in the middle which will take you to the multitasking window instantly. You can even swipe left/right from the bottom to switch between apps even more quickly. If you want to access the control center, you just need to swipe down from the top right corner. As for triggering Siri, you can always say "Hey Siri" but can also press the power button when you don't want to use the voice command.


Face ID vs Touch ID

As we mentioned in the beginning, the iPhone X does not have the Touch ID which has been replaced by the facial recognition functionality called Face ID. It means instead of pressing a button, you can now simply look at your iPhone X to unlock it instantly. This new security feature makes use of different things like the TrueDepth camera, flood illuminator, an infrared camera, and all-new A11 Bionic processor. All these make things work together to make sure that the facial recognition is as accurate as possible and even when you are in a low-light situation or in dark.

Apple explains it as:

"Face ID projects more than 30,000 invisible IR dots. The IR image and dot pattern are pushed through neural networks to create a mathematical model of your face and send the data to the secure enclave to confirm a match, while adapting to physical changes in appearance over time. All saved facial information is protected by the secure enclave to keep data extremely secure, while all of the processing is done on-device and not in the cloud to protect user privacy. Face ID only unlocks iPhone X when customers look at it and is designed to prevent spoofing by photos or masks."


Other than unlocking the iPhone, you can also use it for authenticating purchases made via Apple Pay even if you are checking out of a brick and mortar store. As for the Touch ID, it is the same second-generation from the last year which has been added to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It works the same way as you have been using it so far.

If you are wondering which one is better between the two, we will have to wait for real world usage results to see if and how secure and convenient it is to use Face ID over Touch ID.

Pricing and Availability

The special edition iPhone X will be starting at $999 and it will go on pre-orders starting October 27th with sales starting November 3rd. It has been made available only in Silver and Space Gray color options.

As for the iPhone 8, it will cost $699 for the base model. It will go on pre-orders from September 15th with sales from September 22nd. It means you will be able to get it way earlier than the iPhone X. And yes, you will be able to choose from Silver, Space Gray, and Gold color options.

Both these models will be available via Apple's official website, Apple Authorized Resellers, and carriers which mean you have different options to choose from.

Final Thoughts

Apple has made a lot of changes and many firsts for an iPhone with the release of the iPhone X. It is undoubtedly the best looking iPhone yet and is packed with some really cool features. But it also means it costs more and is likely to be expensive even for those users who have been buying iPhones for quite some time now. In comparison, the iPhone 8 is a standard upgrade for the most part but it also has the new A11 Bionic chipset, an all-glass body, and improved camera.

While it is always a matter of personal choice, we would suggest you go for the iPhone X only if you have a thousand bucks to spare without ending up with a messed up budget.

In the meantime, you can have a look at the promo videos for both iPhone X and iPhone 8:

  • The Apple iPhone 8 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The Apple iPhone X isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.

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