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Apple iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 plus: What's changed in a year?

17 September 2018 5


After a long streak of rumors and leaks, the Cupertino giant took the stage on Sept 12 to announce three new iPhones. From the look of the things, the company will continue to bring three iPhones every year since the 10th anniversary iPhone X. As expected this year instead of revamping the devices, Apple focused mainly on the internal hardware upgrades that's why this year's iPhones are S models.

The iPhone X successor is announced as iPhone XS, the iPhone 8 Plus successor iPhone XS Max and the budget-friendly iPhone 8 successor is announced as iPhone XR. Apple introduced notch display last year with the iPhone X, this year all new iPhones have a notch display. Being the premium flagships the new iPhones will face stiff competition from Android premium smartphones. We already compared the new iPhones against each other as well as the predecessor. Today we will put the latest iPhone XR against the last year's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

The iPhone XR marks the end of iPhones with physical home button and Touch ID. All variants of iPhone this year have Face ID as a primary security option. We are hopeful this comparison will help you better understand the real differences between the last year and latest iPhone. If you already own iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, the comparison will help you better decide whether you should grab the iPhone XR or stick with the last gen devices. Without any further delay, let's start with the design.

75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3 mm
6.1 inches - 1792x828 px
67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3 mm
4.7 inches - 1334x750 px
78.1 x 158.4 x 7.5 mm
5.5 inches - 1920x1080 px
Go to comparison page
Design


The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 shares few design aesthetics. Both the devices have aluminum chassis with glass covering the rear and front side. Both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have traditional thick bezels design with 16:9 display. The fingerprint scanner aka Touch ID is embedded on the front-facing side below the physical home button. On the rear side, the iPhone 8 has a single snapper on the top left corner with LED flashlight.

The iPhone 8 Plus rear is adorned with dual cameras placed horizontally on the top left side. As far as color variants are a concern both the devices are available in space grey, gold, silver, and the special red edition. Both are IP67 certified which means both the devices can resist under 1-meter deep water for 30 minutes without any damage.

The iPhone 8 dimensions are 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm whereas the iPhone 8 Plus is significantly larger at 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus weighs 148g and 202g respectively. The iPhone XR also have aluminum chassis with glass rear, overall its design isn't much different from last year's iPhone X. The iPhone XR ditches the Touch ID in favor of Face ID.

Up front, you will get a full front-facing display with a notch at the top. On the rear side, you will find a single snapper. The iPhone XR measurements are 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm and weigh 194g. The iPhone XR falls behind the iPhone 8 Plus in terms of footprint. So if you own iPhone 8, you definitely will find the iPhone XR taller, wider, heavier and thicker. The iPhone XR will be available in yellow, blue, coral, black, white, and red colors. It is also IP67 certified.

Display

As far as display is a concern, the iPhone XR is a big jump not only from iPhone 8 but also from iPhone 8 Plus as well. The iPhone 8 sports a 4.7-inches Retina display with HD screen resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels. The display pixels density is 401 pixels-per-inch. On the other hand the larger variant iPhone 8 Plus features a 5.5-inches display with Full HD screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display pixels density is 401 pixels-per-inch.

Both the devices feature True Tone tech, P3 gamut, and 3D Touch. Due to thick bezels around the corner both the devices aspect ratio is 16:9. Following the last year iPhone X trend, the iPhone XR has a gigantic 6.1-inches display despite having a smaller footprint than iPhone 8 Plus. The display aspect ratio is 19.5:9 and the screen resolution is 828 x 1792 pixels. Although the iPhone XR display panel is also LCD the company claimed it as 'Liquid Retina'. The pixels density is 326 pixels-per-inch.

Like the last year iPhone it features P3 Wide color gamut and True tech, however, it lacks 3D Touch support instead the company introduced Haptic touch with the XR model.

Hardware

Under the hood, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is powered up by 64-bit A11 Bionic chipset. This chipset features M11 Motion processor and neural engine to handle HIFI tasks efficiently. The base variant of both the devices has 64GB native storage whereas the top of the line model has 256GB native storage. The built-in storage isn't further expandable.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus features stereo speakers on the bottom, however, both lack the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. Both have Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity. Being the latest smartphone, the iPhone XR is running on the latest A12 Bionic chipset built on the 7nm process. The company claims the new chipset is 40% more efficient than the predecessor and also its CPU speed is 15% faster.

The iPhone XR is available in three variants with 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage. It lacks support for memory expansion via MicroSD. Like its predecessor, or it also lacks the headphone jack instead rely on the lightning port. The new iPhones support eSIM, allowing users to have two numbers.

Specs iPhone XR iPhone 8 iPhone 8 Plus
Display 6.1-inches 4.7-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 828 x 1792 750 x 1334 1080 x 1920
Chipset A12 A11 A11
RAM -- 3GB 2GB
Storage 64,128, 256GB Non-Expandable 64, 256GB 64, 256GB
Rear camera 12MP 12MP Dual 12MP
Front camera 7MP 7MP 7MP
Battery -- 1,821mAh --
USB Lightning port Lightning port Lightning port
3.5mm headphone jack No No No
OS iOS 12 iOS 11 iOS 11

Battery

The iPhone 8 lights are kept on by a 1,821mAh battery cell. The company claims it can survive up to 14 hours on talk time. The iPhone 8 Plus exact battery cell is still unknown, however, on a single charge, it lasts up to 21 hours. As expected the company didn't reveal the exact battery cell of iPhone XR either instead stated it will last 1.5 hours more than the iPhone 8 Plus.

Cameras

As far as cameras are a concern, the iPhone XR and iPhone 8 have single rear snapper whereas the iPhone 8 Plus have dual rear sensors. The iPhone 8 single snapper is 12MP with f/1.8 aperture. The iPhone 8 Plus has dual 12MP sensors on the rear side. The primary sensor is a wide-angle module with f/1.8 aperture whereas the secondary sensor is a telephoto module with f/2.4 aperture.

Both the device rear snappers have OIS, digital zoom, Auto HDR support for images and noise reduction features. Thanks to dual rear sensors the iPhone 8 Plus comes with Portrait mode and optical zoom. Up front, the selfie snapper is 7MP with f/2.2 aperture and in low-light conditions, you can utilize Retina flash.

The single rear snapper on the iPhone XR remains 12MP with f/1.8 aperture. The company claims its not the same sensor as last year instead the new sensor pixels size is 1.4µm and also focus pixels is larger. A new Smart HDR feature is introduced with the iPhone XR, despite having single rear snapper it has Portrait mode support with depth sensing. Instead of Retina flash it features True Tone flash. Up front, the TrueDepth selfie snapper is 7MP on the iPhone XR with 3D facial recognition and Animojis support.

​​

Software

As OS the iPhone 8 lineup was pre-installed with iOS 11 straight out of the box but being just one year older both will receive the latest iOS 12 in coming weeks. The iPhone XR is running on the latest iOS 12 but the overall UI experience will be same once the last year iPhones get the latest update. However, the lack of physical button will bring few extra goodies including gestures support for the iPhone XR users.

Price

Last year the iPhone 8 was the entry-level variant with a price tag of $699 in the US (£699 in the UK). The iPhone 8 Plus was slightly expensive with a price tag of $799 (£799 in the UK). Being one year older, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus prices are slashed by $100. This year iPhone XR is the base model despite having a larger display than the iPhone XS. It will be available for purchase at $749 in the US (£749 in the UK).

Conclusions:

Despite the fact, the iPhone XR brings a lot of new goodies but still the design isn't much changed from the 10th anniversary iPhone X. However the changes are drastic if we consider last year's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The new iPhone XR is widely available in a number of color variants, improved battery life, new chipset, camera are the key selling aspects.

There are many iPhone fans who want to upgrade but don't want to lose the physical home button. For those buyers, the iPhone 8 Plus is still one of the best premium flagship available in the market. The iPhone 8 Plus is still a better performer than most of the latest Android running flagships.

Last but not the least if you don't have the issue of budget and you are willing to spend $749, the iPhone XR is certainly a pretty good option in this price bracket. Feel free to share your thoughts regarding the iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus in the comments section below, Stay tuned for more comparisons.

(last update 25 April 2019 @ 14:53)

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