The biggest difference between the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X is the industrial design. Apple’s lack of real advancement in design dampened the iPhone 7 and left us with a phone that felt the same as the iPhone 6.
Thankfully things are slightly different this year, but mostly just for the iPhone X. Apple’s most ‘out-there’ phone design yet instantly makes the X stand out, even though it’s been leaked to death in the past few months. Like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG V30, the screen on the iPhone X stretches right to the edges and the once huge bezel has been shrunk right down. It’s a striking, futuristic design that is so much more eye-catching than your typical iPhone.
The biggest design oddity will likely be the cut-out at the top that dips into the screen. This houses a myriad of sensors and the front-facing camera, and it looks a lot like the Essential Phone. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not having a portion of the screen blocked off will be annoying, but we suspect it’ll be easy to get used to. Both latest iPhones all have glass backs, which we do think looks nice but we’re not convinced about its durability.
Each new iPhone is water-resistant with the same IP67 rating as before, but the iconic circular home-button that has sat below the display on every iPhone has gone the way of the headphone jack on the iPhone X. That also means that Touch ID is now only available on the iPhone 8, not on the iPhone X. Instead, the X benefits from a new feature called Face ID. This face-scanning tech looks to be similar to the face recognition on the Note 8, but you’ll be able to use it for authorising iTunes purchases along with unlocking the phones.
Buy the iPhone 8 now – EE (5GB data), £42.99pm, £125 upfront
Instead of just being an aesthetic touch, the return to a glass back has allowed Apple to implement wireless charging into the iPhone line up for the first time. All the new phones benefit from this charging option, so it’s not just exclusive to the iPhone X.
In typical Apple fashion, there wasn’t a whole of deep-diving during the keynote about the in-depth specs of these new phones.
Instead, we got the usual presentation slides about improved performance for both the CPU and GPU. The iPhone 8 and iPhone X are powered by the A11 Bionic chip, which is likely built using the same 10nm process as the Snapdragon 835. This new manufacturing process means a more efficient device with hopefully smoother performance and better battery life. Apple’s A11 CPU has two performance cores, which are 25% faster each than the iPhone 7, plus four high-efficiency cores.
Apple didn’t reference the amount of RAM in either phone, so we’ll have to wait for the inevitable teardowns to learn how much memory they’ll get.
Both the iPhone 8 and iPhone X might have similar internals, but they’re very different in terms of display. The iPhone X is the first of Apple’s phones to ditch an IPS LCD display for OLED – the same screen tech used by Samsung and LG.
OLED offers perfect blacks and much more vivid colours than LCD displays, and all the best phones use it. If you plump for the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, you’ll be stuck with the IPS LCD panels. The OLED in the iPhone X is also Dolby Vision and HDR 10 capable. It also offers a much higher resolution 2436 x 1125, rather than 720p or 1080p.
The cameras on the back of the iPhone X are similar to the ones on the iPhone 8 Plus. The smaller iPhone 8 is still stuck with one 12MP sensor, both the 8 Plus and have dual-12MP cameras with the extra sensor acting as an optical telephoto zoom lens. The iPhone X benefits from OIS on both these sensors, whereas the 8 Plus has it just on the regular sensor. Another exclusive feature for the iPhone X is a new front-facing camera that can achieve similar effects to the Portrait Mode on the back.
iPhone X vs iPhone 8 Price
The iPhone 8 will start at £/$699 for the smaller model for 64GB and £/$849 for the 256GB model. If you want the 8 Plus model you can add an extra £/$100 to each of those. The iPhone X is, obviously, pricier. It’ll start at £/$999 for 64GB and £/$1,149 for 256GB
iPhone X vs iPhone 8 summary: What’s the difference?
Design: The iPhone X is the design champ here, with that edge-to-edge screen and lack of a home-button. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are much more familiar. All the phones are IP67 rated, have glass backs for wireless charging and no headphone jack.
Specs: The new 10nm A11 chip powers both phones, though RAM has yet to be determined. The iPhone X gets the new OLED display, while the 8 and 8 Plus have to stick with IPS LCD.