The iPhone X was announced with its fair share of exclusive features, but just as many reasons exist to stick with iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus this Fall. Today we’re having a peek at a number of reasons why the newest in new iPhone X technology is the way of the future. We’re also looking at a number of ways in which the iPhone 8 (or 8 Plus) is the superior choice for the time being. Alternate title: Which iPhone is best? (10 ways it’s X, 8, or Plus).
At the time this article is scheduled to be published, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are already out on the market. Pre-orders for the iPhone X begin at 12:01 AM PDT on the 27th of October, 2017, and will begin general availability on November 3rd, 2017. Make sure you have your Halloween costume sewn and ready to wear before pre-order, or if you miss pre-order, wear your costume to the Apple Store line – either way, things will be hectic.
1. Camera Goodness (Back)
The iPhone 8 has a single 12-megapixel camera at its back, while both the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X have 2x 12-megapixel cameras, one wide-angle, the other telephoto. Between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, the back-facing cameras are essentially identical – if that’s your only concern, both the X and 8 Plus should win over the 8, but neither the 8 Plus nor the X should win over the other for its back-facing camera abilities.
2. Front-Facing Camera
Apple’s iPhone X is a very front-facing smartphone. All of the abilities it has that it keeps to itself are set up front. The iPhone 8 Plus has the same camera setup around the back (albeit set 90-degrees different), but every other feature win sits with iPhone X. One of the two most obvious places where the iPhone X shines is in its front-facing camera array.
The camera module – lens, aperture – are the same for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. The difference comes in the additional sensors that rest in the iPhone X’s forehead. Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting (in beta mode as of this article’s publication), and Animoji are all enabled on iPhone X, but on no other iPhone.
3. Front-Facing Sensors
The iPhone X has a “TrueDepth camera” (a depth-sensing camera) in the “notch” – if you want to call it that – or the forehead of the phone. Apple says it like this: “TrueDepth Camera : A tiny space houses some of the most sophisticated technology we’ve ever developed, including the cameras and sensors that enable Face ID.”
The array of sensors and cameras that sit up in the notch of the iPhone X enable Face ID, 3D mapping of your face, augmented reality (like Animoji), and Portrait Mode Selfies. If none of this interests you, you might want to stick with the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. If, however, you want that display, but you want to avoid the sensors at all costs, you could always use a snip of electrical tape to block em all.
4. Face ID
“Secure Authentication: Your face is now your password. Face ID is a secure new way to unlock, authenticate, and pay.” This system maps your face and unlocks your phone and any functions previously handled by Touch ID.
This is a strange move for Apple in that they’re in a position where they’re suggesting a new system while still selling the old. According to Apple’s iPhone X page: “What could be more natural than a touch? A look. That was the insight behind Face ID, a powerful and secure authentication system that’s even more convenient than Touch ID”
Apple says that “your facial map is encrypted and protected by the Secure Enclave” – which we know is pretty gosh darned secure. Senator Al Franken is making sure Apple is on the level with the tech, too.
5. Touch ID
If you’re used to using Touch ID and do not want to switch to Face ID, both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are your ticket to the future. For the time being, that is. The iPhone 9 or iPhone Xs or whatever comes next will likely do away with Touch ID entirely – unless Face ID doesn’t catch on as well as Apple hopes.
6. Battery Time
Apple made a point to mention the “up to 2 hours longer” battery life of the iPhone X – BUT that does not mean it’s the new phone with the best battery life of them all. In fact Apple mentions that the iPhone X lasts up to 2 hours longer than the iPhone 7, which is better than the iPhone 8 which lasts “about the same” as the iPhone 7, while the iPhone 8 Plus lasts “about the same” as the iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple’s selling the idea that the iPhone X has enhanced battery life – which it might – but it’s still not as good as the iPhone 8 Plus (or the iPhone 7 Plus). Apple quotes Talk Time (wireless) at 21 hours for both the 8 Plus and the X, while “Internet Use” has an extra hour for the 8 Plus, an extra hour for Video Playback, and the same amount of hours for Audio playback. The iPhone 8 is the least of these, with significantly less battery time for talk time and audio playback, and the same amount of time as the X for Internet use and video playback.
7. Wireless / Fast Charging
The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X all have the same sort of wireless charging and the same sort of Fast Charging capabilities. There is no difference between the three for battery charging. No previously-released iPhone has wireless charging or Fast Charging of any sort.
The iPhone X very obviously has the most impressive display of the new devices. The displays on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are better than their predecessors because they have “True Tone” technology, but are otherwise the same as far as brightness and sharpness and screen resolution. The iPhone X has an OLED display (for the first time in iPhone history) which means it has the potential to be a lot brighter and more color-intensive than the LCD displays on all previous iPhones.
The iPhone X has the most pixel-dense display of the bunch with 2436-by-1125-pixel resolution at 458 PPI. The next best is the iPhone 8 Plus with 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 401 PPI, then the iPhone 8 with 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 PPI. These are all calculated in accordance to the display size of each device, with iPhone X at 5.8-inches, iPhone 8 Plus at 5.5-inches, and the iPhone 8 at 4.7-inches.
While the iPhone X has the largest display, the iPhone 8 Plus has the largest body. The iPhone X is 5.65 inches (143.6 mm) tall while the iPhone 8 Plus is 6.24 inches (158.4 mm) tall. The iPhone 8 Plus is also slightly wider than the X, with 3.07 inches (78.1 mm) for the 8 Plus and 2.79 inches (70.9 mm) for the X. The depth of all three devices is nearly identical – but if you’d like to get technical about it, they go small to large like this: iPhone 8 at 7.3mm, iPhone 8 Plus 7.5mm, and iPhone X at 7.7mm.
Pricing for each model might dictate which model users buy – but once we’re down to nuts and bolts with devices this expensive, a couple extra hundred bucks probably don’t matter to the majority of iPhone buyers. Especially when prices start at right around a thousand dollars per phone.
• iPhone X 64GB : $999
• iPhone X 256GB : $1149
• iPhone 8 64GB : $699
• iPhone 8 256GB : $849
• iPhone 8 Plus 64GB : $799
• iPhone 8 Plus 256GB: $949
I’ve gone ahead and listed all the models in order of price – and that’s off-contract, full price all at once. Pricing will be a little bit different with payment plans and/or with contracts, BOGO, and of that odd stuff.