Apple’s new iPhones have finally been announced following months and months of speculation. They come in the form of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and a more premium model called the iPhone X but Apple is still selling the iPhone 7 models and the iPhone 6S models.
That means if you’re in the market for a new iPhone, you have a decision to make. This feature explains how the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus stack up against the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, as well as the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
We’ve missed the iPhone X off this comparison, but you can see how it compares to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in our separate feature if it interests you.
Apple iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S: Design
- iPhone 6S: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm, 143g, no waterproofing
- iPhone 6S Plus: 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm, 192g, no waterproofing
- iPhone 7: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm, 138g, IP67 water and dust proof
- iPhone 7 Plus: 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm, 188g, IP67 water and dust proof
- iPhone 8: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm, 148g, IP67 water and dust proof
- iPhone 8 Plus: 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm, 202g, IP67 water and dust proof
The Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus feature a slim, solid aluminium frame with a glass rear and they come in three colour options comprising Silver, Space Grey and Gold. A couple of subtle antenna lines are present on the edges, leaving the back clear and they are both IP67 water and dust resistant.
The Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are also water and dust resistant but they have an all aluminium build, available in five colours including Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold. Antenna lines are present and more obvious than the 8 models in that they sit on the rear of the devices at the top and bottom.
The Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus feature an all aluminium body like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but they aren’t water or dust resistant. They come in Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold colour options and they have antenna lines across the rear at the top and bottom, as well as an extra couple of horizontal lines crossing the rear.
All the iPhones being compared here have a Lightning port at the bottom, volume buttons on the left, a power button on the right and the TouchID fingerprint sensor on the front below the display.
The iPhone 8 models and 7 models both ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack, while the iPhone 6S models retains it and the iPhone 7 and 8 both have speakers either side of the Lightning port, while the iPhone 6S models have one speaker with the headphone jack the other side.
Apple iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S: Display
- iPhone 6S/7/8: 4.7-inch, 326ppi, 3D Touch
- iPhone 6S Plus/7 Plus/8 Plus: 5.5-inch, 401ppi, 3D Touch
- iPhone 8 adds True Tone technology
The Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 7 and iPhone 6S all come with a 4.7-inch LED-backlit Retina HD display with a 1334 x 750 pixel resolution, offering a pixel density of 326ppi.
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus, 7 Plus and 6S Plus meanwhile, all have a 5.5-inch LED-backlit Retina HD display with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution for a pixel density of 401ppi.
The six devices being compared here all have a 3D Touch on board, which is Apple’s version of a pressure sensitive display, but the iPhone 7 models and iPhone 8 models also have a P3 wide colour gamut, along with 625 cd/m2 maximum brightness.
The iPhone 6S models have a full sRGB standard colour gamut and a 500 cd/m2 maximum brightness however, meaning the newer models will provide an improved display experience.
The iPhone 8 models also offer Apple’s True Tone display technology, which was first introduced on the original iPad Pro. This technology allows the display to adapt its brightness to its surroundings.
Apple iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S: Cameras
- iPhone 6S: 12MP, f/2.2, no OIS, True Tone flash, 5MP front
- iPhone 6S Plus: 12MP, f/2.2, OIS, True Tone flash, 5MP front
- iPhone 7/8: 12MP, f/1.8, OIS, Quad-LED True Tone flash, 7MP front
- iPhone 7 Plus/8 Plus: Dual 12MP, OIS, Quad-LED True Tone flash, 7MP front
The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 both come with a single 12-megapixel rear camera offering an f/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilisation, a Quad-LED True Tone flash and digital zoom up to 5x.
The iPhone 6S also has a single 12-megapixel rear camera but with a narrower aperture than its successors at f/2.2 and no optical image stabilisation. It has digital zoom up to 5x but it features a True Tone flash over a Quad-LED True Tone flash. The iPhone 6S Plus has the same camera specs as the iPhone 6S but it offers OIS.
The Apple iPhone 8 Plus and 7 Plus both have dual-rear cameras in a horizontal format. There are two 12-megapixel sensors on board, one wide-angle with an aperture of f/1.8 and one telephoto with an aperture of f/2.8. Both have optical image stabilisation, optical zoom and digital zoom up to 10x, as well as a Quad-LED True Tone flash.
The two newer Plus models also both offer Portrait Mode, but the iPhone 8 Plus also introduces a new feature called Portrait Lighting, which will be available in beta mode when it arrives.
In terms of front-facing cameras, the iPhone 6S models have a 5-megapixel snapper capable of 720p video recording, while the iPhone 7 models and iPhone 8 models have a 7-megapixel sensor capable of 1080p video recording. All six models have a Retina Flash and f/2.2 aperture but the iPhone 7 models and 8 models both offer wide colour capture, while the 6S models don’t.
The iPhone 6S models and 7 models will offer 4K video at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps and 1080p slo-mo video at 120fps. The iPhone 8 models meanwhile, will offer 4K and 1080p video at 60fps, as well as 1080p slo-mo at 240fps.
Apple iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S: Hardware and specs
- iPhone 6S/6S Plus: A9 chip, 32GB or 128GB, 3.5mm headphone jack
- iPhone 7/7 Plus: A10 chip, 32GB or 128GB, no 3.5mm headphone jack
- iPhone 8/8 Plus: A11 chip, 64GB or 256GB, no 3.5mm headphone jack, wireless charging
The Apple iPhone 6S models run on the A9 chip with an embedded M9 motion coprocessor and they are available in storage capacities of 32GB and 128GB. The iPhone 6S is said to offer 14 hours talk time, while the 6S Plus is said to offer 24 hours. Both models have a 3.5mm headphone jack as we mentioned previously.
The iPhone 7 models run on the A10 chip with an embedded M10 motion coprocessor and they come in the same storage capacities as the iPhone 6S models at 32GB and 128GB.
The iPhone 7’s battery is said to last two hours longer than the iPhone 6S, while the iPhone 7 Plus is said to last one hour longer than the 6S Plus. Neither has a 3.5mm headphone jack but they come with a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter in the box.
The iPhone 8 models run on the newest A11 Bionic chip with a neural engine and embedded M11 motion coprocessor. Storage options are double that of the 6S and 7 models at 64GB and 256GB.
Apple says the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus batteries will last the same as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, respectively, but they are compatible with wireless charging using Qi chargers, and fast charging for up to 50 per cent in 30 minutes. Like the iPhone 7 models, the iPhone 8 models don’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack but an adapter is included in the box.
Apple iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S: Software
- All run on iOS 11
- Same user experience
The Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will launch on iOS 11, while the iPhone 7 models and 6S models will both get the update to the new software from 19 September.
This means all the six devices being compared here will offer an identical user experience, bar a few extra features here and there, such as the Portrait Lighting mode on the iPhone 8 models.
Apple iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S: Price
- iPhone 6S/6S Plus: £449 (673.5) / £549 (823.5)
- iPhone 7/7 Plus: £549 (823.5)/ £669 (1003.5)
- iPhone 8/8 Plus: £699 (1048.5)/ £799 (1198.5)
The Apple iPhone 6S is the cheapest of the six models in this feature, starting at £449 (673.5). The iPhone 6S follows with a starting price of £549 (823.5).
The iPhone 7 also starts at £549 (823.5), while the iPhone 7 Plus starts at £669 (1003.5).
The iPhone 8 models are the most expensive, as you would expect given they are the newest iPhones. The 8 starts at £699 (1003.5), while the 8 Plus starts at £799 (1198.5).
Apple iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S: Conclusion
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus naturally win the numbers game compared to the iPhone 7 and 6S models with a faster processor, more storage, an improved display with True Tone technology, extra camera features in the case of the 8 Plus, as well as wireless charging.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are still great options though, especially given their price reductions and the same can even be said for the 6S and 6S Plus if you aren’t too bothered about all the latest and greatest features.
With a starting price of £449 (673.5), the iPhone 6S could be a tempting proposition if your budget doesn’t allow for over £500 (750), while the iPhone 7 offers many of the features found on the iPhone 8 bar the processor and wireless charging so is also worth considering if you have a bit of cash to splash but can’t quite justify £700 (1050).