Sep 26, 2017 — by: Mark Reschke

Iphone_x_and_iphone_8_plusThis past Friday Apple released the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, representing a solid upgrade to the iPhone 7 lineup. Then there is November 3rd, when Apple will release their leapfrog smartphone, iPhone X. 

I recently wrote about many iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 consumers leaning towards a larger display with their next upgrade. For many it will come down to purchasing an iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X. But what really are the differences between the two models? Not as much as you might think.

Cameras

The both have the exact same 12MP dual-camera optical image stabilization technologies. The abilities of each iPhone's camera setup is also similar due to the fact both phones contain Apple's new A11 Bionic processor, which have the exact same ISP (image signal processor). Photos produced by both phone's cameras should be nearly identical. Those looking for the best dual-camera technology with industry leading software and effects, it makes no difference if you purchase an iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X.

The front facing camera is a different story.

Both iPhones have a 7MP front facing camera, but iPhone X's camera provides more abilities, which Apple calls TrueDepth. iPhone X's TrueDepth camera technology is more than just the 7MP camera, as it also has sensors that capture a 3D scan of a face and recognize depth between foreground and background. A bit of software trickery and the front camera on iPhone X provides new portrait and lighting modes, along with 3D Animoji's which utilize the users facial expression, which iPhone 8 Plus does not have.

Processing Power

Apple-a11-bionic

Since both iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X utilize the same A11 Bionic processor, video processing, gaming, just about anything you engage with on either phone is not going to be all that different... but there will be a small difference. The iPhone 8 Plus, since it has slightly fewer pixels than the iPhone X, gives the A11 fewer pixels to process. Thus the iPhone 8 Plus is slightly, if not imperceptibly, faster than the iPhone X. If you are looking to pick up an iPhone X because you think it will blow away the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, you'd be wrong. By a hair it's the iPhone 8 Plus that is the fastest smartphone in the world.

sound

Both iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X have the same two speaker stereo speaker sound configuration.

Water resistance

Both iPhones come with the same IP67 water resistance rating. Submergible? Yes. But don't go deep sea diving with either phone.

Storage

Both cameras come standard with 64GB of storage, and have a 256GB option.

Wireless Charging

Both phones are identical when it comes to wireless charging. iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X contain fast charging, up to 50% in 30 minutes. Apple compares iPhone X battery life to iPhone 7, claiming iPhone X battery life is up to 2 hours longer. However, iPhone X has a near identical specification to that of iPhone 8 Plus, but provides an hour less of video playback and one hour less of internet use. Thus, iPhone 8 Plus has slightly better battery life than that of iPhone X.

Display

A major difference  between iPhone 8 and iPhone X are their displays. iPhone X is an OLED display, which will offer a greater viewing angle vs iPhone 8 Plus' traditional Apple LCD technology. iPhone X has a greater pixel density than iPhone 8 Plus, delivering 458 ppi vs iPhone 8's 401 ppi, but unless you have amazing vision and view your phone display just past your nose, pixel density won't really matter, as you won't see dots on either display. 

Iphone_x_display

While it has widely been claimed iPhone X has a larger display than iPhone 8 Plus, it's physical design shape is actually closer to that of iPhone 8 (not iPhone 8 Plus). Both iPhone 8 and iPhone X are the same width (375 points), while the iPhone X's display is roughly, Apple claims, 20% taller than that of iPhone 8. Apple's vague claim is due to iPhone X's display cut-out (or notch) at the top of the screen, which houses the camera and Face ID technologies. Where the notch resides, the iPhone X is closer to 15% - 17% taller than iPhone 8. Different aspect ratio's aside, the overall area of an iPhone X is close, if not slightly larger than an iPhone 8 Plus, depending how you view the iPhone X display cut-out and how content is laid out (around or cut off before), the notch.

The iPhone X is Apple's first HDR display, which provides a wide color gamut, able to display more accurate colors that better match the reality we see everyday. iPhone 8 Plus does not have HDR.

Size & weight

Perhaps the largest difference between iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X is their size differential. iPhone 8 Plus is 9% wider (about 0.25") and 10% (0.60") taller than iPhone X, with both having the exact same thickness (0.30"). It may not seem like much, but having a device closer to iPhone 7 and iPhone 8's physical dimensions, with the display size of an iPhone 8 Plus may be a big deal to some. As for weight, iPhone 8 Plus weights 7.13 ounces, while iPhone X weighs nearly one ounce less at 6.14 ounces.

Security

iPhone 8 Plus comes with Apple's Touch ID built into the home button. iPhone X has no home button, thus no Touch ID. Apple moved to an all-new Face ID solution which utilizes a myriad of technologies to scan the users face for unlocking the iPhone and secure transactions. Both accomplish the same thing, but are vastly different ways of approaching the same problem. Face ID removed the need for a physical fingerprint scanning button, allowing for the face of the iPhone to be nearly all display. Apple claims Face ID is vastly more secure than Touch ID, but real-world use will tell.

Price

iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799 for a 64GB version, while the iPhone X starts at $999 also for a 64GB version. Larger 256GB storage versions are available for each iPhone at $150 respectively.

Verdict

iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X physically look like vastly different phones, but they are amazingly close in capabilities. For those choosing the iPhone X, it may be worth $200 more over the iPhone 8 Plus, to get the same display size as the iPhone 8 Plus but in a smaller frame. But once moving beyond the physical size of each device and the way they are securely accessed, there are only minor differences between the two phones. I suspect a lot of consumers are waiting for the iPhone X to arrive in order to compare them to iPhone 8, but mostly against the iPhone 8 Plus. In the end, iPhone 8 Plus may end up being a big winner for Apple, as most may wonder why they should pay $200 more for a slightly smaller fame size?

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