Apple iPhone 8 Plus versus iPhone X: Which iPhone Is For Me?

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models at the company's Long Island store

By Anna Breuer on 6 October 2017
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In September, Apple unveiled two new models of its vaunted iPhone smartphone, namely the iPhone X (pronounced 10) and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The former is not just another iPhone, it’s the most radical design of the line since Steve Jobs spoke of combining an iPod, a phone, and a computer in one device ten years earlier, while the latter is likely to be the final model with the traditional design, not outwardly dissimilar from its immediate predecessors, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6.

Many of us at FBT have wondered, should we upgrade to the X or the 8 Plus (the smaller 8 has never really been under serious consideration), and we know from reader questions we are not alone. To speed things along, we’ve done the pondering for you, so you don’t have to.

The most dramatic difference between the two devices is size. The iPhone X is smaller (albeit larger than an iPhone 8), and it weighs less.

In raw performance, the two devices are far more evenly matched since they both use Apple’s new 64-bit, A11 Bionic chip, a six-core processor with two high-power cores and four power-efficient cores that is able to balance battery life with performance. Tasks are distributed to the core best suited for the job, so jobs requiring low processing power such as e-mail or music don’t unnecessarily drain the battery.

Both have 3 GB of onboard RAM and both are available in 64 and 256 GB models omitting a 128 GB model.

While construction differs, both the 8 Plus and the X use a combination of aluminum and glass for their cases, which makes them shock-proof and water-resistant for up to 30 minutes submerged in 39” (one meter) of water. As with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple is eschewing the 3.5 mm audio jack in favor of a lightning port. There’s a volume rocker, a sleep/wake button, a power button, and on the 8 Plus the familiar round, fingerprint-scanning home button.

DISPLAY AND BIOMETRICS

The iPhone X has a spectacular edge-to-edge display with the exception of its somewhat polarizing notch, necessary for the camera array. The space occupied by the notch causes the iPhone X to render web pages with white bars on the side when viewing pages in landscape mode to compensate for the notch.

The display on the X may seem bigger but that’s illusory because of the elongated 18.5:9 aspect ratio versus the 16:9 ratio on the 8 Plus. Both displays have the same brightness rating despite the X’ use of OLEDs.

A major design similarity in the two models is the glass back, introduced to support wireless charging but something that makes the back more fragile than the aluminum backs of their predecessors. Another is dual stereo external speakers, which 25% louder than the iPhone 7 Plus.

Click here to continue to Page 2Biometrics, Battery Life, and Camera Functionality

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