In the past, if you wanted the latest “bells and whistles,” from Apple, you just upgraded to the most recent generation of their iPhone. In 2017, three new iPhones were released within a mere two months, making it more challenging to pick a phone.
That’s why we’re offering our readers a brief overview of these smartphones, and highlight the features that truly set each apart from the other.
The Form Factor – iPhone X Features Major Changes
Coming in at 5.65 x 2.79 x 0.3 inches, the iPhone X is slightly larger than the iPhone 8, at 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches, but both phones feel comfortable in your hand. The iPhone 8 Plus, however, is somewhat larger. Many will need both hands to access its apps and controls
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus retain much of the same look as earlier iPhone models. The iPhone X has a more elegant appearance with a thin, almost invisible bezel. It’s also thinner overall, and lighter.
The iPhone X features a major change that’s difficult for some to accept and get used to. It no longer has a home button. Instead, users control the phone using swipes and other gestures. For example, to get to the home screen, you will need to swipe up.
Certain tasks are more difficult to complete without a home button, such as doing a “hard reset” of your phone. Some popular features, like the fingerprint scanning found in Touch ID, have been removed along with it,
The Display – Will You Embrace the Notch?
iPhone X features an OLED screen that nearly fills the phone from edge to edge. It reproduces darker shades more accurately and truer to life, especially shades of black, deep blues and grays. It’s True Tone tech adjusts colors on your screen based on the temperature of your environment which helps colors appear less harsh, or washed out, regardless of ambient lighting.
Contrast on the iPhone X is sharper and the resolution more crisp and clear with 458 ppi versus 326 on iPhone 8 and 401 pixels per inch on the iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus also feature True Tone technology, but 8 uses a much smaller IPS LCD display.
While the iPhone 8 Plus is larger overall, the screen is not that much bigger than iPhone 8, and also uses an IPS LCD display. Unlike the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are not capable of supporting content in Dolby vision or HDR10.
One thing some iPhone X users might dislike about the display is the little black notch at the top. While you might not notice it when talking, it’s obtrusive when watching full screen videos, as the notch can temporarily obscure part of your view!
Still, without the notch, sensors that control the camera and other features would not have a home. It’s literally up to the individual user to decide if they can learn to like the notch.
iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X all come with the same 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera. iPhone 8 only has one rear facing camera, however, rather than the two that are available on iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. This means that photo options like Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting are out for the iPhone 8, as are the wide angle and telephoto lens that’s available on the iPhone X, and 8 Plus.
Social media enthusiasts and lovers of the selfie will have a high preference for a new feature that’s only available on the iPhone X, and that’s Animoji. This feature takes personalization to a whole new level by allowing you to customize up to 12 animal-themed emojis with your own facial expressions!
The same technology that makes Animojis possible, TrueDepth, is used in the iPhone X’s new security feature, Face ID.
Battery life is rated the same for both phones when using audio, at 60 hours. Using video, and surfing the Internet on the iPhone X and iPhone 8 are rated the same at 13 and 12 hours, respectively. The iPhone 8 Plus, however offers an additional hour for these two activities over both iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
iPhone 8 uses more power to Talk over 3G, with an estimated 14 hours of battery life. iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X can perform this activity for up to 21 hours.
While charging is the same for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, these smartphones offer a dramatic change from older versions of the iPhone. All 3 come with glass backs that allow the phones to be charged wirelessly with the Qi Charging pad.
While the glass material is highly durable, and reinforced with metal, a protective iPhone case may help protect it from scuff marks or cracking if the phone is dropped.
One potential drawback to this advance is that if the case is overly thick it might interfere with wireless charging.
Security – Major Change from Touch ID to Face ID
Apple first offered users fingerprint scanning via the home button with the iPhone 5s. This allowed owners to lock and unlock their phones by simply touching the display. Since then, the technology has become an industry standard.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus keep this feature. With the iPhone X, Face ID has replaced Touch ID.
Face ID’s software uses infrared, dot projection and other tech to scan Faces in 3D and provide facial recognition. This allows users to lock and unlock their phones with their face, but only if they look at it directly.
The software is supposed to “learn” users faces, so that it can recognize them even if something changes, such as dying their hair or shaving their beard. The phone is also supposed to recognize faces even in darkness. Users will no longer be able to trick the phone with a simple picture of a face.
Users that don’t like the Face ID can lock and unlock their phones “old school,” using a passcode.
The 64G model of the iPhone 8 has a list price of $699, and is $849 for the 256G version. Both versions come in gold, space gray and silver.
The iPhone 8 Plus also comes in these three colors. The 64G version is $799, the 256G option is $949.
The iPhone X only has two color options: space gray and silver. It’s also more expensive, listing for $999 for the 64G version and $1,149 for the 256G model.
Final Decision: Tie!
All three iPhones offer significant improvements over older models of iPhones. Which phone is best for you will come down to your personal preferences.
If you can handle the higher price tag, take a lot of pictures, especially selfies, and watch a lot of videos, you will probably prefer the iPhone X.
The iPhone 8 or 8 Plus might be a better choice if you want the faster processing speed and some of the other improvements offered by the iPhone X, but photo options and video quality are less important,
You may also prefer the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus if you are on a budget, or, if you really don’t want to give up your home button and fingerprint scanning.