iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | A detailed overview of Apple’s latest smartphones
That’s right, it’s that time of year again where we give you everything you need to know about the next generation of iPhone. On 12 September 2017, Apple held their annual keynote in their new venue, the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park (California).
Tim Cook began by announcing two new models of iPhone, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. Although these devices looked great with their new glass and aluminium body, it was clear that Apple had something else up their sleeve. It had been rumoured for months that there would be a third model in the line-up; a premium iPhone that would celebrate 10 years of iPhone.
After teasing the public with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (which should really have been named iPhone 7s and 7s Plus), Tim Cook took centre stage and said Steve’s famous words, “One more thing” for the very first time. This bold statement led to the announcement of the celebratory iPhone, the iPhone X. Named ‘X’ after the roman numeral, this iPhone was released to celebrate the iPhone’s tenth birthday.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Design
Let’s be honest, any Apple device is a luxury, designer product. From the simplistic yet fantastic hardware, to the most popular smartphone OS on the market, it’s clear that they’re doing something right. This is no different with the latest additions to the Apple family.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus | Design
With very similar dimensions to the previous model, the only clear difference between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 is the material used to make up the body. As it turns out, Apple have already dropped Jet Black, the colour that was a huge talking point last year. Instead this year’s device is taking the continuous body a step further with what they call, an “all-glass design”.
This new design will be made up of two materials, glass and aluminium. Although it’s not stainless steel like it was in the iPhone 4, Apple are taking their design back to the iPhone 4 era as they reintroduce the metal bumper.
The dimensions of the iPhone 8 will be 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm and will weigh 148g. This is slightly larger than the iPhone 7 (138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1mm and 138g). The difference in size is a result of the addition of a glass body.
The dimensions of the iPhone 8 Plus will be 158.4mm x 78.1mm x 7.5mm and weigh 202g. Again, this is slightly larger than the iPhone 7 (158.2mm x 77.9mm x 7.3mm and 188g) due to the changes in materials that make up the hardware.
The size difference will be difficult to distinguish without a detailed side-by-side inspection of the two devices; the weight difference will be very noticeable. This might not be a bad thing, a device that weighs more tends to feel more expensive.
iPhone X | Design
This is where it gets exciting. It’s been a few years since Apple made any drastic changes to the design of the iPhone. In fact, the last major hardware update came with the release of the iPhone 6 back in 2014! Apple clearly went through an idle phase where they didn’t feel the need to change the look of their smartphones as they were selling anyway; thankfully this is no longer the case. As it’s the iPhone’s tenth birthday, it only seems fitting that this is celebrated with a highly anticipated hardware upgrade.
Like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the iPhone X is equipped with a Glass and aluminium body, but that’s where the similarities end. The iPhone X has retired the famous home button in return for a bigger screen. Apple have created what they call “an iPhone that’s entirely screen”. The new flagship device aims to make the user experience more immersive by getting rid of clutter and bezels.
The device looks futuristic and is exactly what Apple fans had hoped for. The only issue we’re worried about is what the media are calling “the notch”. This is a small black bar that covers the screen at the top of the display. It houses an ambient light sensor, a proximity sensor, a speaker, a microphone and a multitude of different cameras (we’ll talk more about these later).
In the keynote it was pretty clear that the ‘notch’ did cover some of the on-screen content, an issue that could easily be resolved by blacking out the bezel-less areas at the top of the device. Aside from this small issue (which Apple is likely to fix), the design looks fantastic.
Another design change is the position of the rear dual cameras. In the iPhone 8 Plus and 7 Plus the dual cameras are positioned in a landscape position; the iPhone X’s cameras are positioned in a portrait position. We aren’t sure whether this subtle difference is there to improve the picture quality, but it does make the new flagship look like a completely different device.
The new iPhone X also introduces a completely new set of dimensions into the mix. Placing itself at a happy medium between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the iPhone X’s dimensions are as follows, 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm. This smartphone will also weigh 174g. These dimensions are unique to the iPhone X and are a result of the removal of the home button.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Display
When it comes to purchasing a smartphone, one of the main features we base our decision on is the size and quality of the display. As we spend up to two years staring at our smartphones, it’s essential we choose one with clear and crisp picture quality. This is an area in which Apple seem to have been falling behind in in recent years, so what are the displays like on the new generation of iPhones?
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus | Display
There’s been a lot of jargon thrown about by smartphone manufacturers when it comes to their displays. Apple never seemed to join in with this, they simply reverted to the name, ‘Retina Display’. Although there is no outright definition for this term, we agree that this could be down to the fact that their displays were slightly inferior to the likes of Samsung. However, it’s also likely that Apple wanted to keep it simplistic like the rest of their branding.
This year Apple have decided to use a display that’s very similar to the Retina HD Displays found in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The only difference between the two generations of displays is that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus utilise Apple’s True Tone features. True Tone Display was first featured on the iPad Pro; it uses the ambient light sensor to analyse the colour and brightness of ambient light. This allows the display to adapt to the environment in order to make the colours look more natural. Reading text and looking at your device in direct sunlight is now much more comfortable.
Like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 is equipped with a 4.7 inch widescreen LCD display (1334 x 750 pixels at 326 pixels-per-inch). The iPhone 8 Plus utilises a 5.5 inch widescreen LCD display like the iPhone 7 Plus (1920 x 1080 pixels at 401 pixels-per-inch). Both devices have 3D Touch functionality.
iPhone X | Display
As we mentioned, the likes of Samsung had always shown Apple up when it came to the clarity and colour of their displays. Up until now the Galaxy S8 had one of the best displays available on a smartphone. That may no longer be the case.
For the first time Apple have decided to use an OLED display. This is great news for Apple fans as OLED displays tend to be more eye-catching. This is because LED LCD displays (that are used in all the other iPhones) don’t show black as… well, black. In an OLED display pixels can be manipulate individually, allowing us to turn them off. This allows us to show black pixels as true black; colours appear brighter and more colourful.
To put this change into perspective, the iPhone 8’s contrast ratio is 1300:1, meaning the whites are 1300 times brighter than the blacks; the iPhone X’s contrast ratio is 1,000,000:1. This means that the whites are 1,000,000 times brighter than the blacks. To add to this, the display in the iPhone X is also a HDR (high dynamic range) display. This adds even more colour in to the mix increasing the vibrancy of the image on screen. It’s fair to say that this display has earned the name, “Super Retina HD”.
So what about size? Although the device is physically smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus, the iPhone X actually has a larger display. Thanks to the removal of the home button and bezels, the anniversary iPhone has a 5.8 inch screen. That’s a whopping 2436 x 1152 pixel resolution with an even more whopping 458 ppi! This is simply the best display on an iPhone ever.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Home Button
In the lead up to Apple’s event there was a lot of speculation about the removal of iPhone’s home button. This button had been present on all iPhones since they were release in 2007 and it’s used for almost everything. If we want to turn unlock the device we have to start by pressing the home button, if we want to exit an app we have to press the home button, if we want to activate Siri we have to press the home button, if we… you get the idea.
Many of you will be glad to hear that not all of the new iPhones are retiring the home button. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will still follow the same structure as the previous models, with a home button. This has only been removed on the iPhone X.
Over the last few years edge-to-edge has become the new touchscreen. The idea of having a device that is entirely screen is truly exciting, and Apple are one step closer with their new flagship device. Removing this button has allowed the tech giants to achieve a huge display whilst avoiding clutter. Thanks to this change, the iPhone now feels like one continuous material from front to back. The only imperfections to this are the volume and side buttons.
Removing this button has raised a lot of questions though. The core functions we use on our iPhones are activated using this button. It enables us to unlock the phone, take screenshots, activate Siri, access multi-tasking, reset the phone, access Apple Pay and more. So how would we do these things without it?
Apple have reinvented the home button and replaced it with a touch bar at the bottom of the screen. This will allow users to swipe up to close apps, and swipe and hold to access multi-tasking. To turn the device on, just raise the iPhone or give it a tap. The power button has been renamed as the ‘Side Button’ too. This will enable iPhone X users to activate Siri by holding it down or use Apple Pay with a double tap. We can even take screenshots by pressing the volume up button and the Side Button simultaneously.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Touch ID vs Face ID
It seems that Apple has thought about everything when it comes to removing the home button, but some of you may still be asking, “what about Touch ID?”. This was a huge area that needed to be acknowledged by Apple engineers; Touch ID is used to unlock the smartphone and use Apple Pay. Thankfully they have that covered too. As the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus still have a home button, Touch ID is still available. It’s the iPhone X where the major changes have been made.
To overcome the issues that removing the home button has arisen, Apple have also replaced Touch ID. We no longer have to use our fingerprints to unlock the device or use Apple Pay, in fact, we no longer have to touch the device. Touch ID is being replaced with Face ID, a 3D mapping system that analyses our faces. We can now access the features that were previously achieved using Touch ID just by looking at our mobile phone!
So how does Face ID work?
Earlier we mentioned that the ‘notch’ on the front of the display houses ‘a multitude of cameras and sensors’. To avoid a similar issue that Samsung came across with their iris scanner (people could access the device by showing it a photo of the owner), Face ID uses multiple 3D sensors to enhance security. In fact, Face ID is so good it will even work in the dark.
The first piece of tech Face ID makes use of is the Dot Projector. This component fires 30,000 invisible infrared dots out of the front of the device. The infrared sensor then analyses the dot pattern by taking an infrared image, passing it through neural networks and creating a 3D map of your face. This map is then compared to a pre-saved model. If the maps are the same, Face ID will work; if there are too many differences between the 3D images, Face ID won’t work. This process is powered by Apple’s latest A11 Bionic Neural Engine.
Apple stated that 1 in 50,000 people could gain access to your device with their fingerprint via Touch ID; with Face ID they claim that this number will be 1 in 1,000,000. This is a huge improvement when it comes to security if their facts and figures are correct.
Face ID will adapt to your face too, hence the name, “Adaptive Recognition”. This means that the iPhone will learn your face and automatically make changes to the 3D map. For this reason, changing your hair cut or growing a beard shouldn’t cause you to come across any problems; just make sure you disable the feature before you have a nose job, we’re not convinced that Face ID is that clever just yet!
It’s also likely that Face ID will become more widely used across different apps and features. One example of this is Animoji. Animoji is a new feature introduced exclusively to the iPhone X and it does exactly what it says on the tin, animate emojis. You can now become the emoji and send animated videos to your friends. Apple are also working closely with Snapchat to improve the quality and experience of their filters.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Chipset
Although there are many differences between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, both are powered by the same chipset. The A10 Fusion chip found in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus has been upgraded to make the three new iPhones even more powerful, welcome the A11 Bionic Chip.
Apple claims that their new A11 Bionic Chip (and Neural Engine) can process up to 600 billion operation per second. This allows features such as Face ID to work seamlessly and instantaneously. Whilst this figure is simply mind boggling, it gets even crazier. Apple have also managed to make the CPU faster. With the four efficiency cores now operating 70% faster, and the two performance cores operating 25% faster than the A10 Fusion Chip, it’s safe to say that these three devices are the fastest iPhones ever. The graphics have been improved by 30% too!
These iPhones aren’t just the faster than the previous models, they out perform them too. Thanks to a new and improved battery design and second-generation performance controller, iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X now increases the battery life by two hours. With a device that can process 600 billion operations a second this must be magic.
A11 Bionic is designed to power the latest tech including machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality (AR). Apple seem very excited to shout about their new AR capabilities and apps; they claim that smartphone games such as ‘Silicon’ will be console standard. There are currently very few 3D, AR apps out there on the app store, something Apple is obviously eager to change.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Camera
A smartphone with a poor camera doesn’t get a second look anymore, they’re an important feature on any mobile device. Last year (when the iPhone 7 was released), the camera for the Apple’s flagship smartphone took centre stage. Aside from the controversial removal of the headphone jack and the addition of water resistance, the new Camera was the biggest change. This year was no different.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus | Camera
Unfortunately for those looking to upgrade to the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, there is very little difference when it comes to the camera of the previous models. The iPhone 8 carries a 12 MP camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS), a feature that reduces noise and blurriness on your photos. This camera has an updated sensor that’s larger and faster, a new colour filter and deeper pixels to make your photos even better.
Like the 7 Plus, the iPhone 8 Plus is sporting dual cameras. Made up of a 12 MP wide-angle camera and a 12 MP telephoto camera, there are few smartphone cameras that come close to this one. Dual cameras allow for optical both and digital zoom (10x), twice as good as the zoom on the iPhone 8. They also enable a feature that was first introduced last year, Portrait Mode. By utilising both the wide-angle and telephoto cameras, the iPhone 8 Plus is able to make the most of depth-of-field. Blur the background of your portrait images with any image manipulation application; it’s crisper and more efficient than ever before.
Portrait Mode isn’t the only fancy camera feature on the iPhone 8 Plus. Apple announced a new feature that’s currently in the beta stage at the keynote on September 12; introducing Portrait Lighting. Thanks to the new Face ID sensors and A11 Bionic Chipset, this nifty tool enables us to edit the light in portrait mode. Real-time light effects allow us to add shadows and stage-effects to our photos before they’re even taken.
Thanks to advanced pixel processing, wide colour capture, faster autofocus and improved HDR photos, users can effortlessly take professional looking photos on both of these iPhones. With Apple’s Quad-LED True Tone flash and Slow Sync feature, photos taken in low-light couldn’t look better. Live Photos will also make a return in this year’s devices.
iPhone X | Camera
The biggest changes to the iPhone’s camera were in the iPhone X. The first thing you’ll notice about the device (excluding the huge screen) is the orientation of the dual cameras. Instead of being in a landscape position (without rotating the device on its side), it’s in a portrait position. Although we’re unaware whether this change is just to make the device look unique or if it actually allows for better photos, there have been a couple of hardware changes to the camera.
Once again the iPhone X will make use of dual 12 MP cameras, a wide-angle camera and a telephoto camera. However, there is one key difference between this camera and the one found in the iPhone 8 Plus; dual OIS. By adding OIS to both rear cameras, Apple have been able to further reduce unwanted noise and blurriness. Taking photos in low-light has never been better on an iPhone thanks to this and the reduction in aperture on the telephoto camera.
The iPhone 10 will also benefit from Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, Live Photos, Quad-LED True Tone Flash, Slow Sync and wide colour capture. Earlier we said that there are few smartphone cameras that are better than the 8 Plus’; this one is better… much better.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Video Recording
Let’s go back 5 years or so where mobile video recording was little more than a novelty feature. People weren’t bothered about recording video on their mobile phones as the technologies simply weren’t good enough. Nowadays that’s all changed. We now have access to a professional-standard video recording at our disposal no matter where we are. Apple are hoping to improve this experience even further in their latest range of iPhones.
iPhone 8 users will be glad to know that video recording is basically the same on the iPhone 8 as it is on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. There’s just one slight difference, the zoom. Thanks to the X and Plus models’ dual cameras, 6x optical and digital zoom is available when capturing a video; the iPhone 8 only uses digital zoom meaning it can only achieve up to 3x. That being said, zoom is a minor setback when it comes to video recording on the iPhone 8 as this is the only difference.
Amazingly, Apple have managed to support 4K video recording at 60 fps. This is unheard of in a smartphone; even Samsung have only managed to achieve 4K at 30 fps. In fact, very few cameras can achieve this high-quality of recording. Paired with OIS, video recording is a force to be reckoned with in all of these iPhones.
Slo-mo has had an upgrade too. The 8, 8 Plus and X can now all capture slow motion videos at 240 fps in 1080p. We can’t wait to have a play with this feature! Time-lapse will also be included on the new range of iPhones.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Front Facing Camera
Whether we admit it or not, we’re all partial to a selfie every now and then. In fact, having a high-quality front-facing camera is nearly as important as having a high-quality rear camera! As we’re aware, the next generation of iPhone will have improved photographic hardware, but will the front facing camera receive any updates?
To put it simply, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will not be receiving any updates this year when it comes to the selfie camera. That doesn’t mean the camera isn’t good enough though. Equipped with the iPhone 7’s hardware, these iPhones will be able to capture selfies with the inbuilt 7 MP FaceTime HD camera. Users will be able to capture wide colour photos and 1080p video (perfect for FaceTime); we believe that this quality is more than sufficient for the average selfie-taker. Having said that, it would have been nice to have a little update.
Although the iPhone X uses a similar front facing camera to the one mentioned above, it does have some nifty new features. Appropriately named, the TrueDepth camera aims to drive the selfie game forward. Thanks to the face detection technologies in the iPhone X, we can now make use of portrait mode and portrait lighting using the secondary camera. This can’t be achieved using any other iPhone. The TrueDepth camera also adds a bit of fun into the iPhone 10 with Animoji, the face detection-operated emoji feature we mentioned earlier.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Water Resistance
Last year the iPhone 7 introduced water resistance, a highly anticipated addition to the iPhone series that has been requested for years. Having a device that can survive being dropped down the toilet is now more important than ever; smartphones are getting more and more expensive and less affordable to replace. Fortunately, you’ll be glad to hear that the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X will all be dust and water resistant to IP rating 67.
Although this doesn’t match the water resistance rating of the Samsung devices (IP68), it’s not likely that you’re going to go swimming with your iPhone. Disclaimer: We advise that you don’t. These iPhones will be able to survive in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. That’s more than enough to survive being dropped in a puddle or being used in the rain.
It’s important to note that DuoCall don’t advise exposing your device to water intentionally, carelessly or to test its durability.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Audio Playback
Audio playback was a controversial topic last year. Removing the headphone jack was a bold move that sparked a bit of friction within the Apple community, but they are committed to following it through. None of the new iPhones being released will have the 3.5mm headphone jack. If you want to listen to music on your new iPhone, you’ll have to invest in some Bluetooth headphones or use an adapter (this should be included in the box).
If you want to play music out loud, the new iPhones use stereo speakers for maximum volume. Having a speaker at the top and bottom of the device produces a surround sound experience. Watching videos has never felt so cinematic.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Wireless Charging
Probably one of the most exiting features coming to iPhone is wireless charging. Admittedly, you’ll have to purchase a Qi charging pad in order for this feature to work, but there is good news. Thankfully Apple seem to have found sense and not tied us into purchasing an Apple premium product; third party Qi pads by Mophie and Belkin will be compatible with the new range of iPhones. That doesn’t mean that Apple won’t bring out their own wireless charging pad.
Apple are due to release their very own wireless charger, AirPower. With this thin charging pad, you’ll be able to charge up to three Apple devices simultaneously. This includes your iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X, your Apple Watch and your AirPods (using the wireless charging case). We don’t know the price just yet, but If you’re an Apple enthusiast it might be worth forking out a few quid to get your hands on one.
The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X will also support fast charging. This feature will allow our brand new smartphones to charge to 50% in just 30 minutes! But wait… there’s a catch. Fast charging will only work via USB-C meaning you’ll have to purchase a USB-C compatible charger. It seems as though Apple are trolling the community when it comes to new charging specs!
iPhone 8 vs iPhone X | Colours and Storage
Over the years Apple has provided us with many colours and storage options. These are the only options you can customise your new iPhone with so choose wisely!
Since 2014 when the iPhone 6 was announced, Apple’s most popular colours have been Space Grey and Silver. Although these colours have varied over the years, they look fantastic on the new range of iPhone. All new three new models will sport these colours slightly differently thanks to the new glass body.
Unfortunately for those interested in the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus users will get exclusive access to a Rose Gold option too. We’re not quite sure why Apple have neglected their premium when it comes to the different colour option but we’re sure they’ve got something up their sleeve.
Storage capacity has been a huge talking point this year. When the iPhone 7 was released last year, it was available with two storage options; 32GB and 128GB. This met the requirements of those who don’t necessarily use a lot of storage, and those who download plenty of music and videos. This year Apple decided to step it up a gear and double down on their storage options. That’s right, all three of the new iPhones will be available with a capacity of 64GB or 256GB.
If you're interested in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X, let us know. We'll make sure that we notify you when they become available.