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The Key Differences between the IPhone X and IPhone 8

The Key Differences between the IPhone X and IPhone 8

Apple’s Phil Schiller debuts the iPhone X at the company’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple’s Phil Schiller debuts the iPhone X at the company’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple (AAPL) brought us some huge news on Tuesday by unveiling three new versions of its iconic iPhone: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the top-of-the-line iPhone X.

Rolling out a trio of phones was an unusual, though not unexpected, move by Apple. But, if you’re an Apple fan, you’ve got a big decision to make: Which phone do you get?

To make your decision easier, I’m breaking down the differences between the 8, 8 Plus and X. Here are the basic differences:

Price — iPhone X costs $999, 8 Plus costs $799, 8 costs $699

Screen size — iPhone X 5.8-inch edge-to-edge display vs iPhone 8 4.7-inch screen and iPhone 8 Plus 5.5-inch panel

Cameras — iPhone X has a dual-lens, 12-MP camera with a larger aperture on its telephoto lens than the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have; iPhone X and 8 Plus support Portrait and Portrait Lighting depth-of-field effects, while the iPhone 8 does not have this feature

Security —  iPhone X is the only one of the three to offer Face ID facial recognition

Battery — iPhone 8 Plus has a longer battery life than the iPhone X and iPhone 8

Home button — The iPhone X ditches the Home button for a gesture-style interface, while the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus get to keep it.

The screens

The most recognizable addition to the iPhone X is its slick new 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED screen that Apple calls its Super Retina HD display. Apple says the panel has a higher contrast ratio than the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus: 1 million to 1 versus 1,400 to 1 on the 4.7-inch 8 and 1,300 to 1 on the 5.5-inch 8 Plus.

The iPhone X on the left next to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

What does that mean? Well, colors will look truer to life and blacks will appear endlessly dark on the X. That’s not to say that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’ Retina HD panels are bad. Like the X, the 8 and 8 Plus feature Apple’s True Tone display technology and 3D Touch. Basically, if you already love the iPhone’s display, the 8 and 8 Plus will be just as, if not more, beautiful as the 7 and 7 Plus.

But if you want the undisputed best iPhone screen, then the X will likely be the way to go.

The size

The iPhone X’s edge-to-edge panel means Apple was able to cram more screen onto the smaller phone body. Take the iPhone 8 Plus, for example. Its 5.5-inch screen and large top and bottom bezels push its frame to 6.2 x 3.1 x 0.30 inches. The iPhone 8, meanwhile, has a 4.7-inch display with a body that measures 5.5 x 2.7 0.29 inches.

But the iPhone X’s 5.8-inch screen is laid onto a device that’s 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.30 inches, or just about between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. I don’t have any issues fitting my iPhone 7 Plus into my pocket, so the 8 Plus won’t make much of a difference to me. But there are times when its size can be a burden, like when I’m trying to use the phone with one hand while holding onto the subway pole during my morning commute. That’s where the iPhone X’s more compact size will be a welcome benefit.

The Home button

While the iPhone X’s new display gives you more real estate for videos and apps, it also means the death of the company’s iconic Home button. Yes, the simple circle that’s been a part of the iPhone since day one is gone. In its place is a gesture-style interface.

To get Home, you’ll now swipe up from the bottom of the display. If you want to navigate to an already open app, you’ll now swipe up from the bottom and pause. It seems intuitive, but it could confuse users who appreciate the fact that the iPhone’s fundamental design has remained unchanged through the years.

Apple has done away with the Home button on the iPhone X.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone Plus, on the other hand, keep the classic Home button, since they don’t have the extra screen space to contend with. That makes the 8 and 8 Plus ideal for shoppers who are more comfortable with the physical button rather than the digital interface. Or people like me who are easily frightened by change.


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