Home / News & Analysis / iPhone X vs. iPhone 8: Which New Apple Phone Should You Buy?

iPhone X vs. iPhone 8: Which New Apple Phone Should You Buy?

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have been overshadowed by iPhone X, but they deserve a little attention because not everyone wants to shell out $1,000+ for an iPhone. For those people, the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus both offer powerful hardware and features like wireless charging, while being a bit more wallet-friendly than iPhone X. But the sleek iPhone X has its advantages. Which one to buy? Read on.

Name Apple iPhone 8 Apple iPhone 8 Plus Apple iPhone X
Lowest Price $699.00 MSRP $799.00 MSRP $999.00 MSRP
Editors' Rating
CPU Apple A11 Apple A11 Apple A11
Dimensions 5.45 by 2.65 by 0.29 inches 6.24 by 3.07 by 0.3 inches 5.65 by 2.79 by 0.3 inches
Weight 5.22 oz 7.13 oz 6.14 oz
Screen Size 4.7 inches 5.5 inches 5.8 inches
Screen Type Retina Retina Super Retina HD
Screen Resolution 1,334 by 750 pixels 1,920 by 1,080 pixels 2,436 by 1,125 pixels
Camera Resolution 12MP Rear, 7MP Front-facing Dual 12MP Rear, 7MP Front-facing Dual 12MP Rear, 7MP Front-facing
Wireless Specification 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Version 5.0 5.0 5.0
microSD Slot No No No
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Design and Display

The iPhone X is the phone with all the design changes. You get an edge-to-edge display, a glass front and back, and a highly polished metal band along the sides. The front consists of a smooth expanse of screen that replaces the familiar Touch ID-enabled home button with Face ID sensors set in a cutout at the top.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus stick to more traditional looks. They add a glass back for wireless charging, but keep the home button and a regular aspect ratio for a body that's largely identical to iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.


Dimensions are where you'll notice the biggest differences in usability. The iPhone X has a 5.8-inch screen compressed into a body that measures 5.65 by 2.79 by 0.30 inches (HWD) and weighs in at 6.14 ounces.

Compare that with the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 (5.45 by 2.65 by 0.29, 5.22 ounces) and 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus (6.24 by 3.07 by 0.30 inches, 7.13 ounces); despite having a bigger screen than the 8 Plus, the iPhone X still has a form factor that's only slightly bigger and an ounce heavier than the iPhone 8. That means when it comes to using it with one hand, the iPhone 8 will be easiest to use, the iPhone X comes in at a close second, and the iPhone 8 Plus will be the biggest, heaviest, and most unwieldy.


All three phones are IP67 water- and dust-resistant, letting them survive in 5 feet of water for half an hour. Headphone jacks are now a thing of the past, but all three support Bluetooth 5.0, which improves range and lets you stream to two pairs of headphones simultaneously.


The difference between the iPhone X display and the ones on the 8 and 8 Plus is like day and night. The iPhone X boasts a 5.8-inch, 2,436-by-1,125 Super Retina HD panel that packs in 458 pixels per inch, the biggest increase in pixel density since the iPhone 6 Plus. By contrast, neither the iPhone 8 (1,334-by-750, 326ppi) or iPhone 8 Plus (1,920-by-1,080, 401ppi) receive an upgrade in resolution or pixel density over the iPhone 7.

Display technology is different, too. The iPhone X's Super Retina HD display is an OLED panel sourced from Samsung, giving users rich, saturated colors and dense, inky blacks. All three phones get Apple's wide color gamut and True Tone display, but only the iPhone X has HDR, allowing for significant visual enhancements on photos, videos, and streamed content. Maximum screen brightness is equally high for all three devices, providing good sunlight visibility. 3D Touch, a feature that dates back to iPhone 6s, lives on.

Processor and Battery

If what's under the hood is most important to you, there's a lot to be pleased about with Apple's new A11 Bionic chipset found in iPhone 8 and X. According to leaked benchmarks on Geekbench, it's the single most powerful processor on a mobile device we've seen, with a single-core score of 4,061 and a multi-core score of 9,959, beating every Android device and all previous iPhones and iPads.

There's also Apple's custom-designed GPU, which should give you strong gaming performance across the board. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that these are the three most powerful phones in the world.


We don't have details on battery capacity, but Apple claims iPhone 8 battery life will be similar to iPhone 7. For reference, the iPhone 7 clocked 5 hours, 45 minutes in our battery test—in which we stream full-screen video over LTE at maximum screen brightness—and the 7 Plus clocked 6 hours.

The big winner is the iPhone X. According to Apple, it should last two hours longer than the iPhone 7, giving you nearly 8 hours of runtime. All three phones now support fast charging, letting you juice up to 50 percent in 30 minutes with the iPad adapter.


Camera capability is hard to test without doing a full shootout in PC Labs, but taking into account the hardware gives us a good idea of what each iPhone should be capable of. Starting at the bottom, the iPhone 8 has a single 12-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and quad LED True Tone flash. The lack of a secondary sensor means you don't get telephoto zoom, portrait mode, portrait lighting, or the bokeh effect. The iPhone 8 should work with AR apps, but you may not get depth sensing that's as accurate as a dual sensor setup.


The iPhone 8 Plus has two 12-megapixel rear cameras. One is the standard wide angle lens while the other is telephoto, giving you 2x optical zoom. On 8 Plus, only the wide angle lens has OIS, letting you record stable video and improving low-light shooting. Other features include the shooting in portrait mode and being able to take advantage of Apple's Portrait Lighting feature, which gives you studio-quality lighting effects.

The iPhone X has similar hardware to the 8 Plus, with two 12-megapixel sensors. It also supports 2x optical zoom, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, and bokeh. The big advantage of the iPhone X is that both its rear cameras support optical zoom, rather than just one, giving you more consistent quality when it comes to video recording and low-light shooting.


Where iPhone X really pulls ahead is with the 7-megapixel front-facing TrueDepth camera. As the name indicates, this is what scans your face for Face ID. Aside from unlocking, it also boasts a Portrait mode for your selfies, Portrait Lighting, and Animojis, which are animated emoji that track your facial movements. It's a pretty impressive technology, which could have some interesting uses as developers create apps for it.

All three phones have an improved image signal processor for fast autofocus in low light. They're also capable of 4K video recording at 24, 30, and 60fps, and support 1080p slow-mo video recording at 120 or 240fps.

Software and Features

All three new iPhones will come running iOS 11, Apple's latest operating system. It will roll out to all iPhone owners on Sept. 19 and bring with it new features like ARKit's augmented reality support, a file manager, and serious multitasking capabilities. If there's one thing Apple is great at, it's consistent updates, so you have nothing to fear on this front regardless of which iPhone you buy.

Price and Availability

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be available for pre-order starting Sept. 15 and will begin shipping Sept. 22. The iPhone X pre-orders start Oct. 27 and ship Nov. 3.


Price is likely to be the biggest factor in determining which iPhone to buy. Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 8 is the most affordable; the 64GB model will cost you $699 and the 256GB comes in at $849. For the iPhone 8 Plus, you're looking at a starting price of $799 for the 64GB model and $949 for 256GB. The iPhone X, meanwhile, costs a hefty $999 for the 64GB model and $1,149 for 256GB.

Overall, if price is your biggest concern, the iPhone 8 gives you the powerful A11 processor, wireless charging, and some small improvements to camera and display in a compact form factor. If camera quality is a primary concern and you prefer a bigger screen, the iPhone 8 Plus packs in dual rear camera sensors, a larger, higher-resolution display, and most of the features you get with the iPhone X. Finally, if price is no object, the iPhone X is leaps and bounds ahead of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in terms of design and hardware, incorporating innovative new technology. We'll be testing all three in the coming months, so stay tuned for more details.

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Facebook’s Kodi box ban is nothing new

According to recent reports, Facebook has updated its Commerce Policy to specifically ban the sale of Kodi boxes on its site – that is, devices that come with pre-installed Kodi software, which are often used for illegally streaming digital content. However, the ban is not a new one – Facebook confirms its policy on Kodi box sales hasn’t changed since last summer, and its external Policy Page – the one being cited as evidence of the new ban – was updated in December. It’s true that the changes have flown under the radar until now, though. The policy change was first reported by Cord Cutters News, and later linked to by TorrentFreak and Techdirt. The original report claims that Facebook added a new rule on its list of “Digital Media and Electronic Devices” under “Prohibited Content,” which specifically calls out Kodi boxes. It says that Facebook posts “may not promote the sale of devices that facilitate or encourage streaming digital content in an authorized manner or interfering with the functionality of electronic devices.” The Policy page lists a few examples of what this means, including wiretapping devices, jamming or descrambling devices, jailbroken or loaded devices, and, then “promoting the sale or use of streaming devices with Kodi installed.” (The only permitted items are “add-on equipment for Kodi devices, such as keyboards and remotes.”) But this ban on Kodi boxes, Facebook says, is not a recently implemented policy. According to a Facebook spokesperson, it launched a new policy last summer that prohibited the sale of electronic devices that facilitate or are intended for unauthorized streaming or access to digital content – including Kodi boxes. This policy has not changed since last summer, but its external Policy Page – this one being cited by the various reported – was updated in December 2017 to offer additional illustrative examples and more detailed information on all its policies, including the one related to unauthorized streaming devices. In other words, Facebook has been banning Kodi boxes since it decided to crackdown on unauthorized streaming devices last year. It’s just now being noticed. The ban affects all posts on Marketplace, Buy and Sell Groups, and Shop Sections on Pages. Facebook explains it takes a very strong enforcement approach when “Kodi” is mentioned with a product for sale. As Techdirt pointed out, that’s problematic because the Kodi software itself is actually legal. However, device makers like Dragon Box or SetTV have been using the open-source Kodi platform and other add-ons to make copyright infringement easier for consumers. Facebook does seem to understand that Kodi software isn’t illegal, but it knows that when “Kodi” is mentioned in a product (e.g. a device) listing, it’s very often a product designed to circumvent copyright. The company tells us that its intent is not to ban Kodi software altogether, however, and it’s in the process of reviewing its guidelines and these examples to more closely target devices that encourage unauthorized streaming. That could mean it will, at some point, not outright ban a device that includes Kodi software, but focus more on other terms used in the sale, like “fully loaded” or some sort of description of the illegal access the box provides, perhaps. (Facebook didn’t say what might change.) As for Kodi, the company says Facebook’s move doesn’t affect them. “It doesn’t impact us, since we don’t sell devices,” says Keith Herrington, who handles Business Relations at the XBMC Foundation (Kodi). He said his organization would love to talk to someone at Facebook – since they’ve never been in touch – in order to ensure that devices that are in compliance with Kodi’s trademark policy are not banned. Both Amazon and eBay have worked with Kodi on similar policies, he added. “We’ve gotten thousands of devices which were in violation of our trademark policy removed from eBay,” Herrington said. It’s unclear how well-enforced Facebook’s ban really is – I’m in Facebook groups myself where people talk about how to jailbreak “Fire sticks” and include posts from those who sell them pre-jailbroken. (It’s for research purposes. Ahem.) Industry crackdowns go beyond Facebook Facebook isn’t the only company that’s attempting to crack down on these devices. Netflix, Amazon and the major studios are suing Dragon Box for facilitating piracy by making it easy for consumers to access illegal streams of movies and TV shows. In January 2018, a U.S. District Court judge handed down a preliminary injunction against TickBox TV, a Georgia-based set-top box maker that was sued by the major studios, along with streaming services Netflix and Amazon, for profiting from the sale of “Kodi boxes.” Google has removed the word “kodi” from the autocomplete feature of Search, along with other piracy-related terms. And more recently, the FCC asked Amazon and eBay to stop selling fake pay TV boxes. It said these boxes often falsely bear the FCC logo to give them the appearance of legitimacy, but are actually used to perpetuate “intellectual property theft and consumer fraud,” the FCC said in letters to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and eBay CEO Devin Wenig. Why Streaming Piracy is Growing There’s a reason Kodi devices are so popular, and it’s not just because everyone is being cheap about paying for access to content. For starters, there’s a lack of consequence for consumers who do illegally stream media – it’s not like back in the day when the RIAA was suing individuals for pirating music. While there has been some activity – Comcast several years ago issued copyright infringement notices to Kodi users, for example – you can today basically get away with illegal streaming. The copyright holders are currently focused on cutting off piracy at the source – box makers and the platforms that enable their sale – not at the individual level. The rise of cord cutting has also contributed to the issue by creating a highly fragmented streaming ecosystem. Shows that used to be available under a single (if pricey) cable or satellite TV subscription, are now spread out across services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO NOW, and others used by cord cutters. Customers are clearly willing to pay for some of these services (largely, Netflix and maybe one or two others), but most can’t afford a subscription for each one. And they definitely don’t want to when all they’re after is access to a single show from a network. That’s another reason they then turn to piracy. Finally, there is the fact that film distributors have forever withheld their movies from streaming services for months, creating a demand for illegal downloads and streams. Though the release window has shrunk some in more recent years, the studios haven’t yet fully bought into the idea of much smaller windows to cater to the audience who will never go to the theater to watch their movie. And when this audience is cut out the market, they also turn to piracy. Eventually, the record industry adapted to consumers’ desire for streaming, and services like Spotify and Apple Music emerged. Eventually, streaming services may be able to make piracy less attractive, too. Amazon Channels, could become a key player here if it expands to include more add-ons. Today, it’s the only true a la carte TV service available. And that perhaps – not skinny bundles – is what people really want.

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