Apple’s latest iPhone launch event was one of the strangest we’ve seen.
Instead of revealing and fawning over two new flagships, the company instead launched a pair of slightly anticlimactic flagships that were quickly overshadowed by a luxury handset not many people will be able to afford.
The iPhone X has everything that the iPhone 8 has, plus some extra stuff on top. So the big question is whether those are worth the extra money, or if you should just get the less premium phone – which still boasts a great camera and all the features you’d expect.
Here are the main differences between the new smartphones.
Screen size and quality
The most immediately noticeable difference between the iPhone X and iPhone 8 is the display. The X has a thoroughly modern-looking “edge-to-edge” screen that covers almost the entire front face of the handset, apart from a chunk at the top.
The iPhone X’s screen is much larger and sharper than both the iPhone 8’s screen and iPhone 8 Plus’ screen too. It’s a 5.8-inch, 2,436 x 1,125 display, compared to a 4.7-inch 1,334 x 750 screen (iPhone 8) and a 5.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,080) screen (iPhone 8 Plus).
However, despite having a bigger screen, the X (143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm) is actually smaller than the 8 Plus (158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm).
That’s not all. The X also uses OLED display technology, which offers much deeper blacks than LCD, which features on the 8 and 8 Plus, for a superior viewing experience. The X’s screen is also Dolby Vision and HDR compatible, while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are not.
Face ID and Touch ID
Because of its new screen, there’s no room for a physical home button on the iPhone X. That means Touch ID has been dropped, and is instead only available on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
The X instead features Face ID, a technology that lets you unlock your phone and authenticate iTunes purchases by looking at your phone. It didn’t work properly during the on-stage demonstration, but Apple says it’s more “natural” than Touch ID.
The iPhone 8 is the only phone from this trio to feature a single rear camera sensor. It’s a 12-megapixel lens with optical image stabilisation and an aperture of f/1.8.
The iPhone 8 Plus is a step up, combining a pair of 12-megapixel cameras laid out side-by-side. One of these is a wide-angle sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, while the other is a telephoto sensor with optical image stabilisation and an f.2.8 aperture.
The iPhone X has the most advanced camera setup of the three phones. Like the iPhone 8 Plus, it combines a pair of 12-megapixel sensors – a wide-angle sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and a telephoto sensor with optical image stabilisation and an f.2.8 aperture – but has them laid out one above the other. Both sensors also have optical image stabilisation.
One of the most divisive announcements of the Apple’s event was Animoji, animated emoji that mirror your facial expressions. Some people will find them fun, while others consider them childish and utterly moronic.
They’re only available on the iPhone X, not the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, as they rely on the X’s new facial-scanning camera technology, which sits inside the cutout at the top of the screen.
The iPhone X is only available in two colour options: silver and space grey. There’s slightly more variety with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which also come in gold.
Disappointingly, there’s no jet black option for any of the handsets, despite the colour scheme proving so popular last year.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re nowhere near as expensive as the iPhone X. It will be available to preorder from 27 October, for a staggering £999 for 64GB of storage and £1,149 for 256GB of storage. It will begin shipping on 3 November.
The iPhone 8, meanwhile, costs £699 for 64GB and £849 for 256GB, and the iPhone 8 Plus costs £799 for 64GB and £949 for 256GB. Both handsets will be available to preorder on 15 September, and will begin shipping on 22 September.