In Review

Apple’s iPhone 8 vs. iPhone X: what sets them apart?

Differences in screen quality and security features are significant

Apple finally revealed its iPhone 8 and iPhone X smartphones amid huge fanfare this week following months of speculation. 

The first of the two to be unveiled was the phone that the majority of fans will buy - the iPhone 8. Although it looks similar to Apple’s other recent smartphones, the new handset offers larger storage options and an improved display. 

Meanwhile, the X, launched to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the iPhone, has a sleeker design. It costs a hefty £1,000 and won't appear on the market until 3 November. 

Both devices are similar in shape and share many features, but what sets them apart?

Design

One of the key talking points prior to the iPhone X’s launch was its design.

The ten-year anniversary model moves away from the traditional aluminium casing of older iPhones and instead has glass front and back panels: these sandwich a thin piece of stainless steel that mimics the curved design of the iPhone 7. 

At the back, the iPhone X features a vertical dual-lens camera, rather than the horizontal layout of the 7 Plus. Each lens boasts a 12-megapixel sensor, says Pocket-Lint, as well as optical image stabilisation and zoom. 

By contrast, the iPhone 8 is very similar to the iPhone 7, 6S and 6.

While it also features the glass front and back panels seen on the X, it retains the curved aluminium band and thin antenna strips of its predecessors. The rose-gold colour finish has also been dropped from the line-up, leaving space grey, silver and gold options. 

Displays

Apple has improved the screens on the both iPhone X and 8, although the former gets a few more features than the latter. 

The X is equipped with a 5.8ins OLED display that “fills the entire front of the device”, says The Daily Telegraph. It’s the first iPhone not to come with the company’s “iconic” circular home button, to free up more room for the display.

The X packs a resolution of 2,436 x 1,125 pixels, reports 9to5Mac, as well as HDR (high dynamic range) effects that bolster contrast ratios for a more lifelike look. 

The iPhone 8 comes with the same 4.7ins LCD display with a 1,334 x 750 resolution as the outgoing iPhone 7, Pocket-Lint reports, although Apple has added in True Tone effects on the new device. The feature “allows the display to adapt its brightness to its surroundings” and first appeared on the company’s iPad Pro. 

The larger 8 Plus also get True Tone technology, the website says, and retains the 5.5ins screen size with 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution from the 7 Plus. 

Features

Those looking to buy an iPhone 8 will get stereo speakers that are 25% louder than those in the iPhone 7, says Tech Radar, but it still doesn’t come with a headphone jack. 

The 8 also supports wireless charging, through Apple’s new AirPower device, the site says. Users simply place their handset on the flat wireless charger, which also powers Apple’s Watch and AirPod accessories. However, the AirPower is expected to be sold as a separate device.

The iPhone X will be able to charge itself wirelessly using AirPower too, says The Daily Telegraph, and debuts the facial recognition security system Face ID. The system scans the user’s face to unlock their device, as the edge-to-edge display on the X has left no room for the company’s old Touch ID fingerprint sensor. 

Augmented reality, which layers computer-generated graphics over real-life objects, also makes its debut in the X. The feature allows users to apply virtual masks or face paints to their own face in photos and videos in real time using the device’s camera. Emojis can also be animated, and virtual objects added to videos of the real world - all in real time. 

Prices

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launch on 19 September, although pre-orders have already opened on Apple’s online store

Prices for the 8 start at £699 for the 64GB model, rising to £849 for the 246GB version. Both 8 Plus variants come at a £100 premium over the regular iPhone 8 models. 

The iPhone X will cost £999 for the entry-level 64GB, while the range-topping 246GB model is £1,149. It will be available to pre-order from 27 October.

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