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Don’t buy the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus or you’ll regret it

by Danny Zepeda | September 13, 2017September 13, 2017 3:30 pm PST

Apple made headlines this week thanks to its newly announced iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. It’s the first time Apple has delivered three new iPhones in one event.

We already covered the main overviews of these devices. You can check out our iPhone 8 coverage here and iPhone X coverage here. Moving beyond specs, the question everyone is asking themselves right now is: Which iPhone should I buy?

That’s a tough proposition now that the fancy new iPhone X costs a whopping $999.

Many people might be thinking of opting to purchase the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus to save a few bucks. That’s completely understandable, because that’s exactly what I was thinking after the $999 scared me off. But as I did research on pricing, specs and features, I concluded not to buy the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus.

Pricing

Like I said before, the $999 iPhone X price gave me a slight heart attack. That’s a lot of guacamole. And that’s only for the 64GB version; the 256GB model jumps to $1,149.

Paying anything less than that is a good thing, and the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will certainly save you money. But just how much money are we talking about? About $300.

If you compare a 64GB iPhone 8 with the 256GB iPhone X, then the price difference is much bigger ($449), but most people that get a 64GB iPhone 8 will probably stick with a 64GB iPhone X if they do make the jump. Here is the head to head comparison of the pricing:

  • iPhone 8: 64GB is $699 and 256GB is $849
  • iPhone 8 Plus: 64GB is $799 and 256GB is $949
  • iPhone X: 64GB is $999 and 256GB is $1,149

Covering the same models of storage of the new iPhones, the difference between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X is $300 and $200 for the iPhone 8 Plus.

In considering the iPhone 8 Plus (in the 64GB variant, because I don’t need that much storage), I thought I would save much more money by sacrificing all the bells and whistles offered by the iPhone X, but that’s not the case. If I’m paying $800 for the iPhone 8 Plus, I might as well pay $1,000 for the iPhone X.

The same logic applies for the iPhone 8. You’re saving $300, but you give up many cool features.

Missing features

So what features are you missing out on with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus? More than you think.

Yes, you do get the A11 Bionic chip and wireless charging with the iPhone 8, along with a dual camera and 3GB of RAM with the iPhone 8 Plus, but there’s more.

The most notable new feature is the gorgeous 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina display that blows the iPhone 8 Plus’ 5.5-inch LCD RetinaHD display out of the water. We won’t talk about the iPhone 8’s display because it doesn’t stand a chance.

But what really takes the display technology to a new level is the fact that it comes in a much more manageable frame. In the iPhone X, you get a body that’s comparable in size to the iPhone 8, but with a bigger display than the iPhone 8 Plus. The biggest knock on the Plus-size iPhone line has been that it is too unwieldily and uncomfortable. The iPhone X solves that problem without sacrificing display size.

Apple has a similar 12MP dual camera in the iPhone 8 Plus that is in the iPhone X, but there are major differences. Apple added optical image stabilization to the second telephoto lens in the iPhone X camera. It is a big under-the-radar addition that will greatly improve the quality of images taken with telephoto lens. The telephoto lens on the iPhone X also has a lower aperture than the one found in the iPhone 8 Plus—f/2.4 versus f/2.8.

The major iPhone X addition Apple put a lot of focus on is FaceID, and rightly so. This is a game-changing feature if it works as advertised. To make the feature a reality, Apple added a myriad of new sensors including infrared camera, proximity sensor, flood illuminator and dot projector. The dot project projects 30,000 dots to analyze and create a depth map of your face. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. Once set-up, FaceID will unlock your phone and authenticate Apple Pay.

During the keynote, Apple stated the probability of breaking into FaceID is 1-in-1,000,000. The TouchID biometric sensor in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is only 1-in-50,000. We can’t quite confirm FaceID’s accuracy right now because we don’t have an iPhone X, but it looks very impressive so far.

FaceID also allowed Apple to improve the front-facing 7MP camera. It’s the same resolution as the one you’d find in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but with the new sensors it adds the Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting found in the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X’s dual camera.

The sensors also pave the way for Animoji. By scanning your face with the dot projector, you can control the new animated emojis and even voice dictate though them. This isn’t really a killer feature, but it is one the iPhone X exclusively offers.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus also miss out on is the new gesture-based interface the iPhone X will utilize. This is Apple’s response to removing the home button, but it looks like it’ll be a revolutionary rethinking of how iOS functions.

Looking at the demos of the iPhone X, it acts like a brand new phone thanks to the gesture motions. The new home button is a full swipe up, and half swipe will enable the multi-tasking window. It’ll take a while to get use it, but it already looks more intuitive than a button press or double press that was previously needed for these functions.

Now that the swipe up has been taken up by the home button, to access the control panel you will need to swipe down from the top right of the display. A swipe from the left side will bring down the notification center.

All of this adds up to the iPhone X being Apple’s phone of the future.


I understand that not everybody has an extra $200 or $300 to spend. I know I don’t. That’s why I want to make sure my $700 or $1,000 will be spent on a worthy product.

With the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus you will get a very capable phone, but you’re still taking a step back because they are essentially phones from 2014. The iPhone X and its slew of features is a step toward the future. Sacrificing all of that just to save a couple hundred bucks is just not worth it to me.


Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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