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iPhone X Vs iPhone 8 Plus: Which Apple Smartphone Should I Buy?

iPhone X Vs iPhone 8 Plus: Which Apple Smartphone Should I Buy?  - Which new Apple flagship smartphone should you spend money on this year? We put the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus side-by-side to find out.

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Apple iPhone 8 Plus in Camera Phones

 

September last year, Apple got fans excited about the release of 3 new smartphones: iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone 8

Now the phones have been on the market for a while, quite a few people are asking which they should buy/upgrade to so as we've got our hands on the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus, we thought we'd compare the specs of the smartphones, particular their image quality and camera features, to give you a clearer understanding of which is right for you. 

Let's begin with a quick comparison of the key specs side-by-side (you can see the full list of specs compared in the table at the bottom of the article). 

You can also navigate the article via these links:

 

Apple iPhone X Apple iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone X Apple iPhone 8 Plus
5.8" Super Retina HD display 5.5" Retina HD display
 12MP wide-angle, f/1.8 and telephoto, f/2.4 cameras 12MP wide-angle, f/1.8 and telephoto, f/2.8 cameras
7MP, f/2.2, TrueDepth Front Camera 7MP, f/2.2 FaceTime HD Camera
Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting on front and rear cameras Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting on rear camera
1080p HD video recording (front camera) 1080p HD video recording (front camera)
4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps (rear camera) 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps (rear camera)
Dual optical image stabilisation Optical image stabilisation (Wide)
Optical Zoom  Optical Zoom 
Splash, Water and Dust Resistant Splash, Water and Dust Resistant
A11 processor A11 processor
Glass back design which allows for wireless charging

Glass back design which allows for wireless charging

Battery lasts up to 2 hours longer than iPhone 7 Battery lasts about the same as iPhone 7 Plus
64GB or 256GB Capacity  64GB or 256GB Capacity 
Size: 143.6mm, 70.9mm, 7.7mm Size: 158.4mm, 78.1mm, 7.5mm
Weight: 174 grams Weight: 202 grams
No home button and small top and bottom bezel Home 'touch' button
Price: £999, £1149 Price: £799, £949


 

The Camera

Both the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus have a 12MP camera and two lenses on the back, along with the front-facing selfie camera. The iPhone X and 8 Plus also have an optical zoom and a 10x digital zoom (although, we don't recommend you use it). Other camera features both smartphones share include a retina flash on the front-facing camera, Quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync on the back, a larger sensor and a new image signal processor built in to improve the quality of colours and textures in images. There's also a new A11 processor built into both smartphones.

 

Rear camera on the iPhone X
 

Where they start to differ is with the maximum aperture of the telephoto lens (f/1.8 on the X and f/2.8 on the 8 Plus) which makes a big difference when shooting in low light and the X also has dual optical image stabilisation when it's just optical stabilisation on the 8 Plus wide-angle lens which, again, makes a difference when it comes to low light work. 

Both feature portrait modes, along with portrait lighting options (currently in BETA), but with the 8 Plus, the options are only available on the rear camera whereas on the iPhone X, the 'depth effect' can be applied live when using the 'TrueDepth' selfie camera. WIth Portrait Mode, you can create 'bokeh' in the background of your portraits without much effort on your part, adjust the lighting of the scene or 'cut' your subjects out so they appear on a black background. 

Iphone 8 Plus (1)
Rear camera on the iPhone 8 Plus

 

iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus Based On Camera Specs: iPhone X (just).

 

The Native Camera App

Both the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus share the same native camera app which, when compared to other phone manufacturer's camera apps, is very basic. 

The default photo mode is probably the mode you'll use most of the time but there are also options for capturing square, portrait and panorama images. Plus, there are time-lapse and slo-mo options as well as the basic video mode and live photos (photos which move). You can also adjust the built-in flash, use a self-timer and add 9 filters. To use the 'selfie' camera, you press the camera icon that has arrows inside it.

 

iPhone X Camera App
 

One difference between these smartphones and, say, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is that the iPhone's have a telephoto and wide-angle lens built-in (the Huawei Mate 10 Pro features two lenses but one has a colour sensor and the other is black and white). When it says '1x' you're using the wide-angle lens while '2x' is the telephoto and the telephoto does give an impressive amount of reach for a smartphone. There's also a 10x digital zoom on both iPhones but it's generally terrible and should be avoided. 

The Portrait Modes do give you a few additional options which, as the name suggests, can be primarily be used when shooting portraits (and selfies on the iPhone X) but they can also be used to capture shots of flowers and other subjects that would look better against a background of bokeh. However, the effects are a little hit-and-miss which could be down to the 'BETA' status they currently have. We did manage to use the effects well on several, occasions, though so they are worth trying.  

That's pretty much it for the actual camera app (we told you it's basic). If you do want to access more advanced functions such as the ability to shoot in RAW, shutter speeds, ISO, white balance etc. you have to use a third-party app to do so.

 

iPhone 8 Plus Camera App

 

iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus Based On Camera App: They're almost identical, however, as Portrait Modes can be used on the iPhone X front camera, it pips the iPhone 8 Plus to the post. 

 

Photo Comparison 

The overall performance of the rear camera built into both iPhones is good with the generic 'photo' mode capturing decent photos on most occasions. The iPhone X did fair better when it came to colour balance as sometimes, colours were a little oversaturated on the iPhone 8 Plus.

When it gets dark, the iPhone 8 Plus still struggles, with detail starting to fall off, but when there are low levels of light, it does perform better than previous models. The struggles in the dark also continue for the iPhone X but twilight shooting has vastly improved on the iPhone X with images having a good amount of detail and less noise. This is probably down to the brighter aperture the telephoto lens has along with the new bigger sensor (that both phones have) and Dual Optical Image Stabilisation being built in. If you do shoot in low light with the iPhone 8 Plus, you'll need to hold really steady as shutter speeds do get lengthy or you can use a tripod. 

 

iPhone X vs iPhone 8 Plus in Low light

Low Light Performance Comparison 

 

Flash is a little harsh on both devices so if you can, avoid using and as already mentioned, you should also avoid using the digital zoom where possible, too, as detail disappears quickly. 

When capturing photos indoors (portraits in particular) both iPhones don't quite perform as well as the Pixel 2 XL does but the results aren't terrible by any means. 

When used outdoors, the generic 'photo' mode on both devices captures portraits and selfies well with skin colour appearing accurate and eyes sharp. Plus, when used right, the Portrait Modes can add a pro quality to your shots thanks to how they introduce bokeh to images. As said, results can be a little hit and miss with the modes sometimes clipping the subject in weird ways but when the modes get it right, shots are excellent. One thing the iPhone X has over the iPhone 8 Plus with the Portrait Modes is they can be used with the front-facing camera so your selfies can have that touch of finesse to them, too. 

 

iPhone X vs iPhone 8 Plus Portrait Mode

Portrait Mode Comparison 

 

Selfie Comparison iPhone X vs iPhone 8 Plus

Selfie Comparison

 

Talking of bokeh, both the X and 8 Plus add a lovely level of blur to the background of close-up shots and you can get pretty close to objects. When you want to focus on something a little further away, the telephoto lens on both devices has a good amount of reach and there are no signs of vignetting when using either lens. There are also good levels of detail into the corners. Lens flare can appear sometimes, but it’s not problematic unless you’re pointing the phone directly at the sun. 

 

Close-Up Performance Comparison iPhone X vs iPhone 8 Plus

 

As for noise and white balance, you can't adjust these options manually on either smartphone which is annoying as rival manufactures do offer this. However, the auto white balance does an excellent job on both smartphones so it doesn't really matter that you can't change white balance settings in the native camera. Noise problems don't tend to be a problem either until you're shooting in lower light levels when some detail is lost. 

Overall, both smartphones handle noise well, with the iPhone 10 handling it slightly better than the iPhone 8 Plus, but low light can still be tricky. Colour reproduction was good under various lighting situations.

 

Silvertone
Silvertone Filter
 

Both smartphones have the same 9 digital filters built in and we're particularly fans of the vivid and black and white options and they also feature the same automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are good and well stitched together with no ghosting in sight. It's a rather high-res panoramic that's produced by both smartphones, too. 

 

Victoria Quay Panoramic
iPhone X Panorama

Principality Stadium
iPhone 8 Plus Panorama

 

Apple iPhone X Sample Photos

 

Apple iPhone 8 Plus Sample Photos

 

iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus Based On The Photos Produced: iPhone X (just) because of its low light performance and colours are, generally, better balanced. 

 

Capturing Video 

With video, both the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus are on a level playing field as both will record in 4K at 24, 30 and 60fps plus, other formats are available. Optical image stabilisation is used while recording video footage and you can switch from the 1x to 2x zoom while filming. The continuous autofocus does a good job at tracking subjects and video quality is good.  If you do plan on capturing lots of 4K footage with either iPhone, go for the larger capacity as there's no way to expand the iPhone's storage. 

As a side note, although the cameras can shoot in 4K video, they won’t do this automatically through the native camera app, unless you change the camera settings in the main settings area from HD to 4K. 

 

iPhone X Video

 

iPhone 8 Plus Video

iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus Based On Video Capture: Draw.

 

Smartphone Design

Apple products always look the business and the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus are no different with their sleek glass design and solid build. Both are quite weighty but not in a bad way; it just reassures you that the devices are built really well. If you do want to talk actual CMs and grams, the 8 Plus is heavier than the X (202g and 174g, respectively) and it's bigger than the iPhone X, too.

 

iPhone X

 

The front and back glass design is nice but it does make the smartphones more prone to cracks if dropped and fingerprints will appear all over it! 

Buttons seem to be something phone designers avoid nowadays but unlike the iPhone X, you do still have a home button on the iPhone 8 Plus along with a phone lock button and volume controls. 

Due to the phone size, some may struggle to operate the phones one-handed but we had no problems navigating either device one-handed. Of course, a big phone does mean you get a big screen which is great for viewing photos on.

As smartphones don't have viewfinders, you need a decent screen for setting up shots and viewing images and the iPhone X wins on screen size with a 5.8" super retina HD screen which is surrounded by a smaller bezel so the smartphone remains a reasonable size. The iPhone 8 Plus features a 5.5" retina HD screen which isn't small by any means but if you want the biggest screen you can get in a new Apple phone, the iPhone X is your winner. The bezel on the iPhone 8 Plus isn't as small as that found on the X either but it's not massive in any way.

 

1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 35.0 mm | ISO 400

iPhone 8 Plus 

 

Viewing images and video on the iPhone X is a pleasure with colours appearing much more saturated than on previous models and just generally, more pleasing to the eye. Colours are also very well rendered on the iPhone 8 Plus. 

There's no fingerprint recognition on the iPhone X so the phone uses Face Recognition for security while the iPhone 8 Plus still uses fingerprint recognition.

Wireless charging has been added to both devices and they're also water as well as dust resistant. As with previous iPhone models, there's no headphone socket on either smartphone. 

iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus Based On Design: iPhone X based on weight, dimensions, screen size and quality (colours and saturation). 

 


iPhone X

 

Benchmark Scores

We ran a number of benchmarks to see how the iPhone x and iPhone 8 Plus compared to some other premium smartphones and here's how they scored:

iPhone X

AnTuTu: 202,000
Geekbench: 4204 (single core), 10104 (multicore) 

 

iPhone 8 Plus

AnTuTu: 217,385
Geekbench: 4216 (single core), 10185 (multicore) 

Both smartphone scores are impressive but surprisingly, the benchmark scores for the iPhone 8 Plus are marginally better. Both smartphones also beat the benchmark scores from the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as well as the Samsung Galaxy S8.

iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus Based On Benchmark Scores: iPhone 8 Plus. 

 

1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 800iPhone 8 Plus

 

Battery Life 

Battery life for both the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X is what you'd expect from modern smartphones, with them needed a power top-up after a full day's use. However, the iPhone X does last longer than the iPhone 7 while the iPhone 8 Plus battery lasts for around the same amount of time as the iPhone 7 Plus. The battery is also non-removable in both devices so you will need to use an external charger if you run out of power on the move. 

iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus Based On Battery Life: Draw.

 

Iphone 8 Plus (2)
iPhone 8 Plus

 

Value For Money

The iPhone X is priced at £999 sim-free with 64GB (the 256GB option is slightly more expensive) which is over £100 more expensive than those offered by competitors. The iPhone 8 Plus is priced at £799 sim-free with 64GB (the 256GB option is slightly more expensive) which is about on-par with those offered by competitors. 

iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus Based On Price: iPhone 8 Plus.

 

iPhone X
 

 

Verdict 

Going on the above mini verdicts, the iPhone X wins as the Apple smartphone choice for those who have photography on their list of things their smartphone needs to be good at. With the iPhone X you get better low light performance, portrait modes you can use on the front as well as rear camera, a bigger screen, smaller bevel and a lighter device. However, the lack of manual controls in the native camera app (in both devices) is disappointing as companies such as Huawei are making strides in this area with their camera apps offering RAW and the ability to change a wide variety of options and their smartphones are over £100 cheaper than the iPhone X (on par with the iPhone 8 Plus).

As the iPhone X is around the £1000 mark, the question of 'iPhone X Vs iPhone 8 Plus' will, of course, come down to price as not everyone will think that the extras you get with the iPhone X when compared with the iPhone 8 Plus aren't enough to justify such a big asking price. However, the fact that the iPhone 8 Plus is £200 cheaper and about on-par with those offered by competitors might make its slightly smaller screen, not as bright lens and lack of dual image stabilisation (among other things) more acceptable. 

 

Iphone8plus Vs Samsungs9plus Vs Pixel2xl (3)
iPhone 8 Plus, Samsungs 9 Plus, Pixel 2 XL

 

Alternatives 

The Apple iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X are lovely phones, you can't argue with that, but if you want access to manual controls you'd expect to find in more advanced cameras, you'll be better off looking at alternatives which include:

We've reviewed the Google Pixel 2 XL, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, so do take a look at our full reviews to see what we think of them. Below you'll find the sample images taken with each smartphone. 

 

Google Pixel 2 XL Sample Photos

 

Huawei Mate 10 Pro Sample Photos

 

For more smartphone suggestions for photographers, have a look at our 'Top 12 Best Camera Phones For Photography 2018'.

 

Comparison Table

Apple iPhone XApple iPhone 8 Plus
ManufacturerAppleApple
Lens
Max Aperturef/1.8 - f/2.4f/1.8 - f/2.8
35mm equivalent28mm - 56mm28mm - 56mm
Optical Zoom2x2x
Image Sensor
Pixels12Mp (Megapixels)12Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)No Data4032
Pixels (H)No Data3024
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor SizeNo Data1/3inch
Sensor Size (width)No DataNo Data
Sensor Size (height)No DataNo Data
Aspect Ratio
    • 4:3
    • 1:1
    LCD Monitor
    LCD Monitor5.8in5.5in
    Screen resolutionNo Data1920x1080
    Touch ScreenYesYes
    Focusing
    Focusing modes
    • Autofocus
    • Face Detection
    • Touch AF
    • Autofocus
    • Face Detection
    • Touch AF
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortestNo DataNo Data
    Shutter speeds longestNo DataNo Data
    ISO sensitivityNo Data25 - 2000
    Video
    Movie modeYesYes
    Video Resolution
    • 4K
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    • 4K
    Video FPSNo DataNo Data
    Stereo SoundNoNo Data
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationYesYes
    Interface
    USBLightningLightning
    Wi-FiYesYes
    Storage
    Internal MemoryNo DataNo Data
    Power Source
    Battery TypeNo DataNo Data
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsNo DataNo Data
    Dimensions
    Weight174g188g
    Width143.6mm158.2mm
    Height70.9mm77.9mm
    Depth7.7mm7.3mm
    View Full DetailsView Full Details

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    Comments


    14 Mar 2018 1:57PM
    Bigger sensor in X vs iPhone 8 Plus?? nope, both have 12MP with 1.22 micron pixel size...

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    ChrisV Plus
    11 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
    14 Mar 2018 2:09PM

    Quote:The Apple iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X are lovely phones, you can't argue with that, but if you want access to manual controls you'd expect to find in more advanced cameras, you'll be better off looking at alternatives which include:

    Huawei Mate 10 Pro, 6inch screen, dual 12mp camera, colour and monochrome lenses, 699
    Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, 6.2inch 18:9 screen, 12mp f/1.5-2.4 camera + telephoto camera, 869
    Google Pixel 2 XL, 6inch screen, 12mp f/1.8 camera, 799



    ...Or just downloading one of the very many [often free] Apps for iOS that capture RAW.
    14 Mar 2018 2:28PM

    Quote:Bigger sensor in X vs iPhone 8 Plus?? nope, both have 12MP with 1.22 micron pixel size...


    We don't say it has a bigger sensor in comparison to the 8 Plus, just a larger sensor in general, but we have adjusted the wording to make this clearer.

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