It is hard to forget the fuss that Apple made when they announced the impending arrival of iPhone X. It was a total break from tradition, and naming convention and big things were promised, including the price tag. Dedicated Apple fans went on a rollercoaster of emotions, they soared when the announcement was made, and many plummeted when they saw the vast cost, then they flew high once more when the demo product was unveiled.
After the initial buzz, it has dropped back to being just another phone with many people not really able to identify what sets X apart from 8, and the stranded upgrade offer from most mobile phone companies just being the next model up, with higher models appearing as alternatives. So just what is different with X and why are users skipping the traditional upgrade route to get their hands on this flagship handset?
No Difference is Far From True
Initially, there was a lot of moaning that there is no difference between the two handsets other than the massive 40% price jump. However, this is far from accurate, there are differences, and as for cost, only individual users can decide if it is justified for them. To help you decide here is a comparison between the two.
To Infinity and Beyond
If you place the handsets side by side, it is easy to see one difference. X has what has been described as an infinity screen, which is not strictly true as the screen does still feature a bumper, however, gone is the home button and large expanse of casing top and bottom. Thinner sides complete the screen and the official stats show an 82.9% screen-to-body ratio, compared to the 65.6% on the 8.
The X features OLED technology while 8 sticks with the traditional LED screen. OLED offers the users a significantly improved contrast ratio and enables some power savings not available with LED. The overall screen dimensions are X: 5.8-inch 18.5:9 True Tone OLED, 2436 x 1125 pixels (458 PPI) versus 8: 4.7-inch 16:9 True Tone LCD, 1334 x 750 pixels (326 PPI).
One criticism that is true is that this newer infinity style screen is the last to hit the market with rivals Samsung and Google having been there for some time already. The 8 does offer the Apple The Tone technology which is great for streaming quality, but it obviously cannot boost the full complement of edge to edge screen.
Size Difference is Surprising
Another Apple signature move has usually been the size of the phones. They have crept up over the years with the option of ‘plus’ for users who prefer a larger handset amongst other subtle differences. In fairness, while the X is bigger than the 8, the overall package is neater. X measures 143.6mm x 70.9mm, and is 7.7m thick whereas 8 is 138.4mm x 67.3mm and is 7.3mm thick. There is much less difference than expected and interestingly X is smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus.
Touch ID has been an option for iPhone for some time now. Some users love it, others are not overly bothered. Touch ID is supported by variable length passcodes for days when you picked up your phone with your left hand but forgot to set that finger up. Face ID has been touted as the next best thing, but reviews have been mixed. Getting a strangers face to unlock your phone was a trend to highlight flaws in the tech, with consumers reporting siblings and twins (perhaps unsurprisingly) being able to access the handset.
Touch ID is a quicker way to unlock the phone as Face ID taking longer to process. That said the technology is robust and still recognises the owner wearing glasses or hats, or even in the dark. The general consensus is that Face ID remains a work in progress.
For a change, the newer phone does not offer better battery life, comparatively. Both handsets offer a day of activity at 12 hours, but you can expect the iPhone 8 to hold some charge after 15 hours still. Not a significant issue in this day and age where charging points are everywhere. Both handsets offer wireless charging with no case required but as yet Apple has not released a branded charging mat, so users will need third-party accessories like Qi. The Airpower Pad as the Apple technology will be known, was promised early 2018 but has yet to materialise.