Tech Talk Thursday: Say Hello to the New iPhone(s)!

By now you’ve probably heard about the new phones Apple has announced this year, the Apple iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus,  and the Apple iPhone X.  The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have just been released, while the iPhone X  is available for pre-order. If you’re in the market for a new phone, you may be wondering about the differences between the devices and if it’s better to buy one over the other. Today, we’ll break down the options with an overview of some key similarities and differences in Apple’s latest iOS mobile devices.

Design Upgrades

From left: iPhone X, 8 Plus, and 8

All three new iPhone models sport glass backs now, a notable difference from their aluminum-backed predecessors. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are available in three colors (silver, space gray, and gold), while the iPhone X is available in two (silver and space gray).

All three phones feature bright, Retina HD display screens capable of producing colors across a wide spectrum. The screens also utilize 3D Touch and include technology that will balance the lighting of the screen based on your environment. Of the three, the iPhone X boasts the largest display screen, due to the fact that Apple has extended the screen across the entire face of the device. With this increase in screen real estate comes some sacrifices; the iconic Home button no longer exists on the X (more on that later).

Power and Battery Life

Battery life is always an important statistic to be aware of if you’re a heavy user of your device. Of the three, the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X are easier to compare when looking at different aspects of phone usage.  The 8 Plus just edges out the iPhone X in hours you can spend browsing the internet and in hours you can spend watching cat videos, whereas the iPhone X allows slightly more battery hours for talking on the phone; listening to music on either device is the same. Of course, these stats can all vary depending on a number of factors (location, network connectivity, just to name a few), so keep that in mind.

If (and when) your battery is low on juice, all three devices have the capability to charge up to 50% in just 30 minutes when using Apple’s USB-C power adapters (not the adapter you get in the box, mind you). More useful perhaps is that all three devices now allow for wireless charging – this is a big reason for the switch from aluminum to glass backs in the design. Apple will be releasing an AirPower mat accessory in 2018 that you can use to charge all of your devices that support wireless charging – including the Apple AirPods and Apple Watch – but the phones should also be compatible with other Qi wireless chargers commonly found in hotels, cars, airports and cafes.


The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus still utilize the Touch ID fingerprint sensor via the Home button to unlock your phone, but Apple had to develop a new solution for the iPhone X due to the fact that they removed the Home button in order to increase display screen size. The iPhone X will use facial recognition as its main security feature, which is a pretty big jump in functionality for Apple products. Allegedly, you can be wearing sunglasses or a hat and the phone will still recognize your face, which is pretty cool.

Other Bells and Whistles

Animoji’s: turn your face into a panda, a cat, an alien, and more because why not?

Photography enthusiasts might be interested to know that the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X rear facing cameras are basically comparable and a step above their iPhone 8 sibling. However, the front facing cameras on all three are essentially the same with the exception of some additional lighting options for the iPhone X, as well as the added facial recognition technology that allows you to create emoji’s that mimic your facial expressions (Apple is calling these “Animoji’s”).

All three devices are dust, water, and splash resistant, and will be compatible with the latest Apple software release, iOS 11.

Capacity and Pricing

The big question: how much can you expect to spend?  As always, it varies by storage capacity and the model you choose. Apple has done away with both the 32GB  and 128GB sizes in these new phones, so the only two options are 64GB and 256GB. Pricing is as follows:

iPhone 8
64BGB: $699
256GB: $849

iPhone 8 Plus
64GB: $799
256GB: $949

iPhone X
64GB: $999
256GB: $1,149

Final Word

As someone who is always a generation behind on her smart devices, it’s hard to say whether I’d purchase one device over the others. It’s useful to consider what you find to be most important to you about your phone. If looks are a key factor, all three are quite slick and are sure to impress (you’ll likely stick it in a sturdy case anyway). If functionality is a key deciding factor, the iPhone X certainly has a few more whiz-bang features than the other two; it is unclear if phones that come after the X will revert back to the classic Apple iPhone style.  It all comes down to preference!

What are your thoughts? Will you be adding one of the new iPhones to your holiday wishlist?


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