Performance and Storage


All three iPhones - the X, the 8 and the 8 Plus - have the same Apple A11 Bionic system chip, the fastest mobile processor on the market, period. It ensures smooth frame rates in games and in the interface, and allows fast processing and editing of 4K video.

While the two bigger iPhones have 3GB of RAM, the iPhone 8 ships with 2GB RAM. This means that apps will reload a bit more often on the 8, while you can keep more browser tabs and games open on the bigger phones.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 224538
Apple iPhone 8 215075
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 220618
JetStream Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 218.98
Apple iPhone 8 225.79
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 224.62
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 58.75
Apple iPhone 8 60
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 59.3
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 3916
Apple iPhone 8 4226
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 4103
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 4244
Apple iPhone 8 4239
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 4243
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 10401
Apple iPhone 8 10405
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 10330
Apple ships its new iPhones in two storage options - a base 64GB storage version and a $150 more expensive 256GB model. As in the past, microSD cards are not supported, so the amount of storage you get cannot be expanded. 64GB will be enough for many people, but if you hold on to your iPhone for more than two years and shoot a lot of photos and videos, or play a lot of games, you will want to get the 256GB storage version.

Camera

All capture excellent photos, there are no big differences in photo quality. iPhone X shoots the best portraits in low light and has optical stabilization for the tele lens.


The iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X both have two cameras on the back - a wide-angle one and a zoomed, telephoto one, while the iPhone 8 only has one, a wide-angle camera. What this means is that you can zoom in two times with better quality and also get fancy portrait mode images with a blurred background on the two bigger iPhones, while you cannot do this on the small iPhone 8.

The wide-angle cameras used on all three iPhones are the same: they all shoot at a 28mm focal length and have an f/1.8 aperture.



The telephoto lens on the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X, however, is slightly different: it’s a 56mm lens on the 8 Plus and 52mm on the iPhone X. What does this mean? Simple, you get a more zoomed-in view with the iPhone 8 Plus. Another important distinction between these two is that the telephoto lens on the iPhone X supports optical image stabilization (OIS), while the 8 Plus does not have this. OIS makes a difference when you shoot in low light and for video, allowing for sharper pictures and smoother video.

Up front, there is one more area where the iPhone X is a step ahead of the other two: its front facing “TrueDepth” camera can also capture portrait mode selfies with a blurred background! They look really cool. No other iPhone has this feature.

Is there any difference in photo quality?


The short answer is ‘no’ in most cases.



When you use the wide-angle camera, you will get identical results on all three iPhones. Photos look great on all three: Apple has improved auto HDR a lot and it is now more subtle and kicks in more often, giving photos a greater dynamic range, less burned highlights and more detail in the shadows.

Also, images look brighter and more cheerful, livelier than on earlier iPhones, so you can just get the image and share it without doing much editing.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 1.3
1.8
No data
No data
Apple iPhone 8 1.16
1.91
No data
No data
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 0.95
1.58
No data
No data

Portrait Mode


Is there any difference in Portrait Mode photos from the 8 Plus and the X? We already told you the big one: the 8 Plus has a more zoomed-in lens, while the X has optical stabilization and works better in low light.


In regular light, both perform very good. Apart from the difference in view, it seem that there is no difference in colors. On both, colors are generally pleasingly vibrant, but you still have a very noticeable yellow tint and strong contrast that make it easy for a trained eye to see the image comes from an iPhone.

This is not a realistic representation of reality, it’s an artistic rendition. For realism, other phones capture more realistic colors (we are looking at you, Pixel 2). Skin tones are also not perfect, with a warm tint to them.


The biggest problem with iPhone Portrait Mode remains in edge detection. These are the edges right where the person in the portrait is separated from the background. If you look closer, you can spot a lot of imperfections there. Often, especially with long or curly hair, the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus would blur out big chunks of hair. There is a lot of room for improvement here.

Both the iPhone 8 Plus and the X also support the new Portrait Lighting effect. The effects feel a lot like filters from other apps. You have studio, contour, stage and stage mono lighting effects. The first one is subtle and we use it the most, the other three are very dramatic and have a very radical look that can be a hit, but also can be a miss. All are still in beta and it shows as sometimes the stage light would cut parts of the hair or a face of a person in a really bad way.

You can learn more about Portrait Lighting, in our detailed article here.

Video


All three iPhones here record video at up to 4K 60fps, which is… really impressive!

No other phone can match this (the Note 8 should get an update with this feature, but we still haven’t received it). There is no difference in actual quality between the three: all have optical stabilization for the main, wide-angle camera, and all perform admirably well.

We also did not notice any difference in editing the videos in iMovie. Even with many 4K files, we could still do our edits just fine.

Image formats and sizes


All three iPhones now use the modern HEIF and HEVC formats for photos and videos. What does that mean? These new formats can reduce the size of photos and videos in half. 1 minute of 4K 30fps video now takes up 170MB, while it used to require 350MB of space. But - and that’s important - the new formats are not widely recognized yet by many programs. If you share photos to others via the share button, the iPhone will actually quickly transform them into JPEG for easier compatibility.

Still, we tried importing a 4K 60fps iPhone HEVC video clip in Adobe Premiere and it could not recognize it. Other programs - even iMovie - do not support the new 4K 60fps format as well. Apple has promised updates in the future, though.

Sound

The best loudspeaker on a phone, but no headphone jack!

The three new iPhones all come with dual speakers: there is one speaker pointed towards the bottom and another one, hidden in the earpiece in the front, pumping tunes directly towards you. The bottom-firing one acts a bit like a woofer, with a bit more depth to it, while the front-facing one is a bit like a tweeter, with less depth to it. The two combined produce a truly impressive, next-level sound in a phone.

We did not notice any big difference between the three. All new iPhones - the 8, the 8 Plus and the X - have industry-leading loudspeaker quality. It’s a pleasure to watch a video or play some tunes just using the built-in loudspeakers.



Of course, for best quality, you need headphones or big speakers. Unfortunately, there is no headphone jack on any of the three new iPhones.

Apple does include a Lightning to 3.5mm audio adapter in the box, so you can use that to connect to headphones or a bigger speaker. And there is also a pair of fantastic EarPods buds in the box.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 0.998
Apple iPhone 8 0.995
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 0.995
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPhone X 76.3
Apple iPhone 8 77.9
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 76.4

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