Apple introduced three brand new iPhones yesterday. Three! They include the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which have faster processors and better cameras than last year’s iPhone 7 — and now you can charge them wirelessly. And then there’s the iPhone X, a $1,000 smartphone that Apple is basically trying to market as a gadget from the future that arrived a little early.
It’s the first iPhone ever to have an OLED screen, and even better, that stunning display basically runs edge to edge. iPhone X comes with other radical changes like the removal of the home button in favor of a new feature Apple is calling Face ID, which scans your face to unlock your iPhone instead of the traditional Touch ID method still used on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. So since there are three new iPhones arriving (almost) at once, you’ve probably been putting some thought into which is the best choice. For the purpose of this article, let’s go into it from the perspective of someone dead set on buying a new iPhone within the next couple months.
You’ve ruled out the Pixel 2s and Note 8s of the world and have decided on Apple. Well, where do you go from there? Why you might want to buy the iPhone 8: The iPhone 8 is the first iPhone to support wireless charging. Apple changed up the iPhone’s looks a bit this year with a glass back instead of just making the whole thing aluminum. So you’ll be able to plop the iPhone 8 down onto any Qi-compatible wireless charger and it’ll start juicing up. Many of the places where you’d find wireless chargers (like Starbucks and inside some newer cars) already support the same Qi technology as the iPhone, so it’ll just work. It has the same powerful A11 Bionic processor as the iPhone X.
That sounds like something from a Mission: Impossible movie, but all you really need to know is that it’s the fastest chip that Apple has ever put in an iPhone — and the iPhone 7 already felt plenty fast. This new chip is also optimized for all the cool augmented reality tricks that you might’ve seen demos of. Soon, those will make their way to actual apps and games in the App Store. All recent iPhones can do AR, but Apple claims the 8 and X have been “optimized” for it. You get the same primary camera as what’s in both the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. The 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera has a “larger and faster” sensor than the iPhone 7, says Apple, so if all you care about is having one good camera, this should be excellent. It’s got optical image stabilization and can record 4K video at 24, 30, or 60FPS — just like the other new phones. The display supports Apple’s True Tone feature, which adjusts the screen’s appearance and color temperature so that it always looks pleasant and less blue / harsh to your eyes in a variety of lighting environments. Unlike the iPhone 8 Plus, the regular iPhone 8 is still relatively easy to use in one hand. The iPhone X should be too, but it’s also hundreds of dollars more expensive. iPhone 7 cases still fit.
It's only got the one rear camera, so you lose out on Apple’s Portrait mode and the new Portrait Lighting feature, which can change the lighting of a subject’s face in your shot. The 4.7-inch screen is smaller and lower-res (1334x750) than the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. If you like things to look big on your screen and get lost in YouTube videos or your Instagram feed, the iPhone 8’s display might not be ideal. It has the smallest battery of the three new iPhones. Apple has promised users will experience “about the same” battery life as the iPhone 7, so you might find yourself buying a battery case.