Apple introduced three brand new iPhones on September 12th. 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.
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.
Why you might not:
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 (1334×750) 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.
The iPhone 8 costs $699 for the 64GB model or $849 for 256GB.
It comes in black, silver, or gold.
Why you might want to buy the iPhone 8 Plus:
Aside from their different displays and dimensions/weight — and those are important — the iPhone 8 Plus offers pretty much every single major new feature that the pricier $1,000 iPhone X does. It’s got the processor. It’s got the wireless charging. It’s got dual cameras on the back and can do the same new Portrait Lighting effects as the iPhone X. The 5.5-inch LCD screen has True Tone.
It has the familiarity of a home button and the versatility of Touch ID. Maybe you’re not convinced the iPhone X’s gestures and virtual home bar are really an upgrade. Plus, sometimes people just want to unlock their phone without having to look directly at it.
It has the best battery life of all three new models.
Why you might want to buy the iPhone X:
Visually, it’s Apple’s most impressive and futuristic iPhone design ever thanks to the 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED screen on the front and its stainless steel frame.
It’s a big screen in a small overall form factor. The iPhone X measures a bit bigger than the iPhone 8, but it’s nowhere near the dimensions of the iPhone 8 Plus. It should be fairly comfortable to use in one hand. And in that hand is pretty much all display.
The OLED screen has better contrast than the displays on iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and it supports HDR video.
You can unlock your phone with your face. If you like being the first to try Apple’s latest technology, Face ID is the biggest adjustment that iPhone users will have to make in years.
Animoji and Portrait mode on the selfie camera. All of the sensors that make Face ID possible are also used for Animoji, which are moving emoji that mimic your facial expressions.