iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus: What's the difference?

Earlier this week Apple announced an update to its iPhone 7 line in the form of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. We explain the differences between the two so you can decide which is best for you. 

We’ll explain this in more detail below, but the key differences between iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus can be summarised as follows: 

• Price

• Screen size and resolution

• Cameras

• Overall dimensions and weight

• Battery capacity 

Price 

Both iPhone 8 models are available to pre-order from Apple and major mobile operators today (15 September), going on sale on 22 September. 

The iPhone 8 is the cheaper option, starting at £699, while the iPhone 8 Plus starts at £799. 

That’s for the 64GB model; you can also buy either phone with 256GB storage at £849 and £949 respectively. 

So whichever way you look at it the iPhone 8 Plus costs £100 more than the iPhone 8. Now let’s see what you get for that additional expense. 

Screen Size & Resolution 

The iPhone 8 Plus is bigger than the iPhone 8 which allows for a larger display. The iPhone 8 has a 4.7in screen (measured across the diagonal), while the Plus is 5.5in. 

That’s not the only difference in the screen department though, because the iPhone 8 Plus also packs in more pixels. Both are termed ‘Retina HD’ displays by Apple, but the Plus’ 1920x1080-pixel resolution has a density of 401ppi, while the iPhone 8’s 1334x750-pixel resolution has a density of 326ppi. 

In truth it’s unlikely you’ll be able to see a clear difference between the clarity of these displays, but there is a difference. 

Cameras 

The camera is one of the key reasons you’ll buy the iPhone 8 Plus over the iPhone 8. Whereas the iPhone 8 is fitted with a single 12Mp camera with f/1.8 aperture and OIS, the Plus additionally has a 12Mp telephoto lens with f/2.8 aperture and OIS that supports 10x optical zoom. 

This extra lens will enable you to mess around with the focus on your photos, perhaps blurring the background in a portrait - an effect known as ‘bokeh’ that is becoming increasingly popular with consumers. 

Only the iPhone 8 Plus has the new Portrait Lighting feature, an in-beta shooting mode that lets you create dramatic lighting effects. 

Dimensions & Weight 

Given the larger screen size the fact the iPhone 8 Plus is larger and heavier than the iPhone 8 will come as no surprise. 

Though it’s only a fraction thicker, the iPhone 8 Plus is a good centimetre wider and two centimetres taller. It also weighs an additional 54g. 

Battery Capacity 

Apple has not confirmed the battery capacities for its iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but it has said battery life will be about the same as for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. This leads us to believe they probably use the same batteries, which are 1960mAh and 2900mAh respectively. 

The Plus therefore runs significantly longer than the iPhone 8: an extra 8 hours talk time, 20 hours audio playback or an extra hour internet use or video playback. 

Despite their differences in capacity, both batteries can reach 50 percent charge in 30 minutes, and they support Qi wireless charging. 

Specs Comparison

Specification iPhone 8 iPhone 8 Plus
Operating system iOS 11 iOS 11
Available colours Gold, Silver, Space Grey Gold, Silver, Space Grey
Display 4.7in Retina HD (1334x750, 326ppi) IPS 5.5in Retina HD (1920x1080, 401ppi) IPS
Processor Apple A11 Bionic, M11 co-processor Apple A11 Bionic, M11 co-processor
Storage 64GB/256GB 64GB/256GB
Primary camera 12Mp, f/1.8, 5x digital zoom, quad-LED flash 12Mp wide-angle, f/1.8 + 12Mp telephoto, f/2.8, optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, Portrait Lighting, quad-LED flash
Front camera 7Mp FaceTime HD, f/2.2, 1080p video 7Mp FaceTime HD, f/2.2, 1080p video
Video recording 4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps 4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps
Fingerprint scanner TouchID built into Home button TouchID built into Home button
Waterproof IP67 IP67
Dimensions 67.3x138.4x7.3mm 78.1x158.4x7.5mm
Weight 148g 202g

Read next: Our first impressions of the iPhone X

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iPhone 8: Specs

  • iOS 11 4.7in, 1334x750 IPS panel, True Tone & Wide Colour display, 326ppi A11 Bionic CPU 64/256GB storage Main camera: 12Mp, f/1.8 with OIS Selfie camera: 7Mp, f/2.2 Touch ID, 3D Touch 802.11ac dual-band WiFi Bluetooth 5.0 4G LTE Nano-SIM GPS NFC Lightning Wireless charging (works with Qi chargers) 67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3mm 148g IP67 water resistance
  • iOS 11 4.7in, 1334x750 IPS panel, True Tone & Wide Colour display, 326ppi A11 Bionic CPU 64/256GB storage Main camera: 12Mp, f/1.8 with OIS Selfie camera: 7Mp, f/2.2 Touch ID, 3D Touch 802.11ac dual-band WiFi Bluetooth 5.0 4G LTE Nano-SIM GPS NFC Lightning Wireless charging (works with Qi chargers) 67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3mm 148g IP67 water resistance

OUR VERDICT

This one really does come down to a personal decision over whether you want a small or large phone. If you can stretch to the extra £100 the iPhone 8 Plus is technically the better of the two, with a larger, higher-resolution screen, dual-cameras and longer battery life. But if you'd rather a more compact device then the iPhone 8 also offers better value.

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