Michael Grothaus 14/09/2018 - 1:32pm

Is there any difference besides the screen size?

Apple unveiled its newest flagship phone for this year, the iPhone XS. The XS is the successor to last year’s iPhone X. And with it, Apple has discontinued the iPhone X. But the company has kept last year’s other new iPhone, the iPhone 8 on sale.

The iPhone 8 now moves down Apple’s iPhone lineup to become a mid-tier phone. But just how is the iPhone 8 different from the new iPhone XS? Let’s take a look to find out.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8: Specs

Here’s the specs for the iPhone XS:

  • Display: 5.8-inch OLED display with a 2436x1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi
  • Dimensions: 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm
  • Weight: 177 grams
  • Storage: 64, 256, or 512GB
  • Processors: A12 Bionic
  • Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video.
  • Rear camera: Dual lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilisation, Optical zoom, 4K video
  • Battery: Up to 12.5 hours battery life mixed usage
  • Other: Face ID, NFC, Wireless charging, 3D Touch, IP68 waterproof
  • Color options: Silver, Space Gray, and Gold

And here’s the specs for the iPhone 8:

  • Display: 4.7-inch display with a 1334x750-pixel resolution at 326ppi
  • Dimensions: 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm
  • Weight: 148 grams
  • Storage: 64 or 256GB
  • Processors: A11 Bionic chip
  • Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video
  • Rear camera: 12MP camera, Optical image stabilisation
  • Battery: Up to 12 hours battery life mixed usage
  • Other: Touch ID, NFC, Wireless charging, 3D Touch, IP67 waterproof
  • Color options: Silver, Gold and Space Gray

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8: Display & Design

The differences between the two iPhones become readily apparent when you talk about display and design. The iPhone XS’s design is virtually all display. It’s beautiful 5.8in screen is packed into a physical size making the phone not that much larger than the iPhone 8. The resolution of the iPhone XS’s screen is a massive 2436x1125-pixels at 458ppi. Compare that to the iPhone 8’s 4.7in display with a relatively diminutive 1334x750-pixel resolution at 326ppi–and of course, that’s not an edge-to-edge display like the iPhone XS has. As far as displays and design goes, the iPhone XS handily beats the iPhone 8.

The other big difference in design is that since the iPhone XS features an all-display front, it lacks the Home button, and thus Touch ID. Instead iPhone XS has a biometric authentication feature called Face ID. It scans your face to unlock your phone. Apple first introduced Face ID last year with the original iPhone X. Many people we weary of it at the time–they loved Touch ID. But after year of use I can say Face ID is far superior.

And while both phones are waterproof, the iPhone XS is rated IP68, which means it can stay submerged for 30 minutes up to two meters deep. The iPhone 8 is rated IP67, which means it can stay submerged for 30 minutes up to one meter deep.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8: CPU, Battery, and Storage

The iPhone XS has a much larger battery than the iPhone 8. Part of the reason it's so much larger is that is has to power that massive, higher resolution display. Unfortunately, because the iPhone XS display takes up so much of the extra juice, the iPhone XS doesn’t see any massive improvements in battery life in most cases. Here’s how the battery life compares between the two in Talk Time, Standby Time, Internet Use, Video Playback, and Audio Playback:

Talk time: iPhone XS – 20 hours. iPhone 8 – 14 hours.
Internet use: iPhone XS – Up to 12 hours. iPhone 8 – Up to 12 hours.
Video playback: iPhone XS – Up to 14 hours. iPhone 8 – Up to 13 hours.
Audio playback: iPhone XS – Up to 60 hours. iPhone 8 – Up to 40 hours.

Both devices also feature wireless charging.

As for storage, the XS offers three sizes: 64, 256, or 512GB. The iPhone 8 only comes in 64 or 256GB. As far as the CPU is concerned, the new XS has a better processor than the iPhone 8. The XS features the A12 Bionic chipset–and upgrade over the 8’s A11 Bionic. The new A12 is a 7nm chip with 6 cores. The CPU is 15% faster and 40% more energy efficient than the previous A11. The GPU now has 4 cores and is 50% faster. Finally, the Neural engine now has 8 cores for machine learning and is almost almost 10x faster. Apps launch 30% faster on the XS and Machine Learning runs nine times faster on 1/10th the energy. In other words, the A12 Bionic absolutely flies.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8: Camera

Both the iPhone XS and iPhone 8 have the same megapixels in the front and rear cameras, however, the rear camera in the iPhone XS destroys the one found in the iPhone 8. That’s because its a dual lens system including wide-angle and telephoto cameras. The rear camera in the iPhone X also sports dual optical image stabilisation and optical zoom. You do get optical image stabilization on the iPhone 8, but its only single, since the iPhone 8 is only a single lens camera. But make no mistake about it: if you want the best smartphone camera on the market, opt for the iPhone XS over the iPhone 8.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8: Cost & Verdict

And then there is the cost. Unlocked the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 costs £599 (64GB) and £749 (256GB). The iPhone XS will be available on September 21 and cost £999 (64GB), £1149 (256GB), or £1349 (512GB). That £400 premium over the iPhone 8 does get you a heck of a lot more: a bigger, more beautiful display, a better camera, more storage, and a jaw-dropping fresh, new design.