At a Glance
The iPhone XR is the better option here in terms of design and specs, but the iPhone 8 is a better value option if you’re on a tight budget.
Screen size is the big difference here as well as the move to Face ID instead of Touch ID. Fans of the latter will have to choose the iPhone 8 but we’d encourage you to move on and get the more modern XR.
The iPhone 8 vs iPhone XR are two of the cheapest iPhones you can buy, but which one should you buy? A £150/$150 difference doesn’t make it an easy choice. Luckily we’ve compared them in-depth looking at price, design and specs to help you decide.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone XR: Price and Availability
With its new lowered price, the
iPhone 8 is the cheapest iPhone you can buy now. Directly from Apple anyway, due to the iPhone 11 launch.
$449 so you’ll save a reasonable amount if you pick it over the iPhone XR which is now
$599. The iPhone XR is available
to buy now. Read our roundup of the
best iPhone XR deals to get a good price.
That’s a difference of £150/$150, with the same storage capacities. Check out all the prices below.
Also see our complete iPhone buying guide.
| ||iPhone 8||iPhone XR|
iPhone 8 vs iPhone XR: Design and Build
At the back, these two iPhones look pretty similar with a single camera lens and the aluminium and glass design we’re very used to these days.
The big difference in design is at the front. You’re choosing between what is the almost retro style of the iPhone 8 with it’s bezels and home button, and the bezel-free notch wielding XR.
There’s no doubt that the XR looks up-to-date and on-trend making the iPhone 8 look pretty dated. However, don’t feel ashamed if you actually prefer and want the older style due to the physical button and easier to manage screen.
Although the XR has no bezels, the phone is a fair bit bigger than the 8. Namely around 12mm taller and almost 50g heavier, so if you’re worried about size then the iPhone 8 might be a better choice.
Both phones have an IP67 rating so can be dunked in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes and have the Apple Lightning port.
Colours are a big deal here since the iPhone 8 is available in Apple’s trio of Silver, Space Grey and Gold. Meanwhile, the XR is more like the old 5c in White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Coral and (PRODUCT)RED.
If your budget isn’t an issue, then colour could swing it. But you should read about specs below first.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone XR: Specs and Features
Despite launching a year apart, there aren’t actually too many specs that are different on the iPhone 8 and XR.
You get the same cameras, both go to 128GB and you get wireless charging. We should point out, though, that the XR has new camera features like Portrait Mode, Depth Control and Animoji on both cameras.
A new processor, the A12 Bionic, is always welcome but you needn’t choose between the phones on that basis really.
The key differences here are the screen and the fact you’ll have to use Face ID on the XR with its lack of a Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
By far the biggest, and we mean that pretty literally, difference is the screen. The iPhone 8 is the last handset to offer Apple’s once classic 4.7in display.
Both have the same LCD IPS panel technology (the XS models are OLED) and offer a pixel density of 326ppi. So you’ve got to decide if you want the large 6.1in display on the XR complete with notch and required gestures.
Interestingly, the iPhone 8 is the one phone here to support 3D Touch. Which may be a deal breaker for you.
Here is a spec comparison of the iPhone 8 and XR:
| ||iPhone 8||iPhone XR|
|iOS||iOS 12||iOS 12|
|Colours||Silver, Space Grey, Gold||White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Coral, (PRODUCT)RED|
|Display||4.7in Retina HD Display (1334×750, 326ppi) LCD IPS with 3D Touch||6.1in Liquid Retina HD Display (1792×828, 326ppi) LCD IPS|
|Processor||Apple A11 Bionic||Apple A12 Bionic|
|Rear camera||12Mp, f/1.8, OIS, 5x digital zoom, Quad-LED flash||12Mp, f/1.8, OIS, 5x digital zoom, Quad-LED flash|
|Front camera||7Mp FaceTime HD, f2.2, 1080p video||7Mp FaceTime HD, f2.2, 1080p video|
|Video recording||4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps||4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps|
|Biometric security||Touch ID||Face ID|
|Dimensions||67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3||75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm|
|Buy on contract||
Unless you need to save money and buy the iPhone 8, then you’re choice here is largely down to the screen.
If you like the modern bezel-free design of the iPhone XR with its notch and Face ID then you’re all good. It also has the advantage of a newer processor and camera tricks.
We wouldn’t blame some of you for preferring the old style of the iPhone 8 with its manageable 4.7in screen and home button. It does look dated now but it still has the same IP67 waterproofing, wireless charging and has something the XR doesn’t have: 3D Touch.