At a Glance
The iPhone 8 probably seems like a bargain but we’d avoid getting this two-year old handset if you can spend the extra on the significantly better iPhone 11.
As you now know, the
iPhone 11 is available but the
iPhone 8 remains on sale as the cheapest you can get from Apple. So which should you buy? We compare the two on price, design and specs to help you decide.
This is 2017 vs 2019 so it’s no surprise that there’s reasonable gap in terms of both cost and what you get for your money.
Price and availability
For a new model, the iPhone 11 is very affordable. It starts at
£729/$699 for the base model and is available to pre-order from
Apple now ahead of its 20 September release date.
Apple has decided to keep the iPhone 8 on sale despite, in smartphone terms, how ancient it is. It now costs from
£479/$449 so is the cheapest iPhone in the range.
A difference of £250/$250 is quite a lot but you get a lot more from the iPhone 11 as we’ll explain.
Design and build
The iPhone 11 comes in a range of colours; six in total so this is clearly the replacement for the
iPhone XR which is hugely popular. It has essentially the same design as the XR, too.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 is the last of the old style of iPhone which has chunky bezels and the much loved home button. It certainly looks dated now, but we also understand that some people might perfer this type of handset over the design which was introduced with the iPhone X.
The iPhone 8 is far more compact and lightweight so anyone who finds more modern models a handful will find using it a lot easier. It’s just 148g vs 194g which is a big difference in weight.
Othewise, they both have a premium combination of aluminium and glass. The iPhone 11 is obviously much more current in style and also has slightly better waterproofing. It’s IP68 instead of IP67 so you can dunk it in up to 2m of water for up to 30 minutes instead of 1m.
Specs and features
Price and design are rather different and the theme contintues when we look at specs and features. These phone are two years apart after all.
Take the screen for example. You get a much larger 6.1in Liquid Retina HD display compared to Apple’s old 4.7in Retina HD. They still have the same 326ppi pixel density mind and both use LCD technology.
As mentioned earlier, some people might actually want the smaller screen, but most will benefit from the iPhone 11’s display.
Another difference here is that the iPhone 8 has 3D Touch while the iPhone 11 has Haptic Touch. They are similar but the former uses pressure rather than a long-press which is registered with a vibration.
The iPhone 11 comes with the A13 Bionic processor while the iPhone 8 has the A11 Bionic. A two-generation gap means you’re going to get much better performance from the 11. Sure, the 8 is still going to work fine for a while but you won’t be future-proofing when it comes to performance and the games you might want to play.
Older iPhones have reduced storage so the iPhone 8 is available in 64- and 128GB. That might be enough for you but if you need more then the iPhone 11 stretches to 256GB.
Biometrics is worth mentioning as Apple has moved on from the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that’s embedded in the iPhone 8’s Home button. Getting the iPhone 11 means moving onto Face ID, but you’ll get used to it after a while if it’s a new thing.
With things like wireless charging and the lack of a headphone jack the same for both phones, the remaining key difference is the camera, or cameras.
The iPhone 8 has just one camera, while the iPhone 11 has a secondary ultra-wide angle offering a 120 degree field of view. The phone can also handle 2x optical zoom, has more Portrait modes as well as some new stuff like Night Mode. Ther are also video features like Audio Zoom and stereo recording.
At the front, the iPhone 11 also boasts a 12Mp TrueDepth camera capable of shooting 4K video. That’s a nice jump from the 7Mp camera on the iPhone 8which is limited to 1080p video.
You should also get better battery life from the iPhone 11 with Apple quoting 17 hours of video playback compared to 13 on the iPhone 8.
Here is a comparison of the iPhone 11 and 8:
| ||iPhone 11||iPhone 8|
|iOS||iOS 13||iOS 13|
|Colours||Black, green, yellow, purple, white, (product) red||Silver, space grey, gold|
|Display||6.1in Liquid Retina Display (1792×828, 326ppi) LCD, Haptic Touch||4.7in Retina HD Display (1334×750, 326ppi) LCD, 3D Touch|
|Processor||Apple A13 Bionic||Apple A11 Bionic|
|Rear camera||12Mp wide, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp ultra-wide, f/2.0, 2x optical zoom, Portrait Lighting, Portrait Mode, Night Mode, Brighter True Tone flash with slow sync||12Mp f/1.8, OIS, 5x digital zoom, True Tone flash|
|Front camera||12Mp TrueDepth, f/2.2, 4K 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|
|Biometric security||Face ID||Touch ID|
|Wireless||Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax||Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac|
|Apple Pay (NFC)||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions||75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm||67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3mm|
|Price||From £729/$699||From £479/$449|
|Buy on contract||
The iPhone 8 might look like a bargain but bear in mind that you’re buying a phone that’s already two years old. We recommend only buying this model if you’re tight on budget, or you genuinely want a much smaller screen and can’t imagine life without Touch ID.
Spending a bit more on the iPhone 11 will get you a much more modern phone with a larger screen, faster processor, much better cameras and longer battery life.