Apple iPhone X vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus: which should you buy?

The X might be skinny and screen-y, but the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus look like better value...

Like a certain Fererro Rocher-loving ambassador, Apple is truly spoiling iOS fans this year.

It's not just a case of big or little any more, with three new iPhones to choose from instead of the usual two. And they all look like a huge step up from last year's iPhone 7.

If your current contract is coming to an end, or you're flush with enough cash to buy one outright, it's time to work out which one is right for you. Do you shell out the big bucks on an iPhone X? Is the iPhone 8 Plus a better middle ground? Or do you stay small and familiar with the iPhone 8?

Based on the hardware alone, here's how things stack up right now. We'll update this showdown with a final verdict once we've reviewed each phone, but if you can't wait that long, here's which iPhone we think you should buy.

iPhone X vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus: specs

Design: Heart of glass

 

There’s really something for everyone here - as long as you like glass sandwiches.

All three phones replace the iPhone 7’s metal shell for glass on the front and rear, which is then bonded to a central frame: surgical-grade stainless steel for the iPhone X, and aerospace aluminium for the 8 and 8 Plus.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are the little and large of the new line-up, keeping the same basic layout as last year’s handset and virtually indistinguishable from the front - save for the larger screen on the Plus. Both stick with Apple’s tried-and-tested home button below the screen, which doubles as a TouchID fingerprint sensor.

Around the back, the iPhone 8 Plus has those now-familiar dual cameras, while the iPhone 8 makes do with one - but apart from that, they’re essentially the same phone in two different sizes.

The iPhone X is undeniably something special, though. It ditches the home button in favour of a bezel-busting screen, with a noticeable notch up top slightly eating into the display. It’s certainly unique, if a little distracting when you’re trying to watch videos.

If you want to stand out, the X is easily the one to buy.

Screen: HDR hero

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus don’t mix things up too much here: they stick to the same 4.7in and 5.5in screen sizes we’ve seen for a few years now. Resolution stays the same, as does screen tech, with LCD panels in both.

Apple’s True Tone tech makes an appearance though, finally making its way over from the iPad line-up. This lets the screen adjust itself according to the light around you, so your eyes aren’t being assaulted by overly bright pixels.

The iPhone X is really a step above the other two, though. It swaps LCD for OLED, which in turn means brilliant contrast, incredibly deep blacks in videos and photos, and more vibrant colours. You’ll be able to play HDR videos, too, which will look a whole lot more lifelike and vibrant than they would on an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.

It’s bigger, of course, at 5.8in, with a higher 2436 x 1125 resolution, and fills more of the front of the phone - almost all of it, really, thanks to those skinny bezels.

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