iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 – How Do They Compare?

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Apple has a slew of iPhones in its lineup now including the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XS Max. AND that’s in addition to the older iPhone 8, 8 Plus, 7, and 7 Plus.

MORE: Not All iPhones Are Created Equally – Find Out Which Is Best In 2019…

So needless to say, buying an iPhone right now can be a bit confusing. That’s where we come in. In this latest versus, we’re taking a look at the differences between the iPhone XR and last year’s iPhone 8.

iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 Quick Comparison

iPhone XRiPhone 8

Display: 6.1in LCD Liquid Retina display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppiDisplay: 4.7-inch display with a 1334x750-pixel resolution at 326ppi
Dimensions: 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm (194g)Dimensions: 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm (148g)
Storage Options: 64, 128, or 256GBStorage Options: 64 or 256GB
RAM: 3GBRAM: 2GB
Camera: Single lens 12MP wide-angle camera, optical image stabilisation. 4K video.Camera: Single lens 12MP wide-angle camera, optical image stabilisation. 4K video
Battery Size: 2942 mAhBattery Size: 1960 mAh
CPU: A12 Bionic CPU: A11 Bionic chip
Wireless Charging: YesWireless Charging: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes - IP68Water Resistant: Kinda - IP67
Price: 
Price: 

Design

  • iPhone XR – The iPhone XR has a 6.1in display, features Apple’s biometric authentication system called Face ID. It’s industrial design also comes in a wide range of colors, which looks gorgeous, especially the yellow model. Then, of course, there is that beautiful edge-to-edge display.
  • iPhone 8 – The iPhone 8, from a design perspective, looks outdated. It’s got a big forehead and chin and sports the old school Touch ID, biometric fingerprint reader. Though it only came out last September, its design looked dated compared to flagship iPhones and Android devices.

Winner? iPhone XR – It’s a work of art compared to the 8.

Displays

  • iPhone XR – The iPhone XR features an edge-to-edge display that is 6.1in and has a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi. Without a doubt, the iPhone XR’s display wins the day here-well, almost.
  • iPhone 8 – The iPhone 8 features a 4.7in display with bezels that has a 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326ppi, making it inferior to the XR. The iPhone 8 beats the XR in one display aspect, however: the XR lacks 3D Touch, which the iPhone 8 has. If you were never a fan of 3D Touch, that won’t matter much. But if you like the feature you’ll be disappointed it’s not in the XR.

Winner? iPhone XR – Its Display Is Bigger And More Beautiful.

CPU/Processor

  • iPhone XR – the XR features the A12 Bionic chipset. This A12 is a 7nm chip with 6 cores, which is absolutely INSANE. The CPU is almost twice as fast as the A10. You also have more storage options with the XR: 64, 128, or 256GB.
  • iPhone 8 –  the iPhone 8 features Apple’s A11 Bionic chipset. The A11 isn’t any slouch, but it pales in comparison when it comes to the A12.

Winner? iPhone XR – It’s 50% More Powerful Than iPhone 8.

Camera

iPhone 8
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  • iPhone XR – The main camera on the iPhone XR is a single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera. It does feature optical image stabilisation and 4K video recording. On the front, you have a 7MP camera for selfies and video calling. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography.
  • iPhone 8 – The main camera on the iPhone 8 is also a single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera. It too features optical image stabilisation and 4K video recording. On the front, you also have the same 7MP camera as the XR.

Winner? Draw – Both phones feature the same front and rear cameras. However, the XR does have a few more software features, which you might not use much.

Storage Options

  • iPhone XR – 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
  • iPhone 8 – 64GB & 256GB

Battery Life

  • iPhone XR – The iPhone XR’s battery will get you about 13.5 hours of battery life with mixed usage. It also features wireless charging, which the 7 lacks.
  • iPhone 8 – The iPhone 8 uses a slightly smaller battery than the iPhone XR and, thanks to that, it will get you about an hour less of battery life on average than the XR. In this respect, the iPhone XR is definitely superior. However, it still lacks performance compared to larger Android phones.

Winner? iPhone XR – It Has Better Battery Life Than iPhone 8 and it has wireless charging.

Price

  • iPhone XR – The 6.1in iPhone XR will cost £749 (64GB) and £799 (128GB) and £899 (256GB).
  • iPhone 8 – Unlocked the 4.7in iPhone 8 will cost £599 (64GB) and £749 (256GB).

Verdict?

When it comes to design, display, and processing power, the choice is clear: go with the iPhone XR. It’s the more modern of the two phones and its power as a workhorse can’t be beaten by the iPhone 8. However, do keep in mind that while the iPhone XR has a better display, that display also lacks 3D Touch. If you’re a fan of that, you’ll want to get the iPhone 8.

But besides that 3D touch feature, there’s little the iPhone 8 offers besides a cheaper price point and, well, that’s it. The answer is clear: go with the iPhone XR.

Another option worth considering, however, is picking up a newer refurbished iPhone – something like the iPhone X or iPhone XR, which you can get for 40% less than retail via Gazelle, our #1 pick for refurbished iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and iMacs.

Full iPhone XR and iPhone 8 Comparison

iphone 7 vs iphone xr
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iPhone XR vs iPhone 8: Specs Comparison

Here are the specs for the iPhone XR:

  • Display: 6.1in LCD Liquid Retina display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi
  • Dimensions: 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm
  • Weight: 194 grams
  • Storage: 64, 128, or 256GB
  • Processors: A12 Bionic
  • Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video. 
  • Rear camera: Single lens 12MP wide-angle camera, optical image stabilisation. 4K video.
  • Battery: Up to 13.5 hours battery life mixed usage.
  • Other: Face ID, NFC, Wireless charging, IP67 waterproof

And here’s the specs for the iPhone 8:

  • Display: 4.7-inch display with a 1334×750-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: Single lens 12MP wide-angle camera, optical image stabilisation. 4K video.
  • Battery: Up to 12 hours battery life mixed usage
  • Other: Touch ID, NFC, Wireless charging, 3D Touch, IP67 waterproof

iPhone XR vs iPhone 8: Display & Design

iPhone 8
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The iPhone XR features an edge-to-edge display that is 6.1in and has a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi. The iPhone 8 features a 4.7in display with bezels that has a 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326ppi. No question about it, the iPhone XR’s display wins the day here-well, almost.

By many aspects, the XR beats the 8: it has a larger display with a higher resolution, a higher pixel density, and is edge-to-edge. But not so fast, the iPhone 8 beats the XR in one display aspect: the XR lacks 3D Touch, which the iPhone 8 has. If you were never a fan of 3D Touch, that won’t matter much. But if you like the feature you’ll be disappointed it’s not in the XR.

The other obvious difference is that the iPhone XR lacks a Home button. It jettisons it in favor of a gesture-based Home control. The iPhone 8 still has the Home button we all know and love. This means the iPhone 8 also still has Touch ID. The iPhone XR lacks Touch ID and replaces it with Apple’s Face ID facial recognition system.

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

The iPhone XR has a MUCH larger battery than the iPhone 8. You’ll definitely see a difference because of it. Just check out the battery life specs below to see what we mean. 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 XR – 25 hours. iPhone 8 – 14 hours.
  • Internet use: iPhone XR – Up to 15 hours. iPhone 8 – Up to 12 hours.
  • Video playback: iPhone XR – Up to 16 hours. iPhone 8 – Up to 13 hours.
  • Audio playback: iPhone XR – Up to 65 hours. iPhone 8 – Up to 40 hours.

Both phones 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 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 XR vs iPhone 8: Camera

When you get to the camera department, the two phones aren’t THAT different. On the front camera, both phones feature the same 7MP sensor, but the front camera on the iPhone XR is a TrueDepth system that supports Face ID. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography.

iphone 7 vs iphone xr
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The red camera is also almost identical. Both feature a single-lens 12MP wide angle camera. Both also feature optical image stabilisation and 4K video recording. The XR does have some extra software features, however, like Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control and Portrait Lighting.

iPhone XR vs iPhone 8: Cost & Verdict

Unlocked the 4.7in iPhone 8 will cost £599 (64GB) and £749 (256GB). The 6.1in iPhone XR will cost £749 (64GB) and £799 (128GB) and £899 (256GB). That premium for the iPhone XR does get you a bigger display and a sexy new design, as well as a vastly superior camera. Really, the only reason to go with the iPhone 8 is if you love the old Touch ID Home button.

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