iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 Plus – How Do They Compare?

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So Apple has come out with a bit of a confusing lineup. It’s introduced the new iPhone XS and XS Max, as well as the iPhone XR. But Apple is keeping the older iPhone 8 Plus model on sale too. The new iPhone XR is meant to be an upset of the 8 Plus–but there are features that make the 8 Plus still a better phone.

MORE: Check Our The Best iPhones (For Value For Money) 

That’s not to say that the iPhone XR isn’t better in many respects. But still, it’s not superior in all aspects. So just how is the new iPhone XR different than the 8 Plus. Let’s take a look.

iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 Plus Quick Comparison

iPhone XRiPhone 8 Plus

Display: 6.1in LCD Liquid Retina display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppiDisplay: 5.5in Retina HD display with 1920x1080 resolution at 401ppi, 3D Touch enabled
Dimensions: 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm (194g)Dimensions: 158.4mm x 78.1 mm x 7.5 mm (202g)
Storage Options: 64, 128, or 256GBStorage Options: 64 or 256GB
RAM: 3GBRAM: 3GB
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: 2675mAh
CPU: A12 Bionic CPU: A11 Bionic
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  • iPhone 8 Plus – The iPhone 8 Plus, from a design perspective, looks outdated.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 Plus.

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 Plus –The iPhone 8 Plus features a 5.5in display with bezels that has a 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi. That’s not as good as the iPhone XR’s display. But the iPhone 8 Plus does beat the XR in one display aspect: the XR lacks 3D Touch, which the iPhone 8 Plus 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 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 10 x faster.
  • iPhone 8 Plus –  the iPhone 8 Plus 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 Much More Powerful Than iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple A12
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Camera

  • 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, but again, you’re stuck with one lens. On the front, you have a 7MP camera for selfies and video calling. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography.
  • iPhone 8 Plus – The front camera is a 7MP setup, just like the iPhone XR has. But where things get really interesting with the phone’s camera technology is on the rare of the iPhone 8 Plus – it features a dual-lens 12MP system with wide-angle and telephoto cameras, optical image stabilisation, 2x optical zoom, and 4K video recording.

Winner? iPhone 8 Plus – That Dual-Lens Camera Can’t Be Beat By The Single-Lens Found On The XR.

Storage Options

  • iPhone XR – 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
  • iPhone 8 Plus – 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.
  • iPhone 8 Plus – The iPhone 8 Plus uses a slightly smaller battery than the iPhone XR and, thanks to that, it will get you one hour less of battery life on average than the XR. In this respect, the iPhone XR is definitely superior. But do note that the iPhone 8 Plus also features wireless charging like the XR.

Winner? iPhone XR – It Has Slightly Better Battery Life Than iPhone 8 Plus.

Price

  • iPhone XR – 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, but you also lose out on the dual-lens camera system of the iPhone 7 Plus.
  • iPhone 8 Plus – Unlocked the 5.5in iPhone 8 Plus will cost £699 (64GB) and £849 (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-looking of the two phones and its power as a workhorse can’t be beaten by the iPhone 8 Plus, thanks to its A12 chipset. 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 Plus.

Another reason to get the 8 Plus is if you want a dual-lens rear camera. The iPhone 8 Plus offers this, but the iPhone XR does not (which is a huge oversight on Apple’s part). Bottom line? Out of these two iPhone options, the iPhone XR is 100% the one to go for UNLESS you want the best camera.

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

iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 Plus Specifications Compared In Full

iphone 7 vs iphone xr
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Here are the specs for the iPhone XR:

  • Display: 6.1in LCD Liquid Retina display with a 1792-by-828-pixel resolution at 326ppi
  • 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 are the specs for the iPhone 8 Plus:

  • Display: 5.5in Retina HD display with 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi, 3D Touch enabled
  • Dimensions: 158.4mm x 78.1 mm x 7.5 mm
  • Weight: 202 grams
  • Storage: 64 or 256GB
  • Processors: A11 Bionic
  • Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video
  • Rear camera: 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: Touch ID, NFC, Wireless charging, 3D Touch, IP67 waterproof

iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 Plus: Display & Design

iphone 8 plus vs iphone xr
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The iPhone 8 Plus is Still a VERY Good Option – Even in 2019. If You Want To Save A Packet on an iPhone 8 Plus, Check Out Gazelle’s Refurbished Options – They’re 40% Cheaper Than Apple’s Rival Program…

Okay, the biggest difference is in their display size. The iPhone XR features an edge-to-edge display that is 6.1in and has a 1792-by-828-pixel resolution at 326ppi. The iPhone 8 Plus features a 5.5in display with bezels that has a 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi.

So by most aspects, the 8 Plus beats the XR: it has a higher resolution, a higher pixel density. The iPhone 8 Plus also beats the XR in one other display aspect: the XR lacks 3D Touch, which the iPhone 8 Plus 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 Plus still has the Home button we all know and love. This means the iPhone 8 Plus also still has Touch ID. The iPhone XR lacks Touch ID and replaces it with Apple’s new Face ID facial recognition system.

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

The iPhone XR has just a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 8 Plus. Will you see any difference because of it? Not much. Matter of fact, as you can see from the battery life specs below, each device is very similar. Another similarity each device has is that they both offer wireless charging. 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 Plus – 21 hours.
  • Internet use: iPhone XR – Up to 15 hours. iPhone 8 Plus – Up to 13 hours.
  • Video playback: iPhone XR – Up to 16 hours. iPhone 8 Plus – Up to 14 hours.
  • Audio playback: iPhone XR – Up to 65 hours. iPhone 8 Plus – Up to 60 hours.
  • Both phones also feature wireless charging.

As far as the CPU is concerned, the XR wins here. It features the A12 Bionic chipset versus the iPhone 8 Plus’ A11 Bionic. The 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 10 x faster. Apps launch 30% faster on the Max and Machine Learning runs nine times faster on 1/10th the energy. The A12 Bionic absolutely flies.

You also have more storage options with the XR: 64, 128, or 256GB. That’s versus the iPhone 8 Plus’ 64 or 256GB storage options.

iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 Plus: Camera

iphone 7 vs iphone xr
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When you get to the camera department, the two phones differ wildly. One 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.

But things are radically different when it comes to the rear camera. The iPhone 8 Plus features a dual-lens 12MP system with wide-angle and telephoto cameras, optical image stabilisation, 2x optical zoom, and 4K video recording.

On the other hand, the rear camera system on the XR is only a single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera. It does feature optical image stabilisation and 4K video recording, as with the iPhone 8 Plus, but lacks the 2x optical zoom.

iPhone XR vs iPhone 8 Plus: Cost & Verdict

Unlocked the 5.5in iPhone 8 Plus will cost £699 (64GB) and £849 (256GB). The 6.1in iPhone XR will cost £749 (64GB) and £799 (128GB) and £899 (256GB). That £50 premium for the iPhone XR does get you a bigger display and a sexy new design, but you also lose out on the dual-lens camera system of the iPhone 8 Plus. Which you get will ultimately depend on if the camera is more important to you, or the bigger display is.

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