If you’re in the market for an older iPhone, two options you might be looking at are the iPhone 8 and iPhone 6s. But how do they compare? Let’s find out, shall we…
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 8 are now fairly old (in iPhone years). It’s been a good long while since either of these iPhones were new, so this means that both can now be bought for hardly any money at all – this is good if you’re after a value for money purchase. But not so good if you want performance.
Why? The iPhone 8 is still plenty powerful; it’ll be able to handle most things, so this is the one to go for out of these two models if you’re on a budget. The iPhone 6s is now a bit too old to recommend.
Performance issues aside, it no longer gets iOS updates from Apple, and that leaves you exposed to all kinds of things you don’t want in your life.
For this reason, the iPhone 8 – in this context – is the phone to go for. However, if you’re shopping with value for money in mind, another great option is picking up a newer iPhone model refurbished – doing this will save you 40% on average.
Unsure about refurbished iPhones? You needn’t be; I’ve used multiple refurbished iPhones (always from Gazelle) over the years and I have never had any problems – they look and function as good as new.
My current phone is the iPhone 11 Pro Max; I bought it refurbished and saved a bunch. Plus, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is now discontinued, so going the refurb route is the only way to get the phone anyway.
The only difference is the price; refurbished iPhones are 40% cheaper than buying the same phone new. And for those shopping with value for money in mind, this is the #1 reason to go this route.
iPhone 6s vs iPhone 8 Specs Compared
|iPhone 6s||iPhone 8|
|Display: 4.7 inches (1,334 x 750 pixels)||Display: 4.7-inches (1334×750-pixels)|
|Dimensions: 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1 mm||Dimensions: 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm|
|Storage Options: 16, 64, 128GB||Storage Options: 64, 128GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|RAM: 2GB||RAM: 2GB|
|CPU: A9||CPU: A11 Bionic chip|
|Camera: 12MP rear, 5MP front||Camera: 12MP rear, 5MP front|
|Water Proof? No||Water Proof? Yes|
|Battery Size: 1715 mAh||Battery Size: 1821 mAh|
|Price: ||Price: |
iPhone 6s vs iPhone 8 Full Comparison
As for the design, both feature aluminum bodies with rounded corners, but the iPhone 8 adds a nice glass back paneling to it (for wireless charging capabilities). This gives it a shine like the iPhone 4 used to have. Because of the glass back, the iPhone 8 is just a tad thicker and heavier than the iPhone 6s–but not by much. The iPhone 8 also does away with the antenna bands on the back of the iPhone 6s, so it’s a cleaner design.
Another advantage the iPhone 8 has is its Splash, Water and Dust Resistant, whereas the iPhone 6s is not. As far as color options go, the iPhone 6s offers four options, while the newer iPhone 8 only offers three.
- iPhone 6s – The iPhone 6s has a 4.7in 750p display, features Apple’s now-defunct Home button with TouchID. In the hand it is next to impossible to tell the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8 apart; they look more or less identical, using more or less the same industrial design.
- iPhone 8 – The iPhone 8 is different though; it’s slightly larger and, unlike the iPhone 6s, it features a glass back panel that is more prone to smashing if you break it (the iPhone 6s used an aluminum one). The iPhone 8 does not have a headphone jack either, whereas the iPhone 6s does. But unlike the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 8 is water-proof.
Winner? Draw – They’re Both Very Similar
As with the iPhone 7 as well, there’s absolutely no difference in the displays of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 6s. Each offers a 4.7-inch display with a 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi. Both phones also offer 3D Touch. However, the iPhone 8 features a True Tone display, which matches the ambient light of the room you are using it in, and you’ll notice a difference because of that.
- iPhone 6s – The iPhone 6s runs a 4.7in 750p LCD display. It’s bright enough and, thanks to its smaller size, doesn’t look too dated, despite its lower resolution compared to more, modern phones.
- iPhone 8 – The iPhone 8’s display is more or less the same as the iPhone 6s’ (it’s the same size, and it uses the same tech). However, Apple made the iPhone 8 display brighter (it’s 625 nits versus the iPhone 6s’ 500 nits). The iPhone 8 display also features Apple’s “True Tone” technology, so colors are always perfect, regardless of lighting conditions. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s also got HDR built into it.
Winner? iPhone 8 – It’s Brighter & More Advanced
- iPhone 6s – The iPhone 6s runs a 1.85 GHz dual-core 64-bit CPU alongside 2GB of RAM. Performance off of this setup was stellar at launch and in the proceeding years, but it is now starting to show its age with respect to overall performance – particularly with more intensive AR and gaming applications.
- iPhone 8 – The iPhone 8, on the other hand, carries Apple’s A11 chipset which is a whopping 50% more powerful than the iPhone 6s’ system on a chip. That is a HUGE difference, and you will notice the difference. This kind of performance puts the iPhone 8 on a par with most Android phones released inside of 2019 – almost three years after the iPhone 8’s initial release.
Winner? iPhone 8 – It’s 50% More Powerful Than iPhone 6s
Both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 8 have the same megapixels in the rear cameras, however, the sensors in the iPhone 8’s rear camera offer optical image stabilization, wide color capture for photos and Live Photos, and quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync. As for the front camera, the iPhone 8 offers a 7MP sensor (versus 5MP in the 6s) and features 1080p HD video recording (versus 720p HD in the 6s).
- iPhone 6s – The main camera on the iPhone 6s is a 12 MP shooter that comes with support for Apple’s dual-tone flash and HDR. On the front, you have a 5MP camera for selfies and video calling. It’s a decent setup that can produce great results, even by today’s standards. It does pale in comparison to Apple’s new iPhones though which have now taken performance A LOT further.
- iPhone 8 – On paper, the iPhone 8’s camera looks very similar to the iPhone 6’s; it’s still a 12MP camera, though this time you have a faster aperture (f/2.2) and larger pixels which let in more light. The front camera is a 7MP setup, so that’s an improvement too. But where things get really interesting is to do with the technology inside the iPhone 8 – it features Apple’s AI-powered Image Signal Processor (ISP), and this dramatically improves performance over the iPhone 6s. In fact, the difference is like night and day…
Winner? iPhone 8
The iPhone 6s comes in either 32 or 128GB while the iPhone 8 comes in either 64 or 256GB. A huge difference is also in the chip each phone packs. The A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone 8 will run absolute circles around the A9 found in the iPhone 6s.
- iPhone 6s – 32GB & 128GB
- iPhone 8 – 64GB & 256GB
The iPhone 8 has a bit of a larger battery than the iPhone 6, at 1821 mAh versus 1715 mAh. However, Apple says both phones basically have the same battery life for most things (thanks to the A11 being a bit more power-efficient than the A9). 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 8 – 14 hours. iPhone 6s – 14 hours.
- Internet use: iPhone 8 – Up to 12 hours. iPhone 6s – Up to 10 hours.
- Video playback: iPhone 8 – Up to 13 hours. iPhone 6s – Up to 11 hours.
- Audio playback: iPhone 8 – Up to 40 hours. iPhone 6s – Up to 50 hours.
And don’t forget, the iPhone 8 offers wireless charging, whereas the iPhone 6s does not.
- iPhone 6s – The iPhone 6s’ battery is a 1715mAh internal cell and it delivers distinctly average battery life, especially if you’re a heavy user. Compared to larger Android devices, the iPhone 6s’ battery life is actually well below average. Not good, basically…
- iPhone 8 – The iPhone 8 uses a larger battery than the iPhone 6s (1821mAh) and, thanks to the efficiencies brought to the table by Apple’s A11 chipset, it will do a solid few hours more than the iPhone 6s. In this respect, the iPhone 8 is definitely superior. However, it still lacks performance compared to larger Android phones.
Winner? iPhone 8 – It Has Better Battery Life Than iPhone 6s, Thanks To Apple’s A11 Chipset
|iPhone 6s||iPhone 8|
|Price: ||Price: |
- iPhone 6s – The iPhone 6s is older and, therefore, is cheaper to acquire than the iPhone 8. You can pick one up via Amazon for as little as $185.
- iPhone 8 – The iPhone 8 is newer and more powerful than the iPhone 6s. For this reason, it costs a little bit more to acquire. Looking around online, you can pick up a 64GB iPhone 8 for around $368 via Amazon.
Pretty simple, really. Out of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 8, the iPhone 8, while similar-looking, is a vastly superior device. It has a better display, a more advanced camera system, vastly superior performance, improved battery life, and it will get iOS updates for longer than the iPhone 6s.
Bottom line? Out of these two iPhone options, the iPhone 8 is 100% the one to go for.
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.
iPhone 8 vs iPhone 6s Full Comparison (More Details)
Here are 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: 12MP camera
- Battery: 1821 mAh. Up to 12 hours battery life mixed usage
- Other: Touch ID, NFC, Wireless charging, 3D Touch; Splash, Water and Dust Resistant
- Color options: Silver, Gold and Space Gray
And here are the specs for the iPhone 6s:
- Display: 4.7-inch Retina HD display with 1334×750 resolution at 326 pixels per inch (ppi)
- Dimensions: 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1 mm
- Weight: 143 grams
- Storage: 32 or 128GB
- Processors: A9
- Front camera: 5 MP photos and 720p HD video
- Rear camera: 12MP camera
- Battery: 1715 mAh. Up to 12 hours battery life mixed usage
- Other: Touch ID, NFC, 3D Touch
- Color options: Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Space Grey
If you want a newer iPhone model, but still want to pay 40% less, go the refurbished route and check out Gazelle’s latest deals – you can grab an iPhone X for the price of a mid-range Android phone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is iPhone 8 better than 6s?
Yes. The iPhone 8 has double the storage, a much faster CPU, and a better front camera than the iPhone 6s. The iPhone 8 also features wireless charging technology.
Q: Is it worth buying iPhone 6s in 2021?
Not really. The iPhone 6s is over 5 years old. It most likely will not even support iOS 15 when Apple releases the operating system later in 2021. Unless you can get the iPhone 6s for very, very cheap, it’s better to go with a newer iPhone.
Q: Are iPhone 6s and 8 the same size?
Almost. But the iPhone 8 is just a hair thicker. Here are the dimensions for each iPhone:
- iPhone 6s: 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1 mm
- iPhone 8: 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.