iPhone XS vs iPhone 8 Plus | What’s The Difference?

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 09/12/19 •  7 min read

Apple is a phablet phone company now. Last September Apple introduced three new iPhones, all with screens 5.8in or larger. The biggest of which, the iPhone XS Max goes to 6.5in. And then there is the new iPhone XS, which has a 5.8in display.

But Apple has kept some of its previous phablets on sale too. Apple’s entry-level phablet is now the iPhone 8 Plus. So just how does this older phablet stack up against Apple’s newest, phablet, the iPhone XS? Let’s take a look.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8 Plus Quick Comparison

iPhone XSiPhone 8 Plus

Display: 5.8-inch OLED with a 2436 x 1125Display: 5.5in LCD 1080 x 1920 
Dimensions: 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm Dimensions: 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm
Storage Options: 64, 256, or 512GBStorage Options: 64/256GB
CPU: A12 BionicCPU: A11 Bionic chip
Camera: Dual-lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilisation, Optical zoom, 4K videoCamera: Dual 12MP, 5MP front
Water Proof? YesWater Proof? Yes 
Battery Size: 2658mAhBattery Size: 2691mAh


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


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

iPhone XS
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Winner? iPhone XS – It’s 50% More Powerful Than iPhone 7 Plus.


iPhone 8 plus
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Winner? Draw – The camera hardware is the same, but the XS does have a few software-specific camera features the 8 Plus doesn’t.

Storage Options

Battery Life

Winner? iPhone XS – It Has Better Battery Life Than iPhone 8 Plus, but just barely.



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Apple introduced the new iPhone XS not too long ago. The phone is Apple’s latest flagship device. And as with all new iPhones, once it comes out, it pushes previous iPhones down the rung. While the iPhone 8 Plus is a great phone for the price, it really can’t compete with the iPhone XS.

The iPhone XS is the pinnacle of Apple’s innovation. It has the best camera, the best performance, and the best operating system. It also features the company’s FACE ID and it looks totally stunning. If you want the best of the best, Apple’s iPhone XS is what you go for.

The iPhone 8 Plus, while good in its hay day, is now pretty old. It’ll still work OK, but if you’re after a cheaper iPhone you are 100% better off going the reconditioned route via Gazelle – you can get iPhone 8 and iPhone X handsets for 40% less than from Apple.

For a full breakdown on how they compare, read on for our full comparison of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone XS…

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8 Plus Full Comparison (More Details)

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Here are the specs for the iPhone XS:

And here are the specs for the iPhone 8 Plus:

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8 Plus: Display & Design

The iPhone XS features an edge-to-edge display that is 5.8in and has a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi. The iPhone 8 Plus features a 5.5in display with bezels that has a 1920×1080 resolution at 401ppi. Without a doubt, the iPhone XS’s display wins the day here-well, almost.

By many aspects, the XS beats the 8 Plus: it has a larger display with a higher resolution, a higher pixel density, and is edge-to-edge. The other obvious difference is that the iPhone XS 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 XS lacks Touch ID and replaces it with Apple’s new Face ID facial recognition system.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 7 Plus: CPU, Battery, and Storage

iPhone xs
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The iPhone XS 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. Here’s how the battery life compares between the two in Talk Time, Standby Time, Internet Use, Video Playback, and Audio Playback:

Both phones also feature wireless charging.

As far as the CPU is concerned, the XS destroys the 8 Plus. 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 almost twice as fast as the A11. You also have more storage options with the XS: 64, 256, or 512GB. That’s versus the iPhone 8 Plus’ 64 or 256GB storage options.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8 Plus: Camera

When you get to the camera department, the two phones are very similar. On the front camera, both phones feature the same 7MP sensor, but the front camera on the iPhone XS is a TrueDepth system that supports Face ID. It also supports advanced photo features like portrait photography.

They also both feature a dual-lens 12MP rear camera with wide-angle and telephoto cameras, optical image stabilization, 2x optical zoom, and 4K video recording.

iPhone XS vs iPhone 8 Plus: Cost & Verdict

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.

iPhone xs vs iPhone 8 plus
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Michael Grothaus

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.
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