iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: is Apple’s new 4.7-inch phone worth the upgrade?

Apple watchers can be a fickle bunch: in a few weeks they’ve gone from massive excitement about the iPhone 8 to seeing it as a renamed S-model, the tock to last year’s tick (thankfully we still got the iPhone X). 

Is the iPhone 8 just an iPhone 7 with a new color option or is it a serious smartphone in its own right? Let’s find out.

  • Read our hands on: iPhone 8 review
  • Read our in-depth iPhone 7 review

iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: design

The iPhone 8 gets a new design, with glass front and back sitting on a steel frame with aluminium around the edges. 

Colors are Silver, Space Grey and Gold. It looks good, but it looks like a slightly tweaked iPhone 7: you know what it looks like without having to see it. 

It’s microscopically sealed for dust and water resistance; we’re assuming IP68 certification compared to the IP67 of the iPhone 7.

It’s a shame to see fewer color options, though. The iPhone 7 came in six colors: Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black, Jet Black and (Product)RED. 

The biggest design difference is the glass back on the iPhone 8, shown here.

iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: display

The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, delivering 1334 x 750 pixels at 326ppi. It has 1400:1 contrast, 625 cd/m2 maximum brightness and dial-domain pixels for wider viewing angles. 

The iPhone 8 display is the same size, but it gets the True Tone display of the iPad Pro. That automatically adjusts the screen color according to ambient light.

The iPhone 8 benefits from the same True Tone display found on the iPad Pro.

iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: processor, memory and storage

The iPhone 7 is available with 32GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage and has 2GB of RAM. The processor is Apple’s quad-core A10 Fusion, which has two high performance and two energy efficient cores. It’s paired with the M10 motion co-processor. 

With the iPhone 8, Apple has upped the horsepower quite dramatically. The new A11 Bionic processor is a six-core processor with four high performance cores, and performance is between 25% and 70% faster than the iPhone 7. 

Apple has its own GPU here too, which is 30% faster than its predecessor. We haven’t seen it benchmarked yet but leaks suggest it might come close to the 10,000 mark in GeekBench. That’s incredibly fast. 

Storage is up too: there’s a choice of 64GB or 256GB models.

It can be a little hard to tell the difference, but this one is an iPhone 7.

iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: camera

The camera in the iPhone 7 is pretty impressive: it’s a 12MP model with f/1.8 aperture, 5x digital zoom, optical image stabilisation and Auto HDR for photos. 

Unfortunately the dual-camera setup that’s so good for portraits is reserved to the iPhone 7 Plus. It shoots 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 or 60 fps and has slo-mo and time-lapse modes. The front camera is a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD with f/2.2 aperture, retina flash and wide color capture. 

The iPhone 8 camera is better still. The new 12MP sensor has 83% more light, faster autofocus, hardware multi-band noise reduction and video capture of 4K at 60fps and slo-mo at 240fps in 1080p resolution.

The big deal here is augmented reality: the iPhone 8’s camera was specifically designed for it, and the camera’s more energy efficient sensor means less battery drain during AR apps. We’re very excited about this. 

iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: battery and charging

The iPhone 7’s battery is 1960 mAh, which Apple says is good for 14 hours of 3G talk time, 12 hours of internet access on 4G LTE and 13 hours of video over Wi-Fi. Charging is via the Lightning port only.

The iPhone 8 has wireless charging using the Qi open wireless charging standard, which is coming to everything from hotels to luxury cars. 

iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: price

The iPhone 7 price now starts at $549 (£549, AU$849) for the 32GB model and $649, (£649, AU$999) for the 128GB version.

The iPhone 8 starts at $699 (£699, AU$1,079) for the 64GB variant and $849, (£849, AU$1,329) is available to pre-order from September 15.

  • Read our hands on iPhone 8 review for a full overview of the new device. 

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