Apple announced three new iPhones this month: the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and the high-end iPhone X.
Those three phones start at $699, $799, and $999, respectively.
Based on the relatively diminutive launch-day lines for the iPhone 8, it seems likely that most people are waiting for the release of Apple’s high-end iPhone X, which debuts November 3.
That said, there are several reasons it’s worth considering an iPhone 8 instead of holding out for the iPhone X:
1. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are powered by the same brains as the iPhone X.
This is probably the most important reason to consider the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus over the iPhone X: Functionally, they’re all identical.
All of these phones are powered by Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip, a neural engine, and the M11 motion coprocessor. The only difference is how the phones use these features: The iPhone X uses the A11 chip and neural engine for its new face-detection system Face ID, which the iPhone 8 does not have.
2. Touch ID is a proven entity. Face ID is not.
Ever since the release of iPhone 5S in 2013, Touch ID has changed the way we use our phones — from unlocking the device, to storing passwords, to using our fingerprints to pay for goods via Apple Pay.
Touch ID is a known, proven entity. Face ID, which will replace Touch ID on the iPhone X, is less known.
Apple makes some bold statements about Face ID. The company claims it’s less prone to being tricked than Touch ID. They claim it can also work in the dark, or recognize changes to your face — like if you grow a beard, or wear glasses, or change your hair, or put on a kooky outfit. But we still don’t know how Face ID will actually work in the wild when millions of people are using it. Simply put, technology is not infallible, and it’s impossible to predict what could go wrong with this unlocking method. (Thankfully, the passcode backup still exists.)
By choosing an iPhone 8, however, you choose to forgo the guinea-pig era for Face ID.
3. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support fast charging and wireless charging for the first time — just like the iPhone X.
All of these phones support the Qi wireless charging standard as well as fast-charging.
The downside is, you’ll have to buy extra accessories if you choose either new charging method. Apple offers several different Qi wireless charging pads you can buy (its own AirPower solution won’t be out until 2018, unfortunately), and you’ll need to buy anywhere from $25 to $75 worth of equipment — a Lightning-to-USB-C cable and a USB-C Power Delivery-compatible charger, specifically — if you want to use fast-charging for your iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or iPhone X.
Again, this is one more expense to consider when thinking about the iPhone 8 versus the $1,000-to-start iPhone X.