Should I Buy An iPhone 8 Plus Or iPhone XS?

Apple’s all-screen X-series phones (such as the super-desirable iPhone XS) receive all the attention, yet many consumers prefer to maintain their Home buttons. The iPhone 8 Plus may appear outdated, but it still has a lot to offer as the definitive version of the company’s traditional handset design – and a considerably lower price than the XS.

We compare the iPhone XS and iPhone 8 Plus in this article, comparing their design, feature sets, specifications, and value for money to help you decide which is best for you:

Price and Availability 

Both phones are now available. The XS is from Apple’s most recent generation, having been introduced in September 2018, whereas the 8 Plus was released in September 2017.

The iPhone 8 Plus isn’t cheap and cheerful, starting at £699/$699 for the 64GB variant; however, the XS is a real luxury alternative, adding £300/$300 at each storage tier. But you can get a used iPhone XS at a lower price than a new one. For the wealthy, Apple provides a sleek half-terabyte option with the XS, which costs a hefty £1,349/$1,349.

Design and Build 

When you compare the two phones, the differences are obvious. In the typical iPhone design, the 8 Plus features a Home button below the screen; however, the XS has removed this button, giving you the whole front of the smartphone as a screen. Despite having a 

smaller chassis, the XS features a significantly bigger screen.

  • iPhone XS: 5.8in screen; 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm; 177g
  • iPhone 8 Plus: 5.5in screen; 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm; 202g

The X-series design is superior, with a more immersive display and a more portable chassis. The caveat is that eliminating the Home button means you’ll have to relearn a lot of tasks; getting used to the new configuration doesn’t take long, but some consumers will prefer the comfort of familiarity.

A related issue is that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner was housed in the Home button; thus, the iPhone XS now utilizes Face ID face recognition to unlock the smartphone, confirm App Store transactions, and so on. Face ID is quite remarkable, but it takes some getting used to.


While the 8 Plus features an A11 Bionic and 3GB of RAM, the XS has an A12 Bionic CPU. Apple promises that the A11’s processor update will offer you a 15% performance gain, but keep in mind that at this moment, there aren’t any apps available that are demanding enough to cause the A11 any issues. After a year or two, you’ll start seeing a difference in how well these two gadgets work.

The 8 Plus scored 10,190 in the multicore segment of the Geekbench 4 speed test, while the XS managed 11,082 — a little under a 9% difference.


The XS’s display is larger and has a greater pixel density (458 PPI) than the 8 Plus’s (401 PPI) and better resolution. It is questionable how noticeable the improvement will be, given that 401ppi is still high.

You will notice a difference in the standard of the blacks on the screen. The 8 Plus features the same LCD screen technology that iPhones have had since the dawn of time, unlike the XS, which sports an OLED screen. OLEDs are slimmer, use less energy, and accurately show colors, blacks, and whites.


The XS and 8 Plus both include dual rear-facing cameras (rated at 12Mp), allowing them to provide an appealing background-blurring bokeh effect when Portrait Mode is activated. They both have Portrait Lighting and 7Mp front-facing cameras.

There are, however, distinctions. Portrait Mode on the XS is a little more advanced, with the option to modify the depth of the effect in real-time or after the fact. You can also access Portrait Mode via the XS’s front-facing camera, which is useful for taking cute selfies. Because there is still just one lens at the front, the effect isn’t nearly as convincing as the effect achieved by both phones with the twin lenses at the back.

The telephoto lens of the XS has an aperture of f/2.4 as opposed to the 8 Plus’s f/2.8, and it boasts OIS on both of its rear-facing lenses as opposed to the 8 Plus’s single lens. When capturing video, the XS records stereo audio. The Neural Engine in the A12 CPU also enables the camera to employ Apple’s Smart HDR function, which uses AI to detect different lighting conditions during an image and adjust settings accordingly. This capability is possibly the most significant one. Although your results may vary, the XS takes some fantastic pictures in challenging lighting settings.

Battery Life 

Finally, we reach a point where the 8 Plus has an advantage. According to Apple, the XS has a battery life of up to 20 hours of call time and up to 12 hours of internet use; the corresponding figures for the 8 Plus are 21 and 13 hours.

Water Resistance 

Both phones are prepared to withstand a relatively brief liquid immersion, but the XS comes out on top once more. It is classed as IP68, which Apple translates as “water-resistant to a depth of 2m for up to 30 minutes,” which is typically the highest grade granted to commercial devices. The IP67 protection for the iPhone 8 Plus only extends to 1m.

Final Thoughts 

Even though Apple’s iPhone XS has many new features, many users still value their Home buttons. The iPhone 8 Plus may seem old, but it still has a lot to offer as the final iteration of the company’s classic handset design—and it costs much less than the XS. However, you can offer to buy a used iPhone XS at a lower price than a new one. Comparing the specs of the iPhone XS and iPhone 8 Plus, this article can help you to decide which phone is better for you. 


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