This is like one of those “unfair” comparisons where a new model is compared to the old one from which it was made. For many, the better phone is always the iPhone XR because it is the later model as it came out a year before the 8. In an actual sense, these phones are just so similar. Having one is like having the other.
If I decided to write down the specs side by side, the iPhone XR would win the battle hands down and that would not be a proper comparison because I would ignore ergonomics and individual preferences. Let us see what a proper comparison looks like;
What would be your best pick; the iPhone 8 or XR?
The iPhone XR costs about $399 (UGX1,483,866.64), while the iPhone 8 costs $233 (UGX 829,328.97) with 8 Plus going for $329 (UGX 1,223,539.16). The best deal is that of the 8. If the price is your main determinant, then it’s obvious you will go for what fits your budget.
Both these devices run the same operating system which is iOS 14. Apple has maintained a trend where it supports almost all iPhones with the latest operating system starting from the old iPhone SE.
This means both these devices will get future updates from Apple regardless of how old or new they are, which is really awesome no matter what model you pick.
The iPhone XR has a larger display with 6.1 inches compared to the iPhone 8 Plus which has 5.5 inches and the iPhone 8 with 4.7 inches. If you are looking for a bigger display on an iPhone, the XR is your best choice.
The XR also has a higher screen to body ratio with 79% compared to 65.4% of the iPhone 8 and 67.4% on the 8 Plus. The reason behind this is because the iPhone 8 series has a 3D touch button that has a fingerprint sensor on it while the X series does not have a button below the screen.
The iPhone X series also has a notch which increases its screen to body ratio whereas the 8 series has a top bezel. That is why it has a higher screen to body ratio. If you like a small form factor that fits well in your hands or dislike the facial recognition system for unlocking your phone, the iPhone 8 is the better choice. Otherwise, the XR should be the best choice.
The XR has a more recent A12 Bionic chip which is 15% faster than its A11 rival in the 8 series. Apple says it uses 40% less power and has a substantially faster GPU which is up to 50%. If speed and performance are your main concern, you should probably go with the XR.
They all have variants of 3GB RAM and 64GB/128GB/256GB of storage memory. They all have no expansion card slots therefore, the memory may not be a way to distinguish which is better.
I know many people use this as the basis of comparison for the phones so, I want to be as clear as possible when I say;
Selfie cameras: They have the SAME selfie camera but the XR has an SL 3D (depth/biometric sensor) for face ID and can do better 1080p video at 60fps compared to its rival which only does 30fps.
Main cameras: The iPhone 8 and XR both have essentially the same wide camera module but the 8 Plus has an extra 12MP telephoto module. The video recording capability is almost the same at 4K @ 24/30/60fps but the XR has HDR and stereo sound recording. If you want an iPhone for frequently taking pictures and recording videos, the 8 Plus is your go-to phone.
The iPhone 8 has a fingerprint sensor while the XR replaced that with face ID. This is why the X series uses facial recognition and not the fingerprint sensor for user authentication like the 8 series.
If you have no problem with the inaccuracy or lag in unlocking a phone using facial recognition, the XR should be the phone you get. But if you do, then you’re better off with the former.
The XR has the biggest battery, packing 2942mAh compared of the iPhone 8 which has 1821mAh and the 8 Plus with 2691mAh. If this does not make sense to you how about this, the XR can have 21 hours of talk time while the 8 and 8 Plus will have 14 and 16 hours respectively.
If that still does not make sense, you can listen to 5 more hours of music on the XR. Perfect! Meanwhile, the charging speeds are the same on the 8 series and that of the XR. This means only battery capacity will marginally push the iPhone XR ahead of the other iPhone 8 series phones.
9. Dual SIM Capability
This is another tie for both phones. For years now, Apple has had no interest in having two physical SIM cards and that has not changed yet. These phones have room for one physical SIM card and an embedded SIM (eSIM).
10. Water Resistance
Both phones have the same IP67 dust/water resistance rating and can be held down to a depth of one metre for thirty minutes.
These phones are almost the same in every aspect therefore, it is up to your preferences on which one to get. If you are so attached to the fingerprint sensor on the older iPhone series or find the price of the XR slightly high, you should opt for the 8 because it gives the same experience but with more efficiency.
If you are a fan of gesture navigation and face ID then the XR should be the phone to get because it has the better battery and camera yet it is lighter than the iPhone 8 series.
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Author: Solomon Mugisha
A Software Engineering student and tech enthusiast, Solomon Mugisha is an avid writer with a strong passion for technology. If he ain’t programming something, is definitely writing it down which is why he is known for his catchphrase: “if you can’t write programs, write files”.