Comparing the cameras on the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X

It's going to take a lot to persuade me away from iPhones for many reasons so when I buy a new phone the priority for me is the iPhone with the best camera. I've heard people raving about the camera on the 7 plus so when it was superceded by the 8 plus and the iPhone X it left me wondering "which iPhone has the best camera?".

A greenish box with text in it saying "which iphone has the best camera?"

Both the 8 plus and the X have a double camera on the back which with some clever programming allows them to take photographs in portrait mode. Portrait mode produces photographs with a bokeh (or blur) affect similar to that which you get with a DSLR, on the iPhones I believe they blend images taken from each of the cameras to get the effect of a large aperture adding depth of field. On the iPhone X the two lens are one above each other, on the 8 plus they are side by side so there is a small variation between images even when taken from the same location, but is that the only difference?

The iPhone 8 plus is larger than the X at 15.84cm by 7.81cm compared to 14.36cm x 7.09cm. I found the 8 plus feels a lot bigger than the iPhone 7 I have. When it comes to cost the 8 plus costs less than the X. The 8 plus is currently listed by Apple as costing £799 for 64GB and £949 for the 256GB model compared to the X at £999 for 64GB and £1149 for the 256GB model. Three currently offer both 64GB models with 30GB data a month for £79 upfront, but the the monthly cost is higher for the iPhone X making it a total of £312 more expensive over the full length of the contract than the iPhone 8 Plus.

Here are a series of photographs taken at the same time using an iPhone 8 plus (kindly loaned from Three for the purposes of review) and an iPhone X (stolen temporarily off my boyfriend, but he sadly made me return it). In each image the iPhone 8 plus photograph is on the left and the iPhone X on the right.

A pink flower in the centre of 2 images surrounded by leaves
Images of a bush with pink flowers on taken side by side on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X
A toddler standing on grass in a red dress taken by the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X
Photographs of a page from an A4 text book showing a page of text

Similarities between the iPhone 8 plus and iPhone X cameras

Even zoomed in I can’t see a difference in quality of photographs between the 2 phones. They are both the best iPhones yet for details and general shots. When I took photographs of my youngest daughter they had a similar success rate of in focus to out of focus images.

Looking at the technical specifications of the 2 cameras they are nearly identical. They both are listed as having: 

12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture, Optical zoom, digital zoom up to 10x, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting (beta), Six-element lens, Quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync, Panorama (up to 63MP), Sapphire crystal lens cover, Backside illumination sensor, Hybrid IR filter, Autofocus with Focus Pixels, Tap to focus with Focus Pixels, Live Photos with stabilisation, Wide colour capture for photos and Live Photos, Improved local tone mapping, Body and face detection, Exposure control, Noise reduction, Auto HDR for photos, Auto image stabilisation, Burst mode, Timer mode, Photo geotagging, Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG.

Differences between the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X cameras

The different position of the cameras on the back of the phones create a slightly different camera angle, most notable in image 1 to the top left of the main flower. In image 3 you can also see a difference between how zoomed in the 2 photographs are when taken from the same position (the other photographs were taken to have the same amount of the objects in shot).

The technical specifications list only two differences in the camera section: a different Telephoto aperture f/2.8 on iPhone 8 plus compared to f/2.4 on iPhone X and that the X has dual optical image stabilisation compared to just optical image stabilisation on the 8 plus.

Is it better to buy the iPhone 8 plus or the iPhone X when considering it’s camera?

I love both phones and would be more than happy to upgrade to either, but based on the images I captured I would recommend buying the iPhone 8 plus: I didn’t notice a difference in picture quality and it is much cheaper.

***Disclosure: I was loaned a phone by which enabled this post***

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