Did you know Apple iPhone 8 was a flagship phone for Apple a few years ago? The released date of iPhone 8 was on September 22, 2017. SInce the iPhone 8 release, it has so much brand image and performance that it is tough to overlook even today. You can get it for Under $500 now, which seems like a good buy. But is the iPhone 8 worth buying in 2023? How about other options? Let us dig in-depth with a completely different approach.
This review is a bit different than other iphone 8 reviews across the internet.
One of the reasons to buy an Apple iPhone 8 is because it is cheap to buy today. It is the cheapest iPhone right now if you can find one. Please keep an eye on iPhone deals. Instead of purchasing an iPhone 13 or iPhone 14, you would be better off buying a cheap iPhone 8 or XR and an apple watch. So, is the iPhone 8 worth buying in 2023? Still, the answer is Yes and no. There are a lot of variables that have to consider to answer this question.
Let us see them one by one now
It is the first thing to notice if you put an Apple iPhone 8 alongside other phones released this year. As you know, the iPhone 8 has a huge forehead and chin for a phone sold in 2023. In fact, the screen-to-body ratio of the iPhone 8 is only 65.6%, and iPhone 8 Plus is 67.7% which is nowhere close to 82.9% of the iPhone X or 87.57 % of the Samsung s10.
Higher the number, the more the usable area. Apple iPhone 8 has a screen of 4.7 inches compared to the 6.1 inches of the iPhone XR, despite the phone being slightly more significant than the iPhone 8. You will get a more prominent display for the price difference of $100. This alone answers that the iPhone 8 is still worth buying.
Apple iPhone XR is a last-generation phone launched alongside iPhone XS. That means it has better hardware than iPhone 8, albeit at a higher price. Both don’t have a headphone jack. Wireless headphones are the way to go in the current generation.
Coming back to the topic, let it be an apple-to-apple comparison
But, There is a Notch – iPhone XR
Yes, there’s a notch. Quite frankly, the notch is inevitable for even apple on the new iPhone models. Essential hardware like an infrared sensor, 3d depth sensor, and the camera takes up a lot of space in the notch. Those are responsible for the smooth performance of face id, Memoji, and Animoji.
But, it will not bother so much because apple has made its operating system, the ios, from scratch for phones with a notch. Thus embracing the notch. You will get used to it in a day or two. I was comfortable within minutes of usage as it felt just natural. The display is anyway better than the old iPhone 8.
The iPhone SE launch
In the meantime, from nowhere, apple has relaunched its updated version of the Apple iPhone SE. It is cheaper than the old iPhone 8. I am bringing it to the comparison as well. With the launch of SE, the question on the worthiness of the iPhone 8 is even tougher to answer. Let’s see it in detail.
Old is Still gold? Is the iPhone 8 worth buying in 2023?
There are a number of features in the latest smartphones. Does that make the old phone irreverent ?
Not always. But Yes.
As far as iPhones go, old is still gold as people still reach out to buy new old iPhones. It is to be noted that some hardware is better in the old gen phones. For example, the mic in iPhone 8 would be superior to the mics in the latest iPhones. The touch ID is faster in iPhone 8; much faster than the face id in new phones.
However, many new features are added to iPhone after iPhone X. In fact, iPhones take a big leap of revolution in their design with the iPhone X and many other manufacturers followed the suit.
So, as far as features and other technologies go, iPhone XR is superior. So, is iPhone 8 still worth buying? Yes, but you will be better off with new-gen iPhones like iPhone X or above.
The Form factor
The form factor of both the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone XR is different. The screen of the iPhone 8 is also tiny compared to its body. However, iPhone XR has a better screen-to-body ratio. The most satisfying feature of the iPhone is the home button. That is the legacy of apple iPhones. You can press the button once for the home screen. Press twice, and you will see the app switcher. Pressing and holding the button will trigger Siri.
The swipe up for the control centre is still golden compared to the swipe up for the home in recent iPhones. But we have to move forward, shouldn’t we? The future of iPhones is gesture-based navigation. The home button will not come back. In that regard, the iPhone 8 is NOT worth buying. You will be better off with the latest iPhones. Purchasing an iPhone 13 is even better if the budget permits.
Let’s see the dimensions of the iPhone 8 in inches. The Length, breadth and height are 5.5, 2.65 and 0.29 Inches respectively. The dimensions of the iPhone XR are 5.94, 2.98 and .33 inches for height, width and depth respectively.
With headphones on, almost all iPhones sound identical. That is because the DAC (Digital to analogue converter) is in the external dongle supplied with the phone. I am not sure if apple has improved the external dongle. If you want to improve the sound, swapping to better earbuds is the best idea. Even better would be adding a better DAC to the lightning port. As far as speaker sound goes they are nearly identical. The XR sounds a bit louder though.
The brilliant 12-megapixel camera of the Apple iPhone 8 can take top-notch photographs and insanely good videos. Unfortubately, it doesn’t have an optical zoom lens. The built-in HDR feature is swift and handy. Click here to learn more about iPhone HDR. But, iPhone XR takes your photography to the next level. It has a better 12-megapixel sensor from the iPhone XS. The HDR now uses Artificial intelligence from the second-gen neural engine processor. The portrait mode can add a creamy bokeh effect to your photos. The portrait lighting mode emulates a professional studio-like lighting setup for selfies. Regarding the video, the iPhone XR can also do HDR recording along with outstanding visual quality.
Apple iPhone SE is a slightly better performer than the iPhone 8, which means, for a lesser price, you get a better camera.
The sensor resolution is the same in all three smartphone phones; a 7-megapixel shooter. But the front camera in Apple iPhone XR can do bokeh and Portrait Lighting effects with six presets. With the face id sensors, Animoji, Memoji, and HDR videos are possible. Software video stabilisation adds a nice touch to an already great camera. You will get a better camera for a difference of $100. You will be better off with an iPhone XR camera instead of iPhone 8.
The Apple iPhone 8 rocks an A11 chip. The chip is incredibly powerful and makes the phone work without a hitch. On regular usage, any difference between this and its successor is minimal. On the other hand, iPhone XR has an A12 chip, and the SE has an A13 chip. As I was saying, the performance difference between all three is minimal.
However, in serious tasks like video editing, image editing, and gaming, the SE can run circles around any iPhone like iPhone 8, XR or even fellow Android phones. If performance is the only thing you wish for, this iPhone is your phone. Nothing can touch it under its budget. But iPhone XR fares well. You will get a big screen and excellent performance than iPhone 8 for $100. So, in this scenario, is the iPhone 8 worth buying in 2023? Yes and No. Let us dig even deeper to find more.
If that’s your thing, you can forget about the iPhone 8. Animoji is a feature of the iPhone where the face map taken with faceid is used to make a 3d avatar of your face. While recording a video, you can use animoji to protect your identity. Unfortunately, iPhone 8 doesn’t come with a 3d map sensor. For $100 more, you can use animoji on an iPhone XR.
16:9 phones are long gone, and this is a decade for taller displays. In days to come, you will see developers making apps with a taller aspect ratio in mind. Thus many apps can see the truncated versions of the iPhone 8 and iPhone SE compared to iPhone X or later. You don’t want to miss out on your favourite app, do you? That’s another score for iPhone XR for a difference of $100.
A different approach to using the phone.
Unlike recent androids, navigating through iPhones has always been more straightforward. iPhone 8 and the SE have the legacy home button and swipe right to go back gesture as the primary UI navigation commands. Those were great once we got a hold of them. Multi-tasking was a piece of cake. Touch ID worked seamlessly.
But the home button has to say goodbye now, all thanks to the edge-to-edge display trend. Fortunately, Face ID took the place of Touch ID, and the revolutionary gesture control took care of the UI. In comparison, gestures are far easier, and it feels natural to use the phone. You only need a few hours to get used to it. You will get fancy yet much more useful UI controls for a $100 difference.
Battery backup – should you buy an iPhone 8?
The battery life of the iPhone 8 is good and won’t disappoint you. The A11 Bionic chip is mighty, yet frugal means it uses less battery. As the screen is small, the battery consumption is slightly low. The battery life is just fine for a day of use. You might want it to charge in between if you’re a heavy user. Else the battery life is sufficient for an average user. Having said that, the battery life of the iPhone XR is huge and offers longer battery life of any iPhone as of the launch of the iPhone XR. This phone is slightly taller and thicker, giving room for a beefy 2,942 mAh battery for a better battery life.
This is important because the replacement battery is relatively costlier. Besides, the older the phone, getting a replacement battery is hard.
iPhone 8 Plus has a 2,675 mAh battery capacity. In comparison, iPhone 8 has only 1,821 mAh, and so does iPhone SE. A bigger 2,942 mah battery of the iPhone XR and a very efficient A12 Bionic processor ensure excellent backup. That’s a Talk time of 25 hours compared to 14 hours for iPhone 8—no disappointments, even if you’re a heavy user. You get approximately 60% more battery capacity. That is 11 hours more talk time for just $100 more. Wow! For some of you, this alone is worth buying a latest iPhone XR over an iPhone 8 in 2023.
Both phones support Qi wireless charging standards as opposed to MagSafe in recent iPhones. In this case, it is a tie between the two. Both support wireless charging, making it easy for users to charge wirelessly—the phone charges at 7.5 watts. Although the charging speed is slow, it is enough for topping up or when it is on the table or charging on the wireless charger overnight. In all cases, you can go right with the wireless charger.
Future-proofing is worth it
Like body and soul, the beautiful hardware imperatively needs well-fitting software. Software updates are very important. Apple keeps polishing their software, even for their old and discontinued devices. I am amazed that apple supported my iPhone 5s with ios updates for six years until 2019.
iPhone 8 and iPhone SE will receive long-term support following the apple trend. It has enough processing power and memory to run future iOS operating system software efficiently. But, Apple has adopted a large screen design philosophy after iPhone X. Hence, the latest phones need a different approach to development where iPhone 8 will not fit in. That means you will get much longer support for iPhone XR than for an iPhone 8. You might get latest ios for your iPhone XR. So, you get to keep the phone XR for significantly longer, which is a significant value for your $100.
iPhone 8 has an excellent form factor. It is neither big nor small. It has a classic style of a big display with huge bezels. There is also a home button. The phone is thin and has rounded edges. While most of the styling is identical to the iPhone 8, you will still get a modern phone if you buy an iPhone SE., i.e. the old SE. You cannot go wrong with either of the phones as the style is still the same. But if you want an even more modern phone, you should check out iPhone X and above.
Conclusion: Is the iPhone 8 worth buying in 2023?
iPhone 8 is not at all a bad iPhone model by any means. It has the raw power to take on any tasks you throw at it. But is the iPhone 8 worth buying in 2023? The answer is YES and NO. With the new iPhone SE launch, iPhone 8 is no more a good phone to buy, as the SE is much better in terms of power and support at a lower price bracket. Click here to read more about iPhone SE. The iPhone XR is even more valuable for the money than iPhone 8, honestly.
You will get
- Bigger and better display
- Better camera
- Better app compatibility
- Way better battery backup
- Long-term support from apple
All for an extra $100. Not to forget the better resale value of the iPhone XR compared to iPhone 8. That $100 additional bill on an iPhone XR is definitely worth it, and you won’t likely need to upgrade your phone for a few years. With carrier deals, it is even better in price.
So, Should you buy an iPhone 8 in 2023? Is the iPhone worth it? My answer is NO. It is still a great phone. But, you would be better off getting an iPhone XR or iPhone SE and a pair of wireless earphones to take care of your music needs.
Thanks for reading.
FAQ – Frequently asked questions
How much is an iPhone 8 worth in 2023?
iPhone 8 is not worth more than $500 in 2023.
Which iPhone is worth buying in 2023?
Any latest iPhone is worth buying today.
Will iPhone prices drop in 2023?
There is a chance of a price drop. But, I am not sure when and how much.
Aju Vignesh Sathiaraj Padma is a mechanical and audio engineer. He is a person who loves technology and things. He is also an audiophile and loves to listen to music on quality audio gear. He is an avid writer and loves to blog.
He is the founder and author of www.digitfield.com, and he is an expert in copywriting. You can find him either lurking in various forums or listening to classical music.