iPhone 7 vs iPhone 8: Which is a better buy?

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 8: Which is a better buy?


Last year we saw Apple unveil the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, the most feature packed (and expensive) iPhones yet. With a set of new iPhones on deck, that didn’t mean the older iPhone 7 was immediately phased out. Like iPhones before it, the iPhone 7 remains in Apple’s lineup for those seeking a slightly more affordable — but still fully capable — iPhone flagship.

Bargain shoppers thinking about picking up an older iPhone 7 over the newer iPhone 8, you may be sacrificing a lot less than you think. In this post we’re going to explore what’s new with the iPhone 8 and compare some of the differences in used pricing with the iPhone 7. Let’s dive in.

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 8: Features

By looking at the two side-by-side, you’d be hard pressed to notice any real physical differences between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. That is, until you flip them over…

Metal & Glass

The biggest design change moving from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 8 is its new all-glass back. It’s not just for looks. The glass back allows the iPhone 8 to charge wirelessly at the trade-off of durability. Apple says the back is some type of reinforced glass that’s “the most durable glass ever made in a smartphone.”

Despite Apple’s claims, this does, in fact, makes the iPhone 8 much more fragile than the previous all-metal iPhone 7 and as a result, more susceptible to costly repairs. You know, because glass and hard surfaces have never been the best of friends.

Image credit: CNET

Although it can be convenient, wireless charging may not be a “must-have” feature for users already accustomed to traditional wired charging. It’s actually much slower and because it has to lay flat on a charging pad, you can’t really use the phone while it’s charging. Not really that convenient now, is it?

Other than that, the exterior of the iPhone 8 is nearly identical to the iPhone 7. Camera placement, fingerprint sensor, and screen size all remain the same and although it may not look it, the iPhone 8 is just ever so slightly larger than the 7 and a little heavier (once again thanks to that glass back). Here are the dimensions of each:

  • iPhone 8: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm, 148g
  • iPhone 7: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm, 138g

Processor

The iPhone 8 comes with Apple’s latest A11 Bionic processor. According to Apple, there’s two high performance cores in the iPhone 8 are about 25% faster than the previous A10 Fusion, while the GPU is around 30% faster. Of course, any improvement is certainly welcomed but it may not be worth throwing down all the extra money for the A11 if you don’t play a lot of 3D graphics intensive games on your phone.

In real world use, playing with the two side-by-side, you likely wont notice much (if any) performance differences between the A11 and the iPhone 7’s older A10 chip. This is my own personal experience as someone who recently upgraded their iPhone 7 to a device with the newer A11 chip. In my experience, performance was nearly identical while using social media and other apps on the device. This alleged increase in speed (if any) wasn’t much to write home about.

Storage

Since both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 are still being sold from Apple, they tried to make it easier on consumers by equipping them with different storage capacities. The iPhone 7 comes in 32GB and 128GB storage configurations, while the iPhone 8 fills in the gaps by offering 64GB or 256GB models.

It’s worth noting that while the iPhone 7 originally offered a 256GB model, it has since been discontinued with the introduction of the iPhone 8. Those looking for the older 256GB iPhone 7, your only real option is to buy it used.

Hardware

iPhone 7 iPhone 8
Display 4.7-inch LCD (1334×750) 4.7-inch LCD (1334×750)
Camera 12MP, f/1.8, OIS 12MP, f/1.8, OIS (Slow Sync)
Processor A10 A11
RAM 2GB 2GB
Storage 32/128/256GB (discontinued) 64/256GB
Battery 1960mAh 1821mAh w/ fast charge
Water resistance IP67 IP67
Dimensions 138.3×67.1×7.1mm 138.4×67.3×7.3mm
Weight 138g 148g

All in all, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 have much more in common than they do tangible differences, making the 8 feel more like a glorified 7S than a bona fide sequel. You’ll find both handsets are equipped with the same display resolution, size and technology (although the iPhone 8 takes advantage of Apple’s True Tone technology).

Despite specs showing the same 12MP rear/7MP front facing cameras on each device, Apple claims the iPhone 8 uses an improved image sensor, although side-by-side photos yield similar results.

The iPhone 7 and 8 both have access to AR Kit (augmented reality) and will soon receive an update to iOS 12 for new software features. As for water resistance, each sport an IP67 rating, making the iPhone 7 the more affordable option for snapping pics poolside.

Oddly enough, the iPhone 8 features a slightly smaller battery than the iPhone 7, although Apple claims the more power efficient A11 will help deliver similar battery life between the two. It’s also worth mentioning that the iPhone 8 does feature fast charging, allowing the phone to reach 50% battery in 30 minutes when plugging it in.

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 8: Price

By far the biggest difference between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 is the price. Now that you have a better idea of how each device compares to one another, you’re in a much better position to decide whether or not those “upgrades” are worth the hit to your wallet.

Storage Recent Sold Avg Price Last Sold Price Lowest Current Price
iPhone 7 (32GB) $329 $334 $263
iPhone 8 (64GB) $531 $539 $439
iPhone 7 (128GB) $386 $365 $320
iPhone 8 (256GB) $653 $660 $609
iPhone 7 (256GB) $407 $449 $370

Looking over the data from the Swappa marketplace, we’re able to see the current going price of the iPhone 7 and compare it against the iPhone 8… well, you may want to sit down for this. On average, you can get the highest end iPhone 7 (256GB) for nearly $100 less than the entry level iPhone 8 (64GB). Not a bad deal, especially if you need the extra storage space for games, photos, and 4K videos.

Even when comparing the two highest storage configurations, the differences in price grows further, with the iPhone 7 (256GB) still going for $246 less than the iPhone 8 (256GB). Not a bad deal, especially when you consider Apple no longer offers the iPhone 7 256GB model.

Verdict

With the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 sharing such similar hardware, it’s hard to think of many reasons why someone would go with the more expensive 8. Those coming from an iPhone 6S with a little more money to spend may want to hop on the iPhone 8. It has more features than the iPhone 7, even if they come at a premium.

Those coming from iPhone SE, iPhone 6 or any other smartphone that needs to be retired — the iPhone 7 should be enough of an upgrade to warrant a purchase. It’s by far the best pick for those on a budget or anyone looking to save a little cash. If you’re curious about when the price of the iPhone 7 will drop, we got you covered here.

Whichever iPhone you finally decide to pick up, Swappa is the perfect place to find the right device for you. With a huge selection of gently used iPhones, accessories, and our Used Phone Protection Plan, Swappa can ease both your mind and your wallet when it finally comes time to upgrade your old smartphone. To compare prices of every iPhone currently available on the Swappa marketplace, check out the iPhone Price page here.

Buy iPhone 7 on Swappa | Buy iPhone 7 Plus on Swappa

Updated on July 3, 2018 • On Apple