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Should you buy an iPhone 8 in 2020?

Should you buy an iPhone 8 in 2020?

With the recent introduction of the new iPhone SE, the iPhone 8 has become rather outdated. Here is a piece of quick background information about the iPhone 8 series: it was launched in 2017 alongside the iPhone X and was available in basic and Plus models. We went through some market analysis to see whether it is still worth picking up the iPhone 8 in 2020.

We are currently doing some research on former flagships of well-known manufacturers and want to offer you a market overview, on whether it is still worth purchasing these handsets in 2020, and what other available options are there at similar prices - be they better smartphones or not. After I looked at the iPhone 7 last week to see if it is still worthwhile to purchase in this day and age, that journey of discovery has made my decision on bringing home an iPhone 8 today clearer.

Shortcuts:

  1. iPhone 8: What both models offer
  2. Does iPhone 8 still receive updates?
  3. How much does the iPhone 8 cost?
  4. Conclusion: Is it still worth buying an iPhone 8?

iPhone 8: What both models offer

With the introduction of the anniversary model known as the iPhone X, Apple's phone series received a glass back for the very first time. Since then, all of the newer iPhone models, including the iPhone 8, feature wireless charging capability courtesy of an induction coil that is located right under the glass. Until the new iPhone SE came along, the iPhone 8 was the last Apple smartphone that sported a Home button sans a notched display.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are the direct successors of the iPhone 7 series, and with it came significant changes compared to the iPhone 6 series. Among them include the dual-camera setup with a telephoto lens. However, the iPhone 8 did not bring any major innovations simply because the iPhone X with an OLED display and a notched display was released simultaneously. The core features of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus comprise of the following:

  • Both models have a glass back (wireless charging supported)
  • The A11 Bionic chip, which also powers the iPhone X
  • Dual-camera system with a telephoto lens and portrait mode (Bokeh) on the Plus model
  • Protection against dust and water splashes (IP67 rating)

Apple iPhone 8 vs. Apple iPhone 8 Plus technical specifications

  Apple iPhone 8 Apple iPhone 8 Plus
Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm
Weight: 148 g 202 g
Battery size: 1821 mAh 2675 mAh
Screen size: 4.7 in 5.5 in
Display technology: LCD LCD
Screen: 1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 7 megapixels 7 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED LED
RAM: 2 GB 3 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
256 GB
64 GB
256 GB
Removable storage: Not available Not available
Chipset: Apple A11 Bionic Apple A11 Bionic
Number of cores: 6 6
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0

Does the iPhone 8 still receive updates?

Currently, the iPhone 8 runs on iOS 13.5.1 (as of June 2020). Thus, the device is up-to-date in terms of its software. The smartphone was released in 2017 with iOS 11 included, and thus it has already received two major version updates. If Apple continues to maintain its strong update policy, the iPhone 8 should receive at least three more version updates - and this would most probably include iOS 16 when 2022 rolls around. However, some features that are introduced with future software updates will most probably not see action on the iPhone 8 due to its hardware limitations. Examples that we have come across so far include Apple's FaceID unlock and Animojis, which are only implemented via the TrueDepth camera in iPhones that have a notch.

How much does the iPhone 8 cost?

Those who are still interested in the iPhone 8 this year are prepared to fork out anywhere between $450 and $650. Ever since Apple stopped production of this model, the available remaining stocks would be refurbished devices that litter the Internet.

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0238
The iPhone 8 (above) and iPhone 8 Plus. / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Refurbished iPhone 8: Things to consider before picking one up

Similar to the iPhone 7, these are some things to take into consideration before parting with your hard-earned cash to pick up a refurbished iPhone 8: Purchase a refurbished device from certified dealers only as they offer a warranty on these devices. This is one safeguard that you can take to be more confident that the used device is protected against defects. This is why Amazon offers you refurbished devices as part of the Amazon Renewed Guarantee. This means that you get a one-year warranty on the refurbished iPhone - making sure you do not end up with a dud. You can find out more information about the Amazon Renewed Guarantee online.

A reconditioned unit may show signs of wear and tear, but all technical aspects should still function properly. First, buyers of a refurbished iPhone should check the battery capacity under "Battery" in the Settings. It should not be less than 90 percent - and certainly not for an iPhone 8, as the device will only be three years old at the end of 2020.

We have scoured the Internet for some good offers, but it proved to be a more difficult task than expected since the iPhone SE's introduction earlier last month has made the iPhone 8 somewhat irrelevant. We could not find any new devices for sale, but we did come across several attractive offers of refurbished iPhone 8 handsets that are covered by Amazon's warranty.

We would not recommend purchasing an iPhone 8 this year. There are newer iPhone models out there such as the iPhone XR, iPhone SE 2020, or iPhone X that offer more and are available at a similar price point or even for a slight premium.

  • iPhone X and newer: flagships offer OLED display with a notch and Face ID without any Home Button
  • iPhone 11 and newer: flagship models now offer a triple camera setup complete with ultra-wide-angle and night mode
  • iPhone SE: Identical in construction to the iPhone 8, Apple's entry-level class now offers the latest processor

This question cannot be answered in general. The purchase is worthwhile for those who want to stay within their budget when buying a "new" iPhone. The iPhone 8 will continue to receive software updates for a long time to come, but from a technical point of view, it is now very outdated. If you want more processing muscle, you can pick up the identical iPhone SE that boasts of a superior processor and a better camera, although it will cost a bit more than what the iPhone 8 currently costs. Alternatively, the iPhone XR comes into play - but for lovers of the Home button, this is not an option.

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