It’s unprecedented. For four generations to apologize has actually retained the design it an initial introduced with the iphone phone 6 in 2014. From a architecture perspective that’s remarkable in an market as rapid moving as technology, however look closer and also there are far-ranging improvements in every model. This overview will describe the important differences in between the iphone 6 (2014), iphone phone 6S (2015), iphone phone 7 (2016) and also iPhone 8 (2017) - and discuss even if it is you have to upgrade.

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Here’s every little thing you must know…

Design - Fluctuations In Weight and Durability

The curious thing about all this identikit iPhones is your designs have actually changed a lot. In reality it is really just the bright port and chunky top and also bottom bezels which continue to be the same. And also there are signs of what’s to come as soon as you look at at your weight fluctuations:

iphone phone 6 - 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 in) and 129g (4.55 oz)
iphone 6S - 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in) and 143g (5.04 oz) iphone phone 7 - 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in) and also 138g (4.87 oz) iphone phone 8 - 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm (5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in) and 148g (5.22 oz)

Yes, how amazing the iphone phone 8 is the largest and also heaviest of them all. In fact it’s practically 15% heavier 보다 the initial iPhone 6 - that’s not how modern technology usually works!

But there is good reason for it. The first weight obtain came from the iphone 6S relocating to series 7000 aluminium for a tougher and more rigid chassis after Bendgate and also moving come a fixed haptic home button with the advent of 3D Touch (which added its own added hardware motor).

Apple added glass blacks to the iphone phone 8 and also iPhone 8 Plus, but they continue to be IP67 water resistant


The iphone 7 controlled to trim this contempt by controversially remove the headphone jack if also adding IP67 dust and also water resistance. The iphone phone 8 preserved these changes, though it piled the pounds back on by moving to a more heavier and much more fragile glass back to allow wireless charging (it’s a trade-off).

Aside indigenous this the iphone 7 lugged stereo speaker to the variety for the first time through amplifying the earpiece and the iphone phone 8 boosted that through 25%. For me the iphone 6S to be the best style (durable, unofficially IP67 ready, add to the headphone jack) yet the polarising glass design of the iphone 8 also has part fans on its side.

Displays - Old Tech, new Tricks

The expensive iphone X (never drop it) may have actually moved to OLED, however Apple has actually done a fine job of continually reinvigorating the LCD panels in the iphone phone 6, iphone phone 6S, iphone 7 and iPhone 8 - specifically as lock all bring the very same core specs:

4.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD, 1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi), 65.6% screen-to-body proportion

Starting with the iphone 6S, Apple progressed from the iphone 6 through the enhancement of 3D Touch. This pressure-sensitivity modern technology allows customers to ‘peek’ and ‘pop’ come preview emails, jump to app shortcuts and more. That hasn’t progressed as much as it have to thanks to Apple’s bizarre refusal/inability to add 3D Touch to the iPad variety (it would certainly be particularly useful ~ above iPad pro models), yet those who carry out use it love it.

Next the iphone phone 7 bumped peak brightness from the 500 nits that both the iphone 6S and also iPhone 6 come an exceptional 625 nits. Ultimately the iphone 8 added support because that ‘True Tone’ modern technology (first watched in the iPad Pro) which reaction to eco-friendly light and also to for sure a correct colour balance at all times.

Less impressive is the contrast ratio (1400:1) which has actually remained unchanged because the iphone phone 6 and the inexplicably low native resolution in an era of circa 2K displays. How Apple has managed to get away through not bumping these 750p screens even to 1080p is beyond me.

Performance - class Leaders

Ever due to the fact that Apple debuted its own custom chipsets with the ‘A4’ in 2010’s iphone 4, the agency has blazed a trail which left rivals in its wake. Right here are the main point specs that the iphone 6 onwards:

iphone phone 6 - apple A8 - CPU: Dual-core Cyclone; GPU: PowerVR GX6450, 1GB ram iPhone 6S - to apologize A9 - CPU: Dual-core Twister; GPU: PowerVR GT7600, 2GB lamb iPhone 7 - to apologize A10 - CPU: Quad-core Fusion; GPU: PowerVR Series7XT Plus, 2GB lamb iPhone 8 - apple A11 - CPU Six-core Bionic; GPU: to apologize Triple-Core, 2GB ram

What’s far an ext interesting, however, space the real civilization multiples. The iphone 6S ceded a 70% much faster CPU and 90% quicker GPU 보다 the iphone 6. The iphone phone 7 raised its CPU 40% and GPU 50% end the iphone phone 6S and also the iphone 8 supplies a 25% much faster CPU and 30% much faster CPU 보다 the iphone 7.

As you have the right to see the proportional improvements are decreasing, but that’s since Apple has evolved the style alongside changing usage patterns. So, for example, the genuine performance wins because that the iphone 8 space 70% performance renovations over the iphone 7 as soon as idle and also when multitasking - two critical parts of everyday smartphone use.

Elsewhere, the iphone phone 6S presented a 2nd generation Touch ID i m sorry is twice as quick as the initial (which was presented in 2013’s iphone phone 5S). Touch ID has not been subsequently boosted with the iphone phone 7 or iphone phone 8, but neither has it really needed to - apple nailed this modern technology a lengthy time ago.

Bluetooth has likewise moved on from Bluetooth 4.0 (iPhone 6) come Bluetooth 4.2 (iPhone 6S, iphone 7) and also Bluetooth 5.0 (iPhone 8) while top 4G speeds have increased from 150Mbit (iPhone 6) to 300Mbit (iPhone 6S), 450Mbit (iPhone 7) and also 600Mbit (iPhone 8). The last of this lags behind the 1Gbit speeds many rivals mounted over the last year, yet you’re extremely unlikely to require the extra headroom in real world scenarios.

Cameras - A sluggish Progression

When the iphone 6 was released it was king that the hill, but due to the fact that then Apple has actually let its lead slip - an initial it to be overhauled by Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and now Google’s Pixel and also Pixel 2 varieties are method out in front. Therefore what happened?

A important jump in megapixels native the iphone phone 6 (8MP main, shambolic 1.2MP front) occurred with the iphone 6S (12MP main, 5MP front) but its apertures remained slow at simply f/2.2 and pixel size actually diminished from 1.5µm 1.22µm i beg your pardon affects exactly how much light deserve to be bring away in and influenced the development of low light performance. 4K video on the main camera (up indigenous 1080p) and also 1080p front video clip (up indigenous 720p) to be the main improvements, but overall it slipped behind Samsung’s (otherwise troubled) Galaxy S6.

The iphone phone 7 then made modest measures forward from the iphone phone 6S retaining the 12MP key camera but finally included optical picture stabilisation (OIS) i beg your pardon featured in the bigger model because the iphone 6 Plus. It likewise increased the aperture to f/1.8 and pixel dimension to 1.3µm if the prior camera to be bumped to 7MP but retained the very same disappointing f/2.2 aperture while video clip was unchanged. Low light performance improved slightly, but it didn’t take on the double cameras of the iphone phone 7 Plus and remained behind Samsung’s Galaxy S7 prior to being blown far by Google’s an initial generation Pixel.

The iphone 8 on document appeared to adjust nothing indigenous the iphone phone 7 through the very same resolutions and also apertures (the front dealing with camera is now well turn off the pace) and also OIS, however Apple presented a brand-new lens and made far-reaching advancements to its photo processing. It end result was the greatest step forward because the iphone 6, but again the missed the end on the double cameras of the iphone phone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

As it stands, iphone phone photography remains outstanding in isolation yet it is no longer among the peak cameras. From my tests HTC has joined Samsung in leapfrogging Apple when Google’s Pixel 2 and also Pixel 2 XL smartphones have actually opened up a large lead top top the competition. (Sample gallery: Pixel 2 XL Vs iphone phone X).

Battery Life and Charging - Stamina Stagnation but Charging Improves

Another area wherein Apple has not developed as lot as hoped due to the fact that the iphone phone 6 is battery life. As well as the battery scandal surrounding Apple in ~ present, the difficult facts are there has actually been nominal development in actual intake times for several generations. This no surprising looking at the upper and lower reversal flop in battery capacities:

iphone 6 - 1810 mAh iphone 6S - 1715 mAh iphone 7 - 1960 mAh iphone phone 8 - 1,821 mAh

In fact also Apple’s own comparison page states the iphone 8 “Lasts around the very same as iphone phone 7”. Losing the headphone jack should’ve checked out Apple fit considerably larger batteries. After all the Galaxy S7 had the type factor of the iphone 7, a headphone jack, 5.2-inch display and a 3000mAh battery - it have the right to be done.

The happier news is through the iphone phone 8 apple finally included fast wired charging and also wireless charging like countless of that rivals have had actually for years. Yet both come through caveats.

Performance of quick wired charging is good - you’ll get about 50% charge in 30 minutes, as good as most rivals - yet unlike any type of rival the is an optional extra for which you’ll must spend a minimum of $74 (29W to apologize charger - $49; quick charging cable - $25 1m, $35 2m). Secondly Apple do its wireless charging Qi compatible (the leading wireless charging standard) however only approximately 7.5W as soon as Qi support 15W. It’s meant Apple will certainly reserve 15W charging for its very own proprietary ‘AirPower’ standard later in 2018.

Tip: the iphone phone 6, iphone phone 6S, iphone phone 7 and iPhone 8 space all eligible because that Apple’s $29 discounted battery replacement company which lasts till the end of the year. I’d suggest iPhone 6, iphone phone 6S owner take benefit of this currently (it will also restore shed performance), iphone 7 and iPhone 8 owners can afford come wait yet be sure to take it prior to the transaction expires. This is how.

Storage and Price - Up and Up

Like battery life, there’s great and bad news around iPhone costs over the last 4 generations. Right here is the present pricing:

iphone phone 8 - 64GB ($699), 256GB ($849) iphone 7 - 32GB ($549), 128GB ($649) iphone phone 6S - 32GB ($449), 128GB ($549) iphone phone 6 - 16GB, 64GB, 128GB (no much longer available)

As you will do it see, to apologize likes to store older generations the iPhone accessible at discounted price for numerous generations. The pattern is Apple takes $100 turn off the price v each new generation (the iphone phone 6S and also iPhone 7 both started at $649 originally) and also align warehouse options: the iphone phone 6S lost 64GB in 2017 however gained 128GB at the exact same price point, when the iphone phone 7 shed its 256GB optio).

Meanwhile the iphone 8 boosted its starting price $50 contrasted to previous generations, yet it gives twice the entrance level warehouse (64GB Vs 32GB) and also there to be a palliation from three storage choices at $100 intervals (32GB, 128GB, 256GB) come two through a single $150 increase. There was pros and also cons to this approach, though some will miss the 128GB option which was a sweet spot.

See more: The Mass Of An Object Divided By Its Volume, Calculating Density

Bottom Line

While the iphone 6, iphone 6S, iphone 7 and iPhone 8 every look very comparable at first glance, they have readjusted dramatically - both inside and also out - on closer inspection.

Unfortunately, power aside, the more incremental enhancements to their design, cameras and battery life have actually not really kept pace with the competition. Whereas in ~ launch the iphone phone 6 to be an industry leader, the iphone 8 is not. In fact it’s only Apple’s 3rd best smartphone.

The flipside is this 4.7-inch models stay the ideal compact smartphones ~ above the market. This may be as result of a lack of compete (even apple looks collection to finish this type factor in 2018), however nevertheless if you want a extremely competent and pocket-friendly premium smartphone then these continue to be the models come beat. For me the iphone phone 6S to be the finest of the bunch, but an innovation waits for no-one.


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I to be an experienced freelance an innovation journalist. I have actually written for Wired, The following Web, TrustedReviews, The Guardian and the BBC in enhancement to I began in b2b print journalism spanning tech companies at the height of the period com boom and switched to spanning consumer an innovation as the iPod started to take off. A career highlight for me was being a founding member the TrustedReviews. It started in 2003 and we were repeatedly told websites might not complete with print! Within four years us were purchase by IPC Media (Time Warner"s publishing division) to come to be its flagship technology title. What fascinates me space the machinations the technology"s best companies. Got a pitch, pointer or leak? call me ~ above my professional Facebook page. I don"t bite.