This year, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) introduced three new iPhones: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X (pronounced "iPhone ten"). The iPhone 8 is the cheapest of the new models, starting at $699, and the iPhone X is the priciest of the bunch, starting at $999.
The iPhone 8 Plus, which sits in the middle of those two devices, starts at $799.
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While the iPhone X is Apple's highest-end iPhone and has a price tag to reflect that fact, I think that a legitimate case can be made for picking the iPhone 8 Plus over the iPhone X, even if the price isn't a consideration. To that end, here are three reasons that you might want to pick the iPhone 8 Plus over the iPhone X, even if the lower price of the iPhone 8 Plus isn't a key consideration.
Better battery life
Tom's Guide published battery life test results for a handful of flagship smartphones, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. The testing methodology consisted of "continuously surfing the Web via 4G at 150 nits brightness."
In this test, the iPhone X lasted a respectable 10 hours and 49 minutes, but the iPhone 8 Plus lasted just a smidgen longer at 11 hours and 16 minutes under these same conditions.
Both the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus seem to offer great battery life (and as a happy iPhone 8 Plus owner, I can attest to the endurance of the iPhone 8 Plus), but the iPhone 8 Plus ultimately edges out the iPhone X in this test. For some people, an extra 30 minutes or so of battery life might not be a big deal, but for others that extra use time -- especially added up over the course of two years -- could make it a worthwhile purchase compared to the iPhone X.
The best color
The iPhone X is only available in space gray and silver finishes, while both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come in those finishes as well as a gold finish. I think the gold finish that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus comes in looks far nicer than either the silver or space gray finishes that the iPhone X comes in.
I get that many, if not most, smartphone buyers place their phones in protective cases that ultimately make the finishes of the devices irrelevant. However, if you're like me and don't use a protective casing on your phone, then you probably care about the finish of the case and, more generally, how the back of the device looks. If you also agree with me that the gold finish is far superior to either the silver or space gray finishes, and if aesthetics matter to you, then the iPhone 8 Plus could be a better choice than the iPhone X.
A true "Plus" smartphone
When Apple introduced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September 2014, the company highlighted some key software features that it endowed the iPhone 6 Plus with that the vanilla iPhone 6 didn't get. These features included landscape mode on the home screen as well as split-screen mode in various built-in apps like Mail and Messages.
Unfortunately, the iPhone X doesn't support these nifty Plus features.
If you're planning to buy a new iPhone and you're coming from an older 4.7-inch iPhone -- in other words, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 7 -- then this isn't much of an issue since you won't know what you're missing. But if you're upgrading from an iPhone 6 Plus or an iPhone 6s Plus, then the loss of these Plus-specific software perks could prove irritating. If you value these features, then the iPhone 8 Plus could make for a better upgrade from an older iPhone Plus model than today's iPhone X does.
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Ashraf Eassa has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.