The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are now two years old. This means that many people who purchased it on a two-year contract are due for an upgrade. Even otherwise, many iPhone 8 users will likely be looking to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro. But should they? Is the jump from the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus to the iPhone 11 Pro worth it?
To help solve this dilemma of yours, read our decision calculator below.
iPhone 8 to iPhone 11 Pro – Upgrade or Not?
The iPhone 11 Pro is obviously better than the iPhone 8/Plus in almost every aspect. The phone marks the beginning of Apple’s new ‘pro’ iPhone lineup and to live up to its name, the iPhone 11 Pro comes with a number of new features. But then again, despite its age, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are great smartphones. So, upgrade or not?
Impressive New Display and Design
Apple has always been known to use quality displays on its devices. The LCD panel on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is not bad by any means, but the iPhone 11 Pro’s Super Retina XDR display is at a different level altogether. The OLED panel on the iPhone 11 Pro has a peak brightness level of 1200 nits, supports HDR10 content, has great viewing angles, and an outstanding contrast ratio. The LCD display on the iPhone 8 series simply cannot hold a candle in front of the iPhone 11 Pro’s display.
If you consume a lot of content on your iPhone or if the display is just too important for you, the new Super Retina XDR display on the iPhone 11 Pro series is one tempting reason to upgrade to it. What’s even better is that due to the higher screen-to-body ratio, you get a bigger display on the iPhone 11 Pro series compared to the iPhone 8/Plus.
While the iPhone 8 has a 4.7-inch display, the iPhone 11 Pro with almost the same dimensions packs a substantially bigger 5.8-inch display. Similarly, the iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5-inch display while the iPhone 11 Pro packs a noticeably bigger 6.5-inch display in a similar body.
The iPhone 11 Pro also looks way more modern than the iPhone 8/Plus. The bezel-less display and the frosted glass panel help give it a more modern look when compared to the iPhone 8 which looks downright outdated and ancient now. The iPhone 11 Pro’s design is also durable thanks to the use of a stainless steel chassis and durable glass. Its water-resistance capabilities are also a step up from the iPhone 8.
The iPhone 8 does have Touch ID while the iPhone 11 Pro relies on Face ID. Apple has improved Face ID substantially on the iPhone 11 Pro compared to when it first debuted on the iPhone X in 2017. Face ID is definitely more convenient to use than Touch ID but it does have a slightly higher failure rate as well.
Apple’s A11 Bionic powers the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus while the iPhone 11 Pro features an A13 Bionic chip. The latter is obviously more powerful and power-efficient. It is, in fact, the fastest CPU and GPU inside a smartphone right now. However, despite its age, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus do not show any performance issues or struggle with heavy apps and games. They are still able to play heavy games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 smoothly albeit at 30fps and not at 60fps.
Until and unless you are doing something extremely heavy that brings the iPhone 8’s chip to its knees, there really is no reason to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro from a performance viewpoint. With iOS 12 and iOS 13, Apple has also taken care to ensure that its older devices do not slow down as they age and that shows with the iPhone 8 holding up very well two years after its release.
The iPhone 11 Pro also ships with more RAM than the iPhone 8 which means it will have better multitasking performance than the latter. This might be a big deal for power users who frequently switch between apps on their iPhone.
This is a big one. If you click a lot of photos or record videos, the iPhone 11 Pro’s triple-camera system offers a level of flexibility which the iPhone 8 simply cannot match. The smaller iPhone 8 only comes with a single 12MP rear camera and even lacks Portrait mode. The bigger iPhone 8 Plus does come with a dual-camera system and Portrait mode. However, the iPhone 11 Pro’s triple-camera system brings too many things to the table.
Apart from improved photo quality, the iPhone 1 Pro features a new 12MP ultra-wide angle camera that allows one to capture photos in an entirely different perspective. Even the telephoto sensor on the iPhone 11 Pro has a wider aperture that greatly improves its sharpness and the details it captures.
The iPhone 11 Pro also has cinematic video stabilization and wider dynamic range while recording videos.
The front camera on the iPhone 11 Pro is also a notable step up from the iPhone 8’s 7MP FaceTime HD camera. Not only does it have a higher 12MP resolution, but it also has a slightly wider field of view. The latter will allow you to fit a wee bit more people in your selfies. The iPhone 11 Pro’s front camera can not only record videos in 4K but also ‘slofies’ a.k.a slow-mo videos. If you are a content creator or just use the camera on your iPhone 8 a lot, the improved camera system is going to be a key reason to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro.
Like the iPhone 8, the iPhone 11 also lacks a headphone jack. But in terms of connectivity, the iPhone 11 Pro brings a lot to the table. It features a 1.6Gbps Gigabit LTE modem, faster Wi-Fi 6 support, Bluetooth 5.0, and even has Apple’s new Ultra Wideband chip. The iPhone 8, in comparison, does not even have a Gigabit modem.
The faster LTE modem makes a massive difference in daily use, though it might not seem like much on the spec sheet. Apple’s new Ultra Wideband chip is also going to be extremely handy once Apple unveils Apple Tags. Plus, the chip is also used on the iPhone 11 Pro series to offer a unique and enhanced AirDrop experience.
The iPhone 11 Pro absolutely trumps the iPhone 8 in the battery life department. Apple claims the iPhone 11 Pro offers up to four hours longer battery life than the iPhone XS while the iPhone 11 Pro Max lasts five hours longer than the iPhone XS Max. If you use an iPhone 8, you are really going to enjoy the improved battery life of the iPhone 11 Pro. The former struggles to make it through even an average day of use while the iPhone 11 Pro will easily last a day of heavy use. The iPhone 8 Plus offers respectable battery life but it simply cannot compete with the excellent battery life of the iPhone 11 Pro.
If you are always on the go or are just frustrated with always having to charge your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, the upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro will be worth it from the improved battery life viewpoint alone.
What’s even better is that Apple is also including an 18W USB-C charger with the iPhone 11 Pro. This means charging the phone from 0-50% in just minutes — an extremely handy feature to have if you are always traveling or rarely have time to charge your phone.
This is where you will have to think twice before considering upgrading to the iPhone 11 Pro. The iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999 while the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099. Assuming you can get about $400-500 for your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, you will still have to spend an additional $500 towards the upgrade. Ask yourself the question if you are willing to spend that much money to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro or not. If the answer is a yes, go ahead with the upgrade.
The 2020 iPhones will come in new screen sizes and feature 5G as well. However, I strongly recommend people not to buy the first 5G phone from any company since it is likely going to have a lot of issues and its performance is not going to be satisfactory. If you don’t mind waiting to try out 5G on your iPhone until at least 2021, the iPhone 11 Pro upgrade makes a lot of sense.
Did this decision calculator help make up your mind on upgrading to the iPhone 11 Pro from your iPhone 8? Whatever you decide, make sure to drop a comment and let us know.