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Apple iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone 12: What Will The 12 Add?

author Luis Silva (October 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

The iPhone 12 isn't that affordable, but it also is the better device of the two considering their specs.

It features better performance (+74%), better glass protection, a better display, better cameras, and more OS updates (3 additional years).

What else do they have to offer?

The iPhone 12 also gives you an AMOLED, larger (+0.6") display, a lightweight body (38 g./1.34 oz less), faster wireless charging (15w vs. 5w), and more RAM (4GB vs. 3GB). But the iPhone 8 Plus brings a telephoto lens (+44 mm).

How much more are you willing to spend on the iPhone 12?

If you're considering a new and unlocked smartphone, you'll have to invest an additional amount close to $490.

Is it worth buying the iPhone 8 Plus in 2021?

The iPhone 8 Plus is still a great phone, even in 2021, even more so if you can find it with a great deal. That doesn't mean you should ignore other devices like the iPhone 12 Pro since it has better performance, better cameras, more storage, more security updates, faster charging, more RAM, and better display.

Is the iPhone 12 still worth buying in 2021?

The iPhone 12 remains a great smartphone in part thanks to its good performance, good cameras, and excellent glass protection. That's why I'll continue to recommend it in 2021, but keep an eye on the iPhone 12 Mini too.

Read on so you can learn more about their differences, how they differ from their competition, and you'll know what the industry thinks about their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus, Apple iPhone 12

Photo by Emilio Garcia on Unsplash

CONTENTS

Click on one of these
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Introduction

Whether you're finally considering an upgrade, or you're just checking out what you'll lose by going for an iPhone 8, you're in the right place.

While Apple's iPhone 12 hit stores in October 2020, Apple's iPhone 8 Plus went on sale in September 2017.

Here you can look at the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone 12, compare each other's features, and decide which one is best for you. Let us delve into the finer details.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
Release Date 2017, September 2020, October 3y.
OS Updates 6 years 6 years 0y.
Security Updates 6 years 6 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

On the multicore portion of Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the iPhone 12 was, on average, 74% quicker while finishing its tests. Even if you don't value a smooth device that much, be aware of that difference, as it will be very noticeable.

The iPhone 12's performance does stand out if you consider its rivals. While they got a score of about 2658, it has 4067. That puts it 53% above them.

One can entitle the iPhone 12 as high-end.

Performance*
vs.
Features iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
SoC Apple A11 Apple A14
Graphics Apple GPU Apple GPU
Geekbench 5 Score 2332
4067
1735
OS iOS 11 iOS 14.1
Tek-Score
5.9
8.8
2.9

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Apple iPhone 8 Plus front transparent png Apple iPhone 12 front transparent png

The iPhone 12 has a better display, and it should be noticeable.

If you're trying to keep your phone's display small, there aren't many devices to consider besides the iPhone 8 Plus. There are just not that many choices in its class.

Most similarly priced devices stay in the ballpark of 713 nits, while the iPhone 8 Plus can only do 26% less.

Usually, anything below 500 nits will disappoint you when in direct sunlight or displaying HDR content. Speaking of HDR content:

Bearing in mind the iPhone 8 Plus, you should know that 81% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 94% have an AMOLED screen. But only 23% of them feature Gorilla Glass 6 or Victus.

Concerning the iPhone 12, I should say that 88% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 96% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
Size 5.5
6.1
0.6
Screen Type LCD AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x1920
1170x2532
888840
Refresh Rate 60hz 60hz 0
Dots per Inch 400.53
457.25
56.73
Always-On-Display No No
Notch - Wedge
Peak Brightness 530 nits
639 nits
109
HDR - HDR10
Sub Tek-Score
1.4
2.9
1.5
Protection Ion-strengthened glass Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
2.9
7.5
4.6

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Apple iPhone 8 Plus back transparent png Apple iPhone 12 back transparent png

You should note that the iPhone 12 is in the neighborhood of 40% above other competitors at about this price tag. And it should be your option today.

About the iPhone 8 Plus: DXOMARK gave this shooter a score of 104. By including its telephoto lens, you'll end up with a score of 112**. For a thorough review, click here.

Before moving on, all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens.

About the iPhone 12: The guys over at the DXOMARK labs scored this camera with 132 points. And by adding its wide-angle lens, we get a score of 139 points. For an out-and-out review, check their article.

Finally, just to let you know, just like the other device, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 96% feature Optical Image Stabilization. That said, only 8% of them feature a macro lens.

We can classify the iPhone 12 more as a high-end.

**Please take this with a grain of salt, at least for phones with no zoom and up to 35 to 40MP. They just changed their protocol, and they don't have enough reviews, so I can refine the pre-update camera scores.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 1.8
1.6
-0.2
Lens 28mm
26mm
-2
Lens Type Regular Wide-Angle
Flash 4 4 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 2160 0
Score 112
139
27

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12 vs.
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 2.8
2.4
-0.4
Lens 57mm (2x zoom)
13mm -44
Lens Type Telephoto lens Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 8 7 -1
Selfie Camera iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12 vs.
Megapixels 7
12
5
Aperture 2.2
2.2
0.0
Lens 32mm 23mm -9
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12 vs.
Tek-Score
6.6
8.2
1.6

Who has the best frame?

I'd go for the iPhone 12 for its weight, water resistance, and looks.

The iPhone 8 Plus is 38 g. (1.34 oz) heavier than the other, weighing about 164 g. (5.78 oz). If you're looking for a lightweight device, the "weight to display size" score of the iPhone 8 Plus is 0.7, meaning it's one of the heaviest phones for its display size. Having said that, the iPhone 12 has 6.9, which is pretty nice.

The iPhone 8 Plus is water-resistant in up to 1 meter, but the iPhone 12 should hold up to 1 to 3 meters. But remember: it's for a maximum period of half an hour, in standby mode, so no underwater photos.

Looks*
vs.
Body iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
Size 158 x 78 x 7 mm
(5.57 x 2.75 x 0.25 in)
146 x 71 x 7 mm
(5.15 x 2.50 x 0.25 in)
-13706
Weight 202 g. (7.13 oz)
164 g. (5.78 oz)
-38
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Gold, Silver, Space Gray, and Red Black, Red, White, Green, and Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 67.67%
88.18%
20.52
Disp.Size To Weight Score 0.7 6.9 6.1
Looks 5.5/10
10.0/10
4.5
Waterproof IP67 IP68
Biometrics Front Fingerprint Face ID
Tek-Score
4.7
8.6
3.8

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The iPhone 8 Plus does have a battery capacity of 2691 mAh versus the 2815 mAh of the iPhone 12. But by GSMArena's standards, you should get the same battery life with either device.

Alright, that's not a reason to make the iPhone 8 Plus shine. Apple should've put a bigger battery and/or energy-efficient hardware on it. Its "battery to device size" rate is 1.9.

On any of the new iPhone 12 siblings, wireless charging is also magnetic. That's great, but it's yet another proprietary solution.

Battery*
vs.
Features iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
Capacity (mAh) 2691 2815 124
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 79% left
79% left
0
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 63% left
64% left
1
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 65% left
64% left
-1
Bat. To Phone Size Score 1.9 6.4 4.5
Sub Tek-Score
6.9
6.9
0.0
Fast Charging 15w
20w
5
Wireless Charging 5w
15w
10
Tek-Score
6.2
6.6
0.4

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

It's a tie.

The iPhone 8 Plus features 64GB of internal storage and 3GB of RAM. Be aware that at this price segment, others have more RAM and more storage. They have 7GB of RAM and 122Gb of storage on average, but you can find better options.

In its turn, the iPhone 12 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of integrated storage. Again, you can effortlessly get more storage and more RAM on most of its rivals. They'd give you around 143Gb of storage and 8Gb of RAM.

Most people should be OK with their internal storage. However, if you love to have or record tons of videos, you'll find out that 64 GB won't be enough for you.

Storage*
vs.
Features iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
RAM (GB) 3GB
4GB
1
Internal (GB) 64GB
64GB
0
Micro SD No No
Tek-Score
2.8
2.8
0.0

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The iPhone 12, unless you don't care about 5G.

The iPhone 12 has a single network variant: (LTE and) 5G.

Connectivity
vs.
Features iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
Network LTE 5G
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
3.6
4.6
1.0

Which is more affordable?

Here are their recently updated prices:

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Reference: $390

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Apple iPhone 12

Reference: $880

Apple iPhone 12

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12 VS
Amazon 2.30 ! - ! -
eBay 1.23 0.98 -0.25
Best Buy - 0.93 -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

So, what about that global score? We'll get there. But first, let's see where its rivals are. They're at 6.2 (for the iPhone 8 Plus) and 7.0 (for the iPhone 12).

Verdict: What Makes the Apple iPhone 12 Stand Out?

Whether you're considering both or an upgrade, the iPhone 12 does give you a lot more compared to the iPhone 8. Performance and looks alone should be able to convince you that the newer iPhone is the way to go. If not, you'll also get a much better AMOLED screen, with more than enough outdoor brightness, HDR10, and Gorilla Glass Victus. You'll lose a telephoto lens, but its picture quality has improved a ton since the iPhone 8 Plus.

It also is lighter and adds an extra Gigabyte of RAM.

Pros iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
#1 Cameras Performance
#2 Fast Charging AMOLED
#3 Wireless Charging Cameras
#4 Fast Charging
#5 Wireless Charging
#6 Glass Protection
Cons iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
#1 AMOLED Always-On-Display
#2 Always-On-Display MicroSD Slot
#3 MicroSD Slot 3.5mm Jack
#4 Weight Price
#5 3.5mm Jack
#6 Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 12
Gaming Score
3.7
6.3
2.6
Tek-Score
4.81
6.76
1.95
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Apple iPhone 8 Plus Related Comparisons


Apple iPhone 12 Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Apple iPhone 8 Plus 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8
    $370
  • ApplerivaliPhone XR
    $344
  • OnePlusrival7
    $388
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T Pro
    $385
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $419
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e
    $428
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS
    $410
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
    $398
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e EX
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $359
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ EX
    $329
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $429
  • OnePlusrival7T
    $329
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • HuaweirivalP30
    $400
  • GooglerivalPixel 4
    $386
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $436
  • XiaomirivalMi 9
    $400
  • XiaomirivalMi 9 Lite
    $317
  • ApplerivaliPhone SE 2
    $380
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A71
    $400
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $425
  • OnePlusrivalNord
    $410
  • GooglerivalPixel 4a
    $350
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE
    $359
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $463
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 5G
    $359
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $398
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M51
    $396
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Lite
    $325
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Lite
    $399
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Lite
    $349
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A52
    $380
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A72
    $445
  • XiaomirivalMi 9t Pro
    $385

 Apple iPhone 12 
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $565
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $575
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $789
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $780
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $809
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $580
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $729
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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