iPhone 7 vs. iPhone X — Which One Should You Choose?

iPhone 7 and iPhone X are now both one of the most popular iPhone models out there. Both phones are now much cheaper than they were at their launch. iPhone 7 is in many places more than 50% cheaper compared to iPhone X, but you have to take into consideration that the phone is one year older than iPhone X.

So, should you upgrade to the iPhone X or pick a more affordable iPhone 7? Let’s go over some of the differences and see which one is the right fit for you.

Which One Looks Better?

When it comes to looks, the iPhone X is a standout. Like the new Galaxy models, the iPhone X has opted to focus on screen-size-first design. The side bezels have been all-but-eliminated (4.13mm), and the smartphone has a screen-only feel. The 5.8-inch OLED display is a little bigger than the 7 plus, but the phone itself is much smaller — meaning that you get the big screen without the big phone.

In addition to dropping the somewhat chunky bezels of the iPhone 7 and 8 models, the iPhone X has completely abandoned the home button. This means that the only non-screen elements on the front of the phone are the ultra-slim bezels and a notch for the front-facing camera and some sensors. The loss of the home button is a love-it-or-hate-it move by Apple that’s met mixed reviews. But, if the screen-to-body ratio is an important selling point for you, the iPhone X has one of the best ratios on the market — sitting at 82%.

The back of the device is a throwback to the iPhone 4 back in 2011. Apple has dropped the aluminum back (which it used for the iPhone 6) for a glass one. This adds a little weight to the device and introduces some durability concerns. Apple claims that the medical-grade glass is hardy enough for consumers. Of course, it’s not as durable as aluminum. But, the glass black is more conductive, which makes wireless charging fast and easy. The glass also looks incredibly beautiful and glossy — something that some consumers have been missing since the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 7 on-the-other-hand, shares many of the same design qualities as the 6. And, you may find it difficult to see any striking differences between the iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8 models from a design perspective.

As we’ve said before. The iPhone 7 is still one of the best smartphones on the market — and its design is still a little hardier and drop-proof compared to the iPhone X.

Summary: The iPhone 7 has an aluminum back and thick, chunky bezels. The iPhone X has ultra-thin bezels, no home button, and a glossy glass back — which support a larger screen size and wireless charging. 

What About Screen Quality and Screen Size?

The iPhone X has a slightly larger screen than the iPhone 7, but it’s a much smaller device. Here’s a comparison.

  • iPhone X: 143.6 mm (5.65 in) W: 70.9 mm (2.79 in) D: 7.7 mm (0.30 in) Screen size: 5.8 in
  • iPhone 7: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in) and 138 g (4.87 oz) Screen size: 4.7 in
  • iPhone 7 Plus: 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in) and 188 g (6.63 oz) Screen size: 5.5 in

So, you’re definitely gaining some screen size, but it’s not at the cost of body size thanks to the ultra-thin bezels and lack of a home button.

When it comes to display quality, the iPhone X is a leaps-and-bounds ahead of the iPhone 7. The new OLED screens are crystal clear and have an insanely good contrast ratio. The iPhone 7 has a 1,400:1 ratio, while the iPhone X has a whopping 1,000,000:1 ratio. That means that the iPhone X has 715x better contrast ratio — which unlocks a ton of neat things.

You can stream HDR on Netflix and Amazon, and you’ll be able to stream some HDR YouTube videos — which are absolutely stunning.

The iPhone X is also the first Apple model to ship out without an LCD screen. The 2436-by-1125-pixel resolution OLED screen is, without a doubt, the most attractive display Apple has ever produced. And it’s sure to stand out for years to come.

Summary: The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch LCD screen with a 1,400:1 contrast ratio. The iPhone X sports a 5.8-inch OLED screen with an outstanding 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio with a smaller overall body.

iPhone 7 size vs. iPhone X size?

The iPhone 7 isn’t a huge smartphone by any means. That being said, it’s definitely a size upgrade from some of the older iPhone models (iPhone 5 etc.) But, the iPhone 7 is noticeably larger than the iPhone X, which is deceivingly small. Here’s the tricky part — the iPhone X is heavy. While it may be slightly smaller than the 7, the X is almost 2 ounces heavier — a consequence of its heavy, stylish backglass.

Some people like a hefty phone, while others prefer a lighter, more delicate feeling model. The iPhone X may have a slightly more fragile backglass, but it’s hefty weight and smooth finish give the appearance of a hardy device.

Summary: The iPhone 7 weighs in at only 4.87 ounces while the iPhone X weighs 6.138 oz. 

Is the iPhone X speed vs. iPhone 7 speed?

The iPhone 7 is anything but sluggish. Benchmarks kept the iPhone 7 neck-to-neck with most Android models up until the iPhone X — which is far-and-away the best performing Apple smartphone released.

We’ll start with the Apple A11 “Bionic” chipset. It has a Six-Core CPU and a Six Core GPU with 3GB of RAM. This gives you around 30% more GPU than the iPhone 7 and around 25% more CPU. And, that means you’re going to multitask around 70% faster than you would with the iPhone 7. And, it gives you all of this while it’s powering that 2436-by-1125-pixel touchscreen, cameras, sensors, etc. 

To top it all off, the Neural AI in the chipset can produce 600 billion operations per second — which it uses for its advanced facial recognition technology.

Summary: The iPhone 7 sports the A10 fusion chipset — which is around 70% slower than the A11 Bionic in the iPhone X. Remember, both of these chipsets are pacy and can handle the vast majority of smartphone use cases.

Is iPhone X Battery Life better than in iPhone 7?

On the surface, the iPhone X battery isn’t too distant from the iPhone 7. Both of them can handle around 13 hours of video and around 12 hours of internet use. The iPhone X edges out the iPhone 7 when it comes to endurance tasks like talk time and audio play. But, the real shakeup here isn’t the battery life itself — it’s the charging.

The iPhone X has fast charging and wireless charging — both of which make charging and using your smartphone a breeze. The fast charging can fill the tank halfway in 30 minutes. And, the wireless charging gives you charging options that don’t involve chaining yourself to the nearest wall.

Summary: The iPhone 7 and iPhone X both have good batteries that can last a full day with ease. The iPhone X has a little more pep in its step. And, it offers quick charging and wireless charging functions to increase ease-of-use and charging versatility.

How Nice is the Front Camera on the iPhone X?

Let’s be honest — Apple has virtually eliminated the need for DSLR cameras outside of top-level professional photography work. And, that trend definitely continues with the iPhone X.

On paper, the iPhone X and iPhone 7 have identical front-facing cameras. Both have f/2.2 aperture and 1080p video resolution. Plus, they both have a 7MP sensor. But, it’s not all numbers. The iPhone X has the Neural AI of the A11 chip. And, it’s an incredibly powerful neural tool for camerawork. Not only does it power Face ID (more on that in the Face ID section) but it can automatically detect optimal lighting for portraits.

The iPhone X also has Animoji — a fun and unique feature that allows you to place emojis in the world that mock your expressions and voice.

Summary: The iPhone 7 has an incredible front-facing camera that still makes an impact in today’s market. But, the iPhone X has a chipset that gives it the oomph to take exception photos.

iPhone X Rear Camera vs. iPhone 7 Rear Camera?

Both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone X feature dual back cameras. And, both of the cameras take professional-quality photos.

Again, on paper, the differences between the iPhone 7 and iPhone X are minor. The telephoto lens on the back has a slightly better aperture on the iPhone X (f/2.4). But, it’s nothing that’s going to make-or-break low-light levels. But, again, numbers aren’t everything. The iPhone X has a faster 12 Megapixel (MP) sensor, an image signal processor (which makes the end result much better than the iPhone 7,) and an impressive array of filters and image stabilization features.

In short, the iPhone X takes better pictures. But, the iPhone 7 is still competitive in today’s market.

Summary: The iPhone 7 has an outstanding camera. But, the iPhone X edges it out with an impressive 12 MP sensor, Apple’s first ISP technology, and superior image stabilization and low-light.

What’s With Face ID?

The iPhone X’s new Face ID feature replaces the Touch ID feature on the iPhone 7 — which is now gone due to the removal of the home button. This incredible security measure can instantly recognize your face via billions of processes per second and uses your face to unlock your device. And, it will still be able to tell it’s you when you’re wearing a hat or get that fresh new haircut.

While Apple isn’t the first company to launch with Face ID (Galaxy had a run at it), it is the first to do it well. Thanks to the depth-sensing camera you can’t trick the sensor with a photo. And, it’s really good at recognizing faces through any potential barriers like sunglasses. These are the things that have been missing from Android devices with Face ID — which is another reason that Apple is still the-way-to-go.

Some users will definitely miss the Touch ID — which wasn’t so glued to AI. But, the Face ID works, so that’s what really matters.

Summary: The iPhone 7 has Touch ID, which recognizes your fingerprint to unlock the device. The iPhone X has Face ID which recognizes your face to unlock the device.

Final Thoughts

Here’s our opinion.

Choose the iPhone X, if:

  • You want the better performance
  • You’re looking for the best possible photos
  • You want the OLED touchscreen
  • You want a larger screen
  • You like the bezel-less look
  • You want a brand new Apple experience
  • You like some of the quirky features like Animoji

Choose the iPhone 7, if:

  • You want to spend less money 
  • You don’t want to use Face ID
  • You like the home button
  • You’re upgrading from an older iPhone and want a similar (but better) user experience