iPhone X and 8: Why Most of Us Aren't Buying

The iPhone X's OLED panel and next-generation cameras look fantastic, but I'm not sold -- and I'm not the only one, either.

After Apple revealed its latest flagship phones, multiple Tom's Guide staffers have told me that they're sticking with their existing iPhone, though one of them is definitely ready to click preorder.

My iPhone 6 Plus may just have an LCD screen — and no dual cameras — but the iPhone 8 and X are asking too much from me, and at prices that are too damn high. If I'm going to be investing a thousand dollars in a device that's arguably the most important one I own, I don't want to lose crucial features.

MORE: iPhone X vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: Which One's Right for You?

The biggest gripe I have with the iPhone X is that Apple dropped Touch ID, so it doesn't have any fingerprint-scanning authentication. In its place, we have Face ID, which manages to feel cool, creepy and a step backward — all at the same time. 

While Apple boasts that Face ID is fast, it can't operate as conveniently as Touch ID already does. By the time I've pulled my iPhone 6 Plus out of my pocket, off its stand or from a table, my fingerprint has already registered, and it's unlocked.

If you're wondering why I didn't upgrade to the iPhone 7 last year, it was because Apple ditched the headphone jack just as I invested in quality wired headphones. The iPhone 8 and the X reaffirm Apple's anti-headphone-jack policy, another strike against the new phones.

But since I bought the 6 Plus when it first came out — back in September 2014 — I know that it's more than likely that I'll spend at least three years with my next iPhone. Therefore, I want to buy the device I have the fewest misgivings about. So I'm going to hold onto my 6 Plus until the day it stops working, which I hope happens after next year's models come out.

But that's just me. How are my fellow Tom's Guide staffers making their decisions about the new iPhone?

Andrew E. Freedman, Senior Writer

"I just finished paying my iPhone 6s Plus off, and you don’t buy a new house just because you paid off your mortgage"

My iPhone: iPhone 6s Plus

When I Got It: October 2015

Why I'm Keeping It: My trusty iPhone 6s Plus is still kicking. Its 1080p display is similar to what you’ll get on the iPhone 8 Plus (though not the borderless OLED display on the iPhone X), and I still have 3D Touch, Touch ID, a headphone jack, optical image stabilization for its camera and support for iOS 11. Oh, and I just finished paying it off, and you don’t buy a new house just because you paid off your mortgage. In general, I’m generally in favor of getting the latest and greatest tech, and I’m actually resisting the urge to upgrade pretty hard, but I’d rather give Apple some time to build on the technology in the iPhone X.

iPhone 6s Plus and 6s. Credit: Samuel C. Rutherford/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: iPhone 6s Plus and 6s. Credit: Samuel C. Rutherford/Tom's Guide)

But ... The camera on the iPhone 6s Plus is pretty good, but at this point, I’m starting to wish I had a set of dual shooters. Also, missing out on both wireless charging and an awesome, full-screen OLED display is a bummer. I’m also afraid I might not get to play some sweet AR games. Holding out better be worth it. I may be making a big mistake.

Mike Prospero, Senior Reviews Editor

"The new phones are so expensive."

My iPhone: iPhone 6s

When I Got It: About a year ago.

Why I'm Keeping It: I only purchased my iPhone 6s about a year ago, so I'm still paying it off, and the thought of spending an additional $1,000, even if it's spread out, is unappealing to me. Besides, I like the 6s' size—it fits easily into my pants—and its camera, while not the latest, still takes great pictures. Most importantly, the iPhone 6s has a headphone jack. While you're searching around for a missing dongle, I'll be happily listening to the latest Taylor Swift album.

But... The newer iPhones have better cameras, plus optical image stabilization, which I think is a killer feature, especially when taking low-light shots.

Mike Andronico, Senior Editor

"None of the new features excite me enough to spend $1,000."

My iPhone: iPhone 7

When You Got It: September 2016

Why I'm Keeping It:: I'm keeping my iPhone 7 because I just bought it last year and it still works pretty dang well. But more importantly, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X just don't represent a major jump in terms of what I want from a new phone. When I went from a 4s to a 6, I got a bigger screen. When I went from a 6 to a 7, I got 3D Touch. Despite the iPhone X's stellar design, none of the new features excite me enough to spend $1,000 — no matter how badly I want to create my own creepy Animoji.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Credit: Jeremy Lips/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Credit: Jeremy Lips/Tom's Guide)

But Those new glass designs are really nice. And as someone who plays a ton of games, the power of the new A11 Bionic processor is pretty tempting.

Caitlin McGarry, Senior Writer

"Do I need the iPhone X? No. Do I want it? Hell, yes."

My iPhone: iPhone 7 Plus

When I Got It: Last fall

Why I'm Moving On: I’m probably splurging on the iPhone X, and there’s really no good reason why. My iPhone 7 Plus is amazing: The screen is big and bright, it has a glorious camera, and I use Portrait Mode constantly. I don’t owe money on it. There are more reasons to keep this phone than to buy a new one. But after using an edge-to-edge display, wireless charging and facial recognition on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, I want to use Apple’s versions. The improved cameras and Portrait Lighting are a bonus. Do I need the iPhone X? No. Do I want it? Hell, yes.

But ... The price. That’s why I’m glad Apple is delaying the launch of the iPhone X to the end of October, which gives me six weeks to argue with myself. Knowing that I can sell my iPhone 7 Plus for a decent price and spread the $1,000 cost of the iPhone X over many, many months is comforting, but I just really hate to spend that much money.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.