With Apple charging more and more for its phones, you may need an iPhone X alternative. Thanks to Microsoft and Google, there are a lot of smartphones that do everything Apple does—for much less money.
It’s true that the iPhone X delivers a premium experience. From its 5.8-inch OLED screen to bezel-less design and Face ID, it’s an amazing phone. But the iPhone X comes in at around $1,000! Check out these nine iPhone X alternatives.
What Is the iPhone X?
It’s a phablet-sized iPhone with everything you’ve ever wanted inside of it. It isn’t the 10th iteration of the iPhone. Instead, it celebrates the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. If Apple forgos an iPhone 9, this follows suit with the Windows model of jumping from Windows 8 to Windows 10.
Its specifications are a testament to advancements in smartphone technology. Onboard, you’ll find an OLED screen that’s just under six inches. A phablet form factor, the iPhone X comes in a whopping 5.65 x 2.79 x 0.30-inch package that weighs 6.14 ounces. Primarily, facial recognition is a top feature the iPhone X touts.
On the inside, the X gets its power from an Apple A11 chipset with a whopping six-core GPU and M11 motion co-processor with 3GB of RAM. According to Gadgets360, benchmarks from the A11 are demolishing competitors. Apple’s A11 chip is a performance beast. Though it’s certainly a hot device, the Apple Watch Series 3 overshadows the X.
Should You Buy an iPhone X?
On paper, the iPhone X is a terrific buy. Because of its gorgeous screen and top of the line specs, it’s arguably the best phone available. If you’re ingrained in the Apple ecosystem, you may consider the iPhone X as your next handset.
However, upgrading will cost around $1,000. For that price, can snag a tablet, phone, and laptop. Maybe even a desktop. But if you are an Apple user (and have no qualms about dropping $1,000 for a new handset), by all means, splurge for the iPhone X.
For the vast majority of consumers, though, an iPhone X is not worth the cost.
Best iPhone X Alternatives
1. Moto G5
When it comes to spectacular devices on a budget, Motorola is king. TechRadar calls the Motorola Moto G5 the “best cheap phone in the world.” That’s high praise and well deserved. Starting with the exterior, the Moto G5 features a high-end feel that extends into its interior. The body is part metal, a pleasant touch considering even some flagships come with cheap plastic outers. The screen is lifelike, and there’s even a fingerprint scanner.
But the Moto G5 lacks NFC which you’ll need for many applications including Android Pay and VR mobile gaming. Further, processing power is underwhelming. But for around $200, this is easily the best substitute for an iPhone X on a budget.
Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: The Moto G5 is the best phone available for under $300.
The Asus ZenFone’s lack of popularity is a mystery. Android Authority awarded the ZenFone 3 (our 8-point review) an 8.2 out of 10 in their score, hailing it as a premium device masquerading as a modest handset. Asus’s third generation ZenFone affords silky performance and commendable battery life. Both its front and rear shooters capture spectacular photos and video. It’s also a sexy device.
But Android Authority does note that the ZenFone 3 comes with a bit too much bloatware. Moreover, it’s prone to collecting fingerprints and is a tad slippery. Still, for under $300 the ZenFone 3 is a solidly specced device that’s gorgeous to look at and use.
Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Sweet appearance and performance.
3. Moto Z Play
Motorola’s Moto Z Play stands out as a very unique handset. That’s largely on account of its modular design with add-on accessories. Dubbed Moto Mods, these snap-on accessories are simple to install and include functional tools such as a speaker, projector, and True Zoom camera. This mod makes the Moto Z Play a phone with one of the best cameras. Additionally, the Moto Z Play delivers long-lasting battery life.
Whereas Motorola dumped the headphone jack a la Apple on its Z and Z Force, the Moto Z Play retains a 3.5 mm headphone jack. As CNET reports, the Z Play isn’t as powerful as the Z and Z Force, but the modular accessories, stellar battery life, and headphone jack make it a top Android device.
Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Has a headphone jack, superb battery life, and modular accessories.
4. OnePlus 5
Since the OnePlus 1, OnePlus devices have created lots of buzz. That doesn’t change with the OnePlus 5 (our OnePlus 5 review), except that it continues to offer incredible hardware at an affordable price point. In their opinion, Android Authority lauded the OnePlus 5 for its vivid 1080p screen and dual-camera array. Unlike many handsets, the OnePlus 5 opts for a metal build which lends a premium feel.
Performance is unrivaled, and battery life is excellent. But the OnePlus, like the iPhone X, still lacks expandable storage. With the prevalence of streaming services for video and music, and cloud storage options, that’s not a deal breaker. Nevertheless, a microSD card slot would mean the potential for 400GB additional storage.
Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Fantastic dual-camera setup and blisteringly fast performance.
5. iPhone SE
As CNET explains, a year later the Apple iPhone SE remains an amazing device. A departure from the phablet trend, it’s a device capable of being used with a single hand. The iPhone SE (our review) yields a snappy experience and excellent cameras on its front and rear. It’s available with as much as 128GB of storage space. But where the SE shines is with a low price. Apple’s iPhone SE holds the distinction of being the most affordable iPhone on the market.
The SE doesn’t feel like a current phone. While devices such as the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8 come in phablet form factors with bezel-less screens, the SE opts for a smaller package with a bezel. Nevertheless, the SE is one of the best iPhone X alternatives. Before making the plunge, however, make sure you know all about the iPhone SE.
Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: The iPhone SE stays in the Apple ecosystem and balances power, storage, and affordability.
6. iPhone 7
Though the iPhone 7 (our review) doesn’t pack the same punch as the iPhone X, it’s a solid device. While many new versions don’t deliver exceptional upgrades, the 7 does. There’s a great camera, up to 128GB of storage space.
You still won’t find a headphone jack or dual camera. However, it’s a worthy flagship and costs less than the iPhone X. Though it may look like the iPhone 6, the 7th-generation iPhone is pretty distinct.
Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Stays in the Apple ecosystem and is less expensive.
In our review, we found the Samsung Galaxy S8 to be one of the best overall handsets available. Unfortunately, at launch, its high price proved detrimental to recommending adoption. A technically well-endowed phone, the S8 competes with high-end phones including the iPhone 7, 8, and Google Pixel.
Its Infinity Display and luscious screen make Samsung’s Galaxy S8 a wonderful contender for the iPhone 8. For fans of virtual reality gaming, the S8 sports both Gear VR, and Daydream compatibility. With its powerful hardware, the S8 may even be used as a desktop with the DeX dock.
Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Infinity Display, powerful hardware.
The Windows Phone may be a rarity. But it’s not completely dead. PCWorld Senior Editor Mark Hachman calls the HP Elite x3 the best Windows phone ever created. The hardware is exquisite and even comes with an iris scanner. Truthfully, Windows Phone is lightyears behind Android and iOS. However, the HP Elite x3 dominates with its ability to act as a desktop or laptop.
A dock brings the x3 to monitors and televisions, while a notebook-like device transforms it into a laptop. Beefy hardware is capable of running Win32 applications such as Photoshop and Chrome. Essentially, it’s like having a PC in your pocket. The major downside is its price. Starting around $700, this is one pricey phablet. Want the Desk Dock? That runs an additional $150. Keen on the Lap Dock? Prepare to shell out $500. It’s tough to justify well over thousand dollars for the Elite x3, Lap Dock, and Desk Dock. For that price, you can get a much more powerful laptop or desktop and phone with a modern operating system, like, well, Android or iOS.
Update: It’s sold out at Amazon, but available at a steep discount over at Microsoft for both the phone and dock.
If you’re even considering the iPhone X, think about a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 instead. It’s possibly the greatest mobile device Samsung has yet produced according to TechRadar. Plus, the Note 8 is similar to the iPhone X. The Note 8 affords a massive 6.3-inch screen with its Infinity Display. Plus, there’s a bundled stylus. Its 6GB of RAM top the X’s comparatively measly 3GB. Additionally, the Note 8 packs in two cameras.
Unfortunately, the Note 8 bears another similarity to Apple’s iPhone X: price. The Note 8 retails for around a grand. But for those debating an iPhone X, the Galaxy Note 8 is a much better use for your money. Though the Note 8, unlike its predecessor, won’t explode, your bank account may.
Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Similar specs and price tag.
iPhone X Alternatives: What You Should Buy Instead
Fact: the iPhone X is an amazing phone, and arguably the best phone you can buy. Its A11 Bionic completely obliterates the competition in sheer brute force computing power. However, it’s difficult to justify the price when it doesn’t really do all that much that its Android and even Windows phone counterparts are not capable of performing.
Rather than snagging an iPhone X, consider what attracts you to the iPhone X. Then, look for those qualities in a smartphone. If you’re set on staying in the Apple space, the iPhone 8, or even iPhone 7, are top choices. Don’t overlook the iPhone SE which is still one of the best iPhones you can buy.
For Android, flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 should satisfy anyone thinking of getting an iPhone X. But plenty of budget and mid-range devices pack plenty of features, including the best budget pick in the Moto G5, premium specced ZenFone 3, and all-around amazing OnePlus 5. Though Windows Phones are hard to recommend, the HP Elite x3 serves as a condensed desktop or laptop, though it’s primarily relevant for the business world instead of the average consumer.