On Monday, Apple surprised everyone when it announced the all-new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus handsets that are set to hit all major carriers on Friday. Last year’s (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were introduced on March 21, 2017 and released three days later. 

Because Apple has decided to continue its collaboration with (RED), fans may be wondering if the new red iPhones resemble last year’s installments, or if they share the same shade of red. Surprisingly, the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are noticeably different from the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices. 

YouTuber MKBHD (Marques Brownlee) has already gotten his hands on the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 Plus, and he observed how the new phone differs from last year’s model. However, the things that come with the red iPhone 8 Plus are pretty much the same with the red iPhone 7 Plus. The two have the same box design, Lightning cable, wall block and headphones.

The iPhone 8 Plus is a minor upgrade to the iPhone 7 Plus, so the two phones share almost the same form factor. Both have a 5.5-inch 1080x1920 screens, but the iPhone 8 Plus is very slightly larger in terms of dimensions. The newer model is also thicker at 7.5mm, while the older model is 7.3mm thin. The placement of sensors, cameras, design elements is also the same for the two devices. 

Nevertheless, the materials Apple used in building the hardware of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus (and their little brothers) are different. The 2017 models came with a brushed aluminum back, while the 2018 installments sported a glossy back due to their wireless charging support, according to 9To5Mac

Due to the difference in the back materials of the phones, Apple had to use different red colorization processes for the two. The one used on the iPhone 8 Plus made it keep the gloss finish of its glass back. As a result, the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 Plus is brighter than the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus. 

“It’s a different red from last year, which was that anodized matte red and aluminum finish,” Brownlee noted after putting the two handsets side-by-side. “[The color] is under glass now, as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are, so it’s more of like this Ferrari red, ruby or candy red.”

Another contrast to the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus is the slick black bezels on this year’s red iPhone 8 Plus. Last year’s (PRODUCT)RED models rocked a white front and red black combination, which sadly did not impress a lot of consumers. This year’s black front and red back combination, however, is definitely turning heads. 

The (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 have the same qualities as their bigger siblings, so the differences noted above are the same for the two. All in all, the newer red iPhones are pretty similar to the older iPhones in terms of specs and features. The disparity between them mainly lies on their color combinations and the type of red they sport with respect to the materials used for their backs.