iPhone for 279 euros at the discounter – is the offer worth it?

Aldi has been offering the iPhone 8 at a special price in its online store since September 30. atechbook checked the current offer and found a catch.

First of all, the good news: the iPhone 8 is still a good smartphone even years after its launch at the end of 2017. It still receives updates – most recently to the latest iOS 15. The performance is on par with many current mid-range smartphones and the Apple phone also still plays right at the top in terms of workmanship. At the end of April, the iPhone 8 with 64 GB of storage still cost 349 Euros at Aldi, in June it was available for 299 Euros and now the price has even dropped to 279 Euros. Nevertheless, we cannot really recommend buying the iPhone 8 at Aldi.

iPhone 8 at Aldi has aged well

The iPhone 8 is equipped with the manufacturer’s A11 Bionic chip and 2 GB of RAM. That does not sound much in view of the up to 16 GB of RAM in a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. But iOS still manages surprisingly well with little working memory and users should not have any problems with the working speed. The smartphone also has a 4.7-inch Retina display with a resolution of 1334 × 750 pixels. The resolution is okay for the relatively small display, so the pixel density per inch is 326 ppi.

The iPhone 8 is also IP67 water resistant and was the first iPhone to get wireless charging, along with the iPhone X. It has a 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) and can even record videos in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (FPS). Some users also prefer the home button, which can be used to unlock the smartphone. It is no longer found in the newer iPhones.

As far as updates are concerned, Apple has always delivered. Even expensive Android smartphones usually only get two to three major firmware updates. iPhones, on the other hand, receive iOS updates for 4 to 5 years on average. Just recently, Apple rolled out the major update to iOS 15 for the iPhone 8. The device should also get iOS 16.

iPhone 8 with technical weaknesses

However, Apple’s iPhones have clearly evolved since the iPhone 8. Triple camera, almost bezel-less OLED screen, and Face ID – none of that can be found in the iPhone 8 offered by Aldi. The battery in particular shows its age. The smaller models without the “Plus” always had an undersized battery. The iPhone 8 brings it to just 1820 mAh (milliampere hours) capacity – even less than the iPhone 7. The iPhone 13 Pro, which is not much bigger than the iPhone 8, has a more than 50 percent larger battery. At least the iPhone 8 supports fast charging at 15 watts, but it is a bit slower than the current iPhones at 20 watts.

There is a better iPhone alternative

For a long time, the iPhone 8 was a good entry-level device in the Apple world. However, this role has since been snatched away from it by the current iPhone SE. The iPhone SE (2020) is based on the iPhone 8 to a large extent – such as the casing, battery and screen – but comes with the latest Apple A13 Bionic, more RAM and a better camera inside. Above all, the powerful A13 Bionic ensures significantly better pictures and videos thanks to computational photography. The operating speed is also significantly higher than that of the iPhone 8 at Aldi. The average price of the iPhone SE (2020) with 64 GB of storage is currently around 399 Euros, which is only 120 Euros higher than the iPhone 8 at Aldi. And this model is not refurbished, but brand new.

For the Aldi offer for 279 Euros is for a refurbished iPhone 8 with 64 GB of storage. It is true that the refurbishment is very thorough according to the offer page – all components are removed, thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and reinstalled (defective parts are replaced with original spare parts). Nevertheless, it is not a new iPhone.

This means that the device can show minor signs of use and the battery might not have its full capacity anymore, either. At least the iPhone comes with a two-year warranty from Aldi partner Medion, which goes beyond the twelve-month legal warranty.

New iPhone 8 only marginally more expensive

A certified and refurbished iPhone 8 is not only available at Aldi. Other retailers like Amazon also offer corresponding models starting at around 215 euros for the 64 GB version – 60 euros cheaper than at Aldi. The iPhones are sold via Amazon’s “Renewed” program. Renewed devices are visually inspected and tested for functionality. According to Amazon, only flawless devices that look and function like new are to be sold. If that is not the case, as some users report in the reviews, Amazon gives an exchange or the money back. The battery should have at least 80 percent of the original capacity, according to Amazon. The devices come with a one-year Amazon-Renewed warranty.

And buyers who want to purchase the iPhone 8 as a new device also pay about as much as for the refurbished model at Aldi. On Ebay, for example, the device can be purchased as new for 282 Euros.

Conclusion of the bargain check

279 Euros for an iPhone 8 are not bad per se. But for the price, Aldi must also be able to guarantee a perfect condition, but does not make any statements about the condition of the battery, for example. Buyers already get the much better and newer iPhone SE (2020) for just a bit more money, which gets the clear buy recommendation from us. Amazon’s Renewed offer is also available for less money, but it might take several attempts to get a flawless iPhone.