APPLE CURRENTLY SELLS eight iPhone models, from the $429 iPhone SE to the $1,099 iPhone 14 Pro Max. Which is best for you; iPhone Should You Buy? We’re here to help you separate the marketing slogans from reality—we’ve tested all the latest models and outline their strengths and weaknesses here. Our iPhone buying guide can help you make a decision.
This article explains how to decide which iPhone is best for you among the iPhone models Apple is currently selling; Which iPhone Should You Buy: iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone SE (3rd generation), iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, and iPhone 11.
What to Know on which iPhone Should You Buy.
- Determine your budget, storage capacity needs, hardware preferences, and which features you want.
- The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the top-of-the-line model with the largest screen, best camera, and most impressive features.
- Previous iPhone generations are only slight downgrades from their predecessors.
We’ll also look at older iPhone models currently available only as refurbished devices through Apple or via third-party sellers: iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
If you’re upgrading from an iPhone, you can trade it to Apple to get a small discount. Before you do that, check whether you can sell it elsewhere for more money. iPhones hold their value incredibly well, particularly if they’re in mint or good condition. We have a guide that runs through a few websites you can use.
Don’t forget to back up your old iPhone before you switch to a newer model, which will help you transfer everything without losing any data. And remember to factory-reset your old iPhone before selling it. You might find our guides on setting up a new iPhone and how to fix it helpful. And if you don’t want to sell it, we have some ideas on how to repurpose your old device.
iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro
- Most cutting-edge technology.
- Up to 30 hours of battery life.
- Amazing camera technology.
- High refresh rate.
- Crisp, bright screen.
- Lacks expandable storage.
- Volume quality lacks at higher volumes.
- Big and heavy.
Who will want it: If having the coolest, most cutting-edge technology matters to you, the iPhone 13 Pro series is your only choice. Both the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max offer Apple’s TrueTone color management system, making it an excellent choice for artists, content creators, and heavy users.
Notable specs: The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max feature extraordinary cameras, long battery life, and A15 Bionic chips. The 13 Pro’s screen is 6.1 inches, while the Pro Max boasts a 6.7-inch display with 2,778 x 1,284-pixel resolution. Both models’ screens are noticeably brighter than previous models and feature a ProMotion display, which means a higher refresh rate.
Bottom line: An iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max will let you enjoy a gorgeous screen experience where animations and graphics—and even everyday images—are smooth and crisp. which is listed on the iPhone Should You Buy.
- Improved performance and battery life.
- Excellent camera.
- Most bang for your buck.
- 5G connectivity.
- Smaller notch isn’t very useful.
- Charging time slower than some competitors.
- Not a major update over the iPhone 12.
Who will want it: The iPhone 13’s improvements over previous models in storage, performance, battery life, and camera make it an excellent device and a wise choice for those seeking an impressive, high-end smartphone at a reasonable price point.
Notable specs: The iPhone 13 includes the same A15 Bionic chip as the 13 Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone 13 also features a 6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with 2532 x 1170-pixel resolution, 5G connectivity, and dual cameras boasting 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide lenses.
Bottom line: The iPhone 13 is a gorgeous device with many of the benefits of its enhanced Pro and Pro Max siblings, but with a lower price tag and size that will appeal to the masses. which is listed on the iPhone Should You Buy.
iPhone 13 Mini
- Compact and lightweight.
- Durable with scratch-resistant screen and dust and water resistance.
- Trio of cameras with excellent photo and video quality.
- Doesn’t have a 120Hz refresh rate.
- Ships without a charger.
- Battery life is lower than the iPhone 13.
Who will want it: With its compact, lightweight, and durable design, the iPhone 13 Mini is an excellent choice for those who want to reap the benefits of a flagship phone in a compact form factor.
Notable specs: The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini share many key features, including the same A15 Bionic chip. The 13 and Mini also share an OLED Super Retina XDR display, 5G connectivity, and dual cameras boasting 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide lenses. While the iPhone Mini’s battery life features 17 hours of video playback, this is less than the iPhone 13’s 19 hours.
Obviously, the Mini is smaller, with a 5.4-inch display and 2340 x 1080-pixel resolution. It’s thin and lightweight, which many consumers prefer over bulkier phones.
Bottom line: Users who don’t mind less battery life and prioritize pocketability and affordability will love the iPhone 13 Mini. which is listed on the iPhone Should You Buy.
iPhone SE (Third Generation)
- Supports 5G connectivity.
- Use a physical SIM card or an eSIM.
- Battery life improved from the previous incarnations.
- Affordable price with powerful features.
- Small screen.
- Not a fast refresh rate.
- Images are dark in low light.
Who will want it: Apple’s third-generation iPhone SE is an excellent choice for those who want the panache of an iPhone at an affordable price, starting at $429.
Notable specs: The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch display and includes the Home button, like its previous incarnations, while improving battery life and supporting 5G connectivity. The iPhone SE features the same A15 Bionic chip as the flagship iPhone 13 line, which powers the diminutive device without slowing down tasks like multitasking, editing images, and opening apps.
Bottom line: For a 5G iPhone on a budget, the iPhone Mini is unbeatable, with the power and features of an expensive phone in a compact size. which is listed on the iPhone Should You Buy.
iPhone 12 and 12 Mini
- Updated design compared to older models.
- Benefits of newer iPhones at a more affordable price point.
- Significant camera improvements over the iPhone 11.
- Battery life isn’t great.
- Screen is only 60Hz.
- Doesn’t come with a charger.
Who will want it: When they were unveiled in 2020, the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini were Apple’s flagship devices, bringing an overhauled design to the iPhone lineup. Today, they’re still excellent choices for those who want middle-of-the-road iPhones at an affordable price.
Notable specs: The iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch screen and a 2532 x 1170 resolution, while the 12 Mini has a 5.4-inch screen and a resolution of 2430 x 1080. The iPhone 12 succeeded 2019’s iPhone 11, while the 12 Mini marked the smallest iPhone to date. Both devices boast an A14 chip, HDR support, vivid colors, haptic touch, and True Tone to adjust the display’s color to ambient light.
Bottom line: The iPhone 12 has many of the newer iPhone 13 series plusses at a more affordable price. which is listed on the iPhone Should You Buy.
Apple discontinued the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max shortly after debuting the iPhone 13 series.
- Supports Face ID and NFC.
- Affordably priced while still feature-full and powerful.
- Battery life on par with the iPhone 12.
- Looks dated.
- Doesn’t have 5G connectivity.
Who will want it: If you don’t mind your iPhone looking and acting a bit dated, don’t need 5G connectivity, and aren’t too worried about durability, the iPhone 11 may be a good, affordable choice.
Notable specs: The iPhone 11 debuted an edge-to-edge OLED HDR screen (5.8 inches), a three-camera system, and enhanced IP68 waterproofing. In addition, it debuted the next-generation Face ID recognition system for unlocking the iPhone and confirming Apple Pay transactions. It also features the A13 Bionic chip and support for NFC (Near-Field Communication).
Bottom line: Look a the iPhone 12 and 13 series’ features and decide what you can live without. If the 11 suits your needs and budget, it’s worthwhile. which is listed on the iPhone Should You Buy.
- Boasted many of the iPhone 11’s features.
- Cameras improved on earlier incarnations.
- Better battery life than its predecessors.
- Storage maxed out at 256 GB.
- Less effective waterproof features.
The iPhone XR is not currently available from Apple. However, you may be able to find it refurbished or through third-party resellers.
The iPhone XR featured:
- Screen: A 6.1-inch, edge-to-edge LCD.
- Battery life: Its battery life outperformed its predecessor, the XS, by a few hours.
- Cameras. Cameras improved on previous incarnations.
- Most key iPhone 11 features: The iPhone XR offered Face ID, wireless charging options, and other iPhone 11 features.
iPhone 8 Plus
- Retina Display looked great.
- Many of the same features as the XR.
- No Face ID.
- Screen wasn’t OLED or edge-to-edge, and didn’t support HDR.
The iPhone 8 Plus is not currently available from Apple. You may be able to find it refurbished or through third-party resellers.
The iPhone 8 Plus featured:
- Many iPhone XR features: The iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone XR had many of the same features.
- Touch ID: Apple’s 2nd generation fingerprint scanning technology was built into the 8 series. It didn’t have Face ID.
- Had many of the 8 Plus’s features.
- Good screen size.
- Didn’t bring any cutting-edge features.
- Screen three-quarters of an inch smaller than the 8 Plus.
The iPhone 8 is not currently available from Apple. You may be able to find it refurbished or through third-party resellers.
The iPhone 8 featured:
- Nearly identical features to the 8 Plus: The two phones were identical in storage options, processors, wireless charging, 3D Touch, Touch ID, NFC and Apple Pay support, and Apple Watch compatibility.
- Good screen: The iPhone 8 had a 4.7-inch screen. While that’s not as huge as the 8 Plus’s and much smaller than the XR or 11 Pro, it’s a good size for many users.
Deciding on Your Best iPhone
The general rule when making a technology purchase is to buy the best device that you can afford. That’s true when it comes to deciding which iPhone to buy.
If you can afford the iPhone 13 series, these devices offer the best performance and features and will hold their value longer than older devices. If you’re more price-conscious, more recent older iPhone models offer excellent features at a lower price.
Current iPhone Models Compared
For a quick comparison of how all current models stack up in terms of features and price, check out this chart.
Scroll right at the bottom of the table as needed to see more phones.
|iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB/256 GB/512 GB/1TB||iPhone 13 Pro 128GB/256 GB/512GB/ 1TB||iPhone 13 128GB/256GB/ 512GB||iPhone 13 Mini 128GB/256GB/ 512GB||iPhone SE 3rd Gen 64MB/ 128MB/256MB||iPhone 12 64MB/ 128MB/256MB||iPhone 12 Mini 64MB/ 128MB/256MB||iPhone 11 64 GB/ 128 GB|
|Screen Size (inches)||6.7 inches||6.1 inches||6.1 inches||5.4 inches||4.7 inches||6.1 inches||5.4 inches||6.1 inches|
|Resolution||2778 x 1284 pixels||2532 x 1170 pixels||2532 x 1170 pixels||1080 x 2340 pixels||1,334 x 750 pixels||2532 x 1170 pixels||1080 x 2340 pixels||1792 x 828 pixels|
|Processor||A15 Bionic chip||A15 Bionic chip||A15 Bionic chip||A15 Bionic chip||A15 Bionic chip||A14 Bionic chip||A14 Bionic chip||A13 Bionic|
|Carrier||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon|
|Dual SIM Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Max. OS||iOS 15||iOS 15||iOS 15||iOS 15||iOS 15||iOS 15||iOS 15||iOS 15|
|Camera (megapixels)||3 rear cameras, with 12-megapixel wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses||3 rear cameras, with 12-megapixel wide, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses||2 cameras with 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide lenses||2 cameras with 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide lenses||1 12-megapixel camera||2 cameras with 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide lenses||2 cameras with 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide lenses||2 cameras with 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide lenses|
|Wide-angle & Telephoto||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Records Video||Cinematic mode in 1080p at 30 fps, Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 60 fps||Cinematic mode in 1080p at 30 fps, Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 60 fps||Cinematic mode in 1080p at 30 fps, Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 60 fps||Cinematic mode in 1080p at 30 fps, Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 60 fps||4K video recording up to 60 fps||Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 60 fps||Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 4K at 30 fps||4K video recording up to 60 fps|
|Water & Dust Resistant||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Weight||8.46 ounces||7.19 ounces||6.14 ounces||4.97 ounces||5.09 ounces||5.78 ounces||4.76 ounces||6.84 ounces|
|Size||6.33 x 3.07 inches||5.78 x 2.82 inches||5.78 x 2.82 inches||5.18 x 2.53 inches||5.45 x 2.65 inches||5.78 x 2.82 inches||5.18 inches x 2.53 inches||5.94 x 2.98 inches|
|Battery Life (in hours)||Up to 28 hours video playback||Up to 22 hours video playback||Up to 19 hours video playback||Up to 17 hours video playback||Up to 15 hours video playback||Up to 17 hours video playback||Up to 15 hours video playback||Up to 17 hours video playback|
|Colors||Alpine Green, Silver, Gold, Graphite, Sierra Blue||Alpine Green, Silver, Gold, Graphite, Sierra Blue||Green, Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, Red||Green, Pink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, Red||Midnight, Starlight, Red||Purple, Blue, Green, Red, White, Black||Purple, Blue, Green, Red, White, Black||Purple, Yellow, Green, Black, White, Red|
What is the best music download app for iPhone?
There are several excellent free music apps for iPhone. Some of the best include Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio.
Which iPhone color is the best?
The best color is a matter of opinion. However, Pacific Blue seems to be the most popular iPhone. Silver and Graphite are also favorites of iPhone users.
What is the best GPS app for iPhone?
With several great GPS apps for iPhone available, the best one for you depends on what features you need. For instance, Google Maps is highly accurate and easy to use. Apple Maps is part of the iOS operating system and instantly available to iPhone users.