Which iPhone Is the Best? iPhone Models, Compared

If you’re thinking about buying an iPhone, you have several models to consider. Apple offers smartphones of various sizes and capabilities, so you might have trouble picking from all the possible choices.

We’re here to help you find the best iPhone for you.

The Best iPhone for Most People:
iPhone 11

iPhone 11

iPhone 11

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Apple’s tagline for the iPhone 11 is that is contains just the right amount of everything, which sums the device up well. It’s the successor to the iPhone XR, though you might not be able to tell the visual difference between the devices at first. Its 6.1-inch LCD screen is essentially identical to the earlier device, matching the display’s 1792×828 resolution.

The company’s A13 Bionic chip powers the phone, which is beloved for its power management, resulting in longer battery life. Apple claims you’ll get up to 17 hours of local video playback on a single charge. When it’s time to recharge, the device supports wireless charging and fast-charge with an 18W adapter.

While the iPhone 11 has one fewer camera than the iPhone 11 Pro, it’s no slouch in the photography department. The phone has two 12MP cameras, one of which is ultra-wide. It includes the new Night Mode too, which improves photographs taken in low light. On the video side, you can capture shots in 4K at 60FPS. The iPhone 11 also introduces slofies, Apple’s term for slow-motion video selfies.

The iPhone 11’s aluminum build has the distinction of being available in many colors, including purple, yellow, green, and red. You can pick from 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage. And its IP68 resistance means it can survive a 30-minute bath in 6.5 feet of water.

The device has all the features you’d expect out of a modern iPhone. These include Face ID to unlock your device via facial recognition, support for Apple Pay, and advanced camera processing. It’s the best iPhone overall, and buying the latest model means you’ll get iOS updates for years to come.

The Best iPhone for Photographers:
iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro

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As the name suggests, the iPhone 11 Pro is Apple’s premium offering. It builds on the iPhone 11, offering a three-camera system, slightly better battery life, and a stainless steel body. The standout reason to buy the iPhone 11 Pro is certainly its cameras. It packs everything the iPhone 11 camera setup offers, including night mode and the wide and ultra-wide cameras.

In addition, the Pro model includes a telephoto camera, which is ideal for zoomed-in shots. It also shoots in 4K at 60FPS, with new editing tools so you tweak your shots right on your device. The handy QuickTake feature lets you switch from snapping photos to taking videos in an instant.

The device is impressive aside from the camera, too. It features a 5.8-inch 2436×1125 OLED display, which can display true blacks by turning off pixels. Additionally, the iPhone 11 Pro’s HDR screen is capable of brighter output than the iPhone 11.

You can choose from 64GB, 256GB, or a huge 512GB of storage. It’s available in gold, space gray, silver, and midnight green colors. As for water and dust resistance, while it’s also rated at IP68, it is protected at double the depth of the iPhone 11, at just over 13 feet.

Since the iPhone 11 Pro is a big step up in price from the iPhone 11, we recommend it only for smartphone photography enthusiasts. Its improved display and higher hardware quality are great too, but you probably won’t get your money’s worth if you don’t regularly take photos.

The Best iPhone for Phablet Lovers:
iPhone 11 Pro Max

iPhone 11 Pro Max

iPhone 11 Pro Max

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Like the idea of the iPhone 11, but want a bigger device? The iPhone 11 Pro Max is for you. Aside from the screen size, it’s mostly identical to the iPhone 11 Pro mentioned above.

Compared to the iPhone 11 Pro’s 5.67-inch height and 2.81-inch width, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is 6.22 inches tall and 3.06 inches wide. The device also weighs 7.97 ounces, compared to 6.63 ounces for the iPhone 11 Pro.

This larger body hosts a massive 6.5-inch screen, which has a resolution of 2688×1242. Because of the proportionally larger size, though, both the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have the same 458 pixels-per-inch.

A larger device means more room for a battery, too. Apple boasts that the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the best battery life of any iPhone, lasting up to five hours more than the iPhone XS Max. It can achieve up to 20 hours of local video playback and includes an 18W adapter for fast charging.

Those are the only differences in the Pro and Pro Max models, aside from a higher price for the iPhone 11 Pro Max. If you like a big phone and don’t mind spending a lot, this is the iPhone for you. Just make sure you can hold it and fit it in your pocket or bag comfortably!

In April 2020, Apple announced a new budget iPhone model. It’s a successor to the original 2016 iPhone SE and offers an attractive package at an affordable price.

The revamped iPhone SE is quite similar in appearance to the discontinued iPhone 8. It uses the older chassis that lacks the all-screen design of newer models. The device also uses Touch ID instead of Face ID for authentication purposes.

The new iPhone SE features a 4.7-inch display and packs Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, which is the same processor that powers the iPhone 11 Pro. Its camera isn’t as high-performance as the higher-end models, as it only includes a single camera on the back. However, it’s still respectable and offers 4K and 1080p video recording at 60FPS.

You can pick from white, black, and Product Red colors, with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage. The device is water-resistant for 30 minutes up to just over three feet, and Apple says it gets about 13 hours of battery life during video playback.

The 2020 iPhone SE is a great pick if you want the best of Apple at the lowest possible price. The lower cost means you miss out on a few premium features, but still get the best of iOS 13, including Apple Pay. Because it’s a new device, you also know that you’ll get updates for years to come.

The Best Affordable iPhone:
iPhone XR

iPhone XR

iPhone XR

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Apple still sells the iPhone XR, which launched in 2018 as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone XS. As it turns out, this device is in a bit of a strange place now.

It’s more expensive than the 2020 iPhone SE, meaning it’s not the best budget option. However, it’s not much cheaper compared to the iPhone 11. If you can spare the extra money, it’s usually a good idea to get the newest device, so you enjoy the longest software support.

However, the iPhone XR is still a solid choice if it fits your needs. While the XR has an older-generation chip compared to the new iPhone SE, it does boasts a better battery life (Apple claims it lasts 16 hours while watching video). The iPhone XR also has the front-facing TrueDepth camera for Face ID and improved selfies.

If you’ve considered the latest devices but found they don’t suit your needs, buying the XR lets you save a bit while still getting a modern phone. The iPhone 11 is superior if you can afford it and the iPhone SE is better for those on a budget, but the iPhone XR is worth a look if you’re somewhere in the middle.

The Best iPhone for You

The five iPhones we’ve covered are some of the best Apple has to offer. Of course, the company also sells other models that might work for you. Most people will be best off with one of the devices in this list, but you might find something you enjoy in Apple’s full range, too.

These include the iPhone X, iPhone XS, or even the first-generation iPhone SE. Just remember that older devices will stop receiving iOS updates sooner.

There’s no getting around the fact that Apple’s devices are expensive, especially compared to Android-based smartphones. If you want to stay with an iOS device while still saving some money, check out the best places to buy a refurbished iPhone

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