August 24, 2018
For Apple devotees, the iPhone is the only phone that matters, and the biggest choice they have to make is whether they need to get the newest iPhone, right now, grab a bargain on an older model, or hold off in the hopes of a new iPhone being launched.
However, simply going for the newest iPhone doesn’t always mean you’ll get the best deal. Often, the older iPhone models are just as slick and feature-packed as the newer ones. Put simply, there’s no bad iPhones out there if you go for a model from the past couple of years.
You could buy any from the eight iPhones currently on sale, plus Apple has announced the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR – available from late September (XS models) and October (XR).
Of course, you’re not most people. So, if you’re after the perfect iPhone, which one is right one for you?
Which Is The Best iPhone?
These are the best Apple iPhone models you can buy. Though it’s still possible to track down older ones second-hand or refurbished, we’d advise sticking to one of the iPhones below:
- iPhone XS Max – The biggest, best and newest. A huge 6.5-inch Super Retina display, dual cameras, and a new super fast processor. Oh, and a $1,099 price tag.
- iPhone XR – The new baby iPhone borrows the iPhone X’s design, but adds a splash of colour not seen since the 5c. A genuine return to form.
- iPhone XS – Picks up where the iPhone X left off. New processor, sharper screen, longer battery life. A decent, if predictable, upgrade.
- iPhone X – No longer available direct from Apple, but still a very worthy contender if you’re after a big-screened iPhone.
- iPhone 8 Plus – A big screen, big battery and dual camera combo. Great for power users and cheaper than the iPhone X.
- iPhone 8 – The cheapest ‘new’ iPhone. It’s still a good phone, but probably not worth the upgrade if you already have a 7.
- iPhone 7 Plus – Nearly two years old now, but the 7 Plus still remains a good, and affordable option to track down.
- iPhone 7 – Starting to feel its age a little, particularly as it only has 32GB storage.
In this guide:
However, the iPhone XS and XS Max have improved camera software than the iPhone X. This new tech works behind the scenes to give you better pictures all the time and, often without you knowing. The standout camera changes are the improved bokeh and depth control features. These will help the foreground of your images really stand out from the background, by sharpening the foreground and blurring the background – without looking unnatural.
There are also improvements to the HDR, or high dynamic range capabilities of the XS and XS Max’s cameras. The new Smart HDR, as Apple is calling it, improves on the Auto HDR offered on the iPhone X by bringing more highlight and shadow detail to your photos. This new tech applies to the iPhone XR as well as the iPhone X so, despite not having dual cameras, the XR is still able to produce top-notch photos.
The differences on the front cameras, though, are even less pronouced. On paper, all the models offer the same 7Mp resolution with the same f/2.2 aperture. Again, though, software improvements give the XS, XS Max and even the XR the edge over the X. The same smart HDR tech found on the rear cameras is present on the selfie snapper, and the XS, XS Max and XR get improvements to front-facing videos with cinematic video stabilization.
Which iPhone has a Dual Camera?
The dual rear camera was introduced in recent years to the iPhone line-up, but not all models have it.
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone XR
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone SE
The iPhone X has a longer talk time than the XS, but a shorter video playback time. This is probably due to the screen and processor tech, rather than the iPhone X having a better battery life.
However, the iPhone XR claims a longer battery life for talk time, internet use and audio playback than the supposedly superior iPhone XS. However, the XR has a larger battery than the XS but the XS’ smaller screen means that it lasts longer for video playback.
If battery life is the defining factor in your iPhone purchase, the XS Max (with its larger case and consequently larger battery) is your best bet. But should you not want to shell out nearly $1,100, the XR is a good option.
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