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Apple iPhones rated

By Oli McKean

Article 2 of 10

Apple iPhones are hugely popular in the smartphone market but can be expensive. Our in-depth tests reveal which iPhones are worth the investment.

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Apple is one of the key mobile phone brands in the UK, alongside Samsung, and the launches of its new devices garner a lot of media attention. Apple iPhones are among the most expensive smartphones you can buy, but are they the best?

Here, we reveal whether iPhones are really worth their price tag. We put all smartphones from the most important brands through the same tough lab tests, so you can trust our results and reviews to really separate the wheat from the chaff.

Older iPhones obviously come cheaper than the latest models, but that doesn’t always mean they’re not an option worth considering. For that reason, it’s a good idea to consult our Apple iPhone reviews to make sure you get the best value for your money.

The table below gives an at-a-glance overview of how well Apple iPhones fare in our lab tests. Only logged-in Which? members can view the exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Apple iPhones overview table
Apple iPhones overview table
Number tested in the past three years 8
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Loyalty score
Typical spend
+
-
Should I buy one?
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 21 March 2017) that are still available. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2016 of 1,003 Apple iPhone owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 21 March 2017.

Key

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How much do Apple iPhones cost?

There’s no doubt about it: Apple smartphones are among the priciest you can buy. For the money, Apple aims to give you a premium product with a high-resolution display, impressive cameras and good battery life. We love putting claims to task in our test lab, so read our reviews to discover whether the brand delivers.

The latest iPhones are more expensive than their predecessors. At the time of writing, the iPhone 7 (32GB) costs around £579 to buy Sim-free, while the iPhone 6s (32GB) costs £499. There’s typically a drop in price for iPhones when a new one is launched so, as long as you aren’t committed to having the very latest text, it might be worth waiting.

Price also depends on the phone’s storage space. For instance, while the 32GB iPhone 7 will cost around £579, the 128GB version is around £679 – and the huge 256GB iPhone 7 will set you back by an eye-watering £769.

Choosing the best Apple iPhone

If you’re deciding on which iPhone to buy, one of your first considerations will be the size. You can go for the models with a 4.7-inch display – including the iPhone 7, 6s and 6 – or the larger 5.5-inch models, which include the iPhone 7 Plus, 6s Plus and 6 Plus. ‘Plus’ variants typically cost at least £100 more than their smaller siblings.

Smartphones with a 5.5-inch display might require two hands to use comfortably, so we recommend that you try them out in the shop before buying; 4.7-inchers are simpler to use one-handed but might still prove too large for some. In this case, you might consider the iPhone SE (launched in March 2016): it has a 4-inch display and is typically cheaper than other iPhones.

Buy a mobile phone with the right storage space for your needs

When you’re buying a phone, make sure you get one with the right storage space for your needs. Apple iPhone storage sizes range from a meagre 16GB to a whopping 256GB. If you like to fill your phone with apps and photos, and you can’t be bothered to regularly delete old items, you’ll want more storage space than a 16GB model allows. Also bear in mind that there’s a difference between claimed storage space and the actual space you have to use. This is because a portion of the overall storage space is gobbled up by the operating system and pre-installed apps.

You’ll have probably assumed this already, but iPhones with more storage space cost more than their less-spacious counterparts. It’s worth properly assessing how much storage space you actually need in order to hit the balance between price and your requirements.

There are some differences in the features offered by iPhones, too. For instance, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the only dust and water-resistant Apple smartphones you can buy at the time of writing. They have an IP67 rating, which means they should survive a 30-minute dip in 1 metre of water – handy if you accidentally drop your phone in the toilet.

But you might be put off by Apple’s removal of the traditional 3.5mm headphone socket in its latest iPhones. Apple is encouraging people to make use of wireless headphones to listen to music through its smartphones. If you’re wedded to a pair of headphones you already own and want to listen to music on the iPhone 7, you’ll have to connect them via an adaptor through the charging port, which may prove frustrating.

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