Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy.

Choosing the best mobile phone

How to buy the best Apple iPhone

By Oli McKean

Article 3 of 4

Apple is renowned for its smartphones. But are they worth the high cost, and which one should you buy?

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

If you’ve decided that you want your next smartphone to be an Apple iPhone, there are a few options to choose from. Here, we explain the differences to help you make the best decision.

Apple is undeniably one of the most popular smartphone manufacturers in the UK, alongside Samsung. Whenever it announces new products, there’s a veritable media frenzy – with many debating whether Apple is still a cutting-edge company offering the best and most innovative technologies.

Many people often ask whether there’s any need to spend top whack on the latest Apple smartphones, or whether you’ll be just as happy with an older device whose price has been cut.

Below, we explore how much Apple iPhones will set you back, and reveal our top tips for what to look for when choosing between models. Plus, we show how each iPhone has fared in our tough tests.

Just want to read full reviews of individual models? Head to our Apple iPhone reviews.

How much do Apple iPhones cost?

It goes without saying that Apple doesn’t make budget-friendly or even mid-range smartphones. Instead, it focuses its efforts on the top end of the price range.

The iPhone 7 (32GB) costs about £579 to buy outright, while the larger iPhone 7 Plus (32GB) will set you back by around £719. Brands such as Samsung and LG have similarly pricey phones – but they also have other options for those on a tighter budget.

It’s worth remembering that the prices of older iPhones typically drop when there’s a new kid on the block. So if you're not dedicated to always having the very latest tech, it can pay to wait until the model you want has been succeeded.

In March 2016, Apple unveiled the iPhone SE. This phone has the same rear camera as the iPhone 6s and the same chipset, but its 4-inch display is smaller than the 4.7-inch screen you’ll find on the 6s. It’s also much cheaper than larger-screen Apple options.

What to look for when choosing an Apple iPhone

There are a few things to think about when deciding which iPhone to opt for. Here’s our shortlist of top tips and considerations:

  • Size If your biggest priority is an iPhone that you can easily use with one hand, the iPhone SE is a good bet. The 4.7-inch displays of the iPhone 6, 6s and 7 aren’t too large for smartphones these days, but you may still need to use both hands. The 6 Plus, 6s Plus and 7 Plus have expansive 5.5-inch screens, which places them among handsets known as ‘phablets’ (a portmanteau of ‘phones’ and ‘tablets’) – you’ll most likely need two hands to use them.
  • Storage space For the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, you have two different options for storage space – 64GB and a monstrous 256GB. You can buy some older iPhones with 16GB or 64GB. Generally, more on-board storage means a pricier handset. If you're likely to fill up your phone with thousands of photos, apps and songs, consider 128GB or more. If you prefer a 'cleaner' phone and don't mind deleting old photos or apps you don't use that much anymore, 32GB should be fine. Bear in mind that Apple is yet to introduce micro-SD card slots to its line-up like many Android phones, so you can't boost space with a separate micro-SD card.
  • Speed When Apple launches a new phone, it often features the brand's latest chipset, promising the fastest speeds. However, previous processors may well be up to the job of playing the latest games, or running the latest apps with ease. To find out more about iPhone speed, you'll need to read our iPhone reviews.
  • Cameras The latest iPhones have highest-spec cameras. For instance, the iPhone 8 and 7 have a 12Mp rear camera, but Apple says it has made improvements to the latest model for clearer photos. You might also want to bear in mind that the iPhone SE, 6s, 7 and 8 can all shoot high-quality 4K resolution videos, too.

Are Apple iPhones actually any good?

Below, we reveal the top-level test results from the five latest Apple iPhones. Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access. 

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Typical price £679.00
Which? score %
Reviewed Oct 2016
Battery:
Member exclusive
Camera:
Member exclusive
Screen quality:
Member exclusive

The iPhone 7 Plus looks much like the older iPhone 6s Plus and the new iPhone 8 Plus. If you're looking for a large-screen Apple iPhone, is this the best choice? We have the answer.

Apple iPhone 7

Typical price £579.00
Which? score %
Reviewed Sep 2016
Battery:
Member exclusive
Camera:
Member exclusive
Screen quality:
Member exclusive

Last year's iPhone 7 is now cheaper to buy, since the release of the iPhone 8. Is it a viable choice, or are you better off with the latest version - or, indeed, an Android alternative?

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Typical price £799.00
Which? score %
Reviewed Oct 2017
Battery:
Member exclusive
Camera:
Member exclusive
Screen quality:
Member exclusive

The Apple iPhone 8 Plus looks remarkably similar to its predecessor, the 7 Plus. Have enough improvements been made to warrant an immediate upgrade, and is it the best mobile you can buy? Here, we reveal just how good the 8 Plus is, looking at key elements, including battery life, camera quality and more. Read on for our expert verdict

Apple iPhone 8

Typical price £699.00
Which? score %
Reviewed Oct 2017
Battery:
Member exclusive
Camera:
Member exclusive
Screen quality:
Member exclusive

Is it worth upgrading to the expensive Apple iPhone 8, or will you be just as happy with an older version - or an Android alternative? That's the big question on lots of people's lips, and we have the answer. Before taking the plunge and spending a fortune on the iPhone 8, read our full expert review to find out how long its battery lasts, whether it takes good photos, how fast it is and more.

Apple iPhone SE

Typical price £299.00
Which? score %
Reviewed Apr 2016
Battery:
Member exclusive
Camera:
Member exclusive
Screen quality:
Member exclusive

Making headlines as the cheapest iPhone ever, the iPhone SE is the closest you’re going to get to a ‘budget’ iPhone. It retains the metal casing and fast A9 processor seen on the Apple iPhone 6s but in a smaller 4-inch package. Does it have the necessary battery life to make it a Best Buy? We ran it through our tough lab tests to find out. Read on for our verdict.

Want to know more about our in-depth smartphone test programme? Find out how we test mobile phones.

SHARE THIS PAGE