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Updated: 6 Jul 2022

Which Apple iPhone should I buy?

Apple iPhones are world famous. But are they worth the high cost, and which model is the best choice for you?
Amy Axworthy

July If you want your next smartphone to be an Apple iPhone, there are a few options to choose from. Keep reading to find out about the key differences, as well as the best iPhones we've tested, to help you make the right decision.

Apple is one of the most popular smartphone manufacturers in the UK, alongside Android brands like Samsung, Motorola and Huawei. It retains a unique standing among mobile phone brands, though many question whether Apple remains a cutting-edge company, and if it adopts more of a 'style-over-substance' approach.

iPhones frequently push the envelope, though, bringing new features and ideas into the smartphone world. Its products aren't cheap, so it's important to consider whether you need the latest and most expensive iPhone, or if an older device at a cut price will still tick all the boxes.

Below we reveal how each iPhone fared in our tough tests. Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts below. If you're not yet a member, try Which? to get instant access.

See how Apple's phones compare in iPhone reviews, and check for discounts in our guide to the best mobile phone deals.

Best iPhone to buy

  • 80%
    • best buy

    This iPhone is one of the best phones we've tested. It's processor is powerful and the cameras are some of the most versatile on the market. The battery life impressed in our tests too.

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  • 74%
    • best buy

    You can get a great deal on this iPhone since the latest series came out. It has a high-definition display and pretty impressive cameras. It will last you over a day if you charge it to 100%, which takes 3 hours.

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  • 72%
    • best buy

    This phone is a pretty big step up from its cheaper alternative and it's the cheapest model in the range to have Apple's triple-rear-camera setup. But what does it offer those who aren't photo fanatics? We sent this phone to our lab to find out.

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  • This is a great, cheaper iPhone, knocking on the door of the Best Buys. It has a powerful chipset, bright screen and improved battery life (21.5 to 30 hours). It's not one for you if you want the best cameras, however.

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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of July 2022.

How much do Apple iPhones cost?

Apple iPhones are typically very expensive, with no particularly budget-friendly options when buying brand new.

The £1,049 iPhone 13 Pro Max (128GB) is the highest spec iPhone of the 13 series. It has an impressive 6.7-inch OLED display with a quick refresh system for a seamless experience. There are four high-quality cameras with lots of exciting features.

The other iPhones in the 13 series are cheaper than the Pro Max but are still expensive. The iPhone 13 Pro (128GB) is £949 and the iPhone 13 (128GB) is £779. The iPhone 13 Mini (128GB) is the cheapest at £679. Apple iPhones are typically very expensive, but the SE model is Apple's mid-range option, with the iPhone SE 2022 (64GB) starting at £419.

Not in a rush to upgrade? iPhone prices often drop when a new model comes out

If you're not committed to always having the very latest tech, it can pay to wait until the model you want has been succeeded. Prices of older iPhones typically drop when there's a new kid on the block, even if not by much. For instance, when the iPhone 13 (128GB) launched at £779, the iPhone 12 64GB was £679 and the iPhone 11 64 GB was £489.

Want to save more money? Take a look at our guide to the best mobile phone deals right now.

Small Screen iPhones - the SE and 'mini' range

Small-screen iPhones aren't going away yet with Apple having released two new models since September 2021. Expect a smaller screen and a smaller battery, but not necessarily less power. 

Apple first introduced a 'mini' version of their standard release in November 2020 with the iPhone 12 Mini. Compared to the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Mini has a smaller 5.4-inch OLED display and a smaller 2,227mAh battery. However, it has the same two 12Mp rear cameras and software. The more recent iPhone 13 Mini has an upgraded processor, a bigger battery and it starts with 128GB of memory.

A year before the iPhone 12 Mini, we got the first iPhone SE. This is a more limited, but cheaper, iPhone. Apple have released two more versions since then with the iPhone SE 2022 being its latest offering. The iPhone SE 2022 has one rear camera lens, a 2,018mAh battery and a 4.7-inch LCD display, which is smaller than the iPhone 13 Mini.

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 what to consider:

  • Size – If you want an iPhone that you can easily use with one hand, the iPhone SE or Mini variations are a good bet with 4.7-inch and 5.4-inch displays respectively. You'll need two hands for comfortable use for any of the bigger models.
  • Storage space – All iPhones in the 13 series start at 128GB, with the Pro models going up to a monstrous 1TB. The iPhone SE starts at 64GB. If you want the larger storage option, these usually cost £100-£150 more. If you're happy to delete old photos or apps you don't use much, a smaller option should be fine. Bear in mind that iPhones don't have micro-SD card slots, 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 iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max have high-spec cameras and settings. However, improvements in the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini were minor upgrades from the 12 and 11 series; the iPhone 13, 12 and 11 all have two 12MP rear cameras with very similar specifications. The iPhone SE cameras are more limited with only one rear lens.