The best iPhone

Adam Reeder

Turn on the “Find my iPhone” feature as soon as you get your new iPhone. Don’t put off doing it until later. It will be a lifesaver if your iPhone is ever lost or stolen.  

Although there's some debate over who created the first ever smartphone, most would agree that the iPhone was responsible for the explosion of popularity for smartphones in the United States. That's why nearly half of all smartphones in use have been made by Apple. The iPhone has evolved over the years, but the core principles of usability and convenience have not changed.

If you're shopping for a new iPhone, read below for advice on choosing the best model. Check out the reviews of our top choices, including the Apple iPhone 8 Plus 64GB, which records beautiful video in full 4K quality.

Considerations when choosing iPhones

The primary factor to consider when buying an iPhone is which model to buy. While each version of the iPhone brings with it slightly different technology and design, older models have their merits as well. Review the following model list to determine what works best for you.

iPhone 6

The standard iPhone 6 and 6S both come with a 4.7-inch screen. They both also come in a "Plus" model, which has a 5.5-inch display. The 6S is slightly more durable than the 6 because of its sturdier construction. The iPhone SE is from the same generation of iPhones as the 6 and 6S, but comes with a smaller 4-inch screen.

iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus both have a screen that is 25% brighter than the 6 and 6S. Also, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were the first iPhones that did not include a headphone jack.

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus offer improved storage capacity, processor speed, and battery life over the 7th generation models.

iPhone X

The iPhone X made significant improvements in image resolution over previous versions. The 5.8-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen offers a full high definition experience that rivals any of its competitors. Most other aspects of the iPhone X are similar to that of the iPhone 8 except the former does not have a home button.

iPhone XS

Both the iPhone XS and XS Max have the same HD OLED display as the iPhone X. The main difference is that the iPhone XS and XS Max have two SIM card slots, while the iPhone X contains just one.

iPhone XR

The iPhone XR is similar to the XS, with the exception of the screen. The XR comes with a 6.1-inch liquid retina LCD screen, which is not as bright or high definition as the XS's OLED display. The XR also comes in a few different colors, like red, yellow, and coral.


Screen size

Most available iPhones will come with a screen size that's either 4 inches (iPhone 4, 5, SE), 4.7 inches (iPhone 6, 7, 8), 5.5 inches (iPhone 6, 7, 8 Plus), 5.8 inches (iPhone X, XS), 6.1 inches (iPhone XR), or 6.5 inches (iPhone XS Max). Smaller screens offer more portability, but larger ones give you a better video and photo viewing platform.


Older versions of the iPhone come with either 32GB or 128GB of storage. Newer models have options of 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB. Higher storage capacity generally leads to a higher price tag. The more storage an iPhone has, the more data (like photos and videos) it can hold.


iPhone cameras have improved dramatically over the years. All models come with a front and rear camera. Most modern iPhones have a 12 megapixel main camera, and a 7 megapixel rear camera. The higher end models include dual 12 megapixel lenses on the main camera to allow for portrait mode.

Color choices

Silver, gold, and space grey are the standard colors across all models. Depending on which model you choose, you may also have the option of picking additional colors like rose gold, black, white, yellow, red, and coral, among others.

Battery life

Any new iphone battery should last between nine and 11 hours when fully charged. With age, iPhone battery life diminishes.


The price range for iPhones starts around $75 for an iPhone 4 and goes as high as $1,500 for an iPhone XS. Age and storage capacity are the two biggest factors that will determine the price of an iPhone. Generally, iPhones 4 and 5 will be on the low end. iPhone 6, 7, and 8 will be in the middle. The expensive models are all of the X series iPhones.


Q. Will a new haircut or eyeglasses hinder the Face ID unlock on my iPhone?

A. It shouldn't. Face ID uses measurements of your face to unlock your iPhone. Therefore, superficial changes like glasses and different hairstyles should have no impact on Face ID performance.

Q. Can I revert to an older version of iOS on my iPhone?

A. In most situations, you can downgrade to a previous version of iOS, though not always. Some older iPhones may not run as well on newer iOS versions, so if you want to go back, simply download and install the older version.

iPhones we recommend

Best of the best: Apple iPhone 8 Plus 64GB

Our take: The best balance between cost and modern features.

What we like: The large screen is great for watching your own 4K quality videos.

What we dislike: Using multiple apps drains the battery quickly.

Best bang for your buck: Apple iPhone SE 32GB

Our take: An inexpensive choice for someone with basic smartphone needs.

What we like: It's pleasantly compact, and one of the lightest iPhones ever produced at fewer than 4 ounces.

What we dislike: 32GB of storage gets used up quickly by photos and videos.

Choice 3: Apple iPhone 6S 16GB

Our take: A mid-range option that keeps costs down though lower storage capacity.

What we like: One of the best-looking iPhones of any model.

What we dislike: Software updates can slow the processor and cause freezing issues.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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