Best iPhone: How to pick the perfect iPhone for you

So you know you want an iPhone—but which one? Our iPhone buying guide has all the answers.


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This guide was most recently updated on April 28, 2020.

Picking out an iPhone used to be easier—just get the newest one with all the storage you can afford. We still recommend plenty of storage, but the choice of which iPhone to get it on isn’t quite so cut-and-dry. Do you want the phone with the best camera, the one with the lowest starting price, or maybe size is a big factor in your decision?

Apple’s latest iPhone lineup includes the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 11, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone SE.

If you’re ready to buy an iPhone, we’re here to help. Presented here is a guide of every iPhone currently sold by Apple, and how to decide which is the best for you.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: How to decide which one to buy

iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max: Best overall, best camera

Yes, they are pricey, starting at a whopping $999 (64GB) for the 5.8-inch iPhone XS and stretching up to $1,449 (512GB) for the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max

But it’s also the best. Clearly the best. You want the best display? Apple’s new OLED display is sharper, more colorful, more accurate, and brighter than anything we’ve ever seen. 

You want the best camera? The iPhone 11 Pro has a triple-lens camera that gives you even more flexibility in the types of photos you can shoot. And the camera improves upon the already top-notch image quality of its predecesor, the iPhone XS. That goes for both photos and videos.

Speed? Battery life? The iPhone XS’s A13 Bionic processor is ridiculously fast. The battery life is great; it lasts longer than the iPhone XS.

The displays the the iPhone 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max are brighter and more energy efficient that the screen in the iPhone XS Max, though you may not be able to notice a difference.

iPhone 11: Good compromise of price and features

The iPhone 11 is and excellent combination of features, quality, and price.

The iPhone 11 has the A13 Bionic chip—the same processor that’s in the iPhone 11 Pro. In benchmarks, the iPhone 11 performs just as fast as the iPhone 11 Pro. So for a few hundred dollars less, you can get the same performance in the iPhone 11 as you do the Pros. If performance is your top consideration, this is a value proposition that’s difficult to ignore.

The iPhone 11 is a good alternative to the iPhone 11 Pro for anymore who's priority is the camera. The iPhone 11 has a dual-lens camera; it’s missing the telephoto lens on the iPhone 11 Pro. It takes great-looking photos, and it also uses the new Night mode that reveals details that are usually lost in low-light situations. It offers a little more flexibility that the single-lens camera in the iPhone SE.

The iPhone 11 lasts an hour longer than the iPhone XR it replaces. It has plenty of life to last a whole day. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t include an 18-watt power adapter, like the one that comes with the iPhone 11 Pro. It comes with a 5-watt changer.

While the iPhone 11 isn’t Apple’s cheapest iPhone, you get a lot of features for the price—many of the same features are found on the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro. Prices for the iPhone 11 start at $699 for the 64GB model. You also get more color choices: black, green, (Product)Red, purple, white, and yellow.

iPhone SE: Apple’s smallest phone and smallest price

If you want a small iPhone, your choice right now is the iPhone SE, with its 4.7-inch display. Apple used to sell a phone that was even smaller, the iPhone SE with a 4-inch screen. but the company stopped selling it in 2018.

The iPhone SE has a Home button and a large top bezel for a FaceTime camera and speaker. It uses Touch ID instead of Face ID that's on the other iPhones in the lineup.

The iPhone SE includes Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, the same chip in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. Our benchmarks show that the iPhone SE is just as fast as those more expensive phones.

You get a Retina display, which isn't as high-end as the displays in the other iPhones in Apple's current lineup, but it still looks good. The back camera is a single-lens device that has a 12-megapixel resolution. You also get wireless charging support and fast charging with USB-C.

Overall, the iPhone SE is an excellent deal for its price. You get a lot of features found in the higher-end phones in a smaller device. It's missing a few things, like multiple camera, lenses, Face ID, and a lesser display, but hat you get for the price is hard to beat.

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