Best iPhone 2017: Which Apple phone is right for you?

What’s the best iPhone in 2017? Apple currently sells five iPhone models in its stores and online. But which is the one you should buy? Or should you just wait for the iPhone 8?

Apple’s just unveiled its latest trio of iPhones, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. So it may be worth holding off if you’re thinking about getting a new iPhone.

The iPhone 8 adds in an updated camera system, glass back for Qi wireless charging but it’s the iPhone X that’s the big update. This has a edge-to-edge Super Retina display, facial recognition and a depth-sensing front-camera.

But if you absolutely can’t wait, here we run through the main reasons why you’d buy each iPhone, from the previous generations.

Related: iOS 11 review: Apple’s best update in years?

iPhone 8 Plus

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Key features:

  • 5.5-inch 1080p DCI-P3, True Tone screen
  • A11 Bionoc CPU, 3GB RAM
  • 64GB or 256GB storage
  • iOS 11
  • Dual 12MP cameras, f/1.8 and OIS
  • Price: £799

The iPhone 8 Plus is the very best iPhone you can buy right now. That is, until the iPhone X comes out later in the year.

The A11 Bionic CPU makes this one of the fastest phones out there, and the new 12-megapixel camera takes more saturated and colourful shots.

The new glass back enabled Qi wireless charging, though a pad doesn’t come in the box, and the display benefits from the True Tone tech that’ll adjust the colour temperature depending on your environment.

 

Read the full iPhone 8 Plus review

iPhone 7 Plus

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Key features:

  • 5.5-inch 1080p DCI-P3 screen
  • A10 CPU, 3GB RAM
  • 32GB, 128GB or 256GB storage
  • iOS 10
  • Dual 12MP cameras, f/1.7 and OIS
  • Price: £669

The iPhone 7 Plus is the best iPhone you can currently buy as it sets itself apart from the smaller iPhone 7 in a number of meaningful ways. First off is the much larger battery, which helps the iPhone 7 Plus often go two days between charges.

It’s also the the first iPhone to have two camera sensors on the back, with the second acting as a telephoto lens. The main 12-megapixel sensor still takes better shots because it has a wider f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilisation and the secondary sensor works with a new Portrait mode to give a nice bokeh (background blur) effect.

The iPhone 7 Plus also benefits from a better 1080p display that sits at 5.5-inches. It’s not huge compared to the competition – the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has a 6.2-inch screen – but it still makes the 7 Plus a big phone.

The rest of the specs are similar to the smaller iPhone 7: The A10 Fusion CPU, 32GB of base storage and iOS 10.

Read the full iPhone 7 Plus review

iPhone SE

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Key Features:

  • 4-inch Retina display
  • A9 CPU
  • iOS 10
  • 12MP camera, f/2.2 and OIS
  • Price: £349

The SE is the smallest and most unique member of the iPhone family. If you want an iPhone that’s the same size as the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S, this is the one to pick.

The iPhone SE is affordable, fast and has the same ace camera as the iPhone 6S. Its battery can easily make it through two days and its diminutive size makes it perfect for one-handed texting.

There’s no Force Touch, or optical image stabilisation on the camera, but you’ll get the iOS 11 update later in the year just like everyone else. Apple has also recently upped the storage from 16GB to 32GB, which is great news.

Read the full iPhone SE review

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Key features:

  • 5.5-inch 1080p screen
  • A9 CPU
  • iOS 10
  • 12MP camera, f/2.2 and OIS
  • Price: £549

Apple’s larger flagship from 2016 is still available for £599, and remains a good option for headphone jack loving folk who don’t need the dual-camera toting iPhone 7 Plus.

The major specs are the same as the 6S. Under the hood you’ll find an A9 CPU, 16GB and iOS 10. The only big upgrades over the iPhone 6 is that there’s OIS on the 12-megapixel rear-camera and a higher-res 1080p, 5.5-inch display.

As is normal with the bigger Plus model, the battery life far exceeds the smaller model. But it also takes a lot longer to charge, as there’s no type of fast-charging here.

Read the full iPhone 6S Plus review

iPhone 7

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Key features:

  • 4.7-inch HD DCI-P3 screen
  • A10 CPU, 2GB RAM
  • 32GB, 128GB or 256GB storage
  • iOS 10
  • 12MP camera, f/1.7 and OIS
  • Price: £549

The iPhone 7 is far from the best iPhone, but there’s still plenty going for it. It doesn’t have the dual-cameras of the Plus variant, but unlike older iPhones, it has optical image stabilisation, which leads to much better low-light photos.

It also has an improved display that covers the P3 colour-gamut, and faster A10 Fusion chip that offers seriously impressive performance.

The problem is the lack of a headphone jack, and tiny battery. The first issues can easily be remedied by either using the included wired Lightning EarPods or using a Bluetooth pair, but the poor battery life isn’t quite so easy to ignore.

With Apple rumoured to be giving the entire line-up a big upgrade this year, we’d say save your money and not plump for the least enticing iPhone right now.

Read the full iPhone 7 review

iPhone 6S

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Key features:

  • 4.7-inch HD screen
  • A9 CPU
  • iOS 10
  • 12MP camera, f/2.2
  • Price: £449

Apple’s still selling 2016’s headline device for £499, which is a good deal for people who want to save a bit of cash and aren’t willing to lose the headphone jack.

The iPhone 6S is still a good phone, and looks almost identical to the newer model. It arguable even has better battery life than the iPhone 7, though it lacks the wider aperture and optical image stabilisation in the camera.

What you do get though is a fast A9 CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage and a vivid 4.7-inch IPS display. It’ll also get the iOS 11 update later in the year, which adds in new features like a reworked notifications panel and new Control Center.

Read the full iPhone 6S review