Best iPhone 2018: Which Apple phone should you buy?
What’s the best iPhone? Apple launched its latest trio of iPhones – the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X – in late 2018 and we’re still a few months away from seeing their successors, that means it’s a great time to pick up a new phone.
The iPhone 8 adds in an updated camera system and a glass back for Qi wireless charging, but it’s the iPhone X that offers the biggest update. It features an edge-to-edge Super Retina display, facial recognition and a depth-sensing front camera.
All this is great if you have oodles of cash to burn. However, if you’re on a budget then the company is still selling some of its older iPhones, which are cheaper and still have some pretty impressive specs.
Related: iOS 12
Apple has recently announced iOS 12, the latest update that will hit phones and iPads later in the year. The focus for the company with regards to the update has been performance, aiming to make phones as far back as the iPhone 5S feel faster in operation.
It is making the keyboard faster to open, camera faster to shoot and general performance better. There are new features, too, which include an option for grouping notifications together, an updated Stocks app and a brand-new Books experience.
Arguably, the most important feature is Screen Time, which will enable you to gauge how much time you spend on your phone each day. This data will be broken down into screen-on time, the specific time you spend in each app and so on, allowing you to set limits for certain apps. These limits can even be applied to your family members. If you feel you use your phone too much, this could prove a great addition.
Finally, Apple has updated its Do Not Disturb mode. You can now set it so you won’t receive any notifications at night, and its far more granular with its settings.
Related: iPhone 9
iOS 12 will be available to download for all devices currently running iOS 11 later in the year.
- Amazing display
- Extremely powerful
- Big price jump from previous models
- No fast-charger in the box
A few years ago, we’d have balked at the idea of someone actually paying £1000 for an iPhone. But in 2018 the idea isn’t so out of the ordinary thanks to the arrival of beautiful handsets such as the iPhone X.
The iPhone X is the most costly iPhone that Apple has ever released, but it’s also one of the best. Featuring a gorgeous, near-bezel-less design and more top-end tech than you can shake a stick at, the iPhone X is one of the best smartphones – if not the best – on the market.
Key highlights include a much-improved telephoto camera, impressive battery life and a new Face ID security feature that lets you unlock the phone using your face.
If you’re on the market for a new iPhone, and money is no object, the iPhone X is this year’s must-have gadget.
iPhone 8 Plus
- Great speakers
- Big screen
- Strong battery life
- Very big
- Boring design
The iPhone 8 Plus isn’t as exciting as the iPhone X, but it’s still a good pick if you want something familiar.
The A11 Bionic CPU makes this device one of the fastest phones out there, and the new 12-megapixel camera takes more saturated and colourful shots.
The new glass rear allows for Qi wireless charging, although a pad doesn’t come in the box. Plus, the display benefits from the True Tone tech that will adjust the colour temperature depending on your environment.
iPhone 7 Plus
- Upgradable to iOS 12 (later in 2018)
- Affordable with similar design to iPhone 8 Plus
- Still has a good camera
- No headphone jack
The iPhone 7 Plus may be last year’s model but it remains a decent phone, especially when you consider the discounted price. It was 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. The secondary sensor works with a new Portrait mode to give a nice bokeh (background blur) effect.
The iPhone 7 Plus also benefits from an improved 1080p display that sits at 5.5 inches. This isn’t huge when 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 11.
- Small size
- Sharp screen
- 64GB storage
- Needs an update internally
The iPhone 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, but you’ll get the iOS 12 update later in the year just like everyone else. Apple has also recently upped the storage from 16GB to 32GB, which is great news.
iPhone 6S Plus
- Same screen resolution of 7 Plus and 8 Plus
- Will get iOS 12
- Can be slow on iOS 12
- Not as durable as iPhone 7 Plus or 8 Plus
Apple’s larger flagship from 2016 – the iPhone 6S Plus – is still available for £599, and remains a good option for headphone-jack-loving folk who don’t need the dual-camera of the iPhone 7 Plus.
The major specs remains the same as the 6S. Under the hood is an A9 CPU, 16GB of storage and iOS 11. The only big upgrades over the iPhone 6 is OIS on the 12-megapixel rear-camera and a higher-res 1080p, 5.5-inch display.
As is normal with the Plus models, the battery life far exceeds the smaller model. However, it also takes far longer to charge, since there’s no form of fast-charging available here.
- Good screen
- Nice size
- Camera is still very good
- Poor battery life
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 does have optical image stabilisation, which leads to much better low-light photos.
It also has an improved display that covers the DCI-P3 colour gamut, and a faster A10 Fusion chip that offers seriously impressive performance.
The problem is the lack of a headphone jack, and tiny battery. The first issue can easily be remedied by either using the included wired Lightning EarPods or a Bluetooth set. However, the poor battery life isn’t quite so easy to ignore.
With Apple rumoured to be giving the entire lineup a significant upgrade this year, we’d say hold on to your money right now.
- Will get iOS 12 update
- Nice screen size
- Can be slow on iOS 11
Apple is 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 remains a decent phone, and looks almost identical to the newer model. Arguably, it even benefits from better battery life than the iPhone 7, although it lacks the wider aperture and optical image stabilisation in the camera.
This is made up for by the inclusion of a fast A9 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a vivid 4.7-inch IPS display. The device will also receive the iOS 12 update later in the year.