Which is the best iPhone for you?
2020 has been a doozy of a year for iPhone fans. We’ve seen everything from the resurrection of the iPhone SE line to Apple launching its first ever 5G iPhone over the last 10 months.
What’s more, not all the iPhones are as expensive as you’d expect. Despite featuring top notch new tech, like the iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4’s A14 Bionic chip, the new iPhones hit a number of different price points. For the first time since the iPhone 5C, this year it’s actually possible to pick up a new iPhone for less than £450.
But, while this sea of choice is awesome, it also makes knowing which iPhone to get a lot more difficult. Not only do you have to consider your budget, you also have to consider what you want to do with it. If you’re a power business user that regularly uses a lot of data and frequently access big documents from the cloud you’ll likely want a 5G iPhone.
If you’re a more casual user that doesn’t regularly stream video or game, the dinky form factor SE may be the way to go. If money’s tight, but you still want to grab a big screen iPhone you may want to grab a previous gen model on the cheap as there are still a number of great deals to be had on the iPhone 11 and XR family of phones.
Still not sure which iPhone you want? Well don’t fret, as the expert team at Trusted Reviews has you covered. Scroll down to see our picks of the best iPhones we’ve reviewed that are still on the market.
Editor’s Note: The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are not on this list as we haven’t had a chance to test them yet. We’ll update this list once we’ve had a chance to thoroughly put them through their paces.
Related: Which iPhones will get iOS 14?
- Best iPhone for most people: iPhone 11
- Best iPhone for camera: iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
- Best iPhone for compactness: iPhone SE 2
- Best value iPhone: iPhone XR
Related: iOS 14 features
1. iPhone 11
Best overall iPhone for most people, for a little while longer
- Great camera
- Really strong battery life
- Nice colour options
- Surprisingly great value
- A screen resolution bump would have been nice
- No fast charger in the box
The iPhone 11 entered the scene in 2019 as a clear successor to the iPhone XR, bringing the same wide appeal with a well-deserved new title. The phone immediately established itself as the best choice for most users, offering great, flagship specs at a friendlier price than the Pro and Pro Max models.
There are plenty of similarities between the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR. The 11 retains the look of the XR, with that glass back and plenty of colourways available, however it’s now more water-resistant than before. The screen is nice and bright, though a bump in resolution would have been appreciated.
The iPhone 12 has two cameras on the back, both packing 12-megapixels, with one taking your standard shots and the other expanding that out into ultrawide shots. The results are stunning and the 2x telephoto lens is the only real thing missing when you compare this to the pricier Pro model.
Battery life and performance are both excellent, too. You should easily get through the day without reaching for the Lightning cable and there’s wireless charging available too.
The only downside is that it’s time as Apple’s flagship is coming to a close with the launch of the new iPhone 12 fast approaching. But until we’ve reviewed the new models it remains the best iPhone for most people that we’ve tested.
- Read our iPhone 11 review
2. iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Best iPhone for camera
- Great camera
- Long battery life, especially on the Plus model
- Stunning displays
- Finally a fast charger in the box
- 64GB still the base storage
- Incredibly pricey
Like the iPhone 11 the Pro and Pro Max time in the sun is setting, with the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max both set for release in mere weeks. But for now they sit at the top ofthe iPhone 11 range. For power users this means the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are the phones to choose if you want the best of what Apple has to offer. These two phones have ace screens, three rear cameras and the Max model has the best battery life we’ve seen on an iPhone in years.
Apple hasn’t played too much with the design formula, instead deciding to focus more on the internals. The new A13 Bionic chipset inside the phone is an absolute powerhouse, while the HDR screen can get incredibly bright.
There’s even an 18w fast charger in the box that’ll juice these phones up a lot quicker than the poor 5w charger previously offered.
Not all is rosy, though. The price is very high and it can even higher when you realise 64GB just isn’t enough storage.
3. iPhone SE 2
Best for portability
- Compact size
- Sharp screen
- Great camera
- Dated design
If you want a small iPhone with a great camera, top performance and a price tag that’s surprisingly appealing then the new iPhone SE 2 is a great pick.
If you’ve seen the iPhone 8, then you’ve seen the new iPhone SE. It comes in black, white or red; packs those chunky bezels surrounding the 4.7-inch (there’s no Plus version here) display and replaces Face ID from the new iPhones with Touch ID. Thankfully the fingerprint authentication is fast and reliable.
Improvements over the iPhone 8 include a superior 12-megapixel camera with fantastic video recording and even though low-light perform isn’t great the snaps you’ll get in good lighting more than make up for that.
You’ll also find Qi charging at the usual iPhone standard of 7.5w and the ability to fast charge at 18w – that is if you shell out a little bit more for the faster plug. An IP67 rating for water and dust resistance is here too.
Inside the iPhone SE 2 you’ll find the same A13 Bionic as the iPhone 11 Pro and the same iOS 13 software. It feels just as fast, and should get full iOS updates for years to come.
- Read our iPhone SE 2 review
4. iPhone XR
Best value iPhone
- Great battery life
- XS features for less money
- Fantastic performance
- Very capable camera
- No fast charger included
- Will be too large for some
The iPhone XR is getting a little long in the tooth, but for now if you want to get an affordable big screen iPhone it’s still the best option.
It uses the same potent Apple A12 Bionic processor as the XS, runs the same version of iOS (that’s iOS 13) and sports the same primary 12-megapixel OIS-backed camera. The differences are elsewhere: its 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD isn’t quite as arresting as the HDR-capable OLEDs of the XS line but it’s no slouch either. The size also means it reaches a pleasing middle-ground between the other two iPhones that launched in 2019.
The aluminium-framed, glass-backed design supports wireless charging, IP67-certified dust and water resistance and it comes in a host of colours: black, white, blue, coral, yellow and Product:RED (aka, red).
The extended display means Touch ID has gone completely and as the screen’s notch implies, Face ID is now the soup du jour, offering secure facial recognition for unlocking your device, authenticating transactions and when messing around with Animoji and the new Memoji features.
- Read our iPhone XR review
How we pick our iPhones
In order to ensure our phone verdicts are authoritative, we make sure every phone we review goes through a rigorous process of testing to help us make a fully informed recommendation. We use a mix of real world and benchmark-led testing, using a number of industry standard tools.
This means that we test everything, from battery life and processor performance during the full range of everyday tasks, right up to call quality and screen calibration.
Most important of all, because phones are more than just a collection of performance specs, we take these phones out and use them as our own over an extended period, living with them to learn their quirks and discover any hidden issues. Find out more about how we test phones.
And if you’re still looking for a phone and have decided the Apple line-up isn’t perhaps right for you, take look at our broader guide to the best mobile phones or our guides to the following: