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Best iPhone 2022: The 5 top Apple phones we’ve tested

There's a huge range of iPhones in all sorts of specs and sizes. Trusted Reviews reveals the right iPhone for your needs and budget

Introduction

Interested in picking up a new Apple iPhone but not sure which model is best for your needs? That’s why we’re here. We’ve created this guide so you have a better understanding of which is the best iPhone for you.

Every handset on this list has been put through a series of real-world and lab tests that ensure the phones can deliver in key areas, including camera performance, battery life, display and build quality, so you can trust our advice.

But before you go rushing to buy another handset, keep in mind that Apple has launched four new handsets: the base iPhone 14, a larger iPhone 14 Plus and then two Pro models – iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

And if you’re interested in seeing how the iPhone 14 range compares to the other iPhones out there, be sure to check out our pieces on iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13, iPhone 14 vs iPhone 12, iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Plus, so you have an idea of how these new phones stack up against each other.

We will also be bringing you full reviews of all the new models as soon as we can, so make sure you check back soon to see how they fare.

And if you’ve been an Apple user for many years and you’re finding that you want to try something new, our guide on the best Android phones could help point you in the right direction. We’ve also published a definitive list of the best mobile phones available right now, so make sure to check that out if you’re open to both operating systems.

Best iPhone at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test mobile phones

Every iPhone we review, whether it’s the cheapest model or the most expensive, gets put through more than 15 tests. These include synthetic benchmark tests that give a good idea of general performance and in-depth camera comparisons between competing devices.

Like every phone we review, the expert tasked with putting the specific iPhone through its paces will use it as their main phone for the review period, transferring across apps, chats and accounts. We feel this gives us a proper view of the device and helps ensure we’re not just repeating headline features from marketing releases.

iPhone 14 Pro

The best iPhone
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Pros

  • Great screen that gets very bright outdoors
  • Versatile camera system for both photography and videography
  • Always-on display and Dynamic Island are both neat tricks
  • Additional safety features are always welcome

Cons

  • Not the quickest to charge
  • Zoom photography isn’t on the level of the competition
  • Only really a day of battery life

Picking the very best iPhone is easy this year, as the iPhone 14 Pro stands comfortably over its more affordable sibling thanks to a raft of innovative additions.

During our in-depth review, we noted the strength of the new 48-megapixel along with the very bright screen, sleek design and raft of safety features including Car Crash Detection.

One of the stars of the show you won’t find on other iPhones on this list is the Dynamic Island. Basically a new name for the pill-shaped notch, the Dynamic Island can be seen as a new interaction area that houses things like the current song playing, timers and so on. It’ll also house alerts from apps that utilise the upcoming Live Activities API.

Another feature here that isn’t available on other models is the always-on display. Working in a similar way to the Apple Watch, the display slows down to 1Hz when it’s locked, showing you a dimmed version that’s glanceable when the phone is sitting on a desk. It’s a neat trick, even if it does use more battery than when the screen is turned off.

The three rear cameras take excellent snaps and videos, with more versatility than ever thanks to the ability to shoot 48MP RAW images.

The rest of the phone will be familiar to those who’ve used previous Pro phones. The iPhone 14 Pro looks great, has an IP68 rating, Ceramic Shield and MagSafe charging. 

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

iPhone 13 Pro Max

The best for battery life
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Pros

  • Huge screen is gorgeous
  • Three very good cameras
  • Really impressive battery life
  • ProMotion finally on an iPhone

Cons

  • Selfie camera needs an upgrade
  • Notch feels tired
  • Other phones have better zoom

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but we reckon that one of Apple’s biggest iPhones also happens to be one the best, and this is for one notable reason – the battery life. This is the iPhone to opt for if going the longest time between charges is key to your purchasing decision; we easily got through a heavy day of use and into a second with plenty of juice left.

Battery life aside, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a great choice in many other areas. While the entire iPhone 13 series is powered by the same A15 Bionic chipset, the larger 6.7-inch display makes this a strong choice if you want a vast canvas for games, editing photos, or watching videos. Our reviewer found themselves regularly using the handset to watch Netflix on their morning commute, with the screen offering wonderfully immersive blacks and great dynamism, which helped make HDR content in particular pop.

The screen packs a 120Hz refresh rate that Apple calls ProMotion. While older iPhones had a 60Hz refresh, a 120Hz panel is much faster and offers a smoother experience when scrolling. It can aid gaming too, if a title supports it.

In our tests, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s perform the best out of any other phones on the market, besides the new iPhone 14 Pro which has an even faster chip. They continually churn out higher benchmark scores both for general performance and graphics, and are faster in everyday use too. Apple phones also typically get supported for longer, with more software updates and better security patches which makes them far more future-proof than most Android handsets.

On top of that, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a truly excellent camera array. We tested it against the Galaxy S22 Ultra and far preferred the video captured on Apple’s device, with it being smoother and generally better stabilised. Stills also looked great with colours generally coming out a little bit more pleasing and realistic looking than those shot on the Ultra.

Other features you’ll find across the whole iPhone 13 range include wireless charging, an IP rating for protection against dust and water, 5G support, Face ID for secure unlocking and a notch dipping into the display.

However, the new iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with a newer chip in the form of the A16 Bionic, packs a more powerful camera setup and is brimming with new features. While we haven’t been able to review this handset yet, it looks to be one of the most powerful iPhones available, so it may be worth waiting around if you’re interested.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone 13 Pro Max review

iPhone 13

The best iPhone for most people
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Pros

  • Much improved battery life
  • Bright, vivid OLED display
  • Excellent main camera

Cons

  • No ProMotion
  • No optical zoom

The iPhone 14 Pro might be the best iPhone, but we’d say the iPhone 13 offers arguably better value for a lot of people. It’s a device that’s just as capable in most areas as its “Pro” siblings, but it does make a few sacrifices to hit its lower price. 

There’s no telephoto camera for improved zooming, for example, and the display is simply a 60Hz panel – so it lacks the smoother scrolling you get with the 120Hz panel. If you’re willing to accept these missing features, then we think this phone will suit you down to the ground.

We were happy with the battery life when we reviewed the phone, though like all smaller phones you’ll likely be charging this one every night. As we said in the previous entry, the Pro Max model is the one to pick if you’re a seriously heavy user.

The iPhone 13 is simply a great phone to use; the design is slick and a lot more modern than the iPhone SE 2022, while the size makes it easy to hold and slip in a pocket or a bag. The duo of rear cameras reliably take excellent photos whatever the conditions and, as it runs iOS, it’ll be supported for years to come with software updates.

Apple also still sells the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, both of which remain good buys if you want to save a little extra money. But these have slower performance levels and the camera quality is not quite as competitive as the newer model based on our testing.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone 13 review

iPhone 13 Mini

The best small iPhone
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Pros

  • Great camera
  • Better battery life than the previous Mini
  • The most powerful small phone around

Cons

  • No ProMotion
  • No optical zoom
  • Still can’t compete with the other iPhone 13 models for battery life

The iPhone 13 Mini takes everything you’ll find in the iPhone 13 and then shrinks it down to an even smaller size. It has the same duo of rear cameras, the same screen quality and the same overall design as its larger sibling – and it also runs on the same chipset as all the other iPhone 13 handsets in this list, so it boasts 5G and excellent general performance.

We’d recommend this as easily the best small phone on the market, but that said, its diminutive size does introduce a couple of issues. These aren’t necessarily downsides, depending on your point of view, but they’re still factors that might influence your buying decision.

The 5.4-inch display is a lot smaller than the 6.1-inch screen on the iPhone 13. That means the Mini isn’t as suitable for gaming or media binges as the regular-sized iPhone, and it also means that the battery size had to be reduced, so it’s the iPhone 13 with the worst battery life – at least in our tests. If you’re a heavy user, you might be reaching for the charger even before the end of the day based on our experience with the Mini.

Still, there isn’t really anything else like this on the market, and if you prize pocketability above all else, then it is a great choice.

The iPhone 12 Mini is also still on sale too, but we found that this model’s battery life was even worse. If you can afford to spend extra on the updated model, it’s certainly worth it based on our experience with the two phones.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone 13 Mini review

iPhone SE 2022

The best affordable new iPhone
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Pros

  • The fastest phone at this price (by some distance)
  • Takes great daylight pictures
  • IP rating and wireless charging
  • iOS and all the benefits that come with it

Cons

  • Small screen is cramped and restrictive
  • Tired design
  • No night mode in the camera

Apple’s cheapest iPhone is also the most confusing. While we like a lot of stuff about the iPhone SE 2022 and it scored well in our overall review, the tired design and slightly dated screen make it a harder proposition than the other phones on this list.

However, on the inside, there’s no doubting that the iPhone SE 2022 is a winner. The A15 Bionic chipset is the same as you’ll find in the 13 Pro Max, and in benchmark tests, it outstripped the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra for sheer performance. Considering the price, that’s an impressive feat and it should support software updates for years and years to come, making it a good investment.

We were impressed with the camera here too. The single 12MP unit takes snaps with lovely colour reproduction and accurate skin tones that aren’t too far off what you’d get on the iPhone 13, although the lack of night mode does make it a little tricky to get a great low-light picture.

Battery life is on par with the iPhone 13 Mini and, like all the phones here, it has an IP rating for dust and water resistance along with 5G and wireless charging. You rarely get this collection of premium features on other phones at this price point.

This phone really isn’t for those who want a phone with a great screen. The 4.7-inch panel is dinky, not nearly as bright or sharp as the 13 series, and comes with chunky black bars on either side to boot. It feels rather old fashioned, although the home button is nice for navigation and quick unlocking.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone SE 2022 review

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FAQs

Which iPhones have 5G?

All the iPhones in this list come with some form of 5G. However, the supported bands can vary so it’s best to check with your carrier or network to see which bands and forms of 5G they support.

Do any of these iPhones come with a charger?

No – Apple has removed the charger from the box of all its iPhones. You’ll need to buy it separately or else use an old one.

Which is the smallest iPhone?

While the iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch screen is the smallest, the iPhone 13 Min is the smallest overall device.

What is the most recent iPhone?

The most recent iPhone is the iPhone 14 series, which was officially revealed during the Far Out Apple event. The iPhone 14 series will be available for pre-order on Friday 9 September at 1 pm BST.

All the best iPhone specs

Compare all the most important specs from all the iPhones in our list.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Wirless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours
Stated Power

Trusted Reviews test data

Apple does a great job at keeping performance the same across all phones, so you’re getting strong speeds whether you go for the cheapest iPhone or the priciest.

1 hour music streaming (online)
Time from 0-100% charge
1 hour music streaming (offline)
30 minute gaming (light)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
Max brightness
Time from 0-50% charge
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 5 single core
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
3D Mark – Wild Life

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Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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