Which is the best iPhone for you? All the ones to choose, including the new iPhone 12 and its Pro sibling.
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 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.
Related: iOS 14 features
1. iPhone 12 Pro
The best iPhone if money is no object
- Great triple camera system
- Strong display
- Lovely design
- No ProMotion screen
- No charger
Sitting at the top of our best iPhone list is the iPhone 12 Pro and while the iPhone 12 is excellent, you’ll want to go for the Pro if you want the best of everything Apple currently has to offer.
Improvements over the regular 12 include more RAM, a slightly brighter screen, stainless steel sides, an extra camera on the back alongside LIDAR and 128GB storage as standard. Things like screen resolution, battery life, main camera quality and design are all very much the same.
On the back of the iPhone 12 Pro there are three cameras with a LiDAR sensor too for better focusing in low-light. All three are 12MP and take strong shots in a load of situations. The zoom is similar to the iPhone 11 Pro and the ultrawide now benefits from the Night Mode. The main sensor has a slightly wider f/1.6 aperture than the previous-gen iPhones. There’s 60fps 4K Dolby Vision HDR video recording, too.
Inside the 12 Pro you’ll find the very fast Apple A14 Bionic chipset, support for 5G network and 6GB RAM. There are some hefty storage options too, up to 512GB. The biggest missing feature is a ProMotion display and hopefully this arrives next year.
- Read our iPhone 12 Pro review
2. iPhone 12
Best overall iPhone for most people
- Great camera system
- Excellent screen upgrades
- Such a looker
- No 90/120Hz screen
- No charger in the box
While it’s not the best iPhone when it comes to specs and features, the iPhone 12 is probably the model most people should buy. While it’s slightly pricier than the iPhone 11, it inherits lots of things previously exclusive to the Pro models.
These include a new OLED panel with a higher resolution and HDR support (still at 60Hz, though), a new design reminiscent of the iPhone 5 and an overall lighter, smaller feel. As we said in our review, this might be the perfect iPhone.
Inside you’ll find the very fast Apple A14 Bionic chipset, support for 5G networks and a base 64GB storage. Pay more and you can get 128GB and 256GB options too. We’ve been impressed with the battery life and you can charge it via the new MagSafe charger. You don’t get a charger in the box though (just a cable) so prepare to splurge for one separately.
On the back there are two cameras. Both are 12MP and take great shots. The ultra wide is similar to the iPhone 11, save for the addition of Night Mode, and the main sensor has a slightly wider f/1.6 aperture. Low light photos are better than the iPhone 11 series and you can shoot HDR Dolby Vision video too.
- Read our iPhone 12 review
3. iPhone 12 mini
Best overall iPhone for those longing for a small phone
- Very small, without too many sacrifices
- Great camera
- Lovely design
- No 90/120Hz screen
- No charger in the box
Everything that we mentioned above for the iPhone 12 mini is valid here. This is very much a smaller version of that phone, with the same camera, internal specs and 5G support. It even looks the same, just a lot smaller.
With the iPhone 12 mini you’ve got a 5.4-inch display (still OLED, HDR etc) which is far smaller than the 6.1-inch 12. It has a smaller battery, and we noticed far less endurance here than with the other models.
Still, if you’ve been after a small phone that doesn’t sacrifice much the iPhone 12 mini is perfect.
- Read our iPhone 12 mini review
4. iPhone 11
A great iPhone now even cheaper
- Great camera
- Really strong battery life
- Nice colour options
- Surprisingly great value
- Now more affordable
- 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. With the release of the iPhone 12, the iPhone 11 has received a price cut and is still a good buy.
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.
- Read our iPhone 11 review
5. iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Best if you want a big iPhone right now
- 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 available now. Still, if you can find the 11 Pro/Max at a discounted price then it’s still a great phone. It’s not sold by Apple anymore, though.
Apple hasn’t played too much with the design formula, instead deciding to focus more on the internals. The A13 Bionic chipset inside remains fast in 2020, 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.
6. 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. That is until the iPhone 12 Mini comes along.
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
7. 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: