The iPhone has come a long way, but you don’t necessarily need to have the latest release - iPhone models as far back as the iPhone 6S will run the latest iOS update (iOS 14) and are still good options for those with more modest smartphone needs. Read on to discover the best iPhone deals.
That depends on what you’re looking for. It’s natural to assume the latest iPhone is the best available, but iPhone improvements don’t always have big steps up from model to model, so you may still be happy with an iPhone SE over an iPhone 12, for example.
The most recent iPhone release (as of January 2021) was the iPhone 12 in October 2020. The new iPhone range comprises four handsets: iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The key differences are actually in the range. For the first time, Apple has launched a mini version of its flagship handset with the hope that it will entice those who don’t want a big-screen phone to iOS. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have been given some pro-grade camera features, too, which will make them desirable to a prosumer camera crowd. None of this should take anything away from the iPhone 11, though, as that range is still fantastic with its own camera smarts and fantastic screen.
Apple has released a new iPhone every year since its inception, so you’ll not be short of options if you decide to get an iPhone. Bear in mind that many older models have been discontinued, so if you want to buy one, you’ll have a harder time getting hold of it, or you’ll have to settle for a refurbished phone.
|iPhone 12 Mini||No|
|iPhone 12 Pro||No|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||No|
|iPhone 11 Pro||Yes|
With the release of the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, Apple has made a distinction between the ‘everyday’ models and those that are better suited to professionals. The main differences include:
An extra camera
Pro-grade camera features
Better screen resolution
Larger screen size
Better water resistance
A better battery life
While these are all handy extras for the creative professional, you shouldn’t discount how good the iPhone 12, 11 and the other variants are. As we have mentioned, Apple looks after its older handsets, too, with its iOS updates still stretching as far back as the iPhone 6S.
iPhones as far back as the iPhone 6 have been used for professional creative projects, so you can get great quality photos and videos from just about any iPhone camera you opt for. Still, if you want to get down to specs, here’s what the numbers say:
|Model||Camera||Front camera||Rear camera|
|iPhone 12 Mini||3||12MP||Dual 12MP|
|iPhone 12||3||12MP||Dual 12MP|
|iPhone 12 Pro||4||12MP||Triple 12MP|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||4||12MP||Triple 12MP|
|iPhone 11||3||12MP||Dual 12MP|
|iPhone 11 Pro||4||12MP||Triple 12MP|
|iPhone SE||2||7MP||Single 12MP|
|iPhone XR||2||7MP||Single 12MP|
|iPhone XS||3||7MP||Dual 12MP|
|iPhone X||3||7MP||Dual 12MP|
|iPhone 8||2||7MP||Single 12MP|
|iPhone 7||2||7MP||Single 12MP|
|iPhone 6||2||1.2MP||Single 8MP|
Of the newer and easily available iPhones, the SE is the most affordable and is comparable to the iPhone 7 in terms of screen size, clarity and camera capabilities. Its battery matches that of the iPhone 8, and while it runs on a speedier chip than any previous models, you’re unlikely to notice any lag unless you were running a direct comparison between the two phones.
The iPhone SE and iPhone 7 and 8 are extremely close in terms of performance and size. The XR just beats them all in terms of screen resolution (it uses Liquid Retina rather than Retina HD) but unless two different phones were in your hands to compare, you probably wouldn’t notice. The XR also comes with a slightly amped up camera and is generally styled to be a more premium offering than the SE.
None of the iPhones give you the option to expand your internal or external storage using an SD card, so it’s important to pick the right amount of storage.
32GB: good for users who don’t store media on their phone
64GB: good for users who store some media on their phone but utilise cloud storage a lot
128GB: good for most users who need ample space but also use cloud backup
256GB: very good for most users who like to store photos and videos
512GB: extremely generous, able to store a lot of media and apps
|iPhone 12 Mini||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|iPhone 12 Pro||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|iPhone 11 Pro||Yes||Yes||Yes|
The iPhone 12S is likely the next iPhone, given that 2021 is a tock year (a tick year is when brand-new models are released). Improvements that may happen include an enhanced camera and more power.
These are the terms Apple uses to describe its screen technology:
Super Retina: uses OLED technology to use more pixels, resulting in richer colours
Liquid Retina: uses a curved LCD display for truer tones and better reaction to touch, uses more pixels than retina for better colour clarity
Retina HD: uses an LCD display
If you’re after the best possible screen, then Super Retina should be your go-to choice.
This depends on where you’re buying from. You should always buy refurbished phones from reputable mobile networks.
Last updated: 25 January 2021