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The best iPhone for every type of person and budget

  • For $699, the iPhone 11 is the best choice for most buyers because it has nearly all the same specs as the high-end iPhone 11 Pro models, but it costs $300 to $400 less.
  • The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are also fantastic phones, but they’re best for people who want the absolute best new tech and the three cameras.
  • The iPhone XR is still a great buy — especially at its new $599 price. The iPhone XS and XS Max continue to be good options if you can get a deal on them. The company is also rumored to be launching a new smaller iPhone like the 2016 iPhone SE in late March 2020, so you may want to hold out for that.
  • The two-year-old iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are decent alternatives to save a few hundred dollars, but we think you’d do better to buy the iPhone XR or 11. 
  • Do not buy the iPhone 7 or an older model or you’ll be wasting your money. A smartphone is an investment, so it’s worth spending extra or buying one of the best budget phones or one of the best smartphones that run Android instead.

Apple’s current iPhone lineup has grown to include three phones that were released in late 2019: the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, in addition to the iPhone XR, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus holdovers from 2018. (2020 iPhones won’t be unveiled until later this year.)

There are so many options now it can seem overwhelming when it comes time to choose the right iPhone for you. We break it down so you know exactly which iPhone to buy for your needs and budget. We also tell you which ones to avoid at all costs so you don’t end up paying hundreds of dollars for a three-year-old iPhone that is already obsolete.

For most people, we highly recommend the iPhone 11, which costs a relatively reasonable $699 but still includes the most important new tech on any phone: the latest processor.

The iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max are great buys for tech addicts who want the absolute best, shutterbugs who love high-end camera tech, and people who want a larger (Max) or smaller phone (11 Pro).

Despite being more than a year old, the iPhone XR is still a great choice, thanks to its new lower $599 price tag. The iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus are also decent options if you can find a deal, but you’d do better to buy the iPhone XR since they don’t have the latest tech, like Face ID (they are the last iPhones in the lineup to use fingerprint-based Touch ID). The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are ideal for the budget-conscious who want an iPhone but don’t need all the bells and whistles.

Apple no longer carries the iPhone XS, XS Max, or X models, but you can still find them new from third-party retailers. If you can find a good deal on the iPhone XS and XS Max at Best Buy or from your carrier, they are still solid options, though it’d be smarter to buy the iPhone 11. The iPhone X is Apple’s first iPhone to use face-recognition security and bezel-less display, but we would recommend the iPhone XR instead.

Why should you listen to me? I’ve personally reviewed every iPhone since the iPhone 6 in a professional capacity as a tech writer and editor. Before that, I owned an iPhone 3GS and an iPhone 5, so I have run the gamut, so to speak. We also have a team of seasoned tech reporters who have owned or used iPhones since the first model was introduced.

Here are some key things to know before you decide which iPhone to buy:

  • Processor and RAM: The processor and RAM are the two most important parts of any phone. They determine how smoothly it runs and works through intense tasks like gaming or multitasking. The newer your iPhone, the better the processing power and RAM. That’s why we recommend you buy the most recent iPhone models and we don’t recommend any iPhones from three years ago.
  • Storage space: Storage is also incredibly important because the amount of storage you have determines how many photos, songs, videos, and apps you can have downloaded on your phone. Never buy a 16GB iPhone — you will run out of space and regret it. 32GB is okay for most people, but if you take a lot of photos, have tons of songs or videos downloaded, or you’re an app junkie, you will want 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage. Unfortunately, adding storage costs money. Luckily, the newest phones start at 64GB, which is a truly respectable amount of space.
  • Screen size: iPhones come in several screen sizes: 4.7 inches (iPhone 8), 5.5 inches (iPhone 8 Plus), 5.8 inches (iPhone 11 Pro and XS), 6.1 inches (iPhone 11 and XR), and 6.2 inches (iPhone 11 Pro Max and XS Max). Phones with small screen sizes have smaller physical bodies, which are easier to hold. The iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Plus line are the largest phones to hold and they are the same size, but the Max has a much bigger screen, though, thanks to its bezel-less design. The iPhone 11 Pro is physically a tad bigger than the iPhone 8, so it’s very comfortable to hold. 
  • Battery life: Most iPhones — and smartphones in general — don’t have great battery life. The smaller the iPhone, the worse the battery life. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has the best battery life of any iPhone, but the iPhone 11 Pro also gets good battery life, as does the new iPhone 11. However, all three have made huge leaps in terms of battery life.
  • Ports (or lack thereof): All iPhones have a lightning port for charging, but the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus; iPhone XS, XS Max, XR; and iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max all lack the 3.5mm headphone jack. That means you can’t plug in your wired headphones or other accessories unless you buy the adapter or use the Lightning earbuds that come with your new iPhone. We recommend you get a nice pair of wireless headphones.
  • Software: Apple provides updates to its iPhones for about four years after their release, so theoretically, you can have your iPhone up to date for four years before you should buy a new one. Always update your software to get important security patches and new features. You may experience slowdown on older devices, but iPhones typically hold up well.
  • Price: Consider your purchase an investment. Your smartphone is more than a communication device — It is your camera, your computer, your photo album, your music player, and your gaming console, too. A good smartphone can last you for years, but a cheap one with poor specs will be outdated more quickly, and you’ll end up spending more in the long run. That $1,000 price tag on the iPhone 11 Pro looks less scary when you consider that it could last you for four to five years. 
  • How to buy: You can get an iPhone from your carrier by paying full price or paying in monthly installments. You can also buy one at stores like Target and Best Buy or directly from Apple. We recommend you buy it from Apple unlocked so you can switch carriers any time you choose. The Apple iPhone Upgrade Program lets you get a new iPhone every year so long as you’ve made 12 monthly payments on your current phone. It’s basically like renting your smartphone so you can upgrade all the time. Some carriers, like T-Mobile, offer a similar program.

Here are the best iPhones in 2020:

  • Best iPhone overall: iPhone 11
  • Best small high-end iPhone: iPhone 11 Pro
  • Best big high-end iPhone: iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Best budget iPhone: iPhone XR
  • Best small iPhone for less: iPhone XS
  • Best big iPhone for less: iPhone XS Max
  • Best big iPhone for $550: iPhone 8 Plus
  • Best small iPhone for $450: iPhone 8

Updated on 02/19/2020 by Malarie Gokey: Added rumors about the new iPhone SE that may launch in late March 2020. Added updated testing notes for the iPhone 11 Pro and a few more Android alternatives.

Buying advice for current iPhone owners

Here’s who should (and shouldn’t) upgrade, and which iPhone we recommend for you:

  • If you have an iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR: There’s no reason to upgrade at all unless you’re a tech geek who needs the latest and greatest. If you’re upgrading every year, you may as well get one of the Pro models.
  • If you have an iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus: You could definitely wait another year for the next big update. If you just really want to have an exceptional camera on your phone or you want the longer battery life, you could upgrade to the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max. We think the iPhone 11 is the best deal for most people.
  • If you have an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus: You deserve an upgrade. These phones are starting to stutter and won’t last much longer. You may as well grab an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max.
  • If you have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, or 5S: You don’t just deserve an upgrade, you deserve a medal. You made your phone last 4-5 years. If you’re going to do that again, treat yourself and get the iPhone 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max. It’ll be like blasting off to a new planet. If you want to save a bit and don’t mind compromising on the camera features, the iPhone 11 is an excellent buy at $699.

How should you buy your new iPhone?

  • Tech geek? Join the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program. You’ll basically rent your phone with monthly payments, and you can upgrade to a new one after 12 payments. If you do that, you end up paying half price for the phone and you get a new one every year without hemming and hawing over the cost. T-Mobile has a similar offer, in which you can upgrade as soon as you’ve paid off half of the phone’s entire balance.
  • Tech-savvy traveler? Buy your iPhone unlocked so you can pop in local SIM cards when you travel abroad. To do this, buy from Apple, preferably through the iPhone Upgrade Program. Alternatively, you can buy from T-Mobile or Sprint because they have free international service in 100+ countries.
  • Budget hunter? Check out all the carrier promotions and maybe wait a few months to buy your new iPhone. You can also get the $699 iPhone 11, which costs several hundred dollars less than the 11 Pro and Max, but has most of the same tech. You can also get a year-old model for a good price now. You could also jump ahead to our Android alternatives section in this buying guide.

Is now a good time to buy?

Yes. You can get good deals on the 2019 iPhone 11 lineup at many carriers — especially if you can get a trade-in rebate. However, if you want to wait for the 2020 iPhones, which may have 5G connectivity, you can expect to hold off until September.

Those of you who want an even better deal should consider waiting to see if the rumored sequel to the iPhone SE actually launches in late March 2020. It’s rumored to cost just $400.

The best iPhone overall

The iPhone 11 is the best iPhone for almost everyone with its reasonable $699 price tag, dual-camera set up, speedy new processor, and crisp LCD screen.

It’s been years since a brand-new iPhone cost this little. The $699 price of the iPhone 11 makes it the best iPhone for just about every shopper. It has all the specs most people need for $300 less than the top-of-the-line iPhone 11 Pro and for $400 less than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Here are the only important differences: The iPhone 11’s 6.1-inch screen is made with an LCD panel instead of an OLED and it has a larger bezel (the back border around the screen), the 6.1-inch screen is smaller than the Max’s 6.8-inch screen but larger than the 11 Pro’s 5.8-inch screen, and the iPhone 11 Pro has an extra telephoto camera lens for zooming in on objects.

Otherwise, everything is the same. The iPhone 11 has the same fast A13 Bionic processor, an ultra-wide and regular wide rear camera setup, wireless charging, and better battery life than previous iPhones. Unless you regularly zoom in on objects in pictures or you really want an OLED screen that’s either larger or smaller than 6.1 inches, there is no reason to pay more for the iPhone 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max.

In our tests, the iPhone 11’s two 12-megapixel camera setup was able to handle everything we asked of it and it took excellent photos — especially in low-light situations. The front-facing camera is also 12-megapixels and it can create the blurred background effect on your selfies so you’re the focus — not the background. You can also use the front camera to securely unlock your phone with Face ID.

The entry-level 64GB of storage should be more than enough for most people, but if you want more, you can get 128 or 256GB of storage instead — for a few hundred dollars more. 

The iPhone 11 comes in yellow, green, purple, black, white, and red. It’s also water resistant for 30 minutes in depths of up to 2 meters.

Pros: Excellent price for an iPhone, fast new processor, great 6.1-inch screen, long battery life, dual-camera setup on the back, wireless charging

Cons: It’s missing the OLED screen and the telephoto camera lens of the iPhone 11 Pro lineup

The best small high-end iPhone

The iPhone 11 Pro may be $999, but it is well worth the cost if you are a tech geek who wants the absolute best, love to take photos, or plan on holding onto your phone for four to five years.

There are three kinds of people who should spend an extra $300 and get the iPhone 11 Pro:

  1. Those who want to upgrade every year to the best cutting-edge tech.
  2. Those who love to take photos with zoom, but also want to option to take ultra-wide shots.
  3. Those who do not upgrade until their phones completely stop functioning after five years of use.

It is also the best iPhone for people who prefer small phones they can operate with one hand. The iPhone 11 Pro’s 5.8-inch OLED screen makes for a phone that is just the right size for most people’s hands. It’s the phone I chose because I am one of those people who upgrade every year and I like that I can use it one-handed. 

If you have big hands and you want a big screen, the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s 8.8-inch OLED screen will satisfy you more than the 6.1-inch iPhone 11.

This year, the back of the phone is made with matte glass, and I love it. I’ve always disliked shiny, glossy glass-backed phones because they never stay clean — the second you touch them, they are ruined by fingerprints forever no matter what you do. The texture is lovely and it does not attract fingerprints. I do highly recommend using a case, though, as glass is fragile and needs protection — especially when it’s covering a $1,000 phone.

Inside, the new A13 Bionic processor is super fast. I noticed the difference the most in the new camera app. Because the iPhone 11 Pro has three cameras on the back, the camera app has controls that allow you to switch from the regular wide-angle view to the ultra-wide-angle view or the 2x optical zoomed view with the tap of an icon. The transition between camera lenses is perfectly smooth and instantaneous. That, is some serious processing power.

Speaking of those 12-megapixel cameras, they take phenomenal photos. The color reproduction is natural,  the images look excellent, and you can take ultra-wide or 2x zoomed-in shots while maintaining the high image quality. I use the 2x optical zoom all the time, so for me, this was a must-have feature and motivation enough for me to buy the iPhone 11 Pro.

The new Night Mode feature is truly impressive. Much like Google’s Pixel phones, the iPhone 11 Pro can take beautiful photos in low-light conditions and even absolute darkness. It does this by extending the exposure, so you do have to hold still for several seconds while using Night Mode, but it really works. With the iPhone XS, I couldn’t get good pictures of food in dimly-lit restaurants or of people at dimly-lit parties — with the iPhone 11 Pro, I can.

The front-facing camera is also 12-megapixels and it can create the blurred background effect on your selfies so you’re the focus — not the background. You can also use the front camera to securely unlock your phone with Face ID.

The battery life is also leagues better on the 11 Pro. After a day of work, my iPhone XS used to be at 50% battery, but the 11 Pro is usually only at 75% or 80% when I get home. It charges wirelessly, and Apple finally included a fast charger and lightning-to-USB-C cable in the box so your phone will charge faster than it did before when you plug it in. It has been a game-changer — when I need to leave home fast and my phone isn’t charged, I can get it juiced up enough to last all day in just 10-15 minutes.

The entry-level 64GB of storage should be more than enough for most people, but if you want more, you can get 256 or 512 GB of storage instead — for a few hundred dollars more. The iPhone 11 Pro comes in Midnight Green, Space Gray, Silver, and Gold. It’s also water resistant for 30 minutes in depths of up to 4 meters.

Pros: Speedy new processor, sharp OLED screen, great size for single-handed use; three cameras for telephoto, regular, and ultra-wide shots; great battery life, wireless charging, Face ID

Cons: Expensive, no headphone jack

The best big high-end iPhone

The iPhone 11 Pro Max is the one to buy if you want the biggest screen and the best battery life you can possibly get on an iPhone.

People who love big screens are passionate about the topic — every tenth of an inch matters. Although the difference between the 6.1-inch iPhone 11 and the 6.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max is arguably small, it makes all the difference in the world to them. If you want the biggest iPhone you can buy, the 11 Pro Max is it.

Its 6.8-inch OLED screen looks absolutely beautiful and it’s ideal for watching videos or playing games. The 11 Pro Max also has the longest battery life of any iPhone by far, which is very important if you’re watching videos and playing games on it all the time.

My colleague Amir Ismael bought the Pro Max and has been using it since it came out. His thoughts are included here.

“In comparison to last year’s iPhone Xs Max, the 11 Pro Max is slightly heavier — and it’s for a good cause. The new phone has up to 5 hours more battery life, which I’ve found to be a  noticeable difference in daily use,” Amir said. “Before, I would never leave home without an external battery, but in the few weeks that I’ve owned my 11 Pro Max, I haven’t used an external battery once and I haven’t had to charge my phone overnight either. I have a wireless charger at my desk, so I’m usually at or close to 100% when I leave work, which is enough to last me for the rest of the night, the next morning, and into the afternoon.”

Apple also included a fast charger and the lightning-to-USB-C cable for quick charging in the box, so you can recharge your phone much faster. Just like the other recent iPhones, the Max has wireless charging too.

Apple’s new A13 Bionic processor is also speedy in this version of the phone. It doesn’t stutter no matter what you ask it to do. It’s the same processor that’s in the smaller iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models.

The entry-level 64GB of storage should be more than enough for most people, but if you want more, you can get 256 or 512 GB of storage instead — for a few hundred dollars more. 

The Max has the same 12-megapixel cameras as the regular iPhone 11 Pro: a wide-angle, an ultra-wide-angle, and a telephoto-lens. The phone takes excellent photos in any light, thanks to the new Night Mode feature. We’ve been very impressed with it in testing:

“The cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are Apple’s best yet for both pictures and video, so if you truly care about capturing high-quality content, don’t sell yourself short with a lower-end model,” Amir said.

The front-facing camera is also 12-megapixels and it can create the blurred background effect on your selfies so you’re the focus — not the background. You can also use the front camera to securely unlock your phone with Face ID.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max comes in Midnight Green, Space Gray, Silver, and Gold. It’s also water resistant for 30 minutes in depths of up to 4 meters. Even though this is the most expensive iPhone you can buy, Amir thinks it’s worth it:

“The iPhone 11 Pro Max is an amazing phone; it’s the one you should go for if you’re loyal to Apple and want the top-of-the-line iPhone. The 256GB model I went with costs $1,249 before tax and activation fees, which is pretty damn expensive for a phone. To make the phone more affordable — or at least hurt your pockets and your soul at little less — I recommend not buying it outright. If you’re eligible for an upgrade now, go for the payment plan, so you can trade it in next year for the new model without losing a crazy amount on the trade-in value.”

Pros: Biggest screen of any iPhone, OLED looks crisp, fast A13 Bionic processor, three-camera setup, best battery life of any iPhone

Cons: Expensive

The best budget iPhone

The iPhone XR has a new low price of $599, making it a great buy for bargain hunters who are unable to pay the $699 price of the iPhone 11. However, the rumored sequel to the iPhone SE is likely to be the better choice at $400 (assuming it’s real), so you may want to wait until March for a cheaper iPhone option.

Although it’s a year old now, the iPhone XR remains a fantastic buy, thanks to its price cut — you can get it for $599 now. The phone costs $100 less than the new iPhone 11, so if you really can’t pay $699 for the iPhone 11, the XR is your best option.

Its A12 Bionic processor is only a year old, and the XR has the same modern design as the iPhone 11. It’s just missing the second ultra-wide-angle camera, the new processor, and the improved battery life.

The 6.1-inch screen is LCD instead of OLED, but the resolution is so sharp and the quality of Apple’s LCD screens has always been so high it’s unlikely to be noticeable. The back of the phone only has one 12-megapixel camera instead of two, but if you’re coming from an iPhone 8, 7, or older that won’t matter to you unless you’ve simply been dying for the blurred bokeh effect of portrait mode or the 2x optical zoom.

And besides, the front 7-megapixel camera does have the blurred bokeh portrait effect, so your selfies will get the high-end treatment. Plus, the XR has Face ID, so you’re not even missing out on that.

It also comes in fun color options like red, yellow, coral, blue, black, and white.

Pros: Big screen, great processor, gorgeous design, fun colors, good cameras, FaceID, wireless charging

Cons: Expensive, hard to use one-handed, glass is fragile, no headphone jack or adapter in box

The best small iPhone for less

The iPhone XS is still a good buy if you can get a deal on it, but the iPhone 11 is likely the better choice if you don’t want to wait for the rumored sequel to the iPhone SE.

The iPhone XS is no longer sold by Apple, but you can get it from Best Buy and most carriers. If you can get a deal, it’s worth buying for people who are upgrading and trying to save money. However, the iPhone 11 costs just $699, and with its brand-new processor and two cameras on the back, it is probably the better choice for most people.

That said, the iPhone XS is still a phenomenal phone that’s worth buying. Its 5.8-inch OLED True Tone screen is crisp, clear, and accurate in its color reproduction. It’s the perfect size for comfortable one-handed use, and the screen is plenty big.

Those of you who are itching for an even bigger screen should just scroll right on ahead to the next slide where we talk about the equally good — though slightly unwieldy — iPhone XS Max. You won’t have to stretch your hands to hold the XS, and that’s what makes it our top pick above the Max.

Apple’s now year-old A12 Bionic chip is still fast and there are no delays, snags, or long load times with the XS. The entry-level 64GB of storage should be more than enough for most people, but if you want more, you can get 256 or 512 GB of storage instead — for a few hundred dollars more.

Apple has also improved the dual 12-megapixel cameras on the back of the iPhone XS to ensure better performance in low light. We love the 2x optical zoom on the iPhone XS and the option to continue zooming in to 10x with software zoom. Zoomed in photos look excellent at 2x and still great at as high as 5x. After that, the picture gets less sharp, but it still works in a pinch.

The bokeh portrait mode works remarkably well with both the back cameras and the 7-megapixel selfie cam on the front. FaceID is seamless and super fast for unlocking the phone, and since I’ve been using it for about a year now, it’s even faster and more reliable. FaceID knows it’s me even when I have sunglasses on, it’s dark, or my face is partially obscured. It also makes logging into all my accounts dead simple.

Battery life is decent, though not as long as it is on the Max or the new iPhone 11 lineup. Wireless charging continues to be useful and convenient. The phone comes in Silver, Space Gray, and a lovely gold color. The gold is more subtle champagne and rose in tone, and it looks fantastic. Glass is fragile, so go get one of our recommended cases!

Pros: Good size, great processor, gorgeous design, latest and greatest hardware, fantastic cameras, FaceID, wireless charging

Cons: Expensive, glass is fragile, no headphone jack or adapter in box

The best big iPhone for less

The iPhone XS Max is a good option if you can get a deal on it and you don’t like the more affordable iPhone 11’s smaller 6.1-inch screen.

If you’ve always wanted a massive screen on your phone but you want to save a bit of cash, the iPhone XS Max is a good option if you can get it at a discount. Otherwise, you’re better off with the $699 iPhone 11 and its 6.1-inch screen, which is nearly as large as the Max’s 6.8-inch screen.

The device is the same physical size as the iPhone 8 Plus, but the bezels are gone. In their place is nothing but a gorgeous, sharp OLED screen. The large screen is perfect for watching video, sharing pictures with friends, and playing mobile games. You simply won’t want to look away from it.

The only downside to the large size is that it’s hard to operate one-handed unless your hands are large. We recommend a PopSocket grip or a good grippy case to help you handle this phone.

Apple’s year-old A12 Bionic chip is still fast and there are no delays, snags, or long load times with the XS Max. The entry-level 64GB of storage should be more than enough for most people, but if you want more, you can get 256 or 512 GB of storage instead — for a few hundred dollars more. 

Apple has also improved the dual 12-megapixel cameras on the back of the iPhone XS Max to ensure better performance in low light. We love the 2x optical zoom on the Max and the option to continue zooming in to 10x with software zoom. Zoomed in photos look excellent at 2x and still great at as high as 5x. After that, the picture gets less sharp, but it still works in a pinch.

The bokeh portrait mode works remarkably well with both the back cameras and the 7-megapixel selfie cam on the front. Battery life is quite a bit longer on the Max than it is on the XS, given its larger size. Wireless charging continues to be useful and convenient.

The phone comes in Silver, Space Gray, and a lovely gold color. The gold is more subtle champagne and rose in tone, and it looks fantastic. Glass is fragile, so go get one of our recommended cases!

Pros: Huge screen, great processor, gorgeous design, latest and greatest hardware, fantastic cameras, FaceID, wireless charging

Cons: Expensive, hard to use one-handed, glass is fragile, no headphone jack or adapter in box

The best big iPhone for $550

The iPhone 8 Plus is still a decent choice with its new $549 price and dual camera tech — if you don’t mind an older design. However, the rumored sequel to the iPhone SE is likely to be the better choice at $400 (assuming it’s real), so you may want to wait until March for a cheaper iPhone option.

If you want to save cash, you aren’t willing to spend $699 on the iPhone 11, and you still want the dual cameras, and a big screen, the iPhone 8 Plus is a good choice.

It may not have facial recognition or the fancy portrait mode camera on the front, but it is still an excellent device. It’s a year old now, but it’s a good buy because it’s on sale at many carriers.

It looks pretty much like the iPhone 7 Plus, so it’s a large phone with a big 5.5-inch screen. The only real design change is that the iPhone 8 Plus has a glass back to allow for wireless charging. You’ll want to put a case on it to prevent damage and add extra grip — especially since it’s a large phone physically. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is still on the front of the phone and continues to act as a home button.

The dual cameras on the back offer zoom, wide angle, and Portrait mode, so it will take excellent photos that are slightly better than the ones you’d get from the iPhone 7 Plus.

The two-year-old A11 Bionic processor is still decent, though it may not work as well for as long given its age. Apple also started storage off at 64GB, which is excellent. Tech geeks will want to go up to 128GB or 256GB, but most of us will be happy with 64GB. It’s also got wireless charging and water resistance. 

The iPhone 8 Plus is a great phone that will make most people happy. It’s a good way to save a few hundred dollars.

Pros: Fast processor, wireless charging, dual cameras, big screen, fingerprint sensor

Cons: Large size is hard to hold, glass is fragile, not as high-tech as the 11

The best small iPhone for $450

At $449, the iPhone 8 is a good option if you want to save money, you want a small phone, and you don’t care about having two cameras. However, the rumored sequel to the iPhone SE is likely to be the better choice at $400 (assuming it’s real), so you may want to wait until March for a cheaper iPhone option.

The iPhone 8 is the best phone for people who want to save a lot of money on a smaller phone that’s easy to hold. If you aren’t ready to buy the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro or you think the iPhone 11’s 6.1-inch screen is too much for you, the iPhone 8 is a good option that will save you a lot of money.

It lacks the dual cameras of the iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, XS, 11, and other Plus models, but it has all the other features that the iPhone 8 Plus has, including wireless charging and a good processor.

From the front, it’s the spitting image of the iPhone 7, so it’s a smaller phone with a 4.7-inch screen. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is still on the front of the phone and continues to act as a home button. The only real design change is that the iPhone 8 has a glass back for wireless charging. You’ll want to put a case on it to add grip and protect it from breaking.

Since it’s the smaller model, it doesn’t have the dual cameras or Portrait mode, which is a shame. Still, the single rear camera is very good and takes lovely photos. The selfie camera is also quite good.

The A11 Bionic processor is still decent. Apple also started storage off at 64GB, which is excellent. Tech geeks will want to go up to 128GB or 256GB, but most of us will be happy with 64GB. It’s also got wireless charging and water resistance. 

The iPhone 8 is a decent smaller phone with most of the key features you want in an iPhone. It’s $100 cheaper than the iPhone 8 Plus, so it’s a decent deal for those of you who prefer small phones. you can also get deals on it now at many carriers since it’s a year old.

However, the iPhone 11 Pro is about the same size with a screen that’s nearly an inch bigger, dual cameras, and other great features. So if money isn’t a problem, you’ll get a compact phone with better tech and a bigger screen.

Pros: Easy to hold, wireless charging, new processor, more affordable than the XS and the 8 Plus, fingerprint sensor

Cons: Glass is fragile, no dual cameras

Don’t buy an iPhone 7 or older no matter what

Why you shouldn’t buy an old iPhone: Although the phone looks new, it has three- or five-year-old tech inside and it won’t last much longer.

Apple doesn’t sell the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or iPhone 5S anymore for a reason — these are three-to-six-year-old phones with old tech inside. These phones can still get the latest software update of iOS 12, but it is likely to be the last software update they will ever get. That means you’ll have an old version of iOS and any security problems that come with it. 

Your device will also slow down and crash occasionally because the processor and RAM are from three-to-four years ago, and therefore unequipped to handle new software and apps. Your battery life is also likely to take a hit because the phone will be working harder to accomplish even simple tasks like connecting to your cell network.

I know from experience. I had an iPhone 6 Plus that I had been using for about six months two years ago just to see how it runs. It stutters often. The battery doesn’t last as long as it used to, either, and it doesn’t always find my cell network right away. It works decently on iOS 11, but it is slower than it was on iOS 10. And now we’re on iOS 13.

You’ll be spending hundreds of dollars on a phone that won’t last more than a year or two. It’s a bad investment. You are much better off getting a newer iPhone model or buying a brand-new, but cheaper, Android phone.

As a tech geek, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the oldest iPhones I’d consider buying, because, at two years old, they’re a good deal. They will last you three years at least.

Check out your Android alternatives in the next slide

 

The best Android alternatives

Android phones are also great, so if you’re not totally committed to the iPhone, take a gander at these comparably priced options.

Instead of getting an older iPhone, get the Google Pixel 3a or 3a XL.

The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are excellent phones that are very affordable. They have excellent cameras that are capable of capturing impressive images that rival those of the new iPhone 11 lineup — especially in low-light conditions. They run clean Android and get regular software updates. The 3a is only $349.99 and the 3a XL is $379.99 — and both are often on sale for less.

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We also like these budget phones:

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