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HomeTechnologyGreatest iPhone in 2023: Which Apple Telephone Ought to You Purchase?

Greatest iPhone in 2023: Which Apple Telephone Ought to You Purchase?

Apple presently sells eight totally different iPhone fashions that date again to 2020. Examine that to when Steve Jobs launched the unique iPhone in 2007 the place the one choice was getting 4GB or 8GB of storage. Whereas there is no such factor as a real “finest” iPhone, relying in your wants, price range and preferences, some iPhone fashions will likely be higher for you than others. With the addition of the iPhone 14 sequence and the iPhone 11, 13 Professional and 13 Professional Max being discontinued, deciding on the suitable one will be complicated.

When it comes to costs, the present iPhone lineup begins as little as $429 for the 2022 iPhone SE and tops off at $1,599 for the iPhone 14 Professional Max with a whopping 1TB of storage. Under are the varied fashions, their launch date, the variety of rear cameras they’ve, their processor and their present checklist worth, which for some telephones features a $30 activation charge that is waived in the event you activate your iPhone on a provider on the time of buy. And in the event you’re searching for the finest iPhone offers, we have now you coated there too. 

Present iPhones, in contrast

Mannequin US beginning worth Display screen dimension No. of rear cameras CPU Launch date
iPhone SE $429 4.7 inches 1 A15 Bionic March 2022
iPhone 12 $629 6.1 inches 2 A14 Bionic October 2020
iPhone 13 Mini $629 5.4 inches 2 A15 Bionic September 2021
iPhone 13 $729 6.1 inches 2 A15 Bionic September 2021
iPhone 14 $829 6.1 inches 2 A15 Bionic September 2022
iPhone 14 Plus $929 6.7 inches 2 A15 Bionic October 2022
iPhone 14 Professional $999 6.1 inches 3 A16 Bionic September 2022
iPhone 14 Professional Max $1,099 6.7 inches 3 A16 Bionic September 2022

Whether or not it is the tiny iPhone 13 Mini and its 5.4-inch display or the 2020 iPhone 12, you even have loads of choices to decide on to your good cellphone. Navigating Apple’s iPhone spectrum will be overwhelming, whether or not you are contemplating colours (the iPhone 13 is available in six), or options just like the iPhone 14 Professional’s Dynamic Island, which expands and contracts to point out system alerts.

Then there are the cameras. The iPhone usually has among the finest cameras discovered on any cellphone. However the iPhone SE has only one on the again. The 12, 13, 13 Mini, 14 and 14 Plus every have dual-rear cameras. After which there’s the 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max that not solely have a trio of cameras however include options like the power to take ProRaw photographs or document ProRes movies.

Learn extraGreatest Wi-fi Earbuds for 2023: High Choices at Each Value

To additional complicate issues, carriers like AT&T, T-Cellular and Verizon in addition to third-parties like Greatest Purchase and Amazon proceed to promote discontinued fashions such because the iPhone 13 Professional and 13 Professional Max. After which there’s the costs. Apple’s beginning worth for every mannequin is not essentially what you will pay. Almost the entire telephones on this checklist will be purchased for considerably much less with a mix of trade-ins and/or service commitments with most US wi-fi carriers.

I do know, it is quite a bit. However I’ve examined all eight variations of the iPhone and might help you navigate via all of the noise.

James Martin/CNET

Once I reviewed the iPhone 14, I mentioned it was basically the iPhone 13 Professional’s processor and most important digital camera contained in the physique of an iPhone 13. Little doubt, some will likely be disillusioned that the iPhone 14 is not radically totally different from earlier fashions. However that is a part of its attraction. Familiarity has been one of many keys to Apple’s success with the iPhone. And because the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, do not repair it.”

The iPhone 14’s finest options are ones you could by no means see or use — and that is not essentially a foul factor. That features Crash Detection, which may notify emergency providers whenever you’re in an car accident. Beginning in November, you will get Emergency SOS by way of Satellite tv for pc that allows you to use a satellite tv for pc to message emergency dispatchers in locations with out cell protection.

And whereas the iPhone 14 has an almost equivalent flat-sided design because the iPhone 12 and 13, together with a ceramic defend masking and a waterproof physique, the within has been utterly redesigned. The 14’s back-glass is simpler and extra inexpensive to restore because it’s not hooked up to internals.

All telephones within the iPhone 14 sequence solely use eSIMs within the US and have a brand new selfie digital camera that for the primary time ever has autofocus. Add in a brand new video stabilization device known as Motion mode, an upgraded Cinematic mode that may seize 4K video at 24fps and iOS 16, and you’ve got a superb cellphone. Should you activate it on a provider, Apple drops the worth to $799. Learn our Apple iPhone 14 assessment.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

From the again, the $999 iPhone 14 Professional appears to be like equivalent to final 12 months’s 13 Professional. However do not let that sameness idiot you. It is the 14 Professional’s display the place there’s one thing totally different and great happening. The show notch, that outlined earlier Face ID iPhone fashions, has morphed right into a pill-shaped display cutout that may present system alerts and background actions like whenever you obtain a name or play music. Apple calls this performance the Dynamic Island. I do know, it is not one of the best title, but it surely’s actually the most effective options.

The iPhone 14 Professional has a 6.1-inch adaptive-refresh-rate display that adjusts between 1 and 120Hz relying on what’s on the display. It additionally will get upgraded cameras, a sooner processor, an always-on show, iOS 16 and new security options like Crash Detection and Emergency SOS by way of Satellite tv for pc. Driving all these upgrades is Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip, which in use feels peppy. 

The principle digital camera will get a brand new bigger 48-megapixel sensor. Whereas extra megapixels would not essentially imply higher photographs, Apple divides the pixels into teams of 4 and combines them into one bigger pixel. The result’s a 12-megapixel picture that is brighter and has much less picture noise and higher element.

The iPhone 14 Professional is the the most effective telephones launched by Apple or any phone-maker this 12 months. Learn our Apple iPhone 14 Professional assessment.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The $729 iPhone 13 remains to be a superb cellphone. Actually, in the event you’re tempted by the iPhone 14 and need to avoid wasting cash, seize a 13. They’ve basically the identical physique, similar display and similar A15 Bionic processor. Though technically, the iPhone 14’s processor does have an additional GPU core.

The iPhone 13, just like the 12 earlier than it, is outlined by its square-sided design. It helps 5G, MagSafe charging and has cameras on par with those from 2020’s top-of-the-line iPhone 12 Professional Max.

However the iPhone 13’s finest function is its bigger battery that, in our assessments, lasted 4.5 hours extra on a single cost than the iPhone 12, and almost 3 hours longer than the brand new iPhone 14.

The 13 additionally has Cinematic mode, which is mainly a video model of Portrait mode, and iOS 16, This all provides as much as a superb cellphone. The iPhone 13 earned a 2021 CNET Editors’ Alternative Award. Additionally, in the event you activate it on a choose provider at buy, Apple drops the worth to $699. Learn our Apple iPhone 13 assessment.

James Martin/CNET

The $929 iPhone 14 Plus is both an enormous iPhone 14 or a scaled-back iPhone 14 Professional Max, relying in your perspective. Ever because the iPhone XS Max launched in 2018, there was just one choice for individuals who love large screens: Pay high greenback and get a Max mannequin with further options you may not essentially want (like a telephoto digital camera or a excessive refresh price show). I do know many CNET readers, associates and colleagues who’ve shelled out $1,100 or extra for an iPhone 12 Professional Max or 13 Professional Max as a result of it was the one solution to get a cellphone within the dimension they wished. However that modifications now.

The 14 Plus has the entire iPhone 14’s options and, just like the 14 Professional Max, it has a 6.7-inch show that offers you a bigger canvas for watching movies, enjoying video games and taking photographs. The 14 Plus can both allow you to match extra onto the display or simply present all the pieces the iPhone 14 does however a lot greater. A magnified view looks as if such an earthly function, but as my eyes become old, I undoubtedly welcome it.

If you’re deciding between the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Professional Max and you do not want a telephoto digital camera, a high-refresh-rate display or further weight, I say go together with the 14 Plus and save $200. Should you activate it on a provider, Apple drops the worth to $899. Learn our Apple iPhone 14 Plus assessment.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Who mentioned small telephones do not exist in 2022? The $629 iPhone 13 Mini is good as a result of it has all the pieces the iPhone 13 has — it is simply smaller. It has the identical square-edged appears to be like, assist for 5G and the identical cameras. The 13 Mini’s defining function is its 5.4-inch OLED display that helps Dolby HDR. If that sounds too small, think about that Plus fashions, just like the iPhone 8 Plus, had a 5.5-inch display inside a a lot bigger physique. The 13 Mini’s secret is that it lacks these large brow and chin bezels that outlined the iPhone for its first decade.

The display is roofed with Apple’s ceramic defend and the physique, like almost all telephones on this checklist, has an IP68 score for mud and water resistance. The 13 Mini has an A15 Bionic processor which places it on the identical degree of efficiency because the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus.

The iPhone 13 Mini is the very same worth because the iPhone 12, however the Mini really lasts longer on a single cost than the larger iPhone 12. I solely advocate you get the 13 Mini for its dimension. Should you aren’t OK with a small cellphone, you is likely to be disillusioned or pissed off. And in the event you activate it on a provider, Apple drops the worth to $599. Learn extra in regards to the Apple iPhone 13 Mini.

James Martin/CNET

The $1,099 iPhone 14 Professional Max is only a large model of the iPhone 14 Professional. It has the identical A16 Bionic processor, the identical cameras and the identical options. However it does differ in two large methods from the 14 Professional: It has an even bigger 6.7-inch high-refresh price display and an even bigger battery. Actually, in our assessments, the iPhone 14 Professional Max had the longest battery lifetime of any cellphone on this checklist.

The iPhone 14 Professional Max is excellent in each manner. However I solely advocate getting it in order for you an even bigger Professional mannequin iPhone, as a result of it weighs quite a bit. It is 34 grams heavier than the iPhone 14 Professional and 37 grams heavier than the iPhone 14 Plus. Most of that weight comes from the 14 Professional Max’s stainless-steel physique. Learn our Apple iPhone 14 Professional Max assessment.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The $629 iPhone 12 and its flat-sided design marked the start of the present technology of Apple telephones. Of all the pieces on this checklist, it is the oldest but in addition one of many least expensive, particularly if you wish to snag an iPhone with a up to date look and Face ID.

The iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch show coated in Apple’s ceramic defend for sturdiness, a still-very-fast A14 Bionic chip, 5G assist and MagSafe charging.

The iPhone 12 earned a 2020 CNET Editors’ Alternative Award. Should you select to get an iPhone 12 and may afford to pay $50 extra, I undoubtedly advocate upgrading from 64GB of storage to 128GB. The iPhone 12 begins at $629, however in the event you activate it on a provider, Apple drops the worth to $599. Learn our Apple iPhone 12 assessment.

Kevin Heinz/CNET

At $429, you would possibly suppose the one attraction of the iPhone SE (2022) is its worth. And admittedly that could be a large issue. On the skin, the iPhone SE has the identical physique because the iPhone 8, which makes it the one iPhone on this checklist that also has Contact ID. On the within, the SE has the identical A15 processor because the iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 14 and 14 Plus which takes the 2017 digital camera {hardware} and offers it an injection of Apple’s computational images magic.

The SE represents the traditional iPhone design however with the added potential to run the most recent model of iOS and apps. One of many quieter updates in 2022 was that the SE’s again was upgraded to the again glass used on the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini. The iPhone SE is solely your most inexpensive manner into all of Apple providers like FaceTime, iMessage and iCloud. Learn our Apple iPhone SE (2022) assessment.

Key phrases


An eSIM takes the entire essential details about your cellphone account — together with its quantity, wi-fi provider and subscription — and shops it in software program as an alternative of on a bodily SIM card.

With the iPhone 14, Apple eliminated the bodily SIM card tray and embraced embedded SIM playing cards. This implies you cannot simply pluck your SIM card out of your present cellphone and put it into a brand new one. However this should not have an effect on your expertise since all the key US carriers and a lot of smaller operators work with eSIM.

Apple has lengthy supported eSIM, relationship all the best way again to 2018’s iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. When establishing a brand new iPhone 14, the system will information you thru transferring your present supplier over to the brand new cellphone. A listing of supported wi-fi networks will be discovered on Apple’s web site.

iOS 16

Apple’s iOS 16 is the most recent model of Apple’s iPhone software program. It is on the iPhone 14 by default and can be accessible as an replace for the iPhone 8 and later. iOS 16 consists of new options similar to customizable lock screens, an replace to the Messages app that enables for unsending and enhancing iMessage texts and new picture enhancing instruments.

How we check telephones

We consider every iPhone mannequin on its total high quality, options, design, efficiency, cameras, battery life and worth. We check telephones in the true world, utilizing them as our most important system to make calls, play video video games, take photographs and browse apps and social media. We doc our experiences in an preliminary assessment which we periodically replace with extra assessments and evaluating them in opposition to new telephones from different corporations like Samsung, Google and OnePlus.

Pictures is commonly a serious focus and we take footage and movies of various topics in a wide range of settings and lighting eventualities. We check out any new digital camera modes, similar to Motion mode that debuted with the iPhone 14 line.

Battery testing is performed via each assessments of how lengthy the cellphone lasts throughout a typical day of use, and by noting how the cellphone performs throughout extra centered classes of video calls, media streaming and gaming. CNET additionally conducts a video playback check, which is not at all times included in preliminary variations of the assessment since it may well take a full day to run.

We use benchmarking apps to measure the efficiency, alongside our personal anecdotal experiences utilizing the cellphone for our assessment. We’ll additionally evaluate how the cellphone appears to be like, feels and features to different iPhone fashions — as an illustration evaluating the iPhone 14 Plus with a 6.7-inch display in opposition to the equally sized iPhone 14 Professional Max.

We additionally consider whether or not a more recent model consists of sufficient options to make it price upgrading from older fashions.



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