O crystal ball of consumer techie, share your wisdom - say which iPhone is right for me!
...which is what you’d say if such a thing existed. Sadly, it doesn’t (yet), but we at TechRadar will try to answer your iPhone-related queries you haven’t even asked yet. One of those is, inevitably, which iPhone of the many out there would suit you best.
This may well be the best iPhone on the market if you want the best all-around handset running iOS 13 and are willing to pay top dollar for it. Apple’s handsets are pricey, but they frequent the top spots on our best smartphone lists.
But that’s not what everyone is looking for. You might want to know which has the best cameras, or which of the latest iPhone 11 line is best for you - and everyone wants to know which of the cheapest iPhones is best.
Likewise, you might want to know which forthcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals will include discounts on that iPhone you’ve been eyeing, so we put together a best Black Friday iPhone deals page (or our best UK Black Friday iPhone deals on the other side of the pond). Make sure to bookmark those and keep checking back to see what new deals have cropped up.
So scroll down to see our answers to your anticipated queries, or click on the link to zoom down to certain questions. Good luck, and happy iPhone deal hunting!
Which iPhone is the best?
Objectively, the best iPhone you can buy right now is the iPhone 11 Pro Max. It has slightly more battery capacity than the standard iPhone 11 Pro (with its 5.8-inch screen), but that’s to be expected, as the Max (6.5-inch screen) is much larger.
Specs-wise, they’re identical, so the choice comes down to your preferred size - the Pro is small enough to hold in one hand, while the Pro Max has a bigger screen to watch shows and videos.
Which iPhone is the cheapest?
The absolute cheapest iPhone is...the cheapest you can find online! It’s a bit of a trick question, so let’s break it down. You can likely still find the crowd favorite (and smallest sized) iPhone SE, or the iPhone 6S for about the same price on third-party sites - all of which are compatible with iOS 13, but the oldest phone Apple sells itself is the iPhone 8.
Keep in mind that Apple rarely drops prices of iPhones, and never during deals seasons - only after a new phone has come out. But third-party retailers often discount older iPhones during these deal events - check big box retailers’ physical and online storefronts to save even more.
Which iPhone should I get on Black Friday?
Sadly, Apple’s premium appeal extends to its prices, and its newer phones are rarely discounted during deals seasons - so don’t expect to save any money off the new iPhone 11 series during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. At best, retailers will package the full-priced phones with gift cards or other amenities.
Thankfully, the older and lower-cost models do get discounted by retailers (not Apple itself, of course). Expect good deals on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, as well as the iPhone X (which Apple no longer sells) and the iPhone XR.
Which iPhone 11 should I get?
What a great and challenging question! The answer, O seeker, is pretty simple.
Do you want absolutely everything? Get an iPhone 11 Pro.
Do you want a larger phone, and are willing to pay for it? Get an iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Do you want to save the most money while still getting almost all the perks? Get an iPhone 11. You’ll probably be just fine without the extra telephoto lens and OLED screen.
Which iPhone has the best camera?
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max both have the most advanced cameras Apple has to offer: a 12MP f/1.8 main lens with OIS, a 12MP f/2.0 2x optical telephoto, and a 12MP f/2.4 ultrawide camera with a 120-degree field of view. They look a bit goofy on the back of the phone, but such is the price of progress.
As a budget flagship, the iPhone 11 drops the telephoto in its compromise for lower price- but honestly, you probably won’t miss it much, as the main and ultrawide lenses are very versatile, and you’ll still get the same fantastic photography software.
Which iPhones are waterproof?
Short (and semantic) answer: none of them, technically, as iPhones are only rated for water resistance. The iPhone 8, iPhone X and iPhone XR use the industry standard IP system and is rated at IP67, which means it can be submerged in water to a depth of 1 meter for up to half an hour.
If you want the absolute best water protection you can get right now, the iPhone XS/XS Max and all the iPhone 11 generation are rated IP68, which should resist being dunked in up to 2 meters of water for 30 minutes.
Which iPhones have portrait mode?
Apple’s famous Portrait Mode began on the iPhone 7 Plus because it was the first iPhone with dual cameras, which enabled the signature blurred background, depth-of-field effect.
Only dual-rear-lens iPhones have Portrait mode...with the exception of the iPhone XR, which used software to simulate the effect (though at reduced quality and only for people, not objects).
Which iPhones have wireless charging?
The iPhone 8 and iPhone X, released at the same time, were the first iPhones to get wireless charging - and all newer iPhones support it, too. Their glass backs allow the handsets to use charging pads using the Qi standard to recharge their batteries, no plugging in required.
Unfortunately, Apple’s not on the cutting-edge of wireless charging, so they only charge up to 7.5W - don’t buy any wireless charger fancier than that, as you won’t get any benefit.
Which iPhone should I get?
That answer is trickiest of all - it depends on what you really want in a new phone. If you want a the best mix of quality with value and are buying straight from Apple, we recommend the iPhone 11.
If you can find it at a discount elsewhere, the iPhone XR is a good compromise, and the iPhone X has been so discounted that you can likely pick it up on the cheap. Finally, if you’re a TouchID holdout, then the iPhone 8 is the fanciest iPhone you can get right now.
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David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.