The best iPhone 2024: which Apple smartphone reigns supreme?

Best iPhone: quick menu

Choosing the best iPhone isn't simply a task of selecting a model from Apple's latest iPhone 15. While you can't go wrong with one of these phones, a specific model might be better for you than the others. Plus there's no harm in looking a generation back for a bargain iPhone. 

We know every single iPhone inside and out, so you can be confident that our recommendations are based on expert knowledge, in-depth analysis, and intelligent comparisons between other iPhones and rival phone-makers. Below, we've looked at key factors such as screen quality, performance, cameras, and battery life, so you can find the best iPhone for your needs. While the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the very best iPhone you can buy today, we still recommend you peruse other Apple phones that might suit your needs and budget better. 

Once you've trawled through our findings, and your heart is set on picking up one of Apple's latest iPhones, head over to our iPhone 15 deals roundup for the latest offers. Alternatively, our best iPhone deals page has a list of discounts currently available on older iPhone models. 

Already got an iPhone? If you're in the market for some top-tier protection, check out our pick of the best iPhone 13 cases, best iPhone 13 Pro cases, best iPhone 14 casesbest iPhone 14 Pro cases and best iPhone 15 cases.

Quick List

The best iPhone in 2024 

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Below, you'll find full write-ups for each of the best iPhones in our list. We've tested each model extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best iPhone overall

iPhone 15 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
The best iPhone overall

Specifications

Release date: September 2023
Weight: 221g
Dimensions: 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25mm
OS: iOS 17
Screen size: 6.7 inches
Resolution: 2796 x 1290 pixels
CPU: A17 Pro
RAM: 8GB (unofficial)
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 4,422mAh (unofficial)
Rear camera: 48MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + 12MP (telephoto with 5x optical zoom)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous albeit subtle redesign
+
Excellent photography

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier baseline (but more storage)
-
Charging should be faster

If you want the very best iPhone money can buy right now, then the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the phone for you. It comes with a refined design in the form of UBC-C connectivity and a new titanium chassis that's lightweight and lovely to the tough. 

A new periscope 5x telephoto camera improved the largest iPhone's zooming capabilities, making for a more flexible rear camera suite. Speaking of which, the iPhone 15 Pro Max boasts a 48MP quad-pixel main lens and a 12MP ultra-wide lens, making it the most capable and versatile iPhone yet for mobile photographers.

Beyond its photography capabilities, the iPhone 15 Pro Max packs an excellent 6.7-inch Super XDR OLED screen (with ProMotion), and Apple's all-new A17 Pro chipset, which delivers mobile gaming performance comparable to some high-end PCs (yes, really).

In other words, when it comes to iPhones, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best of the best, but you'll have to pay handsomely for the privilege of owning one.

Read our full iPhone 15 Pro Max review

iPhone 15 Pro review front flat angled handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The best iPhone for most people

The best iPhone for most people

Specifications

Weight: 187g
Dimensions: 146.6 x 70.6 x 8.25 mm
OS: iOS 17
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 2556 x 1179
CPU: A17 Pro
RAM: 8GB (unofficial)
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 3,274mAh (unofficial)
Rear camera: 48MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + 12MP (telephoto with 3x optical zoom)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding performance
+
Beautiful titanium design

Reasons to avoid

-
No change to battery longevity or charging
-
3x telephoto zoom no longer Apple's best

If you prefer the palm-friendly size of Apple's 6.1-inch iPhones to its supersized Max devices, then the iPhone 15 Pro is the best iPhone available right now. Its larger sibling may have a slightly superior 5x periscope zoom lens, but in every other department, the iPhone 15 Pro can be thought of as exactly the same phone for a more reasonable (though still expensive) price.

For starters, this is an undeniably beautiful handset. The iPhone 15 Pro boasts a gorgeous titanium design that can withstand unwelcome drops more effectively than its predecessor, and the addition of a USB-C port makes this a more versatile device, too (in terms of both charging and compatibility).

The iPhone 15 Pro's stunning 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED screen (with ProMotion) is unchanged from the (also excellent) iPhone 14 Pro, but this time, everything is underpinned by Apple's all-new A17 Pro chipset, which promises console-level gaming performance and supreme multi-tasking capabilities.

On the back, you're getting a 48MP quad-pixel main lens and a 12MP ultra-wide lens, along with a 12MP telephoto lens that's capable of 3x optical zoom. As mentioned, that last figure is bettered by the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but the iPhone 15 Pro's overall camera setup still ranks among the best on the market; everyday users will find more than enough photographic power here. 

Sure, the $999 / £999 / AU$1,849 asking price is high, but the iPhone 15 Pro will almost certainly see you through the next four or five years without issue.

Read our full iPhone 15 Pro review

The best value iPhone

iPhone 15 review images

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
The best value iPhone

Specifications

Weight: 171g
Dimensions: 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.80mm
OS: iOS 17
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 2556 x 1179
CPU: A16 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 3,349mAh (unofficial)
Rear camera: 48MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Dynamic Island retires the notch
+
Smooth design and soft-feel, color-infused rear glass

Reasons to avoid

-
No zoom lens
-
No macro capabilities

Not as flashy as the iPhone 15 Pro models, the iPhone 15 is for people who want a powerful Apple phone with flagship features but don't want to drop a grand on a phone. As such, the iPhone 15 is the best value iPhone right now. 

What it lacks in titanium sides, 120Hz scrolling or high-spec zoom photography, the standard iPhone 15 still has plenty to offer in both performance and phone photography, as well as a slick smartphone experience. 

You get a 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED display, a fast A16 Bionic chipset, a USB-C port, a supremely capable 48MP main camera and Apple’s smart digital screen cut-out, the Dynamic Island, all delivered in a sleek and eye-catching design package.

In recent years, Apple's standard models have felt like minor upgrades that pale in comparison to their respective Pro-level counterparts, but the iPhone 15 bucks that trend by being a genuinely great value product.

Read our full iPhone 15 review

The best budget iPhone

An iPhone 13 being held in a hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best budget iPhone

Specifications

Weight: 174g
Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm
OS: iOS 15
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1170 x 2532
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: Up to 19 hours
Rear camera: 12MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Strong battery life
+
Powerful internals

Reasons to avoid

-
Outdated design
-
No 120Hz screen

The iPhone 13 wasn't the biggest yearly iPhone upgrade we'd ever seen when it arrived in 2021, but almost every aspect of it is a little better than the iPhone 12, which means it's still a brilliant iPhone overall. More importantly, though, it's the cheapest iPhone (bar the iPhone SE) that Apple still sells.

In our review, we found that the phone's battery life was particularly impressive, with the iPhone 13 making it through every day that we used it without needing a top-up before bed.

We were also impressed by its design, which includes a smaller notch (versus the iPhone 13), and by the sheer amount of power that this phone still has to offer, which comes as a result of its A15 Bionic chipset. At launch, Apple claimed that the iPhone 13 had a 50% faster CPU than the competition, and while that’s hard to confirm, this is certainly a speedy phone.

The lack of a 120Hz screen, which saw its iPhone debut on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, is a shame, and it's doubly upsetting that even its successor didn't move past 60Hz. Even so, this is still a superb device with plenty of life left in it. If you're looking for a cheap iPhone to see you through the next couple of years, this is it.

Read our full iPhone 13 review

The best iPhone for battery life

iPhone 15 Plus review front straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

5. iPhone 15 Plus

The best iPhone for battery life

Specifications

Weight: 201g
Dimensions: 160.9 x 77.8 x 7.8mm
OS: iOS 17
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1290 x 2796
CPU: A16 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 4,383mAh
Rear camera: 48MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra-wide)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional performance
+
Superb battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No Action Button
-
Still only a 60Hz display

The iPhone 15 Plus takes everything that's great about the standard iPhone 15 and supersizes it, meaning this is the handset to go for if you prefer the 6.7-inch size of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but don't want to spend big on its various bells and whistles (read: you can do without that 120Hz refresh rate).

This year's model gets all the same benefits as the standard iPhone 15 – USB-C, the Dynamic Island, the A16 Bionic chip, the 48MP main camera, and so on – but the Plus also benefits from battery life that is, quite frankly, the best we've ever seen on an iPhone. 

Seriously, the iPhone 14 Plus impressed with its battery longevity last year, but the iPhone 15 Plus reaches new heights on the juice front. It doubles the screen-on time of phones like the Motorola Edge 40 Pro / Edge Plus 2023 (5.25 hours of screen-on time) and even Apple's own iPhone 15 Pro (5.5 hours of screen-on time), with a record (by our own testing) 10.25 hours of screen-on time. This equates to up to two days of use per charge, although we'd more confidently tell you to expect a day's use no battery percentage peeping required.

Read our full iPhone 15 Plus review

The best small iPhone

An iPhone SE (2022) being held in a hand

(Image credit: Future)
The best small iPhone

Specifications

Weight: 144g
Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
OS: iOS 15
Screen size: 4.7-inch
Resolution: 750 x 1334
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64/128/256GB
Battery: 2,018mAh
Rear camera: 12MP (wide)
Front camera: 7MP

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful for the cost
+
A 5G iPhone that's still affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Starts at only 64GB storage
-
Screen is cramped

With the iPhone 13 mini now officially discontinued, the 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2022) is the new best choice for anyone who prefers a smaller iPhone.

This dinky, classic-looking iPhone was actually the first mid-range iPhone to support 5G, which was a major selling point at the time. The presence of the same A15 Bionic chipset as you’ll find in the iPhone 13 range continues to be a big plus, too, meaning this phone has more power than most Android flagships, despite costing far less.

With a slim, lightweight build and a compact display, the iPhone SE (2022) is supremely comfortable to use, but, at this point, it also feels very dated, with big bezels positioned above and below the display. It’s more expensive than its predecessor, too, despite still being affordable in 2024. If not for those issues, this iPhone might rank even higher.

Read our full iPhone SE (2022) review

FAQs

What is the best iPhone?

The best iPhone is usually one of the latest numbered models, but the value of each will depend on your specific needs. If you want a big screen, go for a Pro Max (the latest and greatest is the iPhone 15 Pro Max). For top specs in a smaller size, pick a Pro, and if you want to save some money, then get a standard model or the latest SE.

Which iPhone is the best value for money?

Right now, the iPhone that offers the best value for money is the iPhone 15, although the iPhone 13 Pro remains a strong choice if you're keen on the benefits of a Pro-level iPhone but don't want to spend big on a model with the Dynamic Island.

How to choose the best iPhone?

A lot of iPhones are quite similar to one another, so choosing which model to buy mostly just means seeing what's different between them and finding the right fit for you.

All iPhones are powerful, and Apple supports them for a long time, so age and chipset needn't be a big deal, but if you don't want to upgrade for a long time then a newer model with a faster chipset is ideal.

Bigger factors, though, include the screen size – and bigger isn't always better. If you want something compact that you can easily slip into a small pocket, then consider one of the mini or SE models. But if you plan on doing a lot of gaming or video-watching, then something larger would be better.

Resolution and refresh rate are also worth paying attention to for the optimal visual experience – the higher the better in both cases, so ideal options will have things like a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution above 1080p.

Camera quality and battery life are important considerations, too, and you can't get a full picture of these just from a specs list, so read our full entries above (or click through to our detailed reviews) for insights into how each phone fares in those departments.

How we test

We've reviewed every phone on this list, so for each, we've passed our expert judgement on them after extensive testing. This testing saw us use each phone as our main handset for at least a week, and often longer.

In the process, we would explore various use cases, including calls, texts, social media, video streaming, gaming, taking photos and more, with some heavy use days and other lighter ones.

In short, we use our iPhones just like you would – but we make sure to test every key feature, as well as running benchmark tests, checking