The best iPhone 2022: which Apple phone is for you?

Best iPhones against an orange TR background
(Image credit: TechRadar / Apple)

Knowing what the best iPhone is can be tricky. With so many different options at different price points, where do you begin? Besides the latest models, there are older models to consider too, with each catering for different users, budgets, and needs. 

With new models recently launching in the form of the iPhone 14 line, things can feel even messier. The newest family of iPhones is made up of four models and we've reviewed the whole line; comprised of the standard iPhone 14, the new big-screened iPhone 14 Plus, the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

They're all available now but what should you buy?

Fortunately, we're on hand to help you figure out which iPhone is best for you. We've reviewed every model of iPhone and we can confidently say that the range includes some of the best smartphones and best camera phones ever made. 

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 too.

We've looked at key factors such as screen quality, performance, camera quality, and battery life, so you can find the best iPhone for your needs. We've ranked them all below, along with a quick overview and specs list, so you can see at a glance what works for you.

Whether you're considering the affordable iPhone SE (2022) or the latest high-end iPhone 14 Pro Max, or anything else right, down to older and smaller models, we're here to help. We've even included a couple of options that suit anyone seeking out the best cheap phones too.

If your heart is set on one of Apple's latest iPhones, you can also head over to our iPhone 14 deals roundup to find the best iPhone 14 offers.

The best iPhone 2022

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max full home screen

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

Specifications

Weight: 240g
Dimensions: 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.9mm
OS: iOS 16
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1290 x 2796
CPU: A16 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 4,323mAh
Rear camera: 48MP+12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Bold new camera upgrades
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Longevity can vary wildly
-
3x zoom is now lagging behind the market

The latest everything iPhone brings a higher resolution camera, better battery life, more performance, all-new functionality and... no notch, to the table.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max takes over as the new head of the household in Apple's iPhone portfolio offering the same sizeable 6.7-inch 120Hz display as last year but granting it now power efficient always-on functionality and ditching the long-standing notch in favor of the new Dynamic Island.

The iOS 16-based (out the box at least) user experience offers a number of new features, and works with the Dynamic Island to offer adaptive functionality from this new display element that breaks away from the bezel.

For the iPhone 14 generation, only the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max get a taste of Apple's latest and greatest mobile silicon – the A16 Bionic – which delivers class-leading performance and improved power efficiency over its predecessor.

That chipset also supports the new triple camera array, which for the first time showcases a 48MP quad-pixel lead sensor that offers superior photography and video capabilities than its predecessor, as well as 2x lossless optical zoom, without the need for an additional sensor. This main snapper comes accompanied by an improved ultrawide and a familiar 3x telephoto camera, that's arguable one of the 14 Pro/Pro Max's weakest bits of hardware.

Provided you're okay with its large size and big price tag (which is pricier year on year in markets like the UK and Australia), there's no greater iPhone than the new iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro full back

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
The power of the Pro Max made more pocketable

Specifications

Weight: 206g
Dimensions: 147.5 x 71.5 x 7.9mm
OS: iOS 16
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1179 x 2556
CPU: A16 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 3,200mAh
Rear camera: 48MP+12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding performance
+
Powerful new camera

Reasons to avoid

-
High(er) price YoY
-
Still Lighting (no USB-C)

If the iPhone 14 Pro Max is too big or too expensive for your tastes, the standard iPhone 14 Pro is the perfect antidote.

The latest Apple A16 Bionic chip underpins one of Apple's best iPhones ever, not to mention it's now one of the most powerful phones on the market. While the 6.1-inch screen size remains from its predecessor (the iPhone 13 Pro), like the 14 Pro Max, this generation of Pro shrugs the notch in favor of the new Dynamic Island – a smart new cutout within the display that houses the Face ID components but also adapts to offer a range of functionality, from music playback controls to connecting AirPods and more.

While ProMotion tech means visuals can range from 10Hz to a super-smooth 120Hz in general use, a new 1Hz mode enables always-on display functionality, paired to smart new lock screens, courtesy of iOS 16.

The rear triple camera is now fronted by a 48MP main sensor that takes better stills and video than any of its predecessors while also serving as the most versatile iPhone camera to date; narrowing the gap with key camera rivals, from the likes of Samsung and beyond.

Provided you can swing the high asking price, the 14 Pro operates as one of the most capable phones on the market, while also being more pocket friendly than the Pro Max.

An iPhone 13 Pro Max being held in a hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
One of the most power big-screened iPhone experiences

Specifications

Weight: 240g
Dimensions: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.7mm
OS: iOS 15
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1284 x 2778
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: Up to 28 hours
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Useful camera upgrades
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
120Hz screen is minimal upgrade
-
Cinematic mode is quite basic

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best and most exciting of Apple’s iPhone 13 range, with the battery life being an unexpected highlight. This thing can last and last, and while it’s not quite up there with the very longest-lasting phones, it’s easily got some of the best battery life on an iPhone to date.

There’s also a whole lot of power here, with Apple’s A15 Bionic chipset providing significantly better performance not just than previous iPhones, but also than any Android phone. That said, we mostly know this thanks to benchmark scores – in the real world most users will struggle to truly tap into its potential.

The camera has also seen an upgrade, with low light shots particularly impressing, and the new macro mode opening the iPhone range up to a whole new type of photography.

In practice, the hyped Cinematic mode and 120Hz screen didn’t impress us as much, and we're pleased that this is the last Pro with a notch (now that the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max have introduced the Dynamic Island), but overall this is a fantastic upgrade for Apple’s Max line, and it's still one of the very best iPhones.

Apple iPhone 14 Plus back

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Big screen, big battery but no Pro price premium

Specifications

Weight: 203g
Dimensions: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.7mm
OS: iOS 16
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1284 x 2778
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 4,325mAh
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Great design and build quality
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
60Hz, notched display feels dated
-
Last year's chipset

While fans were made to wait a little longer for the fourth member of Apple's 2022 iPhone 14 series, the iPhone 14 Plus replaces the mini entry from the previous two generations, instead dragging the slider the other way and offering a super-sized iPhone experience that, in recent years, was exclusive to the line's Pro Max entries.

As such, you get a 6.7-inch display, similarly to the 14 Pro Max, however, the rest of the phone's sensibilities are more closely tied to the standard iPhone 14, with the same dual 12MP rear cameras and enhanced A15 Bionic chip lifted from the previous year's iPhone 13 Pro, as well as a repeat of the notch instead of the 14 Pro line's flashy new Dynamic Island.

The display is still 60Hz too, but better cooling and more modest display tech twinned with the Plus' large battery means it delivers some of the best iPhone battery life ever. Apple claims it's also easier to repair... in places.

An iPhone 13 Pro being held in a hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The better iPhone 14

Specifications

Weight: 204g
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: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: Up to 22 hours
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Strong battery life
+
Great performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited design changes
-
4K ProRes limited in 128GB

The iPhone 13 Pro has most of the same strengths and weaknesses as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, with its battery life being a highlight in our tests, if not quite as good as the Max model, and its A15 Bionic chipset providing stunning amounts of power.

Eagle-eyed users might notice that the iPhone 14's most notable upgrades borrow from the 13 Pro; with the same lead 12MP camera and the enhanced five-core GPU variant of the A15 at its heart.

Provided you can get a good 13 Pro deal that undercuts the 14, you get the same lead camera and chip but also gain a 120Hz ProMotion display, faster charging, better battery life, a better camera system, more memory and a nice finish, to name but a few benefits.

Speaking of the camera, the 13 Pro debuted macro mode; for taking clearer photos of tiny subjects. Elsewhere, you also get that 120Hz screen, and a slightly refined design – including a smaller notch, compared to the 12 Pro.

Collectively, these factors mean this is still an outstanding iPhone for those who want a relatively compact 6.1-inch display, or don’t want to spend as much as the iPhone 13 Pro Max costs. Hopefully, now that its successors are here, pricing will continue to drop too.

Apple iPhone 14 wet

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
A minor but powerful upgrade

Specifications

Weight: 172g
Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm
OS: iOS 16
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1170 x 2532
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 3,279mAh
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Nice camera improvements
+
Unique new features

Reasons to avoid

-
Relies in previous year's internals
-
Still no 120Hz screen

Apple made an interesting move with its iPhone 14 lineup, splitting chipsets between the standard and Pro models. As such, the base iPhone 14 uses the same A15 Bionic chipset as the previous year's iPhone 13 Pro (the one with a five-core GPU).

In real-world use, this differentiation will make very little difference, with superb performance and benchmarking results that stand strong against most Android rivals.

Along with the chip, Apple has also pull the 13 Pro's superior 12MP main camera onto the iPhone 14, while the notch (which was made smaller with the 13 series) now plays host to a new slicker autofocus-capable 12 MP front-facing camera.

Apple also added SOS satellite functionality and car crash detection to the whole iPhone 14 range, so if you're likely to find yourself out in the wilderness without signal more than the average user, this might be what sets the 14 apart from its predecessor.

The five launch colors also include a tasteful pastel purple that the iPhone 13 lacks.

An iPhone 13 mini being held in a hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Still the best small iPhone out there

Specifications

Weight: 131g
Dimensions: 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.7 mm
OS: iOS 15
Screen size: 5.4-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: A15 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/
Battery: 2,438 mAh
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous design
+
Great hardware

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited charging compatibility 
-
Higher price than previous model

While the iPhone 14 line is now here, one big omission is a new mini iPhone, making the iPhone 13 mini the last of its kind right now.

The iPhone 13 mini is arguably still the best small phone on the market, thanks to a gorgeous compact design and some great hardware under the hood.

Its 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED screen is smaller than many smartphones, but that means the phone fits comfortably in your hand and is easy to use single-handed. It looks great too, being notably brighter than the iPhone 12 mini before it.

The camera is similarly improved year on year, with a 12MP f/1.6 wide camera packing 1.7µm pixels for better low-light performance, paired to a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide camera with 120-degree field of view. Low-light performance is remarkably good on this camera too. What's more, it's all backed up by Apple's A15 Bionic chipset

The iPhone 13 mini is small yet mighty and still one of the only worthwhile options for small phone lovers.

An iPhone SE (2022) being held in a hand

(Image credit: Future)
The best budget 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
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

The iPhone SE (2022) is the best cheap iPhone, as well as being the first – and at the time of writing only – mid-range iPhone to support 5G.

That’s a major selling point, and a second big selling point is the presence of the same A15 Bionic chipset as you’ll find in the iPhone 13 range, meaning this has more power than most Android flagships, despite costing far less.

With a slim, lightweight build too and a compact display and design, the iPhone SE (2022) is also a great choice for anyone who wants a smaller iPhone – though it can’t quite match the iPhone 13 mini there.

Its design is at this point very dated though, thanks to big bezels above and below the display, and it’s more expensive than its predecessor, despite still being affordable. If not for those issues this might rank even higher.

An iPhone 13 being held in a hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Great iPhone bang for your buck

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+12MP
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

+
Strong battery life
+
Powerful internals

Reasons to avoid

-
Minimal design changes
-
No 120Hz screen

The iPhone 13 wasn't the biggest yearly iPhone upgrade we saw when it arrive 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.

In our review, we found that the battery life in particular was improved, 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 the design, which includes a smaller notch, and by the sheer amount of power this phone still has to offer, thanks to its A15 Bionic chipset. Apple claimed this had a 50% faster CPU than the competition at launch, 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 doesn't move past 60Hz. Even so, this is still a superb device with plenty of life left in it.