Home Technology Finest iPhone in 2023: Which Apple Telephone Ought to You Purchase?

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



Apple at present sells eight totally different iPhone fashions that date again to 2020. Evaluate that to when Steve Jobs launched the unique iPhone in 2007 the place the one possibility was getting 4GB or 8GB of storage. Whereas there isn’t any such factor as a real “finest” iPhone, relying in your wants, price range and preferences, some iPhone fashions will probably be higher for you than others. With the addition of the iPhone 14 collection and the iPhone 11, 13 Professional and 13 Professional Max being discontinued, deciding on the suitable one might 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 assorted fashions, their launch date, the variety of rear cameras they’ve, their processor and their present checklist value, which for some telephones features a $30 activation payment that is waived if you happen to activate your iPhone on a service on the time of buy. And if you happen to’re searching for the finest iPhone offers, now we have you coated there too. 

Present iPhones, in contrast

Mannequin US beginning value Display 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 a number of choices to decide on in your good telephone. Navigating Apple’s iPhone spectrum might 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 sometimes has among the finest cameras discovered on any telephone. 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 file ProRes movies.

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To additional complicate issues, carriers like AT&T, T-Cellular and Verizon in addition to third-parties like Finest 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 value for every mannequin is not essentially what you will pay. Almost the entire telephones on this checklist might be purchased for considerably much less with a combination of trade-ins and/or service commitments with most US wi-fi carriers.

I do know, it is rather a lot. However I’ve examined all eight variations of the iPhone and will help you navigate by all of the noise.

James Martin/CNET

Once I reviewed the iPhone 14, I mentioned it was primarily the iPhone 13 Professional’s processor and major digital camera contained in the physique of an iPhone 13. Little question, some will probably be disenchanted 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 chances are you’ll by no means see or use — and that is not essentially a nasty factor. That features Crash Detection, which might notify emergency companies once 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 a virtually similar flat-sided design because the iPhone 12 and 13, together with a ceramic defend protecting and a water-proof physique, the within has been fully redesigned. The 14’s back-glass is less complicated and extra reasonably priced to restore because it’s not hooked up to internals.

All telephones within the iPhone 14 collection 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 instrument known as Motion mode, an upgraded Cinematic mode that may seize 4K video at 24fps and iOS 16, and you’ve got a superb telephone. When you activate it on a service, Apple drops the worth to $799. Learn our Apple iPhone 14 evaluate.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

From the again, the $999 iPhone 14 Professional seems to be similar to final yr’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 occurring. 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 once you obtain a name or play music. Apple calls this performance the Dynamic Island. I do know, it isn’t the most effective title, nevertheless it’s actually probably the greatest 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 quicker 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 primary digital camera will get a brand new bigger 48-megapixel sensor. Whereas extra megapixels does 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 photograph that is brighter and has much less picture noise and higher element.

The iPhone 14 Professional is the probably the greatest telephones launched by Apple or any phone-maker this yr. Learn our Apple iPhone 14 Professional evaluate.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The $729 iPhone 13 continues to be a superb telephone. In truth, if you happen to’re tempted by the iPhone 14 and need to avoid wasting cash, seize a 13. They’ve primarily 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 exams, lasted 4.5 hours extra on a single cost than the iPhone 12, and practically 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 telephone. The iPhone 13 earned a 2021 CNET Editors’ Alternative Award. Additionally, if you happen to activate it on a choose service at buy, Apple drops the worth to $699. Learn our Apple iPhone 13 evaluate.

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 possibility for many who love huge screens: Pay high greenback and get a Max mannequin with additional options you won’t essentially want (like a telephoto digital camera or a excessive refresh price show). I do know many CNET readers, mates 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 telephone within the dimension they wished. However that adjustments 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 provides you a bigger canvas for watching movies, taking part in video games and taking photographs. The 14 Plus can both allow you to match extra onto the display or simply present every thing the iPhone 14 does however a lot greater. A magnified view looks as if such an earthly function, but as my eyes grow old, I positively 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 additional weight, I say go together with the 14 Plus and save $200. When you activate it on a service, Apple drops the worth to $899. Learn our Apple iPhone 14 Plus evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Who mentioned small telephones do not exist in 2022? The $629 iPhone 13 Mini is sensible as a result of it has every thing the iPhone 13 has — it is simply smaller. It has the identical square-edged seems to be, help 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 practically 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 value because the iPhone 12, however the Mini truly lasts longer on a single cost than the larger iPhone 12. I solely advocate you get the 13 Mini for its dimension. When you aren’t OK with a small telephone, you may be disenchanted or pissed off. And if you happen to activate it on a service, 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 huge 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 huge methods from the 14 Professional: It has a much bigger 6.7-inch high-refresh price display and a much bigger battery. In truth, in our exams, the iPhone 14 Professional Max had the longest battery lifetime of any telephone on this checklist.

The iPhone 14 Professional Max is excellent in each manner. However I solely advocate getting it in order for you a much bigger Professional mannequin iPhone, as a result of it weighs rather a lot. 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 evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The $629 iPhone 12 and its flat-sided design marked the start of the present technology of Apple telephones. Of every thing on this checklist, it is the oldest but additionally one of many least expensive, particularly if you wish to snag an iPhone with a recent 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 help and MagSafe charging.

The iPhone 12 earned a 2020 CNET Editors’ Alternative Award. When you select to get an iPhone 12 and might afford to pay $50 extra, I positively advocate upgrading from 64GB of storage to 128GB. The iPhone 12 begins at $629, however if you happen to activate it on a service, Apple drops the worth to $599. Learn our Apple iPhone 12 evaluate.

Kevin Heinz/CNET

At $429, you would possibly assume the one enchantment of the iPhone SE (2022) is its value. And admittedly that may be a huge issue. On the surface, 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 provides it an injection of Apple’s computational pictures magic.

The SE represents the traditional iPhone design however with the added capability 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 reasonably priced manner into all of Apple companies like FaceTime, iMessage and iCloud. Learn our Apple iPhone SE (2022) evaluate.

Key phrases


An eSIM takes the entire necessary details about your telephone account — together with its quantity, wi-fi service and subscription — and shops it in software program as a substitute 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 telephone 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 way in which again to 2018’s iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. When establishing a brand new iPhone 14, the machine will information you thru transferring your present supplier over to the brand new telephone. An inventory of supported wi-fi networks might 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 also be obtainable as an replace for the iPhone 8 and later. iOS 16 consists of new options equivalent to customizable lock screens, an replace to the Messages app that permits for unsending and enhancing iMessage texts and new photograph enhancing instruments.

How we check telephones

We consider every iPhone mannequin on its general high quality, options, design, efficiency, cameras, battery life and worth. We check telephones in the actual world, utilizing them as our major machine to make calls, play video video games, take photographs and browse apps and social media. We doc our experiences in an preliminary evaluate which we periodically replace with further exams and evaluating them in opposition to new telephones from different firms like Samsung, Google and OnePlus.

Images is commonly a significant focus and we take photos and movies of various topics in quite a lot of settings and lighting situations. We check out any new digital camera modes, equivalent to Motion mode that debuted with the iPhone 14 line.

Battery testing is performed by each assessments of how lengthy the telephone lasts throughout a typical day of use, and by noting how the telephone performs throughout extra targeted periods 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 evaluate since it may possibly take a full day to run.

We use benchmarking apps to measure the efficiency, alongside our personal anecdotal experiences utilizing the telephone for our evaluate. We’ll additionally evaluate how the telephone seems to be, feels and features to different iPhone fashions — for example 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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