Apple’s iPhone range has grown into a wide–ranging, and often confusing, lineup of different devices released over several years. With wildly different prices and specs - and some models only available second-hand - there's plenty of variety, which means there should be something for everyone.
So which iPhone should you choose? Apple has you covered whether you’re a tech newbie or a hardcore enthusiast after the very latest in cutting edge smartphone technology. Here’s our guide to helping you make the right decision on which is the best iPhone in 2022.
Ready to start shopping? Take a look at our best iPhone deals.
The 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max is the latest flagship release from Apple. It's the biggest handset of the new range with a stunning OLED Super Retina XDR display, complete with 120Hz refresh rate.
It's powered by the new A16 Bionic chip, and includes exciting new features like the Dynamic Island animated notch, an always on display, and 48MP camera.
You want the premium iPhone 14 in the biggest size
You want the latest and best features
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Apple's 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro is the flagship smartphone in the lineup. This 5G handset boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, Dynamic Island, and the powerful A16 Bionic Chip.
The iPhone 14 Pro camera is also improved with a new 48MP lens.
You want the latest premium iPhone
You want the best smartphone tech
Apple's iPhone 14 series is here.
The 6.1-inch iPhone 14 boasts a Super Retina XDR display that's iseal for streaming, sharing, scrolling, and anything else you mighht want to do with a smartphone.
The handset's A15 Bionic chip gives it the power you need, and an all-day battery life keeps it working throughout the day. It's also more affordable than its Pro counterpart.
You want a new iPhone but don't need the premium Pro handset.
You don't want a super-sized handset
The 2022 iPhone range has seen the debut of an iPhone 14 Plus, it's replaced the mini in a big way - literally. The new iPhone 14 Plus has exactly the same features as the regular iPhone 14, just with a large, 6.7-inch display.
You want a big iPhone for less than the Pro Max
You want an iPhone with the latest specs abd features
The 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max is Apple's biggest, and most powerful smartphone from last year's range. It's every bit the premium smartphone with all the top-of-the-line features you could need – 120Hz Super Retina XDR display, super-strong Ceramic Shield, powerful A15 Bionic chip, 5G connectivity and more.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max camera set up includes ultra wide lens, 3x telephoto zoom and spectacular features such as macro photography and 4K UHD cinematic video recording.
You want the biggest iPhone 13 of the range
You want premium features but don't need the very latest tech
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Apple's flagship 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro 5G smartphone has a 120Hz refresh rate, which means a better scrolling, viewing and gaming experience all round.
The iPhone 13 Pro camera has some serious smartphone photogprahy technology, from cinematic video recording to the incredible macro shooting feature, even casual camera users will be able to take stunning images.
You want an increidbly powerful iPhone with top quality tech
You want to take incredible photos with your iPhone
The standard 6.1-inch iPhone 13 comes with a bright, sharp, Super Retina XDR display that's got the same ultra-tough Ceramic Shield material keeping it protected.
It has the A15 Bionic chip and took on trickle-down tech from the iPhone 12 Pro to deliver premium photos from its dual camera setup.
You want the new iPhone that's an excellent all-rounder.
You want a bigger option than the iPhone 13 mini
The 2021 selection of Apple smartphones has seen another version of the smallest premium iPhone you can buy - the iPhone 13 mini. It might be small but it's not lacking specs. In fact, it's pretty much the same as the standard iPhone 13, just in a smaller frame.
Priced at £699, it's also a good bit cheaper than the Pro versions of the iPhone 13 range decent chunk cheaper than the iPhone 12 Pro.
You want one of the latest iPhones at a more affordable price
You want an iPhone that's smaller and easier to hold in one hand
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has all the premium features you want - 5G, edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display, ultra-tough Ceramic Shield, fast A14 Bionic chip and more.
The Pro camera set ups are truly top tier - industry-leading dark mode, expansive ultra wide and zooming telephoto. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has gone one step further with the inclusion of Apple ProRAW for even more control over your photos.
You want an iPhone with a large screen and great specs
You want to have professional level control over your photos with Apple ProRAW
Compare iPhone 12 Pro Max deals
The iPhone 12 Pro is a seriously impressive device. Complete with 5G connectivity, the iPhone 12 Pro has an edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display that's protected by Ceramic Shield, which makes it 4x stronger than any previous iPhone.
The iPhone 12 Pro camera setup includes Ultra Wide and Telephoto features so you can take exciting, varied photos. The iPhone 12 Pro also has a LiDAR Scanner so you can play around with augmented reality and for wireless charging we see the return of Apple's MagSafe tech.
You're not fussed about having the latest iPhone, but still want great specs
You want one of the best cameras found on a smartphone
The iPhone 12 model has a stunning edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display that delivers bright colours and sharp details. And it's tougher than ever thanks to the new Ceramic Shield front cover.
Powered by the A14 Bionic chip, the iPhone 12 is fast and smooth. With a dual-camera system setup on the back complete with wide and ultra wide lenses, your photos just got a whole lot better. And at £799, it's a a fair bit less than the iPhone 12 Pro.
You want a quality iPhone that does everything well
You want larger screen than the iPhone mini
With essentially the exact same specs as the iPhone 12, it's small in size but not small in features, and it's a decent chunk cheaper than the iPhone 12 Pro.
You want an iPhone for less
You want a smaller iPhone that easily fits in your hand
The latest Apple iPhone SE is a lot cheaper than the iPhone 14 range. With a design that looks a lot like the classic iPhone 8, but with much improved specs, this could be the cut price iPhone we’ve all been waiting for.
The iPhone SE starts out at £449 - more than half the price of the iPhone 13 Pro and considerably less than the iPhone 14. It’s even cheaper than a lot of other smartphone on the market.
But despite the cheap price, the specs aren’t lacking. It’s powered by the A15 Bionic chip, one of the fastest processors you can find in any smartphone. It also comes in three colours - black, white and red and it’s pre set with iOS 15, the same operating system you’ll find on the top-tier iPhones complete with new features like dark mode.
It’s smaller than the latest iPhones too, measuring up at 4.7-inches. So if you’re one of those people who finds the latest super-screen smartphones a bit of a handful, the iPhone SE could be perfect.
Well, like we said it’s smaller than a lot of the smartphones being released these days, so if you’re used to watching content on a big screen you might be a bit disappointed.
Design wise, the iPhone SE sticks to the classic design of the iPhone 8 - complete with a home button. Whilst this will no doubt be a welcome return for some, others may find the look a bit dated.
You want a new iPhone for almost half the price
You want a smaller iPhone that comfortably fits in your pocket
You miss the home button
The Pro is a step up from the standard iPhone 11. The screen is brighter and more brilliant, and the camera more advanced, with three lenses on the back giving you far more opportunities to take some amazing photos.
It's also more subdued than the iPhone 11 in terms of style, coming in a range of muted colours.
It's like the iPhone 11 on steroids. Because it has an OLED screen instead of LCD, it's brighter, and the difference between the light and dark parts of the picture are far more evident. That means the bright parts will really pop from the screen, while the darker parts will be inky black. It also has more gradual 'steps' in between these two extremes, giving the picture more detail.
Three lenses on the back let you zoom in and out of photos you've already taken, shifting the focus or adding in more of the surroundings for more context. But unlike some mobile cameras, it's still very simple to use.
The colour scheme is more muted than the iPhone 11 too, reflecting its more sophisticated nature. It comes in four colours: grey, silver, green and gold.
And despite being more advanced than the iPhone 11, it's a little smaller than it, with a 5.8-inch screen (the iPhone 11's is 6.1 inches).
All these advances come at a cost. The cheapest model costs £1,049, and that only gives you 64GB of storage - not much, considering how many photos you'll be taking with that awesome camera. The next step up is 256GB, which will cost you £1,199, and the highest capacity model (512GB) will set you back £1,399. Ouch.
It's also smaller than the iPhone 11, albeit only marginally. Still, if you're paying this much, you might want a bigger handset.
You want a step up from the standard iPhone 11
Photography is very important to you
You're not fussed about having the biggest phone around
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is the same phone as the iPhone 11 Pro - same amazing camera, same brilliant screen tech and same superfast processor. It even comes in the same colour schemes.
It's massive. The screen is 6.5 inches large, which is bigger than the iPhone 11 Pro (5.8 inches) and iPhone 11 (6.1 inches). That makes it great for watching videos like films and TV shows, as well as playing games. Netflix addicts, this is the phone for you.
It has the same three camera arrangement as the iPhone 11 Pro, giving you fantastic photography options like the ability to zoom in and out of photos you've already taken. Night mode makes your evening shots a whole lot clearer, while the A13 Bionic processor keeps everything moving smoother than a samurai sword through hot butter.
Its biggest strength is also its biggest weakness - 6.5 inches will be too big for some people. As well as being potentially unwieldy to use, it will take up a lot of room in your bag or maybe even not fit in your pocket. Not ideal.
It's also Apple's priciest iPhone. The 64GB model costs £1,149, the 256GB £1,299 and the 512GB £1,499. So it's for big spenders only.
You want the biggest and best iPhone available
You can live without a brightly coloured phone
You watch a lot of content on your phone
Compare iPhone 11 Pro Max deals
Like the iPhone X before it, the XR comes without a physical home button. So if you haven’t used a new iPhone in a while, you’ll have to learn a bunch of new gestures to perform basic functions, such as closing apps and returning to the homescreen.
Although it might feel like a lot to get used to, Apple’s intuitive new gestures feel like second nature within a matter of hours. And without a home button taking up room, the screen can fill the front of the phone, giving you a widescreen display in your pocket.
As we mentioned, one of the main reasons to choose the XR is the price. Although, at £629 for the entry-level XR, it’s certainly not a cheap phone, it’s considerably less expensive than the iPhone 11, which starts at £729.
And for the money, you’re still getting all the best bits of an iPhone without the some of the costlier extras. The camera’s still great, the screen’s still lovely and the design still looks high-end.
It’s available in lots of bright colours, including yellow and coral shades. So the iPhone XR is actually a lot more eye-catching than the understated elegance of its costlier sibling, the iPhone XS.
As you’d expect from the price, the iPhone XR isn’t quite as good as the XS. It only comes with a single-lens camera, rather than an expensive dual-lens setup, and the screen doesn’t shine quite as bright.
Still, the camera and screen work well and only the most discerning of phone users would be able to notice much of a difference.
But however good the iPhone XR is, it might not be the device for you if you don’t like big phones. Slightly shorter and wider than the mighty XS Max, the XR can feel a bit unwieldy in smaller hands, and can be a pain to use one-handed.
You want a mid-range iPhone
You’re happy to do without a couple of premium features
You can handle a large handset
The sequel to 2017's much-loved iPhone X, the XS is certainly a worthy successor. It comes with a stunning all-screen front, slimmer bezels (edges) than the cheaper iPhone XR and a fantastic dual-lens camera.
Smaller than the XR and the XS Max, it’s more comfortable to use and will slip easily into your jeans pocket.
It’s one of the most durable iPhones on the market, with a waterproof rating of IP68. This means it can survive in two metres of water for up to 30 minutes. And although it’s made of glass, it’s said to be the strongest glass used on a smartphone. So it’s a lot tougher than it looks.
The stand-out feature of the XS range is undoubtedly the camera. Although a dual-lens setup is now considered fairly standard on even mid-range Android devices, the XS snapper gives you nigh-on professional images.
The Portrait mode has been improved since the iPhone X and photos taken in low-light are surprisingly clear and detailed.
Elsewhere, although the screen size is smaller than that on the XS Max, it’s just as bright. And, as we’ve said before, this only makes it easier to use one-handed.
Unsurprisingly, the main factor that puts people off the XS is the price. And, when there are cheaper alternatives, such as the XR and iPhone 8 that’ll still perform really well, it’s not difficult to see why people are opting for the less expensive versions.
Besides which, it’s not all that different to the iPhone X. And for this price Apple’s asking, you’d really want something genuinely innovative.
Having said that, if you’ve got the money, this is still a brilliant iPhone. And the quality of the camera alone makes it worth the extra.
You want a great iPhone without spending big
A smaller handset suits you best
Having an excellent camera phone really matters to you
With a big screen, the XS Max is truly a thing of beauty. The screen is huge, the camera impressive and battery life pretty long.
Although its size may make it difficult to use one-handed or slip into your skinny jeans pocket, having a big display certainly has advantages. If you like streaming movies or playing video games, they’ll look so much better on the XS Max.
And it’s powered by a nice big 3,174mAh battery. But with a screen this size, it needs a big powerpack to keep it going all day on a single charge.
The XS Max has the same camera as the standard XS, which means stunning portrait shots and some pretty amazing low-light capabilities.
But, as we’ve mentioned before, the main attraction of the XS Max is the 6.5-inch super AMOLED screen that fills the front of the device, bar the small notch at the top that houses the selfie camera and flash.
The larger size may make it feel like more of a phablet. But as people move more and more towards using their smartphones in place of their laptops, tablets and TVs, a large display is becoming increasingly important.
Although the larger screen greatly improves the experience when watching films, playing games or multitasking, a huge handset doesn’t work for everyone. And if you’ve got small hands, you might be better off opting for a more compact device.
Of course, the other main reason you’ll likely be put off the XS Max is the price. Apple doesn't sell it any more, but when it did, it ranged from a hefty £1,099 for the 64GB model, all the way up to a positively iWatering £1,449 for the 512GB version.
And for that, you’re not getting anything greatly different to anything seen on the iPhone X, apart from a larger screen and an improved camera.
You’re happy to pay for more than the iPhone XS
You like a hefty handset
You’re after a big and beautiful screen
2017's top-of-the-range iPhone was the first Apple smartphone without a physical home button, a mainstay since the first iPhone was unveiled in 2007. The result is a striking-looking phone with a screen that takes up the entire front of the handset.
The less good news, at least for people who are wedded to their home buttons, is that means you’ll have to learn a whole new set of gestures to use core functions, such as closing apps.
It features the very best in OLED screen tech, a dual lens camera and Face ID, Apple’s facial unlocking security that’s light-years ahead of the competition.
The iPhone X was the first Apple phone to come with Face ID. Apple’s impressive new facial-scanning tech is lightning-fast, unlocking the device even quicker than the Touch ID fingerprint scanner found on older iPhones. And it’s more secure too.
Elsewhere, the iPhone X’s dual-lens camera has some great photography features, including a fantastic portrait mode that lets you blur out background details to bring the subject of your snaps into razor-sharp focus, and a superb zoom function.
It also has a larger aperture that lets in more light for better snaps in low-light conditions.
The stunning all-screen front gives the iPhone X an entirely different look to all previous iPhone models. And it really pops when watching back 4K video and the latest shows on Netflix and Amazon.
It also comes with clever new features that simply aren’t available on older iPhones, such as Animoji, which lets you personalise emojis to sound like you and mimic your facial movements.
And it supports for wireless charging too.
Unsurprisingly, the main downside of this gorgeous iPhone is the price. When Apple sold it, it started at £999 SIM–free, rising to £1,149 for a 256GB model. Contracts that include a free phone start at a shade over £50 per month, at the time of writing.
Aside from this, it’s hard to ignore the notch at the top that eats into the screen area and can be very distracting when you’re using apps that require the full screen.
Considering Apple is so renowned for its attention to design details, it’s a bit disappointing it didn’t find a way around it.
Some users also found the fact there’s no home button hard to get to grips with and had to learn new gestures to use the phone. But for what it’s worth, we found we soon got comfortable with the iPhone X and fully up to speed in a week or so.
Owners of traditional earphones should take note that there’s no headphone slot. So you’ll either have to use the adapter or splash out on a wireless pair.
You're not wedded to your home button
You don’t mind paying a higher price
You’re an avid photographer and use your phone as your main camera
To the untrained eye, the iPhone 8 looks much like 2016’s iPhone 7. But under the bonnet, it features much more advanced tech, as well as an impressive camera and a pin-sharp screen.
The iPhone 8 has the same reassuringly familiar, comforting design that has worked so well for years, with a home button and Touch ID present and correct.
But winningly, it comes with an A11 Bionic processor, identical to that found inside the far more expensive iPhone X. So it runs incredibly quickly and smoothly, even when multitasking. And it can be charged wirelessly too.
Unlike the iPhone 7, Apple isn’t slowing down the iPhone 8’s performance to boost battery life. At least not yet. So you probably won’t have any issues with iOS updates for a while.
Although there are some key differences, the iPhone 8 isn’t a huge upgrade on the iPhone 7, and comes with the same camera tech and design as its predecessor.
And seeing as it isn’t available in a 32GB storage option, there isn’t a truly affordable option for the 2017 iPhones.
The battery life isn’t quite as good as we were expecting either.
You want a powerful phone without the bells and whistles of the iPhone X
You want an iPhone that fits in your pocket
You’re after a large screen phone that sticks to the same design as Apple’s classic iPhones
The larger version of Apple’s iPhone 8 improves on the standard iPhone 8 a solid dual lens camera and large battery, keeping things ticking over for longer. In a nutshell, it’s the 2017 take on the iPhone 7 Plus, with many of the same features as that 2016 market leader.
Much larger than the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus is much better for watching videos and playing games.
Aside from the obvious size difference though, the main benefit of choosing the Plus version rather than the standard iPhone 8 is the stunning dual-lens camera.
It comes with lots of different modes, including an excellent portrait mode for what photography enthusiasts call ‘bokeh’ shots. That’s when you blur out the background and foreground your subject in super sharp focus.
The all-glass construction means you can charge it wirelessly. And the iPhone 8 Plus battery lasts much longer than the one on the iPhone 7 Plus too.
It has the latest A11 processor so it performs really well, even when you’re multitasking.
Although the iPhone 8 Plus isn’t quite as pricey as the iPhone X, it’s not cheap. At the time of writing, the cheapest monthly contracts still come in at around £30 a month.
And for that money, you’re not getting a great deal more than you would with the iPhone 7 Plus. While the rear camera is excellent, it’s virtually identical to its predecessor and doesn’t offer anything particularly new or exciting.
Like the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus don’t have a headphone slot. So you’ll need to choose between using the adaptor included in the box or think about getting yourself a pair of wireless headphones.
You want a relatively recent iPhone without the hefty price tag
You’re a heavy phone user and need a device with a good battery life
You watch a lot of videos on your phone and crave a screen that’ll do them justice
Now this is going back a bit. The iPhone 7 was released in 2016. While it has many of the same features as the iPhone 8, it comes with a much lower SIM–free price tag.
As we say, the iPhone 7 and 8 certainly have a lot in common. Both have a great single-lens camera and come with the same LCD screen that’s great for watching videos without taking up too much room in your pocket.
The iPhone 7 also has a waterproof rating of IP67, meaning it can survive in up to a metre of water for half an hour.
Although the iPhone 7 doesn’t have the lightning-quick A11 processor, the A10 will keep it running quickly and smoothly, even when you try to open multiple apps.
And the jet-black version is by far the best-looking, and frankly the coolest, colourway we’ve ever seen on an iPhone.
The main downside of getting an iPhone 7 is that it’s likely to become slower as newer iOS versions become available.
Apple has admitted to using software updates to deliberately slow down older iPhones, in a move it says is designed to stop devices from dying too quickly.
Still it’s not the end of the world. Replacement batteries can be bought under Apple’s iPhone battery replacement programme.
Elsewhere, the iPhone 7 doesn’t have wireless charging. Which won’t be a sticking point for too many people, unless you’ve already forked out for a wireless charging mat.
And like its newer siblings, it has no headphone slot. But again you can get round this with the adaptor or some wireless buds.
You want a recent(ish) iPhone, without the premium price tag
You don’t care too much about the iPhone 8’s incremental updates
You’re accident-prone enough to need a waterproof phone
The larger, 5.5–inch model from Apple’s 2016 lineup was the first to feature a dual-lens camera. Even all these years later, it still rivals much of the competition and helps set the device apart from the smaller iPhone 7.
The dual-lens camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is still among the best on any smartphone. It’s got a stunning portrait mode that helps you take flattering shots with minimal know-how.
The design of the handset is ultra-sharp, arguably better than the newer iPhone X. Certainly if you’re a bit of a traditionalist, you’ll love the look and feel of the 7 Plus.
The large screen makes video look particularly impressive. So there’s no need to invest in a tablet.
As with the iPhone 7, Apple is slowing the iPhone 7 Plus down in a bid to save batteries from dying. So you may notice a significant dip in performance when you upgrade your version of iOS.
And for all that, it’s still pretty pricey at the places that still sell it.
Also, there’s no headphone slot.
You love a good camera but don’t want to stump up extra for an iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X
You want a big, bright screen for watching videos and playing games
You like the look and feel of a traditional iPhone
2015’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are still alive and kicking through third-party retailers. The second set of iPhones to offer larger displays, they may have come to the end of their shelf life, but they still make a good bet for iPhone and Apple first timers.
While they don’t have the fancy dual-lens tech of the newer generations, both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus come with excellent single-lens cameras that’ll still give you great results even in low-light.
The phone itself runs quickly and smoothly and handles multitasking with aplomb.
And the iPhone 6s Plus is great for those who want the iPhone experience on a larger screen, but without the budget-busting cost of an iPhone X.
Although they're pretty cheap as iPhones go, they're still iPhones. So you can get better specced phones for less money.
And crucially, Apple is slowing these older models as it updates iOS. So you’ll probably need to take advantage of the iPhone battery replacement programme.
You want a way into the iPhone ecosystem and need a big screen
You’re after a good deal and you’re not too worried about Apple’s latest frills
The 4–inch iPhone remains a classic. With the same design as the old–school iPhone 5s,the iPhone SE’s size and simplicity, not to mention its affordability, means it’s a must–have for those after a slice of Apple action without the need to take out an expensive contract.You can just pick the SE SIM-free and sign up for a cut-price SIM only deal.One of the main selling points of the iPhone SE is its compact size. Its dinky 4–inch screen means it can be used one–handed, even by people with dainty fingers.And it’s pretty cheap too. The SIM-free 32GB model can be found online for around £200 SIM–free.Despite the small size and price, it’s actually rock solid. It feels far sturdier than the glass iPhone X and iPhone 8 and can survive the occasional drop.The iPhone SE is nearly four years old. So it’s subject to being slowed down by Apple to prolong its life.And an imminent update means you could miss out on new features later on.
You want to try an iPhone for the first time
You like a phone that actually fits in your pocket
You want an iPhone for under £200
The iPhone 13 series is Apple's latest range of iPhones. It's made up of the standard iPhone 13, smaller iPhone 13 mini, premium iPhone 13 Pro and the super-sized iPhone 13 Pro Max. Check out all our best iPhone deals.
The iPhone 13 is the best all round iPhone to buy in 2022. Great design, excellent specs, brilliant screen, and all for a little less than the premium iPhone 13 Pro models. Find the ideal iPhone 13 deal today.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max has the best camera ever seen on an iPhone, or any other type of smartphone. The 12MP camera array features Telephoto, Wide and Ultra Wide cameras as well as a range of settings and ehancements such as a LiDAR scanner and nightmode.
To find out what iPhone you're using, just go into Settings > General > About and then you'll see a range of information about your specific iPhone including the model, software version, capacity and more.
VPN - or virtual private network - is a service you can use if you want to hide your IP address, secure your data, browse online anonymously and more. Many VPN providers have apps that work on Apple iPhones, just head to the App Store and search for VPN to find a selection of iPhone-compatible VPN options.Take a look at all our best iPhone SE deals.Need help choosing the right provider for you? Confused by roaming charges? Whatever your query, we've got you covered with our mobile phone guides.