Which iPhone should I buy?

Which iPhone should you buy

The iPhone 15 is official. Apple unveiled the four-strong family during a slick presentation in California on Tuesday 12 September, and it launched in stores on 22 September. The handsets certainly look impressive. They offer new designs, whizzy new features and better cameras than their predecessors. But they also cost a pretty penny.

It’s also the first iPhone to ditch Apple’s lightning charger in favour of USB-C, in accordance with EU laws. This means that your old iPhone charger won’t fit in an iPhone 15. But any standard USB-C charger that works with most gadgets nowadays, including almost all recent Android phones, tablets and even some PCs and Macs, should fit your iPhone 15 phone.

The big question is: are Apple’s latest phones worth upgrading to? Can you now get last year’s iPhone for less? Or should you just stick with your current iPhone and grab a cheap SIM only deal instead?

In this guide, we’ll run you through the new models, what they offer and what they cost so you can make an informed decision.

iPhone 15 price and pre-orders

The bad news is that the iPhone 15 isn’t cheap. The good news? It’s not as expensive as was feared. And the even better news is that the older iPhones have fallen in price since the announcement.

Here are the prices for all the models of iPhone 15 with their corresponding storage sizes:

  • iPhone 15: £799 (128GB); £899 (256GB); £1099 (512GB)
  • iPhone 15 Plus: £899 (128GB); £999 (256GB); £1199 (512GB)
  • iPhone 15 Pro: £999 (128GB); £1099 (256GB); £1299 (512GB); £1499 (1TB)
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: £1199 (256GB); £1399 (512GB); £1599 (1TB)

The iPhone 14 range has dropped in price. The standard iPhone 14 now starts at just £699, which is a price cut of £150 compared to when it launched a year ago. That’s to buy it outright. We should see price cuts on contract prices, too. So whatever kind of phone deal you’re looking for, there should be bargains around.

Of course, if you’re happy to hang onto your current phone, be it iPhone, Android or anything else, you can save a fortune with a SIM only deal. Here you pay a set amount for data, calls and texts each month. And because you’re not paying for a handset, they’re much cheaper than contract deals. You can also get a SIM plan on a monthly rolling contract, which gives you the flexibility to switch after 30 days.

Which is the best iPhone?

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is Apple’s best iPhone to date, with incredible camera specs, a big battery and a powerful processor to allow you to seamlessly game, stream and scroll. But it also has the heftiest price tag, with the 1TB version selling for £1,599 SIM-free on Apple’s website.

If you’re not sure which iPhone is right for you, read on as we talk you through everything you need to know about Apple’s handsets to help you decide which one to get. And if you upgrade to any of the iPhones in this list, you’ll be able to enjoy fast 5G speeds wherever they’re available, provided you’re signed up to a 5G plan with your network.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro Max range

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is Apple’s newest flagship phone. It boasts a 6.7-inch screen with a lightning fast 120Hz refresh rate, meaning little to no blurring. The new A17 Bionic chip makes it one of the most powerful phones ever made. Meanwhile the new periscope lens camera zoom lets you get closer than ever to your subject.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is right for you if:

  • You want the biggest and best iPhone
  • A good camera is important to you

iPhone 15 Pro

The second best model of iPhone 15 has most of the features of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but with the same size screen as the standard iPhone 15. The iPhone 15 Pro is ludicrously powerful, endlessly capable, and while it’s cheaper than the Pro Max, it’s still one of the pricier non-folding phones available.

The iPhone 15 Pro is right for you if:

  • You prize power over size
  • You want the features of the Pro Max with a slightly smaller price tag

iPhone 15 Plus

iPhone 15 and 15 Plus lineup

The iPhone 15 Plus is bigger than both the standard iPhone 15 and the 15 Pro, but it lacks the Pro’s power and some of the features. It’s basically the same as the iPhone 15, but with a bigger screen.

The iPhone 15 Plus is right for you if:

  • You use your phone lots for games and movies
  • You don’t need the extra power of the iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15

The standard model. The iPhone 15 is a big improvement over the iPhone 14, with the Dynamic Island giving you extra functionality, a better camera and a faster processor. If those are important to you, it could be worth the extra spend over the cheaper iPhone 14.

The iPhone 15 is right for you if:

  • You need a better camera than the iPhone 14
  • The Dynamic Island will make you more productive

iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max lineup

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the biggest handset in the iPhone 14 family which takes the power of the iPhone 14 Pro and gives it a bigger screen. The 6.7-inch display dwarfs the 6.1-incher of the 14 Pro, and it has a slightly longer battery life, but otherwise its specs are nigh-on identical to the 14 Pro.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is right for you if:

  • A long battery life is important to you
  • You want size and power without the price tag of the iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro

Taking a step down in the iPhone 14 range, the iPhone 14 Pro boasts the same features as the 14 Pro Max (including the Dynamic Island), just with a smaller screen and slightly shorter battery life. But it still packs plenty of power.

The iPhone 14 Pro is right for you if:

  • You want the Dynamic Island by paying the least amount possible
  • You want the extra power for games

iPhone 14 Plus

iPhone 14 and 14 Plus lineup

Want to go big? The iPhone 14 Plus offers the same size screen as the 14 Pro Max, but without the always-on and Pro Motion technologies. The 6.7-inch screen has the same resolution as the Pro Max’s, making everything look nice and sharp, but inside it has mostly the same specs as the iPhone 14.

The iPhone 14 Plus is right for you if:

  • You want a big screen without the extra power
  • You don’t need the Dynamic Island

iPhone 14

Last year’s iPhone is still a great phone. Since the Mini variant was axed, the standard iPhone became the entry-level model in the range, with a smaller screen than the Plus and Pro Max, and less power than the Pro versions. But for most of us, the iPhone 14 will do just fine, with a great camera, plenty of speed and a new, lower price tag. The battery life isn’t quite as long as we’d like, though.

The iPhone 14 is right for you if:

  • You don’t need the latest and greatest model
  • A smaller phone suits you better

iPhone 13 Pro Max

iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max lineup

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the top-of-the-range model in the iPhone 13 family. Bigger than the iPhone 13 Pro and more powerful than the iPhone 13, it has a 6.7-inch, ProMotion screen. Although it doesn’t have the same always-on functionality as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. It also misses out on the Dynamic Island, and has a slightly less advanced camera.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is right for you if:

  • You want a big phone on a budget (for an iPhone, at least)
  • You don’t need an always-on screen or Dynamic Island

iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro adds an extra camera lens for more versatile photography, more zoom options and a longer battery life over the standard iPhone 13. But it offers the same 6.1-inch screen (although it also has ProMotion technology, which doubles the refresh rate, meaning less blur).

The iPhone 13 Pro is right for you if:

  • You want a powerful iPhone that doesn’t break the bank
  • Size isn’t important to you

iPhone 13

iPhone 13 and 13 Mini lineup

It’s starting to look a little under-powered in the face of the iPhone 14 and 15 ranges, but the iPhone 13 still has plenty to offer. The dual camera system is more than capable for point-and-shoot photographers, it still feels fast enough for all but the most demanding of tasks and build quality is typically robust. But the slightly less impressive battery life might be a sticking point for you.

The iPhone 13 is right for you if:

  • You’re a casual phone user
  • You don’t dig into the details with smartphone photography

iPhone 13 Mini

This was the last Mini iPhone Apple launched before canning the model in favour of the much bigger Plus model. Which is a shame as, for many, the 5.4-inch screen was the perfect size. The lower battery life turned off plenty of punters. But apart from that, the iPhone 13 Mini has the same specs as the standard iPhone 13.

The iPhone 13 Mini is right for you if:

  • You want a small iPhone
  • You don’t need the newer bells and whistles

iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max lineup

The big daddy of the iPhone 12 range, the 12 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR screen, three rear cameras and the best battery life of any phone in the range. It’s no longer cutting edge, seeing as it came out in 2020, but for less demanding iPhone fans it could provide the best bang for buck.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is right for you if:

  • You want a big-screen iPhone for not much cash
  • You watch a lot of movies on your phone

iPhone 12 Pro

The 12 Pro has the same power and cameras of the 12 Pro Max, but in the same sized body as the iPhone 12. The battery life isn’t as good though.

The iPhone 12 Pro is right for you if:

  • You want power without shouting about it
  • You always carry a portable charging block with you

iPhone 12

iPhone 12 and 12 mini lineup

The 12 comes in a maximum storage size of 256GB, which is half the 12 Pro’s max size of 512GB. It has a less advanced camera system too, but it does have the same size screen, same power and same battery life. Which could make it worth the saving.

The iPhone 12 is right for you if:

  • You don’t need much storage
  • You’re on a budget

iPhone 12 Mini

The first of the short-lived Mini variants, the 12 Mini has a diddy 5.4-inch screen that some people loved, though most felt the shorter battery life wasn’t a compromise worth making. Other than that, it has the same specs as the iPhone 12, and sells for a lower price.

The iPhone 12 Mini is right for you if:

  • You want a small iPhone
  • You can live with a short battery life

iPhone SE (3rd Generation)

iPhone SE lineup

At 4.7 inches, the second-generation iPhone SE is even smaller than the Mini variants of iPhone 12 and 13. Its cameras are much less advanced than more recent models, battery life much shorter, it has fingerprint recognition instead of Face ID facial recognition and it has less power. But it’s still an iPhone, and runs the same iOS software as newer models. And it’s much, much cheaper.

The iPhone SE is right for you if:

  • You want the cheapest iPhone around
  • You can live without Face ID