Best iPhones in 2021: Which iPhone should you buy

Apple has released plenty of new phones this year. But what are the best iPhones to come out of Cupertino recently?

The answer to that question has become a little more clear, now that the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini are available for pre-order. We’ve had a chance to test both phones, which have staked their claim to be among the best phones overall.

As part of the iPhone 12 launch, Apple’s entire lineup of available phones has undergone a revamp. In addition to the four new iPhone 12 models, the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR are still here, but at reduced prices. And the iPhone SE introduced earlier this year isn’t going anywhere, either.

Here are our recommendations and rankings for the best iPhones available right at this moment.

Our Top Pick

Buying guide for Best iPhones

Smartphones have become a modern necessity. One of the most popular smartphones is Apple’s iPhone. In the U.S., roughly 45% of all smartphone owners own iPhones. Some people enjoy having the latest iPhone, regardless of expense. Others are happy to keep using the same iPhone for years.

If you like the idea of owning an iPhone, but you don’t want to overspend for features you may not use, you can purchase older versions of unlocked iPhones and take them to your cellular service provider to have them activated. Or if you like the idea of owning the latest iPhone, unlocked versions of these phones can be purchased, too.

There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for an iPhone, including storage capacity, screen size, battery life, and even color. This buying guide outlines everything you need to know to select the right iPhone for your smartphone needs. For the fastest shopping, browse our five favorite iPhones in the matrix above.

Key Considerations

When searching for the right iPhone, the most important thing to consider is which model is best for you. You can save quite a bit of money by buying an older iPhone model. Or you can pick up a new model if you don’t mind paying a premium price.

iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 generation includes the 6 and 6S. Both phones have a 4.7-inch screen. The 6S is more durably constructed to resist damage from drops, though. The iPhone SE, with a 4-inch screen, is also in this generation of iPhones.

iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 generation consists of the 7 and 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch screen, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a full HD screen, measuring 5.5 inches.

iPhone 8

Like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 generation consists of the 8 and 8 Plus. These models also have screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. The iPhone 8 generation’s improvements over the iPhone 7 generation are a longer battery life, a faster processor, and more storage.

iPhone X

The iPhone X offers a high-quality, 5.8-inch OLED screen with greater than HD resolution, which is a significant advantage over past iPhones. It also offers up to 256 GB of storage. It has the same processor and dual rear camera of the iPhone 8 Plus.

iPhone XS

Two iPhone models are in this generation: the iPhone XS and the XS Max. The XS has a 5.8-inch screen, while the XS Max has a 6.5-inch screen. Both phones feature OLED displays with greater than HD resolution. Maximum storage capacity is 512 GB with the XS generation.

iPhone XR

The iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch screen, but it doesn’t quite have full HD resolution. It has a slightly faster processor than what’s found in the iPhone 8 generation. The XR also comes in unique colors versus other iPhones, including red, coral, and yellow.

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