You want the best iPhone in 2022, and we're here to help, as this guide is one thing above all others – iPhone models compared.
From the super-large iPhone 13 Pro Max (screen size: 6.7 inches) to the super-small iPhone SE 2020 (screen size: 4.7 inches), we compare and rate each iPhone on the market today here – and there's plenty of choice out there, no matter what your smartphone requirements.
In this guide we're going to focus on the best iPhones currently sold by Apple in 2022, which is a total of seven handsets. You can still pick up older models – such as the iPhone 12 Pro – on the second-hand and refurb markets, so that's something else to bear in mind.
Whether you need the rundown on the latest iPhone specs, iPhone prices or iPhone colours, or you need to compare multiple iPhones against each other, you've come to the right place. These are undoubtedly some of the best phones currently available for sale.
Remember, though, that T3 has a number of phone guides and if you don't need an iPhone then you could be better served elsewhere. For example, in our best small phones guide we list devices that are ideal for people will small hands, while in or our best Android phones feature we highlight the handsets that offer the best Android has to offer.
Apple has yet to make a folding iPhone, but you can bet that it will make T3's best foldable phones guide when it does. Meanwhile, if you need yet more Apple kit, we'd direct you towards our comprehensive best MacBook listing.
Right here, though, we cover the best iPhones currently on the market.
The best iPhones for 2022
Apple launched four iPhone 13 models in 2021, and the one that's best for you depends a lot on your budget – but for a lot of people we think the iPhone 13 Pro will really appeal. Admittedly it costs significantly more than the standard iPhone 13 (£270/$300 more, to be exact) but for us the extra features you get make the extra cost worth it.
The 6.1-inch screen size is the same between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro, but crucially the Pro model has an extra camera on the back – and a telephoto camera at that, giving you 3x optical zoom. LiDAR is on board as well, for better depth perception on portrait photos, and augmented reality experiences that look much more authentic.
If you choose to go Pro you can choose up to 1TB of storage as well, and there's better battery life than the standard model, as well as support for the Apple ProRAW image standard. As with every flagship 2021 iPhone, the A15 Bionic processor keeps the device and its software flying along.
In our review of the iPhone 13 Pro Max we called it "the ultimate iPhone", and that pretty much sums up what you're going to get here – it's the most iPhone you can get, for the most money, and if you want the very best smartphone that Apple makes at the moment, this is it.
Following our guide's goal to compare iPhone models, if you take everything that's good about the iPhone 13 Pro – see above – then extend the screen size to 6.7 inches and you've got the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It also has better battery life than the iPhone 13 Pro (28 hours vs 22 hours of video playback). The camera setup, the processor and the RAM are all the same.
What's more, the Pro Max model won't set you back all that much more than the standard Pro model (check the widgets on this page for the latest prices). You get the same colours to pick from with the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max: Silver, Graphite, Gold (shown above), and Sierra Blue.
As part of its March 2022 event, Apple announced a brand new iPhone SE – the third generation of the affordable handset. It's the cheapest iPhone in the Apple range, even though its starting price (£419 or $429) is a little bit higher than its predecessor, the iPhone SE (2020).
This new model looks pretty much identical to the old one, and Touch ID is still used instead of Face ID. There are improvements over the previous iPhone SE though: better battery life, a faster processor, and the addition of 5G. Those features might make the upgrade worth it for you.
The iPhone SE 3 is likely to appeal most to people looking to buy a new iPhone – and all the apps and iOS goodness that goes with it – and who also want to spend as little money as possible. With a 4.7-inch screen, it's also going to be a tempting proposition for those who want a smaller iPhone.
If you want a small-ish iPhone but don't want to skimp on the specs and the features, may we suggest the iPhone 13 mini? It has a screen size of just 5.4 inches, making the handset as a whole very compact, but it also has the standard features that are available on every iPhone 13 model – including the powerful processor and the support for next-gen 5G.
In terms of the rear camera, what you get on the iPhone 13 mini is the same as what you get on the iPhone 13: a dual-lens affair that lacks the LiDAR, the optical zoom and the Apple ProRAW support of the Pro models. Still, if you can live without those features then you can save yourself some money, because this is the cheapest of the iPhone 13 variants.
The similarities with the standard iPhone 13 extend to the colours as well, because you can pick up both the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini in Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink and Red – there's plenty of choice there. The iPhone 13 mini has less battery life than the other iPhone 13 models however: 17 hours of video playback between each charge.
With the iPhone 13, Apple didn't really revolutionise the smartphone, but that's okay with us. There were still enough upgrades here in terms of the design, the internal components and the battery life to make it worth upgrading from the iPhone 12 – though as we explain below, the iPhone 12 still offers some great value for money.
We think that the standard iPhone 13 is competitively priced too. Sure, you miss out on some of the advanced camera tricks of the Pro models, but there's a lot here to like, including that bright and sharp 6.1 display. We like the range of colours too, with five of them to choose from.
Apple has obviously positioned this as the iPhone for the masses, although we think a lot of people are going to want to pay the extra to get the more advanced models. It's also worth keeping an eye on the iPhone 14 rumours, because whatever time of the year you buy, there's always another iPhone on the way...
We've just mentioned the iPhone 12 mini, and the standard iPhone 12 is very similar in a lot of ways. It does up the screen size to 6.1 inches, and it does extend the battery life to 17 hours of use between charges, but apart from that the two phones are very similar. They both run the A14 Bionic processor made by Apple, and they can both connect to 5G.
In fact you could make a case that the iPhone 12 is the best iPhone for most people, but we think the price premium of the iPhone 12 Pro is worth paying if you can for the extras that you get (including an improved rear camera). The rear camera here is a dual-lens 12MP+12MP affair with ultrawide support, the same as it is on the iPhone 12 mini model.
Considering that you still get plenty of screen space and super-fast internals for your money, we think the standard iPhone 12 makes a very decent case for being the best value handset out of the four iPhone 12 models, even if it's not the best overall. It's almost as cheap as the iPhone 12 mini, but you get that extra display space to play around with.
Just one iPhone 11 model from 2019 remains standing in terms of the iPhones you can buy direct from Apple, and it's the cheapest of that particular bunch: the standard iPhone 11. It's still an excellent phone, with a very capable Apple A13 Bionic processor, 17 hours of battery life (for video watching), and up to 256GB of internal storage for all your data.
You don't get the extras that the later iPhones brought with them, including 5G connectivity and the extra camera lens on the back of the Pro models. The iPhone 11 makes do with a dual-lens 12MP+12MP rear camera, but it's still capable of taking impressive shots in all kinds of lighting conditions, and it still comes with an ultrawide mode to make use of.
You may consider the price bumps on the newer phones worth it to get 5G and a faster processor, but they're significant price bumps – and considering the quality of the software, hardware design and cameras you get here, the iPhone 11 might still be the best option for you.
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