Best iPhone: every iPhone Apple currently sells, ranked

Take your pick of iPhones

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Head over to the Apple Store, and you'll notice to the Cupertino company is selling a total of seven different iPhones at the moment – so what are the differences between them, and which one should you be buying? We're here to help you with both of those questions.

From the top-end, newly unveiled iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus from 2016, we've ranked all of the phones you can currently pick up from Apple, from those we're least enamoured by, to our number one pick right now.

A couple of caveats to begin with though: first, all of these phones are very good buys, even the ones we've put near the bottom of the list, and second, everyone's mileage is different. Different handsets will appeal to different buyers, so bear that in mind.

iPhone XS Max

iPhone XS Max

1. iPhone XS Max

The biggest and best iPhone

Specifications
Weight: 208g
Dimensions: 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 6.5 inches
Resolution: 1242 x 2688 pixels
CPU: A12 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64/256/512GB
Battery: 3174mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.4
Front camera: 7MP f/2.2
Reasons to buy
+Top-of-the-range specs+Huge, brilliant OLED display
Reasons to avoid
-It's going to cost you-The small XS might be a better deal

The iPhone XS Max is the biggest and most expensive of the new iPhones that Apple unveiled this year, and that tells you all you need to know: it has the lightning-fast A12 Bionic chip, the dual-lens rear camera, and Face ID that's snappier than ever before.

If your hands can live with that spacious 6.5-inch screen, and you have the budget to be able to afford it, this is the ultimate in iPhone gadgetry right now. It's certainly an expensive iPhone, but this handset has enough power under the hood to last you for years.

iPhone XR

iPhone XR

2. iPhone XR

Will appeal to a lot of users

Specifications
Weight: 194g
Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 6.1 inches
Resolution: 828 x 1792 pixels
CPU: A12 Bionic
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 64/128/256GB
Battery: 2942mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8
Front camera: 7MP f/2.2
Reasons to buy
+Top-end specs at a lower price+A wider choice of colours
Reasons to avoid
-Single-lens rear camera-LCD display rather than OLED

The rumours are that Apple itself is expecting the iPhone XR to be the biggest seller of the 2018 iPhones, and it's not difficult to see why – for £250/$250 less than the XS phones, you get a lot of the same specs, more colours to choose from, and of course the same software.

The screen tech is LCD rather than OLED, and you have to make do with a single-lens rather than a dual-lens rear camera, but it's still a great camera by all accounts. We think those compromises are worth the price savings, making this the second-best iPhone now.

iPhone XS

iPhone XS

3. iPhone XS

The smaller version of Apple's best iPhone

Specifications
Weight: 177g
Dimensions: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 5.8 inches
Resolution: 1125 x 2436 pixels
CPU: A12 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64/256/512GB
Battery: 2658mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.4
Front camera: 7MP f/2.2
Reasons to buy
+The best specs you can get+More pocket-friendly 5.8-inch screen
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive than the iPhone XR-Not a huge upgrade over the iPhone X

Identical to the iPhone XS Max except for the size, the fact that we've put the iPhone XS third shouldn't put you off buying it: it has the best iPhone camera ever, the fastest iPhone specs ever, and the screen is a very finger-friendly 5.8 inches from corner to corner as well.

The iPhone XS Max is just more of everything, while the iPhone XR looks like slightly better value, so the iPhone XS sits in third. Compared with the now retired iPhone X, Face ID is faster, the specs are improved, and the camera optics have been given an upgrade as well.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 Plus

4. iPhone 7 Plus

Still a superb smartphone

Specifications
Weight: 188g
Dimensions: 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 5.5 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
CPU: A10 Fusion
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32/128/256GB
Battery: 2900mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.8
Front camera: 7MP f/2.2
Reasons to buy
+Still runs iOS 12 perfectly well+Dual-sensor, optical zoom camera
Reasons to avoid
-Not as fast as newer iPhones-Cameras aren't optimised for AR

You may well have your iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 8 Plus arguments, and we're happy to hear them, but the 2016 phone starts at £130/$130 less than the 2017 version – that's a lot more money for a phone that's only slightly better and runs the exact same software.

So the iPhone 7 Plus takes fourth spot for us, with its dual-sensor camera (for 2x optical zoom), waterproofing, and nippy performance. Yes, the iPhone 8 Plus (see below) is faster, but we don't think the improvements are dramatic enough to justify the additional price.

iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 8 Plus

5. iPhone 8 Plus

Slightly underwhelming

Specifications
Weight: 202g
Dimensions: 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 5.5 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
CPU: A11 Bionic
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 64/256GB
Battery: 2691mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.8
Front camera: 7MP f/2.2
Reasons to buy
+As fast as the iPhone X+Extra photo smarts
Reasons to avoid
-Not much better than its predecessor-It still has big bezels

We said it's a tight call between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone 7 Plus, and this phone has a better camera and improved innards – in terms of internals it's level with the iPhone X – but right now we think the older iPhone 7 Plus offers slightly better value for money.

Nevertheless, the iPhone 8 Plus is still a fantastic phone: if you can live with those chunky bezels, it may be a better bet for you than some others.  You get a couple of extra camera tricks (like 4K 60fps recording), and the camera sensors are specially optimised for AR.

iPhone 7

iPhone 7

6. iPhone 7

Something of a steal

Specifications
Weight: 138g
Dimensions: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 4.7 inches
Resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels
CPU: A10 Fusion
RAM: 2GB
Storage: 32/128/256GB
Battery: 1960mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8
Front camera: 7MP f/2.2
Reasons to buy
+iPhone quality at a good price+Runs iOS 12 with no problems
Reasons to avoid
-Hardware slightly dated-No optical zoom capabilities

The same arguments for the iPhone 7 Plus vs the iPhone 8 Plus apply for the iPhone 7 vs the iPhone 8. This time the difference in the starting price is £150/$150, and we think that just about sways it in the favour of the older iPhone, though again it's a very close call.

This is the cheapest iPhone, but it still feels like a premium-level Apple handset, so if you want a compromise between price and performance, it's ideal. Remember that you'll have to live with a single camera lens and a smaller screen than the Plus models offer though.

iPhone 8

iPhone 8

7. iPhone 8

Remains a great iPhone but slightly overpriced

Specifications
Weight: 148g
Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 4.7 inches
Resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels
CPU: A11 Bionic
RAM: 2GB
Storage: 64/256GB
Battery: 1821mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8
Front camera: 7MP f/2.2
Reasons to buy
+Powerful internal specs+Suitable for one-handed use
Reasons to avoid
-Not much of an upgrade over its predecessors-Rather expensive for what you get

There's nothing essentially wrong with the iPhone 8, but the more expensive iPhones are worth paying more for, and it's not all that much better than the cheaper iPhones in Apple's line-up, putting it in something of an awkward position in the middle of the range.

Of course you still get all the goodness of iOS 12, and a great (single lens) camera, and if you prefer to use your phone one-handed then it's a great option. It also has the excellent, super-powered internal components of the iPhone X for some lightning performance.