The best iPhone: every iPhone Apple is still selling, ranked

Which iPhone is the one for you?

TODO alt text

Mosey on over to the Apple Store and you'll notice the Cupertino company is selling a total of eight 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 those questions.

From the brand new, state-of-the-art iPhone X, to the small-hand-friendly iPhone SE, 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 – read on for some essential iPhone buying advice.

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 X

iPhone X

1. iPhone X

The best iPhone

Reasons to buy
+Amazing OLED screen+Bezels successfully banished
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Some relearning of iOS necessary

We described the iPhone X as "the best you can get" in our T3 review of the handset, and we stand by that assessment: yes it's expensive, yes you need to learn some new iOS quirks, but this is hands-down the very best smartphone that Apple currently makes.

It starts with that gorgeous, OLED, edge-to-edge screen and extends to the Face ID unlock system. Those are really the only differences between this and the iPhone 8  and iPhone 8 Plus, but even so, we reckon the price markup is worth it for Apple's number one phone.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 Plus

2. iPhone 7 Plus

Still a superb smartphone

Reasons to buy
+Still runs iOS 11 very well+Dual-sensor, optical zoom camera
Reasons to avoid
-Not as fast as the 2017 phones-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 2017 phone starts at £130/$130 more than the 2016 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 second spot for us, with its dual-sensor camera (for 2x optical zoom), waterproofing, and nippy performance. Yes, the iPhone 8 Plus introduces speed improvements, but we don't think they're dramatic enough to justify the extra price.

iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 8 Plus

3. iPhone 8 Plus

Slightly underwhelming

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 – on paper it's the second-best iPhone after the iPhone X, but right now we think the iPhone 7 Plus is slightly better value for money.

Nevertheless, the iPhone 8 Plus is a fantastic phone: if you can live with those chunky bezels, it may be a better bet for you than the iPhone X.  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

4. iPhone 7

The price and performance sweet spot

Reasons to buy
+iPhone quality at a good price+Runs iOS 11 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 that actually 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 model though.

iPhone 8

iPhone 8

5. iPhone 8

A great iPhone but slightly overpriced

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 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 11, 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.

iPhone SE

iPhone SE

6. iPhone SE

The odd one out

Reasons to buy
+The cheapest iPhone you can get+Fits in the palm of your hand
Reasons to avoid
-Small screen, dated design-Likely to be refreshed soon

The iPhone SE is going to appeal to a very specific section of phone buyers: those who want a phone that fits in their palm, and/or who have a hankering for the iPhone designs of yesteryear. It's also eminently affordable for an iPhone too, starting at just £349/$349.

That's a bit of a bargain for a handset that runs exactly the same software and apps as the iPhone X, though it doesn't look half as good. Launched in 2016, we reckon the SE is long overdue a refresh, but even in its current incarnation it's worth considering for some.

iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 6S Plus

7. iPhone 6S Plus

Go back to 2016

Reasons to buy
+Spacious, 5.5-inch display+You still get a headphone jack
Reasons to avoid
-Ageing hardware internals-No water resistance

As we said at the start, there's nothing wrong with any of these phones, and that extends to the iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 6S – but we just feel that Apple's 2016 handsets are a little too long in the tooth to represent a good value-for-money proposition in 2018.

These iPhones introduced 3D Touch and still have headphone jacks (!) present, but they're not water and dust resistant like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are. For handsets that are still going to set you back £449/$449 or £549/$549 of your cash, that's quite an omission.

iPhone 6S

iPhone 6S

8. iPhone 6S

Our least favourite current iPhone

Reasons to buy
+Won't cost you that much+Still runs iOS 11 and any app
Reasons to avoid
-Small screen looking dated-Internal components now lagging behind

You may well still be perfectly happy with an iPhone 6S if you pick one up – it runs the very latest iOS 11 after all – but it's our least favourite handset out of all the ones Apple is flogging on its site right now. The components are just starting to show their age, too.

We prefer the bigger version because it has a more roomy screen, but other than that there's not that much to choose between them (both have a single-sensor camera, for example). Once a fantastic Apple smartphone, now the iPhone 6S is merely so-so.