If you're looking for the best iPhone in 2023 and want no other device in your pocket then you've come to the right place – as this is where all up-to-date iPhone models are compared, tested and ranked.
In this guide, we're going to focus on the best iPhones currently sold by Apple. You can still pick up older models – such as the iPhone 13 Pro – on the second-hand and refurb markets (which is ideal for those on a budget or headed back to school), so that's something else to bear in mind.
Remember, however, 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 feature we list devices that are ideal for people will small hands, while in our best Android phones feature we highlight the best of Google's system. In addition, we also cover the best gaming phones, best Samsung phones, and best cheap phones.
Best iPhones 2023: The top 3
The ultimate iPhone is the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max. If you're after a slice of everything that Apple has to offer then look no further: new cameras, the best processor, new features such as an always-on display and Dynamic Island put thisd larger 6.7-inch iPhone at the top of the stack. It is expensive though.
The best iPhone for most people is the Apple iPhone 14. With its 6.1-inch screen it nestles easily into the hand, iOS 16 makes it look great, and while its less feature rich than the Pro or Pro Max and not massively different to the iPhone 13 from before, it's still a small buy mighty offering.
The best budget iPhone is the Apple iPhone SE (2022). Want cheap? This is as cheap as they come. Sure, it looks a little dated, but with the latest software on board, if you don't want a massive or pricey iPhone then it's a great Apple option.
As we said in our review: "The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the ultimate iPhone and boasts three killer features that make it worth the upgrade. The new 48MP camera is truly impressive, the always-on display is really useful and the Dynamic Island is not only a feat of hardware and software collaboration but actually adds to the user experience.
These new features can cost the battery life a bit, however, which is why we think the larger Pro Max, with its 6.7-inch screen and larger battery capacity, is the more savvy option over the iPhone 14 Pro this time around. Sure, it's pricey, but it sure is punchy too.
The all-new 'Plus' model in the range has ousted the standard iPhone 14 from a higher spot in our list. We think the Plus's bigger screen, at 6.7-inches, is better for most people – and the bigger size means better battery longevity too (arguably better than the iPhone 14 Pro, as there's no always-on display feature with the Plus).
Sure, not everyone will want a bigger iPhone, but there are other options out there: you can go cheap with the iPhone SE, or small yet premium with the iPhone 13 Mini (that model's done and dusted now, so won't appear in the more recent range). So there are still options.
That said, in the current market, we find the Plus to be a really great balance. If you don't want the additional zoom camera, as you might never use them much, then the Plus saves you the cash compared to the higher-end iPhone 14 Pro Max. And that, for many, will make it an ideally positioned and more financially suitable option.
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 is a little bit higher than its predecessor.
This 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 on a smaller budget, while getting hold of all that latest apps and iOS software goodies. With a 4.7-inch screen, it's also going to be a tempting proposition for those who want a smaller iPhone, and who don't want to pay for the iPhone 13 Mini.
The iPhone 14 Pro sits below the Pro Max at the top of this list, as it's a bit smaller, at 6.1-inches, instead of the maximum-in-the-range 6.7-inches. That means the Pro is almost identical in stature to the standard iPhone 14, but it comes with some key new features: Dynamic Island rather than the typical notch on the screen; there's ProMotion faster refresh-rate for the panel, which is also brighter; and the cameras receive the same upgrade as the Max, with a 48-megapixel main shooter being the biggest Apple upgrade in quite some time.
We're yet to review the Pro handset here at T3, but anticipate it may be the best for many buyers. That said, as per the Pro Max, the new addition of an always-on display is likely to cost the battery life a little, so you may want to go with the larger Max handset for better longevity overall.
If you want a small-ish iPhone but don't want to skimp on the specs (i.e. not buy the SE), here's your answer. The iPhone 13 Mini has a screen size of just 5.4 inches, making the handset as a whole very compact. It's also the last in a generation, as there's no iPhone 14 Mini to replace it!
In terms of the rear camera, what you get on the 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 'entry-level' iPhone in the latest series is, well, anything but entry. Sure, it's familiar to any iPhone users as generation-to-generation it's not especially different. But that means it's small and reliable, thanks to its 6.1-inch screen and stellar battery life, and while some may see it as an honorary 'iPhone 13S', if you want the new features such as crash detection and satellite SOS then you'll need the latest hardware.
As said in our review: "Upgrades over its predecessor – while certainly welcome – aren't major. That said, with shiny new iOS 16 software, a reliable and familiar build, and pretty much everything in its right place, this smaller-screen iPhone is still a mighty attractive prospect".
Now the iPhone 14 is here, we think that the standard iPhone 13 is competitively priced by comparison - and there's not a huge amount of difference between this older handset and the newer model.
Sure, you miss out on some of the advanced camera tricks of the Pro models (either 13 or 14), but there's a lot here to like, including that bright and sharp 6.1 inch display. We like the range of colours too, with five of them to choose from.
The standard iPhone 12 is very similar in a lot of ways to the 13 and 14 models, except older and cheaper. You can run iOS 16 software on it, so other than older internals you're not missing out on a huge range of newer features really.
Considering that you still get plenty of screen space from that 6.1-inch panel and super-fast internals for your money, we think the standard iPhone 12 makes a very decent case for being the best-value Apple handset.