The best iPhone to buy in 2018: from $450 to $1450!
With the introduction of this year's new models, the current Apple phone line-up looks like this:
It's quite the range, eh? All of these phones are legit options in 2018, so it'll mostly be your budget that's going to dictate which one you should go for. On the cheapest end of the spectrum is the iPhone 7, which is still a very capable phone with strong internals and up to date software. In fact, all current iPhones officially for sale from Apple support the latest version of iOS. Anyway, the iPhone 7 is sold for just $450 right now, which is a pretty good deal. On the other end, there are the brand new XS and XS Max, which cost $1000 and $1100, respectively. These monsters deliver exceptional experience and will understandably receive support further into the future. But, in-between these phones, there some other interesting options as well, like the controversial XR, for example, or the silent success that the iPhone 8 family has turned out to be.
There are three main roads you can take this year, depending on how much you're willing to spend, but your options are literally scattered across the range from $450 to $1450! Below, we'll try to suggest the best bang-for-the-buck options across the different categories, although it's undeniable that each of the iPhone models on sale has its own unique advantages.
Nothing but the best: iPhone XS and XS Max
Expected spending: $1000 - $1450
That's it, the absolutely best iPhones you can buy right now are the XS and XS Max – nothing else qualifies here, except maybe a last-year iPhone X, but you'll have to get that through some other retailer, because Apple decided to stop selling this signature handset with the introduction of the XS.
★ Reasonable size: iPhone XS [$1000]If you want the fastest iPhone you can get right now, but size is also a consideration, then Apple doesn't leave you much choice this year: you're forced to go for the iPhone XS. This is the smallest iPhone with the new A12 Bionic chipset. Both the XS Max and the XR are considerably bulkier.
Apple offers the XS in a variety of storage formats: 64, 256 and 512 GB, costing $999, $1149, and $1349, respectively. However, if you don't really shoot a ton of video, chances are even a 64 GB version will serve you just fine.
★ All Maxed-out: iPhone XS Max [$1100]So you've packed all your things and are ready to sell the house. Good! With half of the money from the sale, you'll be able to afford a gorgeous iPhone XS Max in Silver, Space Gray or Gold. The are the same as in the XS, but of course, the screen is bigger, and so is the battery. The XS Max comes in roughly the same size as the 8 Plus and other Plus models, but it feels better, because the front is all-screen. This way, you don't get the feeling that the phone is needlessly large.
The bezel-less design translates quite well to the super-sized form-factor: the screen is absolutely gorgeous! Plus, when you consider that $100 on top of $1000 isn't exactly a huge spike, you might as well pick the XS Max over the XS. Should you, though? The fact remains that this is one huge phone, so if you've never gone this big or if you know you tend to prefer more regular-sized devices, then chances are the XS Max will gradually overwhelm you. Also, aside from "bigger screen", you're not really getting anything over the XS in terms of functionality.
But, the extra-large screen remains exclusive to the XS Max, so if you know you want that and the size doesn't trouble you, well, we guess nothing's stopping you from grabbing a brand spankin' new iPhone XS Max. Nothing, except for the price, of course. But as we said, what's $100 on top of $1000?
The best reasonably priced iPhone to buy
Expected spending: $600 - $900
There's quite a bit of action in Apple's mid-range field this year. On paper, there are three very different phones to choose from: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and XR. Of these three, however, we can easily discard the iPhone 8 Plus, because it no longer seems to serve any real purpose.
If you want a large screen, the iPhone XR should be the way to go this year. It's only $50 more expensive than the 8 Plus, but it has a much more efficient design and a bunch of improvements in the processor, the camera, speakers, and other components.
The $600 iPhone 8, however, is a different story. It's a much more compact device than either the 8 Plus or the XR, so it's safe in its own niche. The XS is the only other iPhone close to that size, and it's almost double the price. Plus, the iPhone 8 is still more than up for the task: it's cute and good-looking, the display is nice, albeit of not too high resolution, the processor is still extremely fast... there are no real weak spots to speak of.
So, what about that controversial iPhone XR, then? Well, let's start by saying that it's not abnormally big. It's definitely more manageable than a Plus or a Max. However, it's also by no means small. If you're OK with that, then you should just get the XR. It's more powerful than the 8 in almost any way, and the price isn't too high.
★ Best mid-range pick: iPhone XR [$750]
★ Compact mid-range pick: iPhone 8 [$600]
An affordable iPhone? There is such a thing!
Expected spending: $450 - $550
Our affordable iPhone choice this year is the iPhone 7. In this category, our main objective is to reduce costs, so it doesn't make too much sense to pick the iPhone 7 Plus. The 7 Plus starts from $570 and represents a more considerable investment that won't necessarily hold up too well after a couple of years. A $450 iPhone 7, though, is a whole other thing! You're not paying too much, and for the money you'll be getting a perfectly capable little fellow that can still run all the games flawlessly and do almost everything that those newer kids on the block do.
With the iPhone 7, you get to choose between 32 GB and 128 GB of storage. We'd say that for most use cases, 32 GB should be enough room for most things, except for keeping lots of video or large games. Overall, it shouldn't feel too constrained. The good news is that the jump to 128 GB will cost you just $100 more, so if the phone seems to suit your needs just fine but you also want the storage, getting it with plenty of memory wouldn't hurt your wallet too much.
★ Favorite entry-level pick: iPhone 7 [$450]
What is the best iPhone deal this year?
Buying a new iPhone is not as simple as it once used to be! But, granted you know what your budget is, we think we made it a fairly simple business for you to pick the right model according to your needs. Care to tell us which one you're going to pick? Tell, you what, here's a nice little poll where you can cast your vote for the iPhone that you think will best serve your needs this year. It'll be fun to see which model is going to get the biggest approval rating from you guys!