's iPhone lineup has become more complex than ever. There are no less than five different iPhone models to pick from, ranging between $399 and $1449 in price. But which is the best iPhone to buy among them? Well, we're here to break things down and make choosing a new iPhone in 2020 an easier and simpler affair! Spoiler alert: it all breaks down to how much you're willing to spend.
By the way, if you're not in a hurry, keep in mind that a new range of iPhones is coming soon. The iPhone 12
series is expected to be announced before the end of 2020, with upgrades across the board. But even if you buy an iPhone today, you won't be disappointed. All current models are fast, have highly capable cameras, and are ready to be updated to iOS 14
later this year.
Which is the best iPhone to buy?
The answer depends greatly on how much money you're willing to spend. With the introduction of last year's new models, the current Apple phone line-up looks like this:
- iPhone 11 Pro & 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone XR
- iPhone SE
There are three main roads you can take this year, and your options are scattered across the range from $399 to $1449! 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.
iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
Expected spending: $1000 - $1450
That's it, the absolutely best iPhones you can buy right now are the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max – nothing else qualifies here, except maybe a last-year iPhone XS
, but you'll have to get that through a retailer or a carrier, because Apple decided to stop selling this signature handset with the introduction of the 11 Pro.
★ Reasonable size: iPhone 11 Pro [$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 11 Pro. This is the smallest iPhone with the new A13 Bionic chipset. Both the 11 Pro Max and the 11 are considerably bulkier.
Apple offers the 11 Pro 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 11 Pro 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 11 Pro Max in Silver, Space Gray, Gold, or Midnight Green. The are the same as in the 11 Pro, but of course, the screen is bigger, and so is the battery. The 11 Pro 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 iPhone 11 Pro Max over the iPhone 11 Pro. 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 11 Pro 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 11 Pro 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 11 Pro 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: $700 - $900
If you want a large screen on a budget, the iPhone 11 should be the way to go this year. The 11 Pro Max is the only other iPhone close to that size, and it's almost double the price. Apple’s new iPhone 11 is, for all intents and purposes, an iPhone XR on steroids. It reiterates the simple formula that made the iPhone XR hugely popular – delivering great performance while being an affordable entry into the Apple ecosystem. It’s also faster, more colorful, and equipped with a versatile dual-camera setup.
The affordable, compact iPhone
Expected spending: $399 - $549
The iPhone SE is the hottest new asset in Apple's portfolio. On the outside, it's nothing more than an iPhone 8
without 3D Touch, but on the inside, it embodies the same hardware that makes the iPhone 11-series click, making it an insanely fast compact iPhone. While it's aged design and small display make it a hard-sell for people that have grown used to the larger displays on Apple's other phones through the years. Starting at $399 for the base 64GB version of the device, but we'd strongly recommend picking the 128 model. A 256GB variant is also available. The price jumps to $449 and $549, respectively.