The best cheap iPhone you can buy in 2022
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The world of Apple is known to be quite the premium place to buy your new phone (or any device, or generally "thing" with the Apple logo, by the way – remember the $19 polishing cloth?). However, the fact that the iPhone 13 series start at $749 for the iPhone 13 mini is not a reason for panic: believe it or not, cheaper iPhones are available for those of you who are on a budget!
The cool thing with iPhones is that even if you go for a slightly older model, it will be up to date with the latest iOS version. This is because iPhones are known for their longevity, and models are supported for up to 5 years after their release. What's more, an iPhone remains fast... for years! Of course, you will have to compromise on some of the flagship features we see these days (such as fancy camera lenses or cinematographic video features), but you can still get a good and capable iPhone for less money.
Here, we have compiled a list of the best cheap iPhones you can get in 2022. Let's jump in:
- iPhone XR: best quality/price ratio overall
- iPhone SE 2022: the cheapest (compact) iPhone with 5G right now
- iPhone 11: if you have a slightly bigger budget
- Bonus category: the best refurbished iPhone deal right now
The iPhone XR makes the head of our list for a reason. Despite being the oldest of the recommended, released in October 2018, it currently holds the title of the best cheap iPhone with its overall great balance between quality and price. Its guaranteed software updates for some two years more, which is usually what new Android phones get to begin with. The iPhone XR offers a 6.1-inch LCD display with a more modern look than the iPhone SE 2022.
The iPhone XR has a 12MP camera and a 7MP selfie shooter, capable of producing good photos for your social media or to share with friends. Its processor, despite being a bit older, is still fast and capable and the phone offers a lag-free experience. Currently, the iPhone XR is available for purchase on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, and unlocked from Apple, with a retail price of $499.
iPhone SE 2022
The iPhone SE 2022 that just got released is a good option if you need a cheap iPhone with 5G, as well as one of the powerful Apple processors (the A15, found in the iPhone 13 series!). However, it is not exactly much different from its predecessor, the iPhone SE from 2020, and it pretty muck looks like the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8. But yeah, those phones don't have 5 years of software updates or 5G.
The SE has a single camera on the back, complemented by powerful computational photography capabilities, that assure the photos are up to par with the competition. Apple has even improved upon its battery life and the new SE now sports a slightly bigger battery cell which gives around 2 hours of additional video playback over the previous SE.
We include the iPhone 11 here, although it’s not the cheapest iPhone out there with its retail price of $599. However, if you have a slightly bigger budget, you should definitely consider the iPhone 11, as it’s a powerful iPhone with big battery and a versatile camera system.
The iPhone 11 comes at a comfortable size with a 5.8-inch display: not enormous, but not small either, and its battery life is way better than the iPhone SE or the XR. What’s more, the iPhone 11 has two cameras on the back: a main and an ultra-wide camera, which offer great photo quality, hardly distinguishable from some of the most recent iPhones out there.
If you’re willing to deal hunt, you can save even more with carriers offering discounts on the iPhone 11 series. Check out our article with the best iPhone 11 deals right now.
Best refurbished iPhone deal
If you don’t mind getting a refurbished iPhone, there are plenty of offers out there. Refurbished iPhones are used iPhones that have been renewed to look and work like new, and they are often found discounted at big retailers such as Best Buy or Amazon. Even without a discount, the refurbished iPhones' prices are usually significantly lower than the new variants.
Right now, Amazon is offering a renewed iPhone XS, fully unlocked, that is also covered by Amazon’s Renewed Guarantee, assuring you have 90 days to return it and get a refund or replacement if you’re not satisfied.
More deals on iPhones (sometimes, even new iPhones get generous discounts, especially with trade-in or carrier plan. If you're interested, check out the articles below):