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Friday, October 20, 2023

Finest iPhone in 2023: Which Apple Cellphone Ought to You Purchase?

We’re rapidly approaching Apple’s fall iPhone occasion. The “wonderlust” presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12, on the firm’s HQ in Cupertino, California — and we anticipate Apple to unveil the iPhone 15. However till CEO Tim Prepare dinner steps onstage at Apple Park’s Steve Jobs Theater, we’ve to attend to know for certain what the brand new iPhones can be like. So in the event you’re trying to purchase a brand new iPhone, my basic recommendation could be to not. Wait and see what Apple declares and the reductions that older iPhone fashions will doubtless get.
At present, Apple sells eight iPhone fashions launched between 2020 and 2023. There is no such factor as a real “finest” iPhone, however relying in your wants, finances and preferences, some fashions can be higher for you than others. Costs begin at $429 for the 2022 iPhone SE and high out at $1,599 for the iPhone 14 Professional Max with a whopping 1TB of storage. Should you’re on the lookout for the finest iPhone offers, we’ve you lined there, too. 

Navigating Apple’s iPhone spectrum could make your head spin, whether or not you are contemplating colours (the iPhone 14 is available in six), or options just like the iPhone 14 Professional’s Dynamic Island, which animates system alerts and background actions similar to enjoying music. Fortunately, I’ve examined all eight variations of the iPhone and will help you navigate via all of the noise.

What’s the finest iPhone proper now?

The very best iPhone is the $999 iPhone 14 Professional. It has all of Apple’s latest options, together with an A16 Bionic chip, upgraded primary digital camera, the Dynamic Island, in addition to instruments like Automobile Crash Detection and SOS through Satellite tv for pc. Not everybody trying to purchase a telephone from Apple wants the 14 Professional, however if you’d like one of the best get the iPhone 14 Professional. Need one thing larger? Get the iPhone 14 Professional Max, which is the common 14 Professional in a much bigger physique.

Finest iPhones of 2023

iPhone 14 stands on a blue surface with a red background

James Martin/CNET

Once I reviewed the iPhone 14, I stated it was primarily the iPhone 13 Professional’s processor and primary digital camera contained in the physique of an iPhone 13. Little doubt, some can be disenchanted that the iPhone 14 is not radically completely different from earlier fashions. However that is a part of its attraction. Familiarity has been one of many keys to Apple’s success with the iPhone. And because the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, do not repair it.”

back of the iPhone 14 Pro on a yellow background

Stephen Shankland/CNET

From the again, the $999 iPhone 14 Professional seems to be equivalent to final yr’s 13 Professional. However do not let that sameness idiot you. It is the 14 Professional’s display the place there’s one thing completely different and fantastic happening. The show notch, that outlined earlier Face ID iPhone fashions, has morphed right into a pill-shaped display cutout that may present system alerts and background actions like while you obtain a name or play music. Apple calls this performance the Dynamic Island. I do know, it isn’t one of the best identify, nevertheless it’s actually among the finest options.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The $729 iPhone 13 remains to be a superb telephone. In reality, in the event you’re tempted by the iPhone 14 and wish to avoid wasting cash, seize a 13. They’ve primarily the identical physique, identical display and identical A15 Bionic processor. Though technically, the iPhone 14’s processor does have an additional GPU core.


James Martin/CNET

The $929 iPhone 14 Plus is both a giant iPhone 14 or a scaled-back iPhone 14 Professional Max, relying in your perspective. Ever because the iPhone XS Max launched in 2018, there was just one choice for many who love large screens: Pay high greenback and get a Max mannequin with additional options you may not essentially want (like a telephoto digital camera or a excessive refresh charge show). I do know many CNET readers, associates and associates who’ve shelled out $1,100 or extra for an iPhone 12 Professional Max or 13 Professional Max as a result of it was the one solution to get a telephone within the measurement they needed. However that modifications now.

iPhone 13 Mini

Sarah Tew/CNET

Who stated small telephones do not exist in 2022? The $629 iPhone 13 Mini is good as a result of it has every thing the iPhone 13 has — it is simply smaller. It has the identical square-edged seems to be, help for 5G and the identical cameras. The 13 Mini’s defining characteristic is its 5.4-inch OLED display that helps Dolby HDR. If that sounds too small, think about that Plus fashions, just like the iPhone 8 Plus, had a 5.5-inch display inside a a lot bigger physique. The 13 Mini’s secret is that it lacks these big brow and chin bezels that outlined the iPhone for its first decade.

iPhone 14 Pro

James Martin/CNET

The $1,099 iPhone 14 Professional Max is only a large model of the iPhone 14 Professional. It has the identical A16 Bionic processor, the identical cameras and the identical options. But it surely does differ in two large methods from the 14 Professional: It has a much bigger 6.7-inch high-refresh charge display and a much bigger battery. In reality, in our assessments, the iPhone 14 Professional Max had the longest battery lifetime of any telephone on this record.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The $629 iPhone 12 and its flat-sided design marked the start of the present technology of Apple telephones. Of every thing on this record, it is the oldest but in addition one of many most cost-effective, particularly if you wish to snag an iPhone with a recent look and Face ID.

iPhone SE 2022

Kevin Heinz/CNET

At $429, you may assume the one attraction of the iPhone SE (2022) is its worth. And admittedly that may be a large issue. On the surface, the iPhone SE has the identical physique because the iPhone 8, which makes it the one iPhone on this record that also has Contact ID. On the within, the SE has the identical A15 processor because the iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 14 and 14 Plus which takes the 2017 digital camera {hardware} and offers it an injection of Apple’s computational pictures magic.

Beneath are the assorted fashions, their launch date, the variety of rear cameras they’ve, their processor and their present record worth, which for some telephones features a $30 activation price that is waived in the event you activate your iPhone on a provider on the time of buy.

Present iPhones, in contrast

Mannequin US beginning worth Display screen measurement No. of rear cameras CPU Launch date
iPhone SE $429 4.7 inches 1 A15 Bionic March 2022
iPhone 12 $599 6.1 inches 2 A14 Bionic October 2020
iPhone 13 Mini $599 5.4 inches 2 A15 Bionic September 2021
iPhone 13 $699 6.1 inches 2 A15 Bionic September 2021
iPhone 14 $799 6.1 inches 2 A15 Bionic September 2022
iPhone 14 Plus $899 6.7 inches 2 A15 Bionic October 2022
iPhone 14 Professional $999 6.1 inches 3 A16 Bionic September 2022
iPhone 14 Professional Max $1,099 6.7 inches 3 A16 Bionic September 2022

How we check iPhone fashions

A man holding an iPhone 14 Pro outdoors on a remote hillside

Emergency SOS is likely to be some of the vital options to return out on any telephone this yr.

Kevin Heinz/CNET

I check each iPhone in real-world situations specializing in its options, design, efficiency, cameras, battery life and general worth. I doc our findings in an preliminary assessment that’s periodically up to date when there are new iOS updates or to check towards new telephones from rivals like Samsung, Google and OnePlus.


Pictures is a serious focus for the iPhone, so we take photos and movies of varied topics in a wide range of settings and lighting situations. We check out any new digital camera modes, similar to Motion mode that debuted with the iPhone 14 line.

Battery life

Battery testing is carried out in a wide range of methods. We assess how lengthy the iPhone lasts throughout a typical day of use, and be aware the way it performs throughout extra centered periods of video calls, media streaming and gaming. I additionally conduct a video playback check, which is not at all times included within the preliminary assessment and added later in an replace.

Efficiency measuring

We use benchmarking apps to measure the efficiency, alongside our personal anecdotal experiences utilizing the telephone for our assessment. Of explicit be aware are how graphics and animations look. Are they easy? Or do they lag or stutter? We additionally take a look at how rapidly the telephone switches between horizontal and vertical orientations and how briskly the digital camera app opens and is able to take a photograph.

We carry out processor-heavy duties like enhancing photographs and movies, exporting movies and enjoying video games. We consider whether or not a more moderen model of the iPhone consists of sufficient options to make it value upgrading from older fashions.

Learn Extra: How CNET assessments telephones

Key phrases


An eSIM takes the entire vital details about your telephone account — together with its quantity, wi-fi provider and subscription — and shops it in software program as a substitute of on a bodily SIM card.

With the iPhone 14, Apple eliminated the bodily SIM card tray and embraced embedded SIM playing cards. This implies you cannot simply pluck your SIM card out of your present telephone and put it into a brand new one. However this should not have an effect on your expertise since all the main US carriers and quite a few smaller operators work with eSIM.

Apple has lengthy supported eSIM, relationship again to 2018’s iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. When establishing a brand new iPhone 14, the machine will information you thru transferring your present supplier over to the brand new telephone. A listing of supported wi-fi networks may be discovered on Apple’s web site.

iOS 16

Apple’s iOS 16 is the newest model of Apple’s iPhone software program. It is on the iPhone 14 by default and can also be accessible as an replace for the iPhone 8 and later. iOS 16 consists of new options similar to customizable lock screens, an replace to the Messages app that enables for unsending and enhancing iMessage texts and new photograph enhancing instruments.

iPhone FAQs

How dependable is an iPhone?

Apple has been making iPhones for 16 years. The present lineup was launched in September 2022 and all have a mud and water resistance score of IP68, which suggests they’ll survive being submerged beneath 6 meters of water (about 20 toes) for half-hour. The screens are lined in Apple’s Ceramic Defend which is a glass-ceramic materials created by Corning, in collaboration with Apple, and consists of nano ceramic crystals embedded within the glass matrix. It is extremely clear, and in response to Corning, the powerful construction shaped by the crystals means it is much less more likely to break.

How lengthy does an iPhone final?

One solution to measure how lengthy an iPhone will final is to take a look at the software program and safety help Apple provides for older fashions. iOS 16 can run on Apple telephones as previous as 2017’s iPhone X, iPhone 8 and eight Professional. That is almost 6 years of software program help. Examine that to Samsung, who provides 5 years of Android software program help for upgrades. However software program is just half the equation. The opposite half is {hardware} and sturdiness. Thankfully, each iPhone Apple sells has an IP score for mud and water resistance. Newer fashions just like the iPhone 12, 13 and 14 sequence even have Ceramic Defend, a glass/ceramic hybrid, that covers the show and could be very sturdy.

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