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Best iPhone: The top Apple phones we’ve tested and reviewed

There's a huge range of iPhones in all sorts of specs and sizes. Trusted Reviews reveals the right iPhone for your needs and budget

Introduction

Apple doesn’t have the biggest lineup of smartphones, but with multiple models all toting varying features and coming in at differing prices, it can still be tricky to work out which is the right one for your pocket.

We devised this best iPhone list to help you decide which Apple phone is best for your needs. 

Whether you desire battery life above all else, prefer one that’s smaller or just want the best value – we’ve tested and thoroughly reviewed all the available iPhone models using a mixture of stringent lab tests and everyday use. 

Our team of experienced experts put hours upon hours of testing into every device we review, all with the aim of coming to the best, and most trustworthy, verdict possible. We never take payment for a review and we never accept manufacturer claims as fact until we’ve properly tested every feature for ourselves.

The best iPhone is a mixture of everything we want from a phone. It must have strong battery life, the promise of plenty of future software updates and a reliable camera. It also must perform well every day.

For some people, an Apple phone is the obvious choice. For others, our guide to the best Android phones will be more helpful. We’ve also published a definitive list of the best mobile phones available right now, so make sure to check that out if you’re open to both operating systems.

How we test

Learn more about how we test mobile phones

Every iPhone we review, whether it’s the cheapest model or the most expensive, gets put through more than 15 tests. These include synthetic benchmark tests that give a good idea of general performance and in-depth camera comparisons between competing devices.

Like every phone we review, the expert tasked with putting the specific iPhone through its paces will use it as their main phone for the review period, transferring across apps, chats and accounts. We feel this gives us a proper view of the device and helps ensure we’re not just repeating headline features from marketing releases.

iPhone 13 Pro Max

The best for battery life
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Pros

  • Huge screen is gorgeous
  • Three very good cameras
  • Really impressive battery life
  • ProMotion finally on an iPhone

Cons

  • Selfie camera needs an upgrade
  • Notch feels tired
  • Other phones have better zoom

We think that Apple’s biggest iPhone also happens to be the best, and this is for one notable reason – the battery life. This is the iPhone to plump for if going the longest time between charges is key. We easily got through a heavy day of use and into a second with plenty of juice left.

Battery life aside, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a great choice in many other areas. While all the iPhones in this list (including the cheapest iPhone SE 2022) are powered by the same A15 Bionic chipset giving them all pretty much the same performance skills, the larger 6.7-inch display makes this a strong choice if you want a big canvas for games, editing photos or watching videos. Our reviewer found themselves regularly using the handset to watch Netflix on their morning commute, with its screen offering wonderfully immersive blacks and great dynamism, which helped make HDR content in particular pop.

The screen packs a 120Hz refresh rate that Apple calls ProMotion. While older iPhones had a 60Hz refresh, a 120Hz panel is much faster and offers a smoother experience when scrolling. It can aid gaming too, if a title supports it.

In our tests, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s (and as a result, all the models on this list) perform the best out of any other phones on the market, even ones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. They continually churn out higher benchmarks scores both for general performance and graphics and are faster in everyday use. Apple phones also typically get supported for longer, with more software updates and better security patches which makes them far more future proof than most Android handsets.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has an excellent camera array. We tested it against the Galaxy S22 Ultra and far preferred the video captured on Apple’s device, with it being smoother and generally better stabilised. Stills also looked great with colours generally coming out a little bit more pleasing and realistic looking than those shot on the Ultra.

Other features you’ll find across the whole iPhone 13 range include wireless charging, an IP rating for protection against dust and water, 5G support, Face ID for secure unlocking and a notch dipping into the display. While we eventually like to see this notch disappear, it’s far from a dealbreaker and something that’s easy to get used to.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone 13 Pro Max review

iPhone 13

The best iPhone for most people
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Pros

  • Much improved battery life
  • Bright, vivid OLED display
  • Excellent main camera

Cons

  • No ProMotion
  • No optical zoom

The iPhone 13 Pro Max might be the best iPhone, but we’d say the iPhone 13 offers arguably better value for a lot of people. It’s a device that’s just as capable in many areas as its Pro-monikered siblings, but it makes a few sacrifices to hit its lower price. 

There’s no telephoto camera for improved zooming, for example, and the display is simply a 60Hz panel – so it lacks the smoother scrolling you get with the 120Hz panel. If you’re happy with these missing features, then we think you’ll like this phone a lot. 

We were happy with the battery life when we reviewed the phone, though like all smaller phones you’ll likely be charging this every night. As we said in the previous entry, you’ll want the Pro Max model if you’re a seriously heavy user.

The iPhone 13 is a great phone to use. The design is slick and a lot more modern than the iPhone SE 2022, while the size makes it easy to hold and slip in a pocket or a bag. The duo of rear cameras reliably take excellent photos whatever the conditions and as it runs iOS, it’ll be supported for years to come with software updates.

Apple also still sells the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, both of which remain good buys if you want to save a little extra money. But these offer slower performance and not quite as competitive camera quality than the newer model, based on our testing.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone 13 review

iPhone 13 Pro

The best design
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Pros

  • Great to finally see a 120Hz display on an iPhone
  • Good battery life
  • Seriously impressive camera system

Cons

  • Other phones have better zoom
  • The notch feels dated

If you want the same features as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but don’t want a huge phone then the iPhone 13 Pro is the model we recommend. This is a gorgeous phone that’s well designed, packs a great triple camera system and has a screen that’s not only proved bright and accurate in our tests, but also easy to use with one hand.

The smaller size (and as a result, smaller battery) does mean it’s not the multi-day phone the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but we still managed to comfortably get through a busy workday without hitting 0%.

What we like most about the iPhone 13 Pro is the design and how it fits all these high-end features into a body that’s pocketable and manageable.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone 13 Pro review

iPhone 13 Mini

The best small iPhone
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Pros

  • Great camera
  • Better battery life than the previous Mini
  • The most powerful small phone around

Cons

  • No ProMotion
  • No optical zoom
  • Still can’t compete with the other iPhone 13 models for battery life

The iPhone 13 Mini takes everything you’ll find in the iPhone 13 and then shrinks it down to an even smaller size. It has the same duo of rear cameras, the same screen quality and the same overall design as its larger sibling. It also runs on the same chipset as all the phones in this list, so it boasts 5G and excellent general performance.

We’d recommend this as easily the best small phone on the market, but the size does introduce a couple of issues. These aren’t necessarily downsides, but factors that might influence your buying decision.

The 5.4-inch display is a lot smaller than the 6.1-inch screen on the iPhone 13. Of course, that leads to a smaller phone but it also means the Mini isn’t as suitable for gaming or media binges as the regular-sized iPhone. The battery size has also had to be reduced, meaning this is the iPhone 13 with the worst battery life – at least in our tests. If you’re a heavy user, you might be reaching for the charger before the end of the day based on our experience with the Mini.

Still, there isn’t really anything else like this on the market and for the right person, it is a great choice.

The iPhone 12 Mini is also still on sale, however we found the battery life on that model even worse. If you can afford to spend extra on the updated model, it’s certainly worth it based on our experience with the two phones.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone 13 Mini review

iPhone SE 2022

The best affordable new iPhone
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Pros

  • The fastest phone at this price (by some distance)
  • Takes great daylight pictures
  • IP rating and wireless charging
  • iOS and all the benefits that come with it

Cons

  • Small screen is cramped and restrictive
  • Tired design
  • No night mode in the camera

Apple’s cheapest iPhone is also the most confusing. While we like a lot of stuff about the iPhone SE 2022 and it scored well in our overall review, the tired design and slightly dated screen make it a harder proposition than the other phones on this list.

On the inside, there’s no doubting the iPhone SE 2022 is a winner. The A15 Bionic chipset is the same as you’ll find in the 13 Pro Max, and in benchmark tests, it can beat the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra for sheer performance. Considering the price, that’s an impressive feat and it should lead to years of software updates, making it a good investment.

We were impressed with the camera here too. The single 12MP unit takes snaps with lovely colour reproduction and accurate skin tones that aren’t too far off what you’d get on the iPhone 13, although the lack of night mode does make it a little tricky to get a great low-light picture.

Battery life is on par with the iPhone 13 Mini and, like all the phones here, it has an IP rating for dust and water resistance along with 5G and wireless charging. You rarely get all these features on other phones at this price.

But this phone really isn’t for those who want a phone with a great screen. The 4.7-inch panel is dinky, not as bright or sharp as the 13 series and comes with chunky black bars on either side. It feels old fashioned and the home button is nice for navigation and quick unlocking.

Reviewer: Max Parker 

Full review: iPhone SE 2022 review

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed

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FAQs

Which iPhones have 5G?

All the iPhones in this list come with some form of 5G. However, the supported bands can vary so it’s best to check with your carrier or network to see which bands and forms of 5G they support.

Do any of these iPhones come with a charger?

No – Apple has removed the charger from the box of all its iPhones. You’ll need to buy it separately or use an old one.

Which is the smallest iPhone?

While the iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch screen is the smallest, the iPhone 13 Min is the smallest overall device.

All the best iPhone specs

Compare all the most important specs from all the iPhones in our list.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Wirless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours

Trusted Reviews test data

Apple does a great job at keeping performance the same across all phones, so you’re getting strong speeds whether you go for the cheapest iPhone or the priciest.

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

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Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.