What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (2024)

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

  • Best Phones
  • Best 5G Phones
  • Best Small Phones
  • Best Camera Phones
  • Best Android Phones

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (1)

Best iPhone for Creators

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

4.5 Outstanding

  • Fast, smooth performance
  • Excellent cameras
  • Long battery life
  • Useful Action button
  • USB-C connectivity opens up new features
  • Lighter than previous Pro Max
  • Expensive
  • Big

Operating SystemiOS 17

CPUApple A17 Pro

Dimensions6.29 by 3.02 by 0.32 inches

Screen Size6.7 inches

Screen Resolution2,796 by 1,290 pixels

Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)48MP, 12MP, 12MP; 12MP

Battery Life (As Tested)20 hours, 15 minutes

The 15 Pro Max is the top model in the iPhone 15 family. It packs the best cameras (including a 5x optical telephoto sensor), a lightning-fast processor, a customizable Action button, a large and bright display, and the longest battery life of any iPhone. It adopts USB-C for the first time and supports several advanced functions, such as direct recording to external hard drives.

The 15 Pro Max is for iPhone buyers who want it all and have money to spend. It's also for video-first creators who can put the ProRes and Log recording to use. With all the best features and the performance to match, it carries a steep price even when broken down over two or three years via carrier plans. For those who will put the phone's creative powers to use, however, it's worth the cost.


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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Review

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (2)

Best iPhone for Most People

Apple iPhone 15

4.0 Excellent

  • Good size and weight
  • Solid performance
  • Capable cameras
  • USB-C port
  • Dynamic Island
  • No always-on display
  • No telephoto camera
  • Shorter battery life than other iPhones

Operating SystemiOS 17

CPUApple A16 Bionic

Dimensions5.81 by 2.81 by 0.31 inches

Screen Size6.1 inches

Screen Resolution2,556 by 1,179 pixels

Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)48MP, 12MP; 12MP

Battery Life (As Tested)16 hours, 15 minutes

The iPhone 15 is the lowest-cost entry in the 15 family and offers lots to like. It features a new design, adds a USB-C port, has a brighter display than its predecessor, and even gains the Dynamic Island feature. Additionally, the phone gets an upgraded processor from the outgoing Pro model, sports a dramatically more powerful main camera, and comes in the same toughened waterproof build.

The iPhone 15 is the best iPhone for the majority of buyers. It's affordable, runs fast enough for gaming, has capable cameras for adding content to social networks, and includes many of the same features as the pricier models. If you need a solid phone but don't care to spend the extra cash for the best phone, the iPhone 15 is the obvious choice.


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Apple iPhone 15 Review

  • Compact size
  • Lots of processing power
  • Customizable Action button
  • Advanced USB-C features
  • Excellent cameras
  • Pro video capture
  • Shorter battery life than iPhone Pro Max
  • Less optical zoom than iPhone Pro Max

Operating SystemApple iOS 17

CPUApple A17 Pro

Dimensions5.77 by 2.78 b y 0.32 inches

Screen Size6.1 inches

Screen Resolution2,556 by 1,179 pixels

Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)48MP, 12MP; 12MP

Battery Life (As Tested)16 hours, 45 minutes

The 15 Pro is the iPhone to buy if you want all the latest features, top performance, and a fantastic screen in a compact package. It includes all the functionality of the Pro Max (save for the 5x telephoto zoom) in a smaller body that's more comfortable to hold and use. It also costs $200 less than the larger model.

If you're looking for a top-tier phone that fits in your hand and your budget, the iPhone 15 Pro offers flagship performance at a more palatable price than the Pro Max.


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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Review

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (4)

Most Affordable Big-Screen iPhone

Apple iPhone 15 Plus

4.0 Excellent

  • Excellent battery life
  • Brisk performance
  • Very good cameras
  • USB-C port
  • Dynamic Island
  • No always-on display
  • No telephoto camera

Operating SystemApple iOS 17

CPUApple A16 Bionic

Dimensions6.33 x 3.06 x 0.31 inches

Screen Size6.7 inches

Screen Resolution2796 by 1290 pixels

Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)48MP / 12MP / 12MP

Battery Life (As Tested)19 hours 10 minutes

The 15 Plus is a bigger version of the iPhone 15: It has a larger screen, a larger battery, and a correspondingly larger footprint. The iPhone 15 Plus has the same size display and excellent battery life as the Pro Max model but costs $300 less. Other features include terrific cameras, a zippy processor, and a waterproof design.

For those seeking the biggest iPhone and the best battery life for the money, the 15 Plus is the one to get.


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Apple iPhone 15 Plus Review

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (5)

Best for Late Adopters

Apple iPhone 14

4.0 Excellent

  • Solid performance
  • Capable cameras
  • Helpful emergency features
  • Not that different from the iPhone 13
  • Dated design and Lightning connector

Operating SystemiOS 16

CPUApple A15

Dimensions5.78 by 2.82 by 0.31 inches

Screen Size6.1 inches

Screen Resolution2,532 by 1,170 pixels

Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)12MP, 12MP; 12MP

Battery Life (As Tested)15 hours, 30 minutes

The iPhone 14 might be last year's model, but it's still a good option for those who want to save a little bit of money. It ships with the solid A15 Bionic processor, a fine dual-camera system, good wireless performance, and Apple's Emergency SOS feature. Moreover, it will still receive several years of software support from Apple.

The iPhone 14 is a good pick for those who don't need the latest device and would rather keep an extra $100 in their pockets. It still handles all the smartphone basics with aplomb.


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Apple iPhone 14 Review

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (6)

Best Budget iPhone

Apple iPhone 13

4.5 Outstanding

  • Long battery life
  • Fast, smooth performance
  • Camera makes it easy for anyone to take good photos
  • Not much of an upgrade over the iPhone 12

Operating SystemiOS 15

CPUApple A15

Dimensions5.78 by 2.82 by .3 inches

Screen Size6.1 inches

Screen Resolution2,532 by 1,170 pixels

Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)12MP, 12MP; 12MP

Battery Life (As Tested)15 hours

The iPhone 13 is now two years old, but Apple still sells it at a reduced cost. This handset handles plenty of tasks with ease thanks to its A14 Bionic processor, twin-camera array, pixel-rich screen, and basic 5G service.

Because the iPhone 13 has been on the market for a bit, it's more affordable than other models. As such, it's a good pick for those who prioritize their budget over the latest features.


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Apple iPhone 13 Review

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (7)

Best Entry-Level iPhone

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

3.5 Good

  • Most affordable new iPhone
  • Speedy performance
  • Supports T-Mobile and Verizon mid-band 5G
  • Longer battery life than the previous model
  • Outdated body design
  • No Night mode in camera
  • Lacks support for AT&T's 3.45GHz mid-band 5G
  • Shortest battery life of any current iPhone model

Operating SystemiOS 15

CPUApple A15

Dimensions5.45 by 2.65 by 0.29 inches

Screen Size4.7 inches

Screen Resolution1,334 by 750 pixels

Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)12MP; 7MP

Battery Life (As Tested)7 hours, 20 minutes

Apple products aren't always known for affordability, but the iPhone SE bucks the trend by offering many of the features that make the iPhone so beloved at a substantially lower price. Moreover, the iPhone SE is the smallest iPhone available from Apple right now, so it works well for people who don't want to carry around a big phone. It's also the last iPhone to offer Touch ID.

The iPhone SE is perfect for the budget-conscious shopper who likes iOS, but doesn't need one of the more advanced models or want to spend more than $500. The iPhone SE is also the last iPhone to include Touch ID for security. If you'd rather use your fingerprint to unlock the iPhone than your face, this is the only option.


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Apple iPhone SE (2022) Review

Buying Guide: What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024?

When Is the New iPhone Coming Out?

The iPhone 15 line launched in September of 2023. That means the iPhone 16 likely won't arrive until September or October of 2024. The most recent iPhone SE arrived in March 2022.

Which Is the Most Powerful iPhone?

Every year brings faster and more powerful iPhones. If you tend to play a lot of games, surf a lot of image-heavy web pages, or shoot high-resolution video, a faster processor is better. Apple's most powerful iPhones are the Pro models.

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (8)

iPhone 15 Pro (Credit: Eric Zeman)

Generally speaking, each new generation of Apple's A-series chips brings a 15% to 20% jump in overall performance, including web browsing and GPU power. That means there's not that big a difference between the A15 Bionic (in the iPhone 14) and the A16 Bionic (in the iPhone 15), but there's a noticeable difference between either of those and the older A14 (in the iPhone 12).

Do You Need a 5G iPhone?

The iPhone 13, 14, and 15 series (all the iPhones Apple sells) are all 5G devices that support C-band networks. That's a strong argument for not choosing anything older than the iPhone 13. Fast 5G coverage has become far more universal in the last few years. T-Mobile has already expanded its speedy mid-band 5G network to much of the country, and Verizon continues to roll out C-band as well. Both systems make a considerable difference in connection speed and performance. AT&T is catching up quickly, though it still falls a bit behind the other two.

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (9)

iPhone 15 Pro (Credit: Eric Zeman)

We explore some hands-on test results that show the difference between 4G and 5G performance on iPhones in our story on whether you need a 5G iPhone. (Hint: You do.)

Which iPhone Has the Best Camera?

How serious are you about taking photos with your smartphone? That can help determine your choice of iPhone.

All iPhones have a main camera that shoots solid images during the day. Night mode, introduced with the iPhone 11, assists in low-light settings. Each year iPhones get a little better at taking low-light photos.

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (10)

iPhone 15 Pro (Credit: Eric Zeman)

The standard iPhone 13, 14, and 15 models each have wide-angle cameras, too, which help you fit more scenery into a shot. They're great if you're trying to take photos of groups or crowds of people. Pro iPhones, meanwhile, have 3x or 5x telephoto cameras that get crisp close-ups thanks to optical zoom. The Pro models also have advanced video capture features, including the highest rates (4K60), the most info-dense format (ProRes), and the best profiles for post-processing (Log).

To get the best camera and video camera, one of the Pro models is the way to go.

Which iPhone Size Is the Best?

Some people like big phones. Some like small phones. The iPhone lineup no longer offers very small phones but does include midsize and extra-large options.

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (11)

iPhone 15 Plus (Credit: Eric Zeman)

If you're upgrading from a very old iPhone, all of the new phones will seem large. The iPhone SE is the same size as the old iPhone 8, for example, and will be most familiar to folks with devices from 2016 or older. Apple axed the iPhone 13 mini, which was the smallest option. This means the SE is now the most compact device in the lineup.

The iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14 are the smallest modern iPhones. They have 6.1-inch screens, which is considered small at this point. Apple keeps the width under 3 inches, which really helps with hand comfort.

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (12)

iPhone 15 (Credit: Eric Zeman)

If you have poor eyesight or shaky hands, you might like the larger touch targets and bigger screens on the Plus or Max models. These are also great if you watch a lot of videos on your phone, but they can be heavy.

Larger iPhones generally have longer battery life than smaller iPhones (because they have larger batteries). Still, the new iPhone 15 models all have better battery life than the same-sized iPhone 14 models, so going with a newer model will get you some extra juice (about 30 minutes more per day).

Which iPhones Have Touch ID and Headphone Jacks?

Two features have mostly vanished from the iPhone line: Touch ID and the headphone jack.

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The iPhone SE is the only current iPhone with a physical Home button and Touch ID scanner. All non-SE models from the 2017-era iPhone X and later rely on Apple's Face ID for biometric security. If Touch ID is your thing, your options are the iPhone SE or a used iPhone 8 (which we no longer recommend for security reasons).

The last iPhone with a headphone jack was the 2015-era iPhone 6s, meaning that ship has long since sailed. You should have already given in and picked up wireless earbuds or an adapter for your Lightning or USB-C port.

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (15)

iPhone 15 (Credit: Eric Zeman)

Your iPhone Is a Ticking Clock

iPhones do eventually run out of software support. The latest iPhone operating system, iOS 17, runs only on the 2018-era iPhone XS or later models. Expect that each year, a generation of iPhones will get sloughed off as the latest software requires more powerful processors than the very old models have.

We no longer recommend phones older than the iPhone 12 line; they will likely get at least two more years of OS support. If you want a phone with long-term resale value, go for the iPhone 14 generation or higher.

And if your heart isn't set on an iPhone, alternatives abound. Check out our favorite Android phones and the best phones overall.

Sascha Segan contributed to this article.

What's the Best iPhone to Buy in 2024? (2024)


Is the iPhone worth buying in 2024? ›

there are so many great iPhones to choose from in 2024! The latest models from Apple offer amazing features and performance. Some popular options include the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. These phones are known for their advanced technology, stunning displays, and powerful cameras.

What iPhones will stop working in 2024? ›

What are Obsolete and Vintage iPhone Models in 2024?
  • iPhone.
  • iPhone 3G (China mainland) 8GB.
  • iPhone 3G 8GB, 16GB.
  • iPhone 3GS (China mainland) 16GB, 32GB.
  • iPhone 3GS (8GB)
  • iPhone 3GS 16GB, 32GB.
  • iPhone 4 CDMA.
  • iPhone 4 CDMA (8GB)
Jun 12, 2024

Which iPhone model is best to buy? ›

  • iPhone 15 Pro Max. The best iPhone you can buy. ...
  • iPhone 15. The best iPhone for most people. ...
  • iPhone 15 Plus. Best iPhone battery life. ...
  • iPhone 15 Pro. Apple's best features for under $1,000. ...
  • iPhone 14 Plus. Savings on a big iPhone. ...
  • iPhone 14. A great iPhone value at a lower price. ...
  • iPhone SE (2022) ...
  • iPhone 13.
Jun 4, 2024

Which iPhone is the most value for money? ›

Which iPhone is the best value for money? Right now, the iPhone that offers the best value for money is the iPhone 15, although the iPhone 13 Pro remains a strong choice if you're keen on the benefits of a Pro-level iPhone but don't want to spend big on a model with the Dynamic Island.

Is the iPhone 13 better than the iPhone 14? ›

It depends. The iPhone 14 offers minor improvements in camera, battery life, and processing power, but at a higher price. If you prioritise affordability and excellent performance, the iPhone 13 offers better value. If you want the latest advancements, the iPhone 14 may be worth the extra cost.

Is it still okay to buy an iPhone 13 in 2024? ›

Conclusion: A Solid Choice for Most Users

If you want to buy a new iPhone without breaking the bank, the iPhone 13 is among the best value-for-money iPhones in 2024. It shares an almost identical spec sheet with iPhone 14. Despite being a couple of years old, it's still quite a potent device to own.

Is an iPhone 15 worth it? ›

Yes, the iPhone 15 is worth it, although we reckon it depends on what phone you're upgrading from. Still rocking an iPhone XR or an 11 with a cracked screen and a blurry camera? You're going to find levelling up to the iPhone 15 a revelation.

Which is better, iPhone 14 or 15? ›

The major difference between the iPhone 14 vs iPhone 15 lies in the iPhone 15's enhanced A16 Bionic chip, improved battery life, and better camera capabilities with sensor improvements, offering a more powerful and versatile device overall.

Which iPhone is highest selling? ›

Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max was the best-selling smartphone of Q1 2024. Notably, the Pro Max variant achieved the top position for the first time in Apple's non-seasonal quarter, reflecting an increasing trend of consumer preference for high-end smartphones.

What iPhones are still worth buying? ›

Our Top Tested Picks
  • Best iPhone for Creators. Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. ...
  • Best iPhone for Most People. Apple iPhone 15. ...
  • Best Compact Pro iPhone. Apple iPhone 15 Pro. ...
  • Most Affordable Big-Screen iPhone. Apple iPhone 15 Plus. ...
  • Best for Late Adopters. Apple iPhone 14. ...
  • Best Budget iPhone. Apple iPhone 13. ...
  • Best Entry-Level iPhone.

What is the best iPhone for the lowest price? ›

If you want the most affordable iPhone, you're going to be looking at the iPhone SE (at least when it comes to brand-new phones, that is). Updated in 2022, the third-generation iPhone SE maintains the overall design of the iPhone 8, which will be familiar to a lot of iPhone buyers.

What will Apple do in 2024? ›

Late 2024 to Early 2025

Apple will begin updating the Mac lineup with M4 chips starting in late 2024 and early 2025. iMac - The 24-inch iMac will be updated with the next-generation M4 chip in late 2024.

What will iPhone be like in 2025? ›

A leading tech news site say Apple will release a pricier, thinner model in September 2025, along with the iPhone 17. Apple is developing a slimmer version of the iPhone that is likely to be launched by 2025, the Information reported on Friday, citing three people with knowledge of the project.

When should you replace your iPhone? ›

A common strategy is to upgrade every two to three years. This allows you to enjoy new features without sacrificing the longevity of your current device. It's also a popular choice as most phone contracts are two or three years in length.

How many years will iPhones last? ›

Most users use their iPhones for three to four years before upgrading to a new one. With battery replacements, you can extend this timeline to as much as five to six years. Beyond that, we recommend upgrading to a new iPhone to get the cumulative upgrade experience and the latest security and software updates.


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