The world of smartphones is perpetually changing, with innovations and upgrades being released almost every year. Apple, a cornerstone in this ecosystem, consistently brings new technology to its consumers. As of 2023, the latest models are likely a new focal point for anyone considering an iPhone purchase. However, with a lineup that caters to various preferences and needs, choosing the best iPhone can be a daunting task.
So, in this guide, we’ve shared some of the best iPhones to buy in 2023.
The Best iPhones to Buy in 2023
When it comes to Apple's iconic iPhone, choosing the right one becomes challenging given the multitude of options, each with its own features, performance metrics, and price points. Whether you're a seasoned Apple user looking for an upgrade or a newcomer to the iOS ecosystem, there's an iPhone that's just right for you.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll break down the best iPhones to buy in 2023, weighing in on everything from budget considerations to feature sets, so you can make an informed decision that suits your individual needs.
1. iPhone 15
During Apple's 'Wonderlust' event on September 12, the tech giant unveiled four additions to its iPhone lineup:
- iPhone 15
- iPhone 15 Plus
- iPhone 15 Pro
- iPhone 15 Pro Max
Pre-orders for these devices will start at 5:00 a.m. PDT on September 15, and they will be available in retail locations from September 22.
The iPhone 15 series brings subtle design refinements rather than drastic changes, including a gentle curve at the back edges for a more ergonomic grip. As for the Pro models, they boast incremental hardware improvements. A significant change is the replacement of the mute switch with a customizable Action button that offers haptic feedback and visual cues via the Dynamic Island.
The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max stand out for their titanium construction, a first for iPhones, offering a better strength-to-weight ratio. This has led to a weight reduction: the 15 Pro Max weighs 221 grams, almost 8% less than its predecessor, while the 15 Pro has reduced its weight by 9%.
The new lineup also introduces several novel features. All devices now support USB-C, making charging more streamlined. Additionally, the Dynamic Island feature is now standard across all four models, and its functionality has been broadened. A notable new feature is reverse charging, allowing users to charge devices like the Apple Watch or 2nd-gen AirPods Pro directly from the phone.
Should You Buy the iPhone 15? If you have a much older iPhone model or a phone that is no longer meeting your needs, upgrading to the latest model may offer a significant improvement in user experience. However, if you already have a recent iPhone model, like the iPhone 14, the upgrade may not provide substantial benefits unless there are specific new features that are important to you.
These models are the crème de la crème of Apple's offerings, featuring the latest A16 chip, a ProMotion display with a high refresh rate, and a superior camera system. If budget is not an issue and you seek the best performance, look no further.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max stands as Apple's crème de la crème, tailored for consumers who demand the pinnacle of technological achievement. This smartphone is not just another model; it received the highest accolades in recent reviews.
As for battery longevity, it holds the title for the longest-lasting battery life, even when pitted against other market leaders. However, it's a choice for those with deep pockets, considering its lofty starting price of $1,099. Despite the cost, carrier plans can make it more financially manageable over an extended period.
The iPhone 14 Pro serves as an optimal choice for those seeking top-tier performance, a stunning display, cutting-edge functionalities, and unrivaled camera capabilities, without the bulk or the price tag of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
This model offers an all-encompassing smartphone experience that doesn't compromise on any front. Its slightly smaller size could also be a benefit for those with smaller hands or for people who prefer a more manageable device size.
This device is tailored for discerning iPhone consumers who are attracted to the premium features of the Pro series but are looking for a somewhat more affordable and less cumbersome alternative to the Pro Max. The iPhone 14 Pro captures the essence of a high-end smartphone experience, all while fitting more comfortably in your pocket and wallet.
The iPhone 14 Plus marks Apple's recent addition to their lineup, aiming to provide the expansive screen size that the iPhone 14 Pro Max boasts, but at a much more budget-friendly price point. Equipped with the potent A15 processor and exceptional battery longevity, this phone packs a punch in terms of performance.
However, it does fall short of incorporating the luxury camera and display attributes that the Pro Max model offers.
If you're the type of consumer who craves a large display but is unwilling or unable to splurge on the premium iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Plus is tailor-made for you. This model allows you to enjoy the benefits of a spacious screen while saving you $200 when compared to the more exorbitant Pro Max. It's the ideal compromise for those who want a bit of luxury without breaking the bank.
5. iPhone 14
The iPhone 14 offers a balanced option for the average consumer, featuring mostly updated hardware despite retaining its 2021 A15 Bionic chipset. While it doesn't have the flashy screen upgrades present in the Pro series, it does bring numerous other improvements.
Priced at $799, it's not exorbitantly expensive but isn't exactly a budget option either. With its enhanced performance, visually appealing display, and fresh design, the iPhone 14 has a lot to offer.
This iPhone is a jack-of-all-trades, designed for a broad audience. It capably handles the essential functions of a modern smartphone and includes special features like crash detection and satellite-linked emergency SOS for critical situations.
Ideal for those who value functionality and reliability over extravagant features, the iPhone 14 is well-suited for anyone seeking a quality phone without needing the absolute best on the market.
Apple devices aren't typically associated with budget-friendly prices, but the 3rd Generation iPhone SE defies that notion by offering a cost-effective entry point into the iOS ecosystem. It incorporates many of the iPhone's most cherished features but at a significantly reduced cost.
Additionally, it ranks as one of the most compact iPhones currently available—second only to the iPhone 13 mini—making it a great choice for those who prefer a more pocketable device. It's also the final iPhone model to feature Touch ID as a security option.
The iPhone SE is a match made in heaven for cost-sensitive consumers who are fans of the iOS interface but aren't eager to splurge on the latest, high-end models. With a price tag under $500, it's an affordable way to enter the Apple world. Moreover, if you're a fan of fingerprint-based security via Touch ID, this is your last chance to get it in an iPhone, as all other current models have moved to Face ID.
Of course, we couldn't leave out a compact iPhone option. Apple decided to discontinue the 'mini' configuration in their iPhone 14 series for 2022, which leaves the iPhone 13 mini from 2021 as a stand-alone small option.
While the iPhone SE also falls into the compact category, it doesn't quite measure up to the iPhone 13 mini when it comes to performance capabilities. Wanting a smaller phone doesn't have to mean sacrificing power.
The iPhone 13 mini is tailored for those who aren't fans of oversized, cumbersome phones. It stands as the most compact iPhone that is currently available and is a godsend for those who miss the convenience and portability of earlier, smaller phone models.
Despite its petite size, it doesn't skimp on hardware and software support, offering strong performance in a more compact—and generally less expensive—form factor.
8. iPhone 12
While the iPhone 12 may no longer be the newest offering, being two generations behind the current iPhone 14 lineup, it's still a robust choice packed with features.
Equipped with the competent A14 Bionic chip, a dual-camera setup that includes Night mode, and 5G capabilities, this phone remains a strong contender. Additionally, Apple is committed to providing at least three more years of software updates, ensuring its continued relevance well into 2025.
The iPhone 12 serves as an ideal pick for those looking for a budget-friendly iPhone that still supports 5G. Given that it's an older iteration, Apple has priced it substantially lower than the newest models.
But don't let its age fool you—the iPhone 12 still delivers strong performance and will continue to do so for years to come, thanks to extended software support from Apple.
- 🚀 High-End Users: The iPhone 15 series or the iPhone 14 Pro Max offers the best of what Apple has to deliver in terms of performance, camera quality, and display.
- 👍 Average Consumers: The iPhone 14 offers a great compromise between price and features, providing most people with everything they need in a modern smartphone.
- 💵 Budget-Conscious: The iPhone SE (3rd Generation) or even older models like the iPhone 13 or 12 could be the perfect fit if you're looking to save money but still want a reliable and capable device.
Ultimately, the best iPhone for you depends on your specific needs and how you intend to use the device. Take the time to assess what features are most important to you and what you're willing to compromise on to make the best decision.
- 💰 Budget: iPhones come in a range of prices, and it's essential to know how much you're willing to spend before diving into the specifics. Models like the iPhone SE offer affordability while still providing reasonable performance and features.
- 📷 Features: Are you a photography enthusiast, or do you desire an A-grade display? Maybe you're just looking for a phone that can handle day-to-day tasks efficiently. Knowing what features are most important to you can help narrow your choices.
- 🕰️ Longevity: Apple products are known for their durability and longevity. Buying the latest model could offer a longer life span, but even older versions receive software updates for several years.
- 🔄 Compatibility: Ensure that your new iPhone is compatible with your existing Apple ecosystem, like Apple Watch, AirPods, or MacBook, to maximize functionality and convenience.
Choosing the right iPhone is no small task, given Apple's expansive lineup catering to a variety of tastes, needs, and budgets. From the budget-friendly iPhone SE to the high-end iPhone 14 Pro Max and the latest iPhone 15 series, the choice ultimately boils down to what you prioritize—be it camera capabilities, display quality, size, or cost.
For those who are budget-conscious but don't want to compromise on the Apple experience, the iPhone SE stands out as a viable option. Conversely, if you're willing to invest in top-tier performance and a host of advanced features, the iPhone 15 and 14 Pro series are the pinnacle of what Apple has to offer. In between, models like the iPhone 12 offer a compelling blend of features and affordability, while specialty options like the compact iPhone 13 mini provide unique advantages.
Remember, it's not just about having the latest and greatest; it's about finding the device that fits your lifestyle, needs, and budget. With a little research and consideration, you're sure to find the iPhone that's just right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the most budget-friendly iPhone available?
The most budget-friendly iPhone currently available is the iPhone SE (3rd Generation). It offers a cost-effective option without compromising on performance and features, making it an excellent choice for those seeking affordability within the Apple ecosystem.
2. Which iPhone offers the best camera capabilities?
The iPhone models with the most advanced camera capabilities are typically found in the latest flagship releases, such as the iPhone 15 series or the iPhone 14 Pro Max. These models feature state-of-the-art camera technology, offering exceptional photography and videography capabilities with improved sensors, image processing, and computational photography features.
3. Is the iPhone 12 still a good buy in 2023?
Yes, the iPhone 12 remains a viable choice in 2023 for those seeking a reliable and cost-effective iOS device. While it may lack the latest features, it offers solid performance, camera capabilities, and software support, making it a practical option for many users with a more budget-conscious approach.
4. Who should consider buying the iPhone 13 Mini?
The iPhone 13 Mini is ideal for users seeking a compact and portable smartphone experience without compromising on performance. It's perfect for those who prefer one-handed use, prioritize pocketability, and still want the latest features and capabilities offered by the iPhone 13 series.
5. When is the best time to buy an iPhone?
The best time to purchase an iPhone often aligns with Apple's annual product release cycle, typically in September. Consider waiting for new models to be announced, as prices on older models may drop. Additionally, seasonal sales events like Black Friday can offer discounts and incentives for prospective buyers.
6. What is the typical software support lifespan for an iPhone?
The typical software support lifespan for an iPhone is approximately 5-6 years. Apple provides regular iOS updates during this period, ensuring users receive security patches and new features. However, the exact duration can vary depending on the specific iPhone model and when it was released.