Getting ready to buy a new iPhone but not sure which model is right for you? With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to figure out the differences and decide which iPhone best fits your needs and budget.
This comprehensive iPhone buying guide examines all the current iPhone models—from the affordable iPhone SE to the top-of-the-line iPhone 14 Pro Max. We’ll compare specs, features, sizes, cameras, performance, battery life, and more to help you determine the perfect iPhone for your requirements.
Outline of iPhone Models Covered in This Guide
To make it easier to compare iPhones, here’s a quick overview of the different models we’ll be discussing:
Current Generation (2022)
- iPhone 14
- iPhone 14 Plus
- iPhone 14 Pro
- iPhone 14 Pro Max
Previous Generation (2021)
- iPhone 13 Mini
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
Older Models Still Sold by Apple (2020 and earlier)
- iPhone SE (2022 and 2020)
- iPhone 12 Mini
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 11
- iPhone XR
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an iPhone
To decide which iPhone model is the best match, here are some key factors to take into account:
Budget – iPhones range in price from $429 (iPhone SE) to $1,099 (iPhone 14 Pro Max). Consider how much you want to spend.
Screen Size – Do you want a compact iPhone or a plus/max-sized screen? Options range from 4.7” to 6.7”.
Display Features – Standard LCD or higher-resolution OLED? Standard 60Hz or up to 120Hz ProMotion? These affect image quality.
Cameras – Number of lenses and advanced features differ across models. Evaluate megapixel counts and camera capabilities.
Performance – Processing chip, RAM, and iOS version impact speed and multitasking abilities.
Battery Life – Battery size and efficiency varies. Look at real-world battery testing results.
Durability – Ruggedness, water resistance rating, and repair-ability should be weighed.
5G Connectivity – All current models work on 5G networks, but some older models are 4G only.
Storage – Pick the right capacity for your needs. More storage means higher cost.
By examining iPhones across these factors, you can zero in on the ideal model for your personal requirements and preferences. Let’s dive into the comparisons!
Detailed Side-by-Side iPhone Specs and Features Comparison
Phone Sizes, Dimensions, and Weights
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||6.7 inches||160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85 mm||240 g|
|iPhone 14 Pro||6.1 inches||147.5 x 71.5 x 7.85 mm||206 g|
|iPhone 14||6.1 inches||146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8 mm||172 g|
|iPhone 14 Plus||6.7 inches||160.8 x 78.1 x 7.8 mm||203 g|
- The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the largest at 6.7” screen and heaviest at 240g. The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro are more compact 6.1” models. The iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7” size like the Max but lower weight.
- The regular iPhone 14’s are nearly identical in size and weight to their iPhone 13 predecessors. The Pro models are slightly larger/heavier than the 13 Pro’s.
Displays: Screen Types, Resolution, Refresh Rates
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||6.7″ OLED||2796 x 1290 px||1-120 Hz ProMotion|
|iPhone 14 Pro||6.1″ OLED||2556 x 1179 px||1-120 Hz ProMotion|
|iPhone 14||6.1″ OLED||2532 x 1170 px||60 Hz|
|iPhone 14 Plus||6.7″ OLED||2778 x 1284 px||60 Hz|
- The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have the highest resolution OLED displays with ProMotion technology for adaptive 1-120 Hz refresh rates and the best visual quality.
- The regular iPhone 14 models have 60 Hz OLED screens, lacking ProMotion. Resolution is slightly lower but still excellent.
- The dynamic refresh rates on the Pro models make scrolling and animations extremely smooth. Their panels hit up to 1200 nits peak HDR brightness.
Cameras: Megapixels, Lenses, Zoom, and Features
|Model||Rear Camera(s)||Front Camera||Features|
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||Main: 48MP|
|12MP||3x optical zoom|
|iPhone 14 Pro||Main: 48MP|
|12MP||3x optical zoom|
|iPhone 14||Main: 12MP|
|iPhone 14 Plus||Main: 12MP|
- The iPhone 14 Pro models have a huge 48MP main camera upgrade and telephoto lens for optical zoom. Their cameras are far superior.
- Photonic Engine, Action mode, and 3x optical zoom give the Pro models the best quality photos and video, especially in low light.
- The standard iPhone 14 have a dual 12MP camera system similar to past models. Photonic Engine improves low light shots.
Performance Specs: Chip, RAM, 5G, iOS Version
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||A16 Bionic||6GB||Yes||iOS 16|
|iPhone 14 Pro||A16 Bionic||6GB||Yes||iOS 16|
|iPhone 14||A15 Bionic||6GB||Yes||iOS 16|
|iPhone 14 Plus||A15 Bionic||6GB||Yes||iOS 16|
- The iPhone 14 Pro models have the latest A16 chip for maximum performance speed, while the standard 14’s retain the A15. Both deliver fantastic capabilities.
- All models have 6GB RAM and run the advanced iOS 16 software for a seamless experience.
- 5G connectivity is supported across the lineup for super fast downloads and streaming on high-speed networks.
Battery Life and Charging Comparison
|Model||Battery (mAh)||Video Playback||Charging Speed|
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||4,323 mAh||29 hours||20W fast charging|
|iPhone 14 Pro||3,200 mAh||23 hours||20W fast charging|
|iPhone 14||3,279 mAh||26 hours||20W fast charging|
|iPhone 14 Plus||4,325 mAh||29 hours||20W fast charging|
- The iPhone 14 Pro Max has the largest battery for the longest life. But all models deliver excellent battery performance.
- 20W fast charging comes standard across the lineup, allowing you to charge to around 50% in 30 minutes.
- Flashy new features like Always-On display have minimal battery impact on the Pro models thanks to their LPTO screens.
Durability: Water and Dust Resistance, Glass, Ceramic Shield
|Model||IP Rating||Front Glass||Back Glass|
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||IP68||Ceramic Shield||Gorilla Glass Victus|
|iPhone 14 Pro||IP68||Ceramic Shield||Gorilla Glass Victus|
|iPhone 14||IP68||Ceramic Shield||Gorilla Glass|
|iPhone 14 Plus||IP68||Ceramic Shield||Gorilla Glass|
- All models feature water and dust resistance rated IP68, meaning they can withstand submersion for 30 minutes in 6 meters of water.
- Ceramic Shield on the front resists cracks and scratches from common drops. The Pro’s add Victus glass on back for 4x better drop resistance.
- Overall, the Pro models offer the best durability with their nearly indestructible screens and tougher rear glass.
Best iPhone for Budget Buyers: iPhone SE (2022 & 2020)
Price – Starting at $429 (2022) or $199 (2020)
Looking for an affordable iPhone option? The iPhone SE packs great performance into a compact 4.7-inch design at an attractive price point. Here’s an overview:
- Capable A15 Bionic chip (2022) or A13 Bionic chip (2020)
- Single 12MP rear camera
- Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- IP67 water resistance
- Wireless charging
- iOS 16 support
- Most affordable iPhone
- Still reasonably fast and capable
- Classic home button design some prefer
- Portable, pocketable form factor
- Small, lower resolution screen
- Big top and bottom bezels look dated
- Single rear camera limits photography
- 4G only, no 5G connectivity
The iPhone SE packs tremendous value into its low price, offering good performance and modern iOS features. But the outdated design and lack of 5G may be dealbreakers for some. It’s best for budget buyers who want a basic, quality iPhone experience.
Best Compact iPhone: iPhone 13/14 Mini
Price – Starting at $599 (iPhone 13 Mini)
Want a powerful iPhone in a truly pocket-sized form? The iPhone 13/14 Mini delivers flagship fast performance and advanced dual cameras while remaining extremely portable. Key details:
- Bright 5.4” Super Retina OLED display
- Dual 12MP camera system (wide & ultrawide)
- A15 Bionic chip (13 Mini) or A16 chip (14 Mini)
- 5G connectivity
- IP68 water & dust resistance
- Truly small, lightweight design
- Blazing fast performance
- Great dual camera quality
- Lower price than Pro models
- Battery life is just OK
- Screen is small for some
- Lacks telephoto camera & Pro features
If you want pro-level iPhone performance in the most compact size possible, the 13/14 Mini is perfect. Just be ready for shorter battery life and a smaller screen than other models. It’s a great option for those who value portability.
Best Overall iPhone: iPhone 14 Pro & Pro Max
Price – Starting at $999 (iPhone 14 Pro)
Want the absolute best iPhone available today? Look no further than the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Here’s what makes them stand out:
- Stunning 6.1” or 6.7” ProMotion OLED displays
- 48MP main camera with 3x optical zoom telephoto
- Powerful new A16 Bionic processor
- Always-On Display, Crash Detection, Emergency SOS via Satellite
- Up to 1TB storage & improved battery life
- Best displays with ProMotion adaptive refresh
- Massively upgraded camera system
- Blazing performance from A16 chip
- Exciting new safety features
- Available in up to 1TB storage capacity
- Very expensive, premium price tag
- Big, heavy for some users
- iOS 16 still has some bugs
With their phenomenal OLED displays, major camera overhaul, and Apple’s most powerful processor, the iPhone 14 Pro models represent the pinnacle of iPhone technology. If you want an absolute top-tier iPhone with all the bells and whistles, the 14 Pro and Pro Max deliver. Just be prepared to pay a premium.
Best Big Screen iPhone: iPhone 14 Plus
Price – Starting at $899
Want a jumbo-sized iPhone without paying for Pro features you may not need? The new iPhone 14 Plus fits the bill with its spacious 6.7-inch display.
- Huge 6.7-inch OLED display
- A15 Bionic processor
- Dual 12MP camera system
- Up to 26 hours video playback
- Available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB models
- Least expensive model with giant 6.7” screen
- Great battery life from the plus-sized body
- Gets you the larger display without Pro prices
- Still has very fast A15 Bionic chip
- Lacks telephoto lens & Pro camera features
- Design and display not as advanced
Best Battery Life iPhone: iPhone 14 Plus & iPhone 14 Pro Max
If battery life is your top priority, the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max are your top options, each providing all-day power in their big chassis.
iPhone 14 Plus Battery
- 4,325 mAh capacity
- Up to 26 hours video playback
- 20W fast charging
iPhone 14 Pro Max Battery
- 4,323 mAh capacity
- Up to 29 hours video playback
- 20W fast charging
- More power efficient display
Both deliver excellent battery life that will easily get even heavy users through a full day on a charge. The Pro Max edges out the Plus slightly thanks to its more efficient ProMotion display. But both provide stellar battery performance in their extra large size.
Best Value iPhone: iPhone 13
Price – Starting at $699
Want a flagship iPhone experience for hundreds less than the latest models? The iPhone 13 delivers tremendous value by packing top-tier performance, camera, display, and battery life into an affordable package.
- Sleek design with 6.1” Super Retina XDR OLED display
- Dual camera system with 12MP wide and ultra wide lenses
- Lightning fast A15 Bionic processor
- Up to 19 hours video playback
- Durable design with Ceramic Shield
- Hundreds less than iPhone 14 with nearly equal features
- Blazing fast performance perfect for any task
- Great camera quality with Night mode enhancements
- Long battery life to get through busy days
- More affordable higher storage tiers
Subscribe to our list
Don't worry, we don't spam
- Lacks always-on display and crash detection of 14 series
- Not as future-proofed as brand new models
For shoppers looking for a premium iPhone experience on a budget, the iPhone 13 hits the sweet spot. It retains nearly all the top-tier features of the 14 models at a more affordable price point.
Still Worth It in 2022? iPhone XR and iPhone 11
Apple still sells the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 as low cost options, but are they worth buying in 2022 compared to newer models? Let’s break it down:
- Lower starting price of $499
- Capable A12 Bionic processor
- Single 12MP wide angle camera
- 6.1″ LCD display (not OLED)
- Big, dated bezels
- No 5G support
- Starting price of $599
- Faster A13 Bionic chip
- Dual 12MP camera system
- 6.1″ LCD display (not OLED)
- Slightly fresher design
- No 5G
Both phones still perform well for basic tasks. But their older processors, lower resolution LCD displays, lack of 5G, and dated designs make newer models a better value for just a bit more money.
Only consider the XR or 11 for kids or very light iPhone users who want basic functionality for the lowest cost. For most buyers, it’s worth spending just a little bit more for a newer model.
Which Storage Capacity Should You Choose?
All current iPhone models are available with different storage amounts. Here’s how to decide which Tier to get:
- 128GB – Best for light users who don’t install many apps or take lots of photos/video. Saves you money.
- 256GB – Sweet spot for most users. Plenty of room for apps, media, photos in a mid-range price.
- 512GB – For power users who want to store tons of high res photos/video and larger apps. Overkill for many.
- 1TB – Only available on iPhone 14 Pro models. For professionals storing massive amounts of media locally.
Also consider iCloud storage – you can safely store less locally if you offload media to the cloud. But more local storage ensures you always have room and access.
Still Can’t Decide? Key Questions to Ask Yourself
If you’re still on the fence after this extensive comparison, ask yourself these key questions to zero in on the right iPhone model for you:
- How much can I afford to spend? Budget is often the biggest deciding factor. Get the most phone for your money.
- Do I need Pro camera capabilities? The Pro models excel here, but casual shooters can save with the regular iPhone 14 models.
- Do I value battery life over portability? The Plus and Pro Max models prioritize battery life in their huge cases.
- Will I use the Always-On display? This eye-catching feature is limited to the iPhone 14 Pro line.
- Do I need maximum power and future-proofing? Go Pro for the new A16 chip and advanced display.
Once you answer these questions, one iPhone model will often rise to the top as the best fit for your needs and preferences.
The Best iPhone for You
We covered a ton of ground comparing iPhone models! To recap, here are some key conclusions:
- The iPhone 14 Pro & Pro Max are the best iPhones overall with class-leading displays, cameras, performance and premium features.
- The iPhone 13 remains a terrific value, offering flagship capabilities for much less.
- The iPhone SE packs great performance into an affordable, compact design.
- Battery life champions are the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
- Serious photographers need the advanced cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Ultimately there’s an iPhone for every user out there. Use this guide to think through how you’ll use your phone and the features that matter most to you. Compare the specs and options across models. And enjoy what’s sure to be an incredible new iPhone!