Whether you’re planning to make the switch from Android or you’re a first-time buyer, the Apple iPhone is the most popular smartphone. Apple iPhone users love its ease-of-use, wide range of apps and iPhone games, compatibility with other Apple products, and premium look and feel (after all it’s made from aluminum or stainless steel and glass).
However, long gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all iPhone. Now there are so many different models that it might feel tough to find the best one for you. The iPhone comes in a number of shapes and sizes, but not all are created equal—some are more powerful than others. Although there are a handful of models to choose from, we’re here to help you find the best one.
Whether you want something small or powerful, here are the best Apple iPhone models to buy in 2023. Make sure to also tune into Apple WWDC 2023 for new iOS 17 updates.
TL;DR – The Best Apple iPhones to Buy Now
- Apple iPhone 14 (Best All-Around)
- Apple iPhone 14 Plus (Best Battery Life)
- Apple iPhone 13 Mini (Best Small Model)
- Apple iPhone 14 Pro (Best Camera)
- Apple iPhone SE (2022) (Best Budget Option)
- Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max (Best Display)
Apple iPhone 14
The Apple iPhone 14 is the latest smartphone from the popular tech company. While it sports the same camera system from last year’s model (dual 12-megapixel main and ultra wide rear-facing cameras and 12-megapixel front-facing selfie camera) and the same processor (A15 Bionic chip), its reliability and familiarity is its biggest draw—especially for first-time iPhone buyers.
However, the iPhone 14 does offer key features that are not available on the iPhone 13 or previous models, namely Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite. These new safety features can save your life, if you’re in a car accident or lost in the wilderness, respectively. Each iPhone 14 model also uses built-in eSIM instead of physical Nano SIM cards, so smartphones are easier to use overseas without inserting a new SIM card.
The iPhone 14 comes in six colors, including Midnight, Starlight, Product (RED), blue, purple, and yellow, and offers a few storage-size options, such as 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
Apple iPhone 14 Plus
Best Battery Life
If you want an iPhone to go for hours (and sometimes even days), then the Apple iPhone 14 Plus is the model for you. While it has the same processor, camera, color availability, storage options, and features as the iPhone 14, the 14 Plus is much bigger—thanks to its larger display (6.1 inches compared to 6.7 inches, respectively). The byproduct of a bigger smartphone in this instance is a bigger battery, with more juice to get you through the day.
While the iPhone 14 Plus is the same size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max (further down the list), it’s not as power hungry, which means the battery life is more efficient and lasts much longer. On average, the iPhone 14 Plus could get you through two days of light use before it needs to be charged.
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
Best Small Model
Not everyone wants a giant iPhone. Sometimes small smartphones are best, whether for easier portability to carry in a pocket or handbag, or easier usability, especially with just one hand.
Enter the cute and fun Apple iPhone 13 Mini. This 2021 model features a 5.4-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display and A15 Bionic chip (which is the same processor that’s inside of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus), as well as a 12-megapixel front-facing “selfie” camera and dual 12-megapixel rear camera system with a main and ultra wide cameras. It’s essentially a smaller version of the iPhone 14, but without the Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite features.
The iPhone 13 Mini comes in six colors, such as Product (RED), Starlight, Midnight, blue, pink, and green. It also comes in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
The premium Apple iPhone 14 Pro features one of the best cameras the tech company has put inside of their smartphones. Not only does it produce sharp and detailed photos, but it also delivers crisp, clear, and stable videos—thanks to its advanced camera system.
For photos, the iPhone 14 Pro offers more flexibility with its triple rear camera system (compared to the standard model’s dual system), which gives photos crisper details. It gives you a wider range of options when taking photos for better clarity and depth of field with its 48-megapixel wide-angle main camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide for sharper detail, and a 12-megapixel telephoto. It even comes with a 12-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calls.
Speaking of video, the 14 Pro can capture video of up to 4K quality and 60FPS (frames per second), while the camera system supports the high-end Dolby Vision HDR (high dynamic range) format for crisp and detailed video quality. It even comes with cinematic video stabilization features for smoother motion when filming.
The iPhone 14 Pro is the crème de la crème of iPhones to buy in 2023. It comes in four colors, such as Space Black, Deep Purple, silver, and gold, while the device also comes in four storage options, including 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Best Budget Option
Starting at $429, the Apple iPhone SE (third generation) is our pick for the best cheap iPhone to buy. On the outside, the iPhone SE has the same body—4.7-inch display, and 12-megapixel wide rear and 7-megapixel selfie camera system—as the Apple iPhone 8, which was released in 2017. However, on the inside, the smartphone features the A15 Bionic processor, the same one fueling the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 14, and iPhone 14 Plus. As the old saying goes, “it's what's inside that counts.”
It also features the same access to the Apple App Store and just about every Apple service, including FaceTime, iMessage, iCloud, Apple Music, and much more, but at an affordable price.
The iPhone SE comes in three colors, including Midnight, Starlight, and red, as well as a few storage options, such as 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Best Large Display
If you want a large iPhone display in 2023, then the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is our pick. It features a massive 6.7-inch display, which is the same size as the iPhone 14 Plus,however, the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s display is brighter. It also produces smoother motion and animations with an 120Hz refresh rate compared to the 14 Plus’ 60Hz refresh rate, and features an “Always On” display that makes it easier to check the time and notifications when the smartphone is asleep.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is available in four colors, including Space Black, Deep Purple, silver, and gold, as well as 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options.
What to Look for in an Apple iPhone
While there are a number of different models, the user experience is essentially the same. That’s one of the Apple iPhone’s biggest draws and why it’s the most popular smartphone in the world. However, the differences between models can make it tougher to find the best one for you. Here’s what to look out for in an Apple iPhone in 2023.
When it comes to the iPhone, size matters. If you want to be able to use it with just one hand, finding the best size is key.For bigger hands,the Apple iPhone 14 Plus or the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is the perfect fit, thanks to their 6.7-inch displays. But if you’re on the smaller side, then the Apple iPhone 13 Mini or Apple iPhone SE (third generation) might be best with 5.4-inch or 4.7-inch displays, respectively.
Additionally, storage size is also something to think about. If you want to take a lot of high resolution photos, then the Apple iPhone 14 Pro with 1TB of storage is the best option, while the iPhone SE has the smallest amount of storage with just 64GB—if you don’t want to use a lot of apps and just use it very casually.
Meanwhile, if price is a consideration, the Apple iPhone ranges from the very wallet-friendly iPhone SE (64GB) at $429 to the totally maxed out iPhone 14 Pro Max (1TB) at $1,599. Best of all, even if you go with the most inexpensive model, Apple iOS operating system will be included—which will receive updates for the next 5-to-6 years after purchase. So whatever the budget, each model gets about the same software experience and support.
Overall, the most important thing to look for when buying an iPhone is how you’ll use it. For most people, the Apple iPhone 14 is the best pick because it's the most well-rounded with a fast processor, fantastic camera system, fun colors, and a wide range of storage options at a good price.
Rudie Obias is a contributing freelance writer and editor for IGN with a speciality in all things Apple products.