iPhone 2021: 4 Apple phone Models, Which is Your Best

Apple sells phones priced from as low as $399 to as high as $1,399. We’re here to help you find the best one for your needs and budget.

When Steve Jobs launched the original iPhone back in 2007, there was only one model you could buy. Once you worked up the courage to buy a phone from a company that was better known for making computers, the only decision you had was whether to get one with 4GB of storage or 8GB. As color options go, you could get any color you wanted as long as it was black and aluminum. Oh, and as far as carriers, only AT&T supported the iPhone.

Fourteen years later, Apple sells seven different models of iPhone, five of which launched in the past year. There is a model that works with pretty much every major phone carrier in the world. The iPhone is available in an array of colors and finishes, while storage options now top out at 512GB.

Apple currently sells seven iPhone models which are a mix of new phones and models dating back to 2018:

You might find that carriers and third-party sellers offer other older models, like the iPhone X. To complicate matters, some iPhones have two cameras, others three and others four (including the front-facing selfie camera). Then there’s the fact that nearly all current iPhones have Face ID, but one model — the iPhone SE — soldiers on with Touch ID. Having a lot of options isn’t bad but it sometimes can feel overwhelming.

To help you figure out which is the best iPhone for you, we thoroughly reviewed and tested each one on this list, from their batteries to camera performance.

But if you’re looking for other options outside of Apple’s offerings, read our guide to help find the best phone for your needs and take a look at our tips on how to buy a new phone.

Best Overall

iPhone 12 Pro Max

If you want the largest screen and longest battery life on any iPhone ever made, the $1,099 iPhone 12 Pro Max is worth the price. And yes, if you want to get every last drop of image quality out of your photos and videos, then this is the iPhone to get. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also earned a CNET’s Editors’ Choice distinction.

Aside from being the biggest and heaviest iPhone, the 12 Pro Max has a photo and video features not found on any other model. The new telephoto lens on the 12 Pro Max has a 2.5x optical zoom compared to the 2x optical zoom on the 12 Pro. And that extra 0.5x goes a long way. The main wide-angle camera on the 12 Pro Max has a larger sensor which according to Apple gets an 87% improvement in low-light capability. Compared to the regular iPhone 12 Pro, it’s hard to notice those.

Most people’s choice

iPhone 12

With support for 5G being its crown jewel feature, the iPhone 12 ($829 unlocked, $799 on most carriers) marks the beginning of a new generation of iPhone. Out of the four phones in Apple’s 12 series, the regular 12’s spot is a bit overshadowed by its siblings. But if you look closely, you’ll realize it’s basically the iPhone 12 Pro with a $170 price cut. Both have the same design, the same display, the same insanely fast A14 Bionic chip, the same 5G support, the same support for MagSafe charging, the same selfie, wide and ultrawide cameras.

Also read: iOS 14.6 Promises Great features Here are all the best iPhone and iPad features to try

Best Value (Price)

iPhone 11

If you don’t need support for 5G, the iPhone 11 at $599 represents the best deal for any iPhone. So much so that it is a CNET Editors’ Choice. You get so much for that price like an A13 processor, excellent cameras, a solid battery life and the choice of six colors. In contrast to the straight-sided 12 series, the 11 has curved sides which some may prefer.

The biggest drawback is the old style screen which uses an LCD panel instead of an OLED one. But don’t let that turn you away, the screen still looks good in everyday use. Like the iPhone 12, if you have an extra $50 in your budget, I recommend getting the 128GB version.

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