Best iPhone 2021: which Apple phone is the top choice for you?

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This is the best time to buy an iPhone with the iPhone 12 range being Apple’s biggest and best iPhone range yet, complete with four models to choose from.

There’s the basic iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro, the massive iPhone 12 Pro Max (Apple’s biggest phone yet), and — for the first time — a mini model in the form of the iPhone 12 Mini. Small phone lovers, rejoice.

Besides the iPhone 12 range, there’s also the budget iPhone SE (2020) which launched slightly before them, along with a selection of older iPhones that you can still get hold of.

Apple keeps its phones supported with software updates for a long time so buying an older model can often be a great way to save some money.

All of these iPhones cover a range of sizes, designs, budgets, and features. With that in mind, we’ve ranked all of the iPhones that Apple currently sells along with older models that can still be found from other retailers.

You’ll find them all below with a detailed overview of what each model offers.

Between the 12 options below, there should be something for almost everyone – as long as you want iOS. If Android feels more appealing, then it’s also worth checking out some of our other smartphone guides, linked below and to the right.

Given we probably won’t get an iPhone SE 3 any time soon, and the new iOS 14.5 features looking pretty nice, now is the best time to buy an iPhone – unless you’re patient enough to wait until September or October when we expect the iPhone 13 range to launch. If nothing catches your eye right now, keep an eye on this guide to see what comes next.

1. iPhone 12

The best Apple iPhone bang for your buck

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 164g

Dimensions: 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.4 mm

OS: iOS 14

Screen size: 6.1-inch

Resolution: 1170 x 2532

CPU: A14 Bionic

RAM: 4GB

Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB

Battery: Unknown

Rear camera: 12MP+12MP

Front camera: 12MP

More expensive than the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 makes up for that price hike with a wealth of new features that should prove useful in the coming months and years.

That includes future-proofing courtesy of 5G support and the addition of MagSafe connectivity which enables you to attach things to your phone such as a charger or a case.

The camera might be a little too similar to last year’s iPhone and the battery life remains merely okay, but there’s no denying that the iPhone 12 is a superior beast than the phones that have come before.

Design wise, it’s returned to some of the stylings of the iPhone 4 or 5 and that’s actually a good thing, feeling comfier in your hands.

There’s also the overdue switch to a colorful OLED display which reminds us again that Apple knows how to create a stylish looking as well as future-proof device.

2. iPhone 12 mini

The same as above, but smaller

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 135g

Dimensions: 131.5mm x 64.2mm x 7.4mm

OS: iOS 14

Screen size: 5.4-inch

Resolution: 1080 x 2340

CPU: A14 Bionic

RAM: 4GB

Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB

Battery: Unknown

Rear camera: 12MP+12MP

Front camera: 12MP

Apple has introduced an iPhone mini for the first time in its history of making handsets, and it’s almost exactly the same as the iPhone you’ve just read about above but it’s smaller.

There are a number of tiny spec differences – for example, wireless charging is notably slower on the iPhone 12 mini – but otherwise you’re getting top-end spec such as the powerful rear camera, 5G support and MagSafe support as well.

The design makes this phone easy to hold in a single hand, so if you’ve been crying out for a smaller iPhone that doesn’t lose out on the top-end specs that you get from other Apple devices this may well be for you.

As with the iPhone 12, the display is also fantastic on this handset too.

You may not enjoy the battery life as that isn’t fantastic on the iPhone 12 mini, but if that’s your main focus you’ll like one of the phones coming up below.

3. iPhone 12 Pro

Our third favorite iPhone

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 189g

Dimensions: 146.7mm x 71.5mm x 7.4 mm

OS: iOS 14

Screen size: 6.1-inch

Resolution: 1170 x 2532

CPU: A14 Bionic

RAM: 6GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: Unknown

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP

Front camera: 12MP

More advanced than the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 Pro is also more expensive and has better specs than the standard model. The internals are better, and there’s a superior camera.

A fourth sensor alongside the standard iPhone 12 fare in the form of a LiDAR scanner makes it easier for the iPhone to work out what it’s looking at, doing a great job of detecting faces in low light situations.

The iPhone 12 Pro also has a RAM boost – up to 6GB from 4GB – and that’s sure to help you get the most from whatever you’re doing on your phone. If you’re looking to edit videos on your phone, the iPhone 12 Pro is ideal for such a purpose.

Elsewhere, it’s business as usual for the iPhone 12 Pro offering much of what the iPhone 12 already has for less, but if you want that extra oomph, it’s an impressive upgrade.

4. iPhone 12 Pro Max

The very best iPhone when it comes to spec

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 228g

Dimensions: 160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.4mm

OS: iOS 14

Screen size: 6.7-inch

Resolution: 1284 x 2778

CPU: A14 Bionic

RAM: 6GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: Unknown

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP

Front camera: 12MP

After the very best iPhone that money can buy? The iPhone 12 Pro Max is exactly that, and we loved everything it can do. It takes a lot of what makes the three phones you can read about above and just tweaks a few elements to make it even better.

So why is it so low in our list of the best iPhones? This is an expensive handset, and the sheer size of this handset means it won’t be for everyone.

If you’re happy to spend money on it, and you want a phone with a mammoth 6.7-inch screen then you’ll be happy with the iPhone 12 Pro Max in your pocket. A lot of what we’ve said about the iPhone 12 Pro is true here, but there are a few benefits.

The battery life is better in the iPhone 12 Pro Max when compared to the other iPhones on this list, and you’ll also find it has a slightly more powerful rear camera than even the iPhone 12 Pro.

If you want the very best, you’ll have to pay for it. If you’re happy to, this is the best iPhone for you right now.

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