Picking the best iPhone got a bit more complicated in late 2018 after Apple launched three new picks in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.
We’ve ranked these three new flagship iPhones, as well as the older handsets, so you can find the best iPhone for you.
Our recommendations round out the top 10 iPhones you can get, because getting the newest might not be your best option if you worry about losing a cutting-edge phone.
For example, 2017’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are still great picks.
Good news, the top 10 iPhones we recommend run iOS 12, Apple’s latest big operating system update for its devices. It’s therefore a bit different from our prestigious best phones list and the best Android phones list.
Our top iPhone list highlights the different specs, screen sizes, and other points. Each of these handsets has something to offer for every kind of Apple fan – so we’ve boiled down the choices for you in a simple-to-read format.
Best iPhone: which one should you get today
1. iPhone XS Max
The iPhone XS Max is the best iPhone you can have
Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 1242 x 2688 | CPU: A12 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/256/512GB | Battery: 3,179mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP | Front camera: 7MP
The iPhone XS Max is the best iPhone you can have right now. It’s Apple’s biggest and best iPhone – if your hands and wallets are large enough. It has an expansive 6.5-inch OLED screen with HDR10 support to make colors pop. It’s the perfect phone if you want a giant screen.
Behind that huge screen is an improved dual-lens 12MP camera. Apple outfitted it with Smart HDR and increased the sensor size to capture larger pixels. Don’t let that static 12MP number fool you. The iPhone XS Max (like the XS) has new depth-sensing capabilities for adjustable bokeh (background blur) during and after a shot.
The TrueDepth camera returns with faster Face ID recognition, and your 7MP selfies get better depth control and Smart HDR, too. And, of course, Animoji returns with the iOS 12 benefit of having Memoji now.
2. iPhone XS
The best iPhone for those looking for something more compact
Weight: 174g | Dimensions: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1125 x 2436 | CPU: A12 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/256/512GB | Battery: 2,659mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP | Front camera: 7MP
Believe it or not, the iPhone XS is Apple’s best ‘small’ phone. It has a 5.8-inch screen, so it’s more one-hand-friendly than the Max, but still a sizable upgrade for some people.
It’s an upgrade over last year’s iPhone X, our previous best iPhone recommendation, though you’ll have to look more closely for the changes – the design isn’t different at all. It has a Smart HDR-capable 12MP camera, enhanced TrueDepth front-facing camera, and a fast A12 Bionic chipset, exactly like the larger iPhone XS Max.
In fact, this all-screen phone is pretty much the iPhone XS Max in last year’s smaller form factor. It does have a smaller battery than the Max and obviously a smaller screen, but you will still capture the same great photos and videos on this device and play the same games. There’s no difference there.
3. iPhone XR
The best iPhone for those looking for great battery life
Weight: 194g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1792 x 828 | CPU: A12 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128256GB | Battery: 2,942mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP | Front camera: 7MP
This is Apple’s best iPhone of the new trio for battery life.
It stands out with a variety of iPhone XR colors: Blue, White, Black, Yellow, Coral, Red. This contrasts heavily with the rather muted colors of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Yet it shares the same internal specs: Apple’s fast A12 Bionic chipset and a 12MP dual-lens camera with a single lens on back.
You don’t get the dual-lens camera like you do on a higher-tier iPhone, so you miss out on telephoto shots. But Smart HDR is the real perk to taking great photos, and that’s here.
It’s more colorful and it has a big 6.1-inch screen. That’s enough for most people, especially those who aren’t insistent on an impressive OLED screen.