Which iPhone Should I Get?

But if your current phone is running too slow or is damaged, or if you’re simply ready for an upgrade and you want a new phone now, we recommend the iPhone 13 . It represents a relatively minor upgrade over 2020’s iPhone 12, but the improved cameras and better battery life build on the already great design and fast processing, with no drawbacks other than a few grams of added weight. If you prefer a smaller screen, the iPhone 13 mini is also a great choice, as it offers all the same features in an easier-to-hold package for $100 less.

If you have an iPhone that you’re happy with, keep it. We don’t think you should upgrade just because Apple has released new phones.

Apple’s iPhone 13 is just as fast as the more-expensive Pro models on almost any task, and it should be plenty snappy for daily use for at least the next four years. Even with its large, 6.1-inch display, its battery can get almost anyone through a full day without needing to recharge. The iPhone 13’s two rear cameras—one standard wide-angle, one ultrawide—are excellent, and they offer better low-light performance than previous iPhone cameras thanks to Night Mode. We prefer the iPhone 13’s squared edges to the curves on older iPhone models, and we appreciate the new design’s strong front-screen glass, great water resistance, and MagSafe charging and accessory system. Although the iPhone 13 isn’t significantly better than the iPhone 12 and doesn’t represent a noticeable upgrade in most ways if your current phone is a year or two old, it commands only a $50 premium when you compare models of the same storage capacity, and we think it’s worth that investment.

The iPhone 13 mini matches the iPhone 13 in its cameras and most features, but it’s about 20% smaller and lighter. As a result, its body is even smaller than that of the 2020 iPhone SE, yet the new phone has a larger, 5.4-inch edge-to-edge display. Although the battery lasted all day in our initial testing, heavy users may need to top it off during the day. If you want all the modern iPhone features but prefer a small device, the 13 mini offers a nearly perfect compromise.


While the iPhone 13’s screen is big enough for most people, the iPhone 13 Pro Max offers an even larger, 6.7-inch display, so it’s a good choice for those who use their phones to do a lot of work, to play games, or to watch videos, or for those who have visual needs and would benefit from more screen real estate. But the larger screen and body may make it harder to type with one hand, the phone can’t fit in narrow pockets, and the whole thing is straight-up heavy at more than half a pound. At the same time, its larger body allows for a bigger battery, which we found lasts about 22% longer than the iPhone 13’s. The iPhone 13 Pro Max also has improved cameras compared with those on the iPhone 13 and 13 mini, including an added 3x telephoto lens and the ability to shoot macro shots. In suboptimal situations, you may notice better photos, but based on our initial tests and comparisons of everyday shots, we believe the differences will be small, if any are present at all. The screen’s variable refresh rate, which allows for smoother scrolling and some battery optimization, is nice to have, but not a reason on its own for most people to pay the Pro Max’s higher price. If you’re buying this phone for its professional capabilities rather than just its physical size, choose the 256 GB (or larger) storage capacity.

Budget pick Apple iPhone SE (2nd generation, 64 GB) The cheapest way to get a great iPhone experience The iPhone SE has a faster processor than you might expect in such a comparatively inexpensive phone, as well as a good camera—and it costs half the price of the iPhone 13. Its low price, small size, and Touch ID fingerprint reader make it an easy upgrade for people who have older iPhones or for anyone wanting to spend less, but its battery doesn’t last as long. Buying Options $400 from Apple

The iPhone SE (2nd generation) is the ideal choice if you want a small phone, prefer a fingerprint reader to Face ID, or simply don’t want to pay as much for a new smartphone as you would for a decent laptop. The iPhone SE is significantly cheaper than the iPhone 13 but in many situations feels just as fast. It lacks the iPhone 13’s second, ultrawide lens and Night Mode camera setting, so capturing good photos in dark environments is harder. If you use your phone for more power-hungry activities like games, video, or voice or FaceTime calls over LTE, the smaller battery may not last all day. However, whereas cheap Android phones often stop getting software updates soon after purchase, even the least expensive iPhones, such as the SE, will receive iOS support for many years.

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