The best iPhone 2023on November 9, 2023 at 12:08 Tech Advisor


If you’re reading this article, you’re probably considering buying a new iPhone.

But deciding which of Apple’s handsets to buy isn’t easy. The company releases four new iPhone models each year, and it continues to update the more affordable iPhone SE every few years.

Do you need the absolute latest and greatest iPhone? Or would something a bit older or less powerful still offer everything you’re looking for?

Each iPhone has its own set of pros and cons, which we’ll run through in this article. However, it’s worth noting that only two of the four iPhone 15 models are included here. We haven’t had a chance to review the 15 Plus or 15 Pro Max, but will update this article once we do.

The list below is ranked, but you might find that something towards the bottom will actually be best for you. Look out for what each iPhone is ‘best’ at, and read our detailed buying advice at the bottom of the page for the six most important areas to focus on.

If you’re not 100% set on an iPhone, we’d recommend taking a look at our selection of the best smartphones. It includes the very best of Android, and will help you decide if an iPhone is right for you.

Best iPhone 2023

1. Apple iPhone 15 Pro – Best overall


Superb cameras

Top-tier A17 Pro performance

Excellent, bright display

USB-C port


Slow charging

No Pro Max 5x optical zoom

If money is no object, the iPhone 15 Pro is the best iPhone for most people. It offers pretty much all the premium features of the 15 Pro Max, but has a much more manageable 6.1-inch display.

Not only is the screen a crystal-clear OLED with a 120Hz refresh rate, it gets incredibly bright. You’ll be able to see the display on even the brightest of days.

The 12Mp 5x periscope lens being exclusive to the Pro Max is a shame, but the 3x one on the iPhone 15 Pro is still very good. It’s joined by a 48Mp main, 12Mp ultrawide and 12Mp 2x telephoto, all of which take excellent photos.

Apple’s updated A17 Pro chipset takes already-great performance to the next level, while the titanium build and action button are nice touches.

Then there’s the much more versatile USB-C port, with Apple finally shifting away from Lightning. Battery life is fine and charging is slow, but this is still a superb phone, and will be for many years to come.

Read our full

Apple iPhone 15 Pro review

2. Apple iPhone 15 – Best for most people


Very good performance

Dynamic Island

USB-C port

Good value for money


Display only 60Hz

Cameras could be better

Slow charging

The iPhone 15 Pro is the best Apple phone to get, but only if you can afford it. With a starting price that’s £200/$200 less at launch, the regular iPhone 15 is a more realistic option.

And it offers good value for money, even if the specs aren’t quite top-tier. Apple’s A16 Bionic chip from 2022 still delivers great performance, and it’s nice to see the useful Dynamic Island come to non-Pro models.

The 6.1-inch display below it is impressive, though you’ll still have to make do without a high refresh rate. You can still get some great shots with the 48Mp main, 12Mp ultrawide and 12Mp selfie cameras, but there’s no telephoto of any description here.

Ultimately, you’re getting an iPhone 15 Pro design in a much more affordable. Despite some compromises, it’s still a great phone.

Read our full

Apple iPhone 15 review

3. iPhone 14 Pro Max – Best big-screen experience


Always-on display tech

Dynamic Island camera cut-out

Industry-leading performance

Great battery life


Very expensive, especially in the UK

Large and bulky

The iPhone 14 Pro Max was the best showcase of Apple’s smartphone technology in 2022, and it remains a superb choice. But it’s also very expensive, which prevents it from being at the very top of this list.

Still, all that cash will get you a top-tier iPhone experience with Apple’s Dynamic Island tech, a game-changing always-on display and one of the very fastest processor on the market, the A16 Bionic. There’s also the same upgraded rear-facing camera setup as the iPhone 14 Pro, including a heavily upgraded 48Mp main snapper.

Where the iPhone 14 Pro Max truly stands out is with the screen; the 6.7in Super Retina XDR display is simply stunning. It’s bright, vivid and there’s enough screen space to really enjoy watching video content such as TikTok and Netflix. It also benefits from a larger battery than the iPhone 14 Pro for true all-day battery life without battery anxiety – though it’s not the best iPhone for battery life. That award now goes to the iPhone 14 Plus, featured below.

But you may now prefer to buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which gets a new A17 Pro chip and titanium build.

Read our full

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max review

4. iPhone 14 Pro – Still an excellent choice


Dynamic Island

Impressive 48Mp main camera

Excellent camera features

Good always-on display


More expensive in the UK

Average battery life

Prior to the iPhone 15 range, the iPhone 14 Pro was the best iPhone for most people. It offers key improvements over the iPhone 13 Pro not only in terms of raw performance but new features, with the 14 Pro sporting key new tech including Apple’s Dynamic Island camera cut-out.

Replacing the standard Face ID notch, the oblong-shaped cut-out is an impressive blend of software and hardware that brings the notch into the iOS experience, displaying timers, music controls and more without having to access your lock screen. It’s utterly charming and a true highlight of Apple’s keen eye for software and hardware design.

That’s not all, though: it’s also the first iPhone to offer an always-on display, and in true Apple form, it’s much better than the Android competition. While it dims the display, you’ve still got full access to your wallpaper, time, widgets, notifications and music controls without any real impact on overall battery life.

The 48Mp rear snapper is another highlight of this year’s Pro model; using 4-in-1 pixel binning tech, the new main camera offers an impressive boost not only to overall detail but low-light photography. That’s a trend of all cameras on the 14 Pro, with Apple claiming a general 2x improvement.

The only real disappointment is battery life; while it’ll keep on going if left on standby, you’ll likely only be able to squeeze about a day’s use out of the phone before it’ll need a top-up – a stark difference to the big-screen iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Plus & Pro Max.

But you may now prefer to buy the iPhone 15 Pro, which gets a new A17 Pro chip and titanium build.

Read our full

Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

5. iPhone 14 – A great affordable option


Outstanding battery life

Great performance

Superb dual cameras


60Hz display

Slow charging

No RAW photography

The iPhone 14 replaced the iPhone 13 in Apple’s line-up, and even though the iPhone 15 has now arrived, it’s still a great choice for most people.

It has very good cameras (despite missing out on the 48Mp snapper of the Pro models), outstanding battery life that comfortably lasts all day, and a great, if only 60Hz, display.

The phone big enough to enjoy the display without being unwieldy like the iPhone Plus and Max models, and it isn’t a lead weight in a pocket or bag. That’s down to the use of an aluminium frame in place of the stainless steel of the Pro models, but the aluminium sides of the iPhone 14 feel great, and they don’t pick up greasy fingerprints like the Pro models either.

Throw in other features including full waterproofing, wireless charging, satellite connectivity and car crash detection and you have a solid iPhone that will last you for several years.

It’s not quite enough for iPhone 13 owners to upgrade, however, and for this price should have a high refresh rate display and the ability to shoot in RAW format so people can use the camera as a professional tool – it was possible on the iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 14 shares the same camera and chipset.

But you may now prefer to buy the iPhone 15, which gets the A16 Bionic chip and Dynamic Island.

Read our full

Apple iPhone 14 review

6. iPhone 14 Plus – Best for battery life


Superb battery life

Big screen iPhone without ‘Pro’ features

Solid design and build


Too expensive for what it is

60Hz display

No ability to take RAW photos

If battery life is a priority for you, the iPhone 14 Plus is a great option. Most of the time, you can expect it to last longer than even the iPhone 14 Pro Max. But unlike the other iPhone 14 handsets, it’s not easy to recommend.

That’s despite its impressive 6.7in Super Retina XDR display, something you’ve traditionally had to get the top-end iPhone Pro Max to experience, and the still-capable Apple A15 Bionic under the hood. Throw in decent camera performance with the same main lens as the iPhone 13 Pro, the solid iOS experience and great build quality and, on paper, it seems like the ideal iPhone.

The problem is its price – at full price, it’s $899/£949. That’s not much cheaper than the iPhone 14 Pro that has plenty of upgrades over the Plus, including the 120Hz dynamic refresh rate, Apple’s Dynamic Island tech, an upgraded 48Mp rear camera and more premium materials. It’s also very expensive for what it is compared to the Android competition, with the 60Hz refresh rate in particular really holding the iPhone 14 Plus back.

So, while it’s a solid performer that delivers a great experience with the best battery life ever on an iPhone, it’s hard to argue that the value for money is there compared not only to the Android competition but the iPhone 14 Pro, which only cost $100/£150 more at launch.

But you may prefer to buy the iPhone 15 Plus, which gets the A16 Bionic chip and Dynamic Island. It’s not clear what battery life is like, though.

Read our full

Apple iPhone 14 Plus review

7. iPhone 13 mini – Best small-screen iPhone


Perfect small-screen experience

No compromise on performance

Great cameras


60Hz display

Small battery gains

Slower MagSafe charging

If even the 6.1in display of the regular and Pro iPhones are too big for your liking, the iPhone 13 mini is the device for you.

It offers the same experience as the standard iPhone 13, complete with an A15 Bionic chip, Apple’s Super Retina XDR display (albeit at a smaller 5.4in) and excellent main and ultrawide lenses, sporting sensor-shift OIS like the more premium models, but in a much smaller form factor.

The iPhone 13 mini is the perfect iPhone to use one-handed, but the smaller display also means it’s not the best for watching YouTube videos and movies on Netflix.

The small dimensions also mean that battery life isn’t the greatest, while charging via MagSafe is limited to just 12W.

But with Apple having discontinued the mini from the iPhone 14 and 15 range, it’ll remain the small iPhone to beat for a while.

Read our full

Apple iPhone 13 mini review

8. iPhone SE (2022) – Most affordable iPhone


A15 Bionic chipset

5G connectivity

Affordable price


Dated design

Small 720p LCD display

Single rear camera

Apple’s iPhone SE range is devoted to function over form, prioritising raw performance over design or aesthetics, and that’s just as true with the latest variant – but possibly to its detriment.

Sporting the same A15 Bionic chipset and 5G connectivity as the iPhone 13 series, the iPhone SE outperforms every Android competitor in its price range and 5G connectivity is a welcome addition, but that performance comes at a cost.

The dated design of the iPhone SE feels older than ever, and the 720p LCD display seems not only small but increasingly unable to render apps and webpages designed for bigger mobile displays. 

There’s also the single 12Mp snapper on the rear. It’ll take decent photos in good and even marginally low light, but it lacks advanced shooting modes like Night Mode and Cinematic Video mode despite featuring a chipset more than capable of doing so. 

The iPhone SE is really only for those who must have an iPhone, but can’t afford other models or don’t want to goodbye to Touch ID. For practically everyone else, there’s a better iPhone available. 

Read our full

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

What should I consider when buying an iPhone?


Screen size

One of the biggest deciding factors when on the market for an iPhone is the screen size you want, or most feel comfortable using – we don’t all have huge hands to use the iPhone 15 Pro Max one-handed, do we? 

If you’re suited to smaller displays, your best bet is still the iPhone 13 mini with its 5.4in display. It might’ve been ditched with the introduction of iPhone 14 range, so you’ll miss out on the latest features, but it’s the most portable iPhone in Apple’s collection. The 4.7in iPhone SE does technically have a smaller display, but it’s actually slightly bigger than the 13 mini because it has much larger bezels.

It then jumps up to the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro, both at 6.1in. If you want the biggest display possible, you’d be better off with the iPhone 15 Plus or iPhone 15 Pro Max at 6.7in.



Performance is another element to consider when buying an iPhone, as you’ll likely want to get the most out of your device – especially at Apple’s prices.

The bad news is that, unlike with previous generations of iPhone, the iPhone 15 range has a processor split. The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus get the same A16 Bionic as last year’s iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, while the upgraded 3nm A17 Pro is exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. If you want the best performance, you’ll have to splash out for Apple’s top-end models.



If cameras are important to you, then you’ve got a tough decision to make as it’s one area where the iPhone collection differs greatly. If you want the best possible camera experience, the combination of a main 48Mp sensor, a 12Mp ultra-wide sensor and 12Mp telephoto sensor available on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max range may be best for you.

If you can live without the upgraded 48Mp snapper and 3x telephoto lens, you can opt for the standard iPhone 15 and its 48Mp main and 12Mp ultrawide snappers.

The iPhone SE has a single 12Mp camera on the rear, meaning it’s quite limited compared to the more recent iPhones. The single lens will do if you’re not too fussed about photography, but don’t expect the same level of detail on offer from Apple’s high-end options. 


Battery life

Traditionally, battery life has been a bit of a problem when it comes to iPhones, especially when compared to Android counterparts and their huge batteries.

But with that said, Apple has come leaps and bounds over the past couple of years when it comes to battery life, with the 15 Plus and 15 Pro Max offering all-day battery life with average usage. Most people will be able to get a full day out of the regular iPhone 15 and 15 Pro, but that’s not guaranteed if you opt for older models.

Battery capacity is somewhat tied to display size, as that’ll dictate how large the battery can be, so expect better battery life from Apple’s big-screen models.


5G connectivity

Apple introduced 5G support with the iPhone 12 range, so all of these iPhones in this list now support the latest cellular technology.

But remember that 5G availability is still limited in many countries and regions, and you’ll need a SIM that supports it.



Of course, the biggest factor to consider is your budget: how much do you want to spend on your iPhone? The iPhone 15 Pro is a phenomenal smartphone, but starting at $999/£99, it should be.

Incredibly, that’s not even the most expensive iPhone: that award goes to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which starts at £1,199/$1,199 and goes all the way up to £1,599/$1,599.

The iPhone 15’s £799/$799 price tag is much more attractive if you want flagship specs, while the 15 Plus offers the big-screen experience at a more affordable £899/$899.

The cheapest iPhone is the iPhone SE at £449/$429, and although it does offer the same A15 chipset as the iPhone 13 range, there’s a compromise not only in terms of design but other areas too.

But if you want to get into the iOS ecosystem at the cheapest price possible, the iPhone SE could be the one to go for. 

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