What’s the Best iPhone to Buy in 2022?

You may have heard that in the United States, “the iPhone” is the most popular smartphone. However, this isn’t entirely correct, as there are a variety of iPhone models on the market right now. Apple currently offers eight different iPhone models as of this writing. That figure is substantially larger if you look at the shelves of the three big US carriers, as well as Metro and Cricket.

Each of Apple’s eight models appeals to a different audience, whether in terms of pricing, size, functionality, or battery life. When it comes to carrier-sold devices, there are arguments for the 13, 12, 11, SE, and 8 generations. The X, XR, and XS are no longer good values when compared to competing phones, while the 7 and 6s are slowing down due to their age.

Since the first-generation iPhone in 2007, we’ve tested every Apple phone. Here’s what we’ve discovered about how to pick the greatest iPhone available right now.

When Is the New iPhone Coming Out?

In March 2022, we expect Apple to unveil a new iPhone SE. So, if you’re thinking about getting one—or another older or less expensive iPhone model—you should probably hold off until the end of March to see what’s coming.

If you’re looking for a more expensive iPhone, you’ll have to wait until September or October, when Apple’s next round of iPhones is expected to be released.

The Most Powerful iPhone

Every year, Apple introduces new iPhones that are faster and more powerful. A speedier processor is beneficial if you play a lot of games or surf a lot of image-heavy web pages.

For each successive generation of Apple’s A-series CPUs, we estimate a 15% to 20% increase in total performance, including web browsing performance. Between the A14 (in the iPhone 12) and the A15 (in the iPhone 13), there’s not much of a difference, but between either of those and the A9, there’s a massive difference (in the iPhone 6s).

Do You Need a 5G iPhone?

The new C-band networks are supported by the iPhone 12 and 13 series, which are all 5G phones. That’s a compelling reason to avoid any iPhone older than the iPhone 12 on T-Mobile or Verizon. T-speedy Mobile’s mid-band 5G network has already reached much of the country, while Verizon’s C-band network, which covers nearly 100 million Americans, was launched in January. The connection speed and performance of both systems are noticeably different.

If you’re on AT&T, I don’t think 5G will make a significant difference as rapidly. This isn’t meant as a criticism of AT&T; its 4G network is superb, and ignoring 5G provides you more iPhone options. Because of 4×4 MIMO technology, 4G/LTE performance on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 series is better than on the ordinary iPhone 11, iPhone SE, or older iPhones.

Visit our story on the Fastest Mobile Networks to see if 5G is important where you live.

The Best iPhone Camera

How serious are you about using your smartphone to take photos? This may influence your iPhone selection.

Night mode was introduced with the iPhone 11 and is not available on the SE or older iPhones. This, in my opinion, is a crucial aspect. In low light, everyone takes shots, and Night mode makes a tremendous impact. Wide-angle cameras are also available on the 11, 12, and 13 series, allowing you to fit more scenery into a photo. They’re ideal for photographing large gatherings or throngs of people. The 2x-3x zoom cameras on the Pro and Plus phones aid with sharp close-ups.

In his report on the iPhone 13’s camera, our photo expert Jim Fisher goes into a lot more detail.

What’s the Best iPhone to Buy in 2022?

The Best iPhone Size

Some folks prefer large cellphones. Some people like compact phones. Both are available in the iPhone lineup.

If you’re upgrading from an older iPhone, the new phones will all appear to be quite huge. The iPhone SE is the same size as the iPhone 6, 7, and 8, thus users of those smartphones will be most familiar with it. Because to its thinner bezel and lack of a home button, the iPhone 13 mini has a larger screen than the SE, 6, 7, and 8, as well as the SE, 6, 7, and 8. You’re out of luck if you miss the iPhone 4’s compact size; there’s nothing comparable on the market now.

If you prefer smaller phones, the iPhone 13 mini is ideal. It has a size that is both hand- and pocket-friendly, as well as all of the latest features.

The larger touch targets and larger screens on the Max models may be preferable if you have impaired eyesight or unsteady hands. They’re also useful if you view a lot of videos on your phone, but they’re cumbersome.

Because they have larger batteries, larger iPhones have longer battery life than smaller iPhones, but the new iPhone 13 series has superior battery life than the same-sized iPhone 12 models.

iPhone Touch ID and Headphone Jacks

Touch ID and the headphone jack are both being phased out of the iPhone lineup. People adore and miss them both, especially since Face ID doesn’t work with face masks, though a recent update to iOS 15 should remedy that problem.

The iPhone SE is the only iPhone with a physical Home button and Touch ID scanner currently on the market. They’re also on the iPhone 8 series. The 6s was the last iPhone with a headphone jack. It’s currently slow, and its software support is running out of time, thus we don’t suggest it. It’s probably time to give in and get a pair of wireless earbuds.

iPhone 13 and 12 notches

Your iPhone Is a Ticking Clock

The software support for iPhones ultimately runs out. iOS 15, the most recent iPhone operating system, is only compatible with iPhone 6s and newer models. Expect a new generation of iPhones to be released each year, as the latest software requires more powerful CPUs than the older versions. Don’t get too worked up over the iPhone 6s and its ilk; they’re now seven years old.

We no longer recommend phones older than the iPhone 8 range, as they are unlikely to receive OS support for at least another two years. Choose an iPhone 12 generation or higher if you want a phone with long-term resale value.

If you don’t want to buy an iPhone, there are plenty of other options. Take a look at our top Android phones as well as the greatest phones in general.