Which iPhone should I buy has always been a tricky question, because Apple still sells older models of its iPhone at a lower price. Plus, there are screen sizes and storage options to consider. Now, Apple has complicated things even further by launching three new phones at once: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and all-new iPhone X.

Here, we talk you through each of the phones available to buy from Apple, to help you decide which is best for you. We’ll discuss price, specs and features of all eight models, and you should leave feeling much more confident that you’re about to make the right decision about which iPhone to buy.

First, we’ll list all eight models so you know what your options are. We’ll start with the newest and most expensive, and take you right back to the older and cheaper models

Model Release date Storage options Prices View on Apple's website Skip ahead to find out more
iPhone X 03/11/2017 64GB; 256GB £999; £1,149 Apple Store More details
iPhone 8 Plus 22/09/2017 64GB; 256GB £799; £949 Apple Store More details
iPhone 8 22/09/2017 64GB; 256GB £699; £849 Apple Store More details
iPhone 7 Plus 16/09/2016 32GB; 128GB £669; £769 Apple Store More details
iPhone 7 16/09/2016 32GB; 128GB £549; £649 Apple Store More details
iPhone 6s Plus 25/09/2015 32GB; 128GB £549; £649 Apple Store More details
iPhone 6s 25/09/2015 32GB; 128GB £449; £549 Apple Store More details
iPhone SE 31/03/2016 32GB; 128GB £349; £449 Apple Store More details

Is now a good time to buy a new iPhone?

Now is a great time to buy an iPhone for several reasons: if you want the latest and greatest iPhone technology, buying one of Apple’s new iPhones now is ideal. And if you’re not worried about having the newest iPhone, older models will have just seen a price reduction, so you should be able to find good deals and discounts.

However, if you can wait for a couple more months, you might want to hold out for Black Friday. For the first time in the UK since 2013, Apple participated in 2016’s Black Friday event. Instead of offering a discount, ordering an iPhone on Black Friday would get you an Apple Gift Card to spend on accessories or put towards other Apple products.

You should see some good contract deals from resellers and networks that offer the iPhone around Black Friday, too.

Keep an eye on the best iPhone deals here.

Buying an iPhone on contract

The two most common ways to buy an iPhone are SIM-free from Apple itself or a third-party reseller (which is where the pricing information throughout this information fits in, because you’ll be paying upfront for the phone, you will own it, and you will then need to pay for a SIM-only contract for minutes, texts and data), or buying an iPhone on contract.

A contract usually starts with an upfront payment that will vary depending on the iPhone model you go for and also how much you’ll be paying each month. That upfront payment is followed by monthly payments, normally for a total of 24 months, after which you own the phone (in most cases). Those monthly payments also cover data, minutes and texts.

You can find iPhone contracts from the following networks:

You can also find them from the following third-party resellers:

The iPhone Upgrade Programme

Apple offers a scheme called the iPhone Upgrade Programme, where you make an upfront payment of £69 followed by regular monthly payments of between £38 and £64. You can then upgrade to the new iPhone each time one is announced, staying on the same or a very similar plan.

You should be cautious about the value this offers (as the phone is not yours to sell at the end of your contract so you’re effectively renting it), but in some circumstances it may be the right approach for you.

It’s also important to note that this is for a SIM-free iPhone. You will then need to get a SIM-only contract for your data, minutes and texts.

You do get AppleCare+ included in the Upgrade Programme, though, which is a two year insurance for your iPhone that will cover you for two incidents of accidental damage. You’ll still have to pay an excess fee should you need to use it, but it’ll be much cheaper than having to cough up the full price of a repair.

You can find out more about the iPhone Upgrade Programme on Apple's website here.

Second-hand iPhones

You’ll have noticed that buying an iPhone doesn’t come cheap. However, if you’re strapped for cash you don’t have to dismiss the idea of buying an iPhone completely. You may be able to get a good deal on one of the older handsets is someone is looking to sell their current iPhone.

iPhones reaching back to the iPhone 5S will be able to run iOS 11, although some features such as AR won’t work properly on older models that don’t have powerful enough processors.

Now that we’ve given you an overview of what’s available and how you can get your hands on them, we can dig deeper into each of the iPhones you can buy. Again, we’ll start with the newest and most expensive, and go right back to the older and cheaper models.

What is the best screen size for iPhone?

There are now four screen sizes of iPhone available: 4in, 4.7in, 5.5in and 5.8in. Which you like best is going to come down to personal preference. Here in the Macworld office, we favour the 4.7in screen size for portability and one-handed use.

But the better tech (better cameras and in the case of the iPhone X a better screen and Face ID) can be found in the 5.5 and 5.8in models of iPhone and Apple offers a reachability feature to help make one-handed use for the larger sizes easier by shrinking the contents of the screen when you double touch the Home button. Plus, the bigger the screen the better videos and games are going to look.

If you’re really unsure which iPhone size is going to suit you best, we’d highly recommend visiting an Apple Store and trying them. Alternatively, if that’s not an option, try mocking up the sizes on a piece of paper (you can find the dimensions of each phone listed below).

Which storage capacity do I need?

You’ll find that each iPhone is available in two capacity options. It’s important to consider which you need before you buy, because iPhones don’t have a microSD card slot that will allow you to add additional storage at a later date. 32GB may sound like a lot of storage, but you might be surprised how quickly that will disappear, particularly if you like to download lots of apps and games.

64GB will be enough for most people, though, so consider carefully whether you need any more than that before you cough up the cash for the higher capacity. Have a look at your current phone, and how much storage space you have used up to determine how much space you really need.

iPhone X

Available to pre-order from Apple from 27 October.

To celebrate the iPhone’s 10th birthday, Apple has unveiled the iPhone X. The X represents the Roman Numeral for 10, so it’s actually pronounced iPhone 10 which can get pretty confusing.

The iPhone X looks very different from the other iPhones in Apple’s line-up. It’s got a 5.8in edge-to-egde screen, Face ID rather than Touch ID to allow you to unlock your phone using your face, a 12Mp dual-lens camera on the rear and Portrait mode for the front and back cameras. It also offers wireless charging using the Qi standard.

It’s impressive, that’s for sure, but it is very, very expensive. Starting at £999 this is a serious investment, and with a glass back and even more glass on the front it’s certainly an iPhone you will need to take very good care of.

The iPhone X is available in Silver or Space Grey, in 64GB or 256GB capacity configurations. The 64GB model costs £999, while the 256GB model costs £1,149.

Should you buy the iPhone X? The answer is going to come down to budget, and how much you love having the latest and greatest technology. This is a luxury iPhone that you're likely to love if you've got the cash to splash, but realistically one of Apple's cheaper iPhones is going to be enough for most people.

iPhone X specs

  • 146.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
  • 174g
  • 5.8in Super Retina HD display, OLED HDR, 2436 x 1125 pixels at 458ppi
  • Splash, water and dust resistant
  • A11 Bionic chip
  • 12Mp wide-angle and telephoto cameras on the rear
  • Optical zoom
  • Digital zoom up to 10x
  • Portrait Mode
  • Portrait Lighting
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse
  • 7Mp front-facing camera
  • Animoji
  • Face ID (no Touch ID fingerprint sensor)
  • Apple Pay
  • Wireless charging
  • iOS 11
  • No headphone jack (Lightning adapter and Lightning Earpods included)

Find out more in our iPhone X review.

iPhone 8 Plus

Available to pre-order from Apple now.
For contracts, visit: Best iPhone 8 Plus contracts

Launched at the same time as the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 Plus is the 5.5in option that is the direct successor to the iPhone 7 Plus. It has a new glass design and wireless charging, as well as the powerful A11 Bionic chip that’ll be great for the AR capabilities of iOS 11.

Still an expensive smartphone, the iPhone 8 Plus is for those looking for close to the best but with an entry point of £200 less. It's still got a big screen, powerful processor, wireless charging and great rear-facing cameras, but you'll miss out on edge-to-edge and Face ID. 

The 8 Plus is not a good upgrade if you’ve got an iPhone 7 Plus, but for iPhone 7 owners or owners of one of Apple’s older iPhones it might be worth it for the faster processor, wireless charging and dual-camera set-up.

The 8 Plus is available in Silver, Gold and Space Grey (there’s no more Rose Gold, but Gold now seems to be a blend of the Gold and Rose Gold shades of previous iPhones).

Choose between 64GB and 256GB capacity, with 64GB costing £799 and 256GB costing £949.

iPhone 8 Plus specs

  • 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm
  • 202g
  • 5.5in Retina HD display, 1920 x 1080 pixels at 401ppi
  • Splash, water and dust resistant
  • A11 Bionic chip
  • 12Mp wide-angle and telephoto cameras on the rear
  • Optical zoom
  • Digital zoom up to 10x
  • Portrait Mode
  • Portrait Lighting
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse
  • 7Mp front-facing camera
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Wireless charging
  • Apple Pay
  • iOS 11
  • No headphone jack (Lightning adapter and Lightning Earpods included)

Find out more about the iPhone 8 Plus here.

iPhone 8

Available to pre-order from Apple now.
For contracts, visit: Best iPhone 8 contracts

The iPhone 8 is also new, as a successor to the iPhone 7. It too has the glass design and wireless charging, as well as the faster processor.

It’s available in 64GB and 256GB configurations, with the smaller capacity costing £699 and the bigger capacity costing £849.

We’d suggest skipping the iPhone 8 if you’ve already got an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, but if you’ve got the iPhone 6s or older it could be a worthwhile upgrade, particularly if your contract is coming to an end.

And if you're considering whether to opt for the iPhone 8 or one of the more pricey models, we'd suggest that the £300 saving over the iPhone X is worth it. You'll still get a gorgeous phone with great camera and processor technology (although the camera isn't the dual-lens setup like the Plus and X), and the 4.7in screen size is actually our favourite for portability and ease-of-use.

iPhone 8 specs

  • 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
  • 148g
  • 4.7in Retina HD display, 1334 x 750 pixels at 326ppi
  • Splash, water and dust resistant
  • A11 Bionic chip
  • 12Mp camera on the rear
  • Optical zoom
  • Digital zoom up to 5x
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse
  • 7Mp front-facing camera
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Wireless charging
  • Apple Pay
  • iOS 11
  • No headphone jack (Lightning adapter and Lightning Earpods included)

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 Plus

Available to buy now from Apple
Also available from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Mobile Phones Direct, Mobiles.co.uk, O2Tesco Mobile | ThreeVirgin | Vodafone

Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus was the top-of-the range right up until Apple’s 12 September event, so it’s still a brilliant phone with fantastic specs and features. Highlights include its 5.5in screen and dual-lens rear camera with Portrait mode.

It comes in five colours (the Red iPhone 7 Plus is no longer available to buy from Apple): Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.

The iPhone 7 Plus is available in 32GB and 128GB capacities, the former priced at £669, and the latter at £769.

iPhone 7 Plus specs

  • 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm
  • 188g
  • 5.5in Retina HD display, 1920 x 1080 pixels at 401ppi
  • Splash, water and dust resistant
  • A10 Fusion chip
  • 12Mp wide-angle and telephoto cameras on the rear
  • Optical zoom
  • Digital zoom up to 10x
  • Portrait Mode
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse
  • 7Mp front-facing camera
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Apple Pay
  • iOS 11
  • No headphone jack (Lightning adapter and Lightning Earpods included)

iPhone 7

Available to buy direct from Apple
Also available from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Mobile Phones Direct, Mobiles.co.uk, O2Tesco MobileThreeVirginVodafone

The iPhone 7 Plus is accompanied by its smaller sibling, the 4.7in iPhone 7. The main difference between these two phones is the screen size and rear camera setup.

Like the 7 Plus, there’s no headphone jack in the iPhone 7, but you’ll get the adapter as well as the Lightning Earpods to sweeten the pill.

It too is water-resistant and dustproof, but without the dual-lens camera on the rear there’s no Portrait mode available.

The iPhone 7 is available in 32GB or 128GB capacities, with the former costing £549 and the latter £649. It’s available in all of the same colours as the iPhone 7 Plus: Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.

iPhone 7 specs

  • 138.3 x 67.2 x 7.1mm
  • 138g
  • 4.7in Retina HD display, 1334 x 750 pixels at 326ppi
  • Splash, water and dust resistant
  • A10 Fusion chip
  • 12Mp camera on the rear
  • Digital zoom up to 5x
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse
  • 7Mp front-facing camera
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Apple Pay
  • iOS 11
  • No headphone jack (Lightning adapter and Lightning Earpods included)

iPhone 6s Plus

Available to buy direct from Apple
Available on contract from EE, Mobile Phones Direct, Mobiles.co.uk, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin, Vodafone

The 5.5in iPhone 6s Plus is, much to our surprise, still available to buy from Apple despite the launch of the iPhone 8 Plus. It was first released in September of 2015 so is now two years old, but it’s no slouch.

Like the other iPhones mentioned here, it has 3D Touch (the 6s series was the first to feature  3D Touch), but its specs are slightly outdated.

It’s available in four colours: Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold. You can get the same two capacities as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus offer: 32GB and 128GB.

The 32GB model costs £549, while the 128GB model costs £649.

iPhone 6s Plus specs

  • 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm
  • 192g
  • 5.5in Retina HD display, 1920 x 1080 pixels at 401ppi
  • A9 chip
  • 12Mp camera on the rear
  • Digital zoom up to 5x
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • True Tone flash
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse
  • 5Mp front-facing camera
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Apple Pay
  • iOS 11

iPhone 6s

Best iPhone buying guide 2016: iPhone 6s

Available SIM-free from Apple
Available on contract from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Mobile Phones Direct, Mobiles.co.uk, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin, Vodafone

The iPhone 6s, like the 6s Plus, is two years old. It features the 4.7in display size that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 do, but with the older tech beneath it.

The 32GB model will cost you £449, while 128GB costs £549.

iPhone 6s specs

  • 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm
  • 143g
  • 4.7in Retina HD display, 1334 x 750 pixels at 326ppi
  • A9 chip
  • 12Mp camera on the rear
  • Digital zoom up to 5x
  • True Tone flash
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse
  • 5Mp front-facing camera
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Apple Pay
  • iOS 11

iPhone SE

Best iPhone buying guide 2016: iPhone SE

Available SIM-free from Apple.
Available on contract from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Mobile Phones Direct, Mobiles.co.uk, O2, Tesco Mobile, iPhone SE, Virgin, Vodafone

The iPhone SE is actually newer than the 6s and 6s Plus, after it launched in the Spring of 2016. It has a very different form factor to the other phones available, designed as an entry-level option for those who want a smaller screen.

It sports the same design as the discontinued iPhone 5s, with a rather low resolution of 640x1136, but thanks to the small display that equates to 326ppi.

Inside, though, the iPhone SE is much like an iPhone 6s in terms of specs, so you’re still getting some power just in a smaller package.

Like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s series, the iPhone SE is available in 32GB and 128GB capacities, with 32GB costing £349 and 128GB costing £449.

iPhone SE Specs

  • 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm
  • 113g
  • 4in Retina display, 1136 x 640 pixels at 326ppi
  • A9 chip
  • 12Mp camera on the rear
  • Digital zoom up to 5x
  • True Tone flash
  • Panorama
  • HDR
  • 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse
  • 1.2Mp front-facing camera
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Apple Pay
  • iOS 11

Phew. That’s a lot of choice. And if you’re willing to go second-hand there are older models available to you too. However, if you already own one of the iPhones listed below and are considering upgrading, we’d say now is the time to do so. Your iPhone is now more than three years old, so even Apple’s cheapest current iPhone is going to be an improvement.

  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4s
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 3G
  • Original iPhone