This spring saw the unveiling of the new iPhone SE and the discontinuation of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. As of April 2020, you've got five different iPhones to choose from, and lots to think about.

For many diehard fans the obvious choice is the most recent iPhone with the best specs. But many people simply don't need - or can't afford - the most expensive model. So you have to think about what matters.

What's your budget? How large a screen do you want and need? Are you happy with a single-lens camera on the back, or is it worth paying extra for twin or triple lenses?

After much passionate debate, we've racked our brains to rank the iPhones from best to worst for the average buyer, taking into consideration age, size, price (on contract or handset only), performance, battery life and more.

iPhone comparison 2020

1. iPhone 11 - Best overall

Apple iPhone 11
  • Rating: *****

A little branding sleight of hand means the successor to the XR is just called 'iPhone 11', with no R in sight. But sure enough, this is the cheaper edition of the 11-series range, with an LCD screen rather than the nicer OLED of the Pro range, and fewer camera lenses.

The XR, in fact, is still on sale (and has received a handy price cut - see below). So what's changed for this update? And is it worth £729/$699?

As usual there is a processor upgrade (from A12 to A13), but the most important upgrades concern the cameras. The XR had a single lens on the rear (as does the iPhone SE), whereas the 11 gets twin lenses, while the front camera has been boosted from 7Mp to 12Mp. There's also a new Night Mode and 'next-gen' smart HDR. Video is improved from 1080p to 4K.

Moving away from photography, the 11 has better battery life and water resistance than the XR and the colour choices are different. It might not sound much but it could just tip the balance...

Read our iPhone 11 review.

2. iPhone SE (2020) - Best for value

Apple iPhone SE (2020)
  • Rating: *****

The SE (2020) is a simple sell, but a compelling one: a fast, future-proofed phone offering good camera performance at a bargain-basement price of £419/$399. And on that basis we'll be recommending this to a lot of friends and family members.

The A13 Bionic chip is as fast as anything in an iPhone right now, and faster than any of the processors offered by even Android flagships. It's accompanied by only 3GB of RAM, so for really top-tier performance you'll want to look at the iPhone 11 and above (which have 4GB), but the SE will be able to run demanding apps and install iOS updates for years to come.

Aside from the RAM, Apple has had to make several other compromises to hit this appealing price point. Most obviously the design is six years old, and looks it, with a small screen, chunky bezels and Touch ID rather than Face ID. Battery life is also weaker than that of other iPhones - although we found it respectable - and while image processing is boosted by the A13 chip, low-light photography here can't match the iPhone 11 and above; you don't get Night Mode.

But overall this is a terrific offering for the money. Read our iPhone SE (2020) review for more.

3. iPhone XR - Big screen on a budget

Apple iPhone XR
  • Rating: *****

While £629/$599 could never be described as cheap, the XR's trimmed price is starting to look distinctly appealing. That's a low price for one of Apple's desirable notched-screen handsets, with a big 6.1in display and Face ID facial recognition. You also get the A12 Bionic processor, which has plenty of life left in it.

Of course there are some compromises: the XR has an LCD rather than an OLED screen (as boasted by the 11 Pro models, and the now-discontinued XS and XS Max), but the differences are manageable. There is also only a single camera on the rear and a 7Mp lens on the front - the iPhone 11, which is the XR's successor, upgrades to twin lenses at the rear and 12Mp at the front.

It comes in several cheerful colours which recall the iPhone 5c from 2013. If colour is a big thing for you, check the options carefully, since the iPhone 11's choices are slightly different.

Read our iPhone XR review.

4. iPhone 11 Pro - Best for cameras

Apple iPhone 11 Pro
  • Rating: *****

The 11 Pro is exceptionally well specced, although the price tag will put it out of reach of many budgets.

You get a 5.8in, 458ppi, True Tone OLED screen with improved contrast and brightness from 2018's iPhone XS; Apple is branding this as Super Retina XDR. The A13 Bionic processor, meanwhile, is the fastest Apple has made (and supposedly the fastest CPU and GPU in any smartphone yet made by anyone). Battery life is up by four hours from the XS, for an estimated total of 18 hours of wireless video.

The real flagship feature, though, is the cameras. You get a triple lens on the back (telephoto, wide and ultrawide), a brighter flash, Night Mode and 'next-gen' smart HDR, which uses the power of the A13 chip to achieve superior shots in difficult conditions.

Finally, the 11 Pro is well equipped to handle accidents. Apple claims it has the toughest glass in any smartphone, and it's water-resistant to a depth of 4m, up from 2m on the XS.

We review all these claims in our iPhone 11 Pro review.

5. iPhone 11 Pro Max - Best for performance

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Rating: *****

Virtually identical to the 11 Pro, the even more expensive 11 Pro Max adds an even bigger screen (6.5in rather than 5.8in) and still more battery life (up to 20 hours of wireless video playback rather than 18). These upgrades are why it starts at a hefty £1,149/$1,099.

So you still get the super-fast A13 Bionic processor, the toughened glass and improved water resistance, the triple-lens camera and other photographic upgrades. And even though the screen is a different size, it shares the 11 Pro's improved brightness and contrast.

This is without doubt - and without any surprises - the best iPhone yet sold, and those who can afford its price tag, and need its power, will not be disappointed. But most of us will probably need to look elsewhere for a more budget-friendly option.

The Max model is covered in our iPhone 11 Pro review.