Autumn 2019 saw the unveiling of the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the discontinuation of four other models, and a liberal sprinkling of price cuts on the remainder. As of January 2020, you've got six 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, taking into consideration age, size, price (on contract or handset only), performance, battery life and more.
iPhone comparison 2020
1. iPhone 11
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, 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 XR
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.
3. iPhone 11 Pro
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.
4. iPhone 8
The iPhone 8 had a nice price cut when the late-2019 models were announced. It's available in 64GB and 128GB configurations (the 256GB has been discontinued - if you want that much storage you'll need to buy one of the iPhone 11 models), with the smaller capacity costing £479/$449 and the bigger one costing £529/$499.
The 8 has a glass design, a True Tone display and wireless charging, as well as the A11 processor - now more than two years old, this chip will be fine for light gaming, surfing the web, checking emails and so on, although you should expect lesser performance on more demanding apps and it's not very future-proof.
If nothing else, the iPhone 8 is worth considering for the 4.7in screen size. This is a desirable form factor if you want a small iPhone, given that the SE is with us no more, and it's now the cheapest phone Apple sells, as well as the smallest.
Read our iPhone 8 review
5. iPhone 11 Pro Max
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.
6. iPhone 8 Plus
Blessed with a tasty price cut to celebrate the late-2019 launches, the iPhone 8 Plus is the perfect choice for those who are on a budget but would still like a reasonably large screen. Just bear in mind that for £50/$50 more you can get the iPhone XR, which is a year newer and has a 6.1in screen.
The 8 Plus also misses out on the newer models' edge-to-edge screen designs, and Face ID (although it does get a Home button and Touch ID, which some people are not keen to leave behind).
What else do you get? A solid-performing A11 chip - naturally this is a lot slower than the A13 in the iPhone 11 handsets but it should still do the job if your needs are light - wireless charging, a better battery life than the iPhone 8 and a 5.5in True Tone display for better colour management. All that for £579/$549.
Read our iPhone 8 Plus review