Deciding which iPhone to buy has always been tricky. What screen size is best for you, and how much storage do you need? Should you save money by selecting an older model, or should you splash out on the latest iPhone XS or XR?

In this article we talk you through each of the phones currently available from Apple, to help you decide which is best for you. We discuss price, specs and features, and you should leave feeling much more confident about your buying decision.

Here's your grand overview of every iPhone Apple sells today:

Model Release date Storage options Prices View on Apple's website Skip ahead to find out more
iPhone XS Max 21/09/2018 64GB; 256GB; 512GB £1,099/$1,099; £1,249/$1,249; £1,449/$1,449 Apple Store More details
iPhone XS 21/09/2018 64GB; 256GB; 512GB £999/$999; £1,149/$1,149; £1,349/$1,349 Apple Store More details
iPhone XR 26/10/2018 64GB; 128GB; 256GB £749/$749; £799/$799; £899/$899 Apple Store More details
iPhone 8 Plus 22/09/2017 64GB; 256GB £699/$699; £849/$849 Apple Store More details   
iPhone 8 22/09/2017 64GB; 256GB £599/$599; £749/$749 Apple Store More details  
iPhone 7 Plus 16/09/2016  32GB; 128GB  £569/$569; £669/$669 Apple Store More details  
iPhone 7 16/09/2016  32GB; 128GB £449/$449; £549/$549 Apple Store More details  

Is now a good time to buy a new iPhone?

Yes. Apple has had its annual September iPhone event for 2018 where it announced the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. The closer you buy an iPhone to this September event, the longer you'll have the newest iPhone.

What is the best screen size for iPhone?

There are five screen sizes of iPhone available: 4.7in, 5.5in, 5.8in, 6.1in and 6.5in. Which you like best is going to come down to personal preference. 

But the better tech can be found in the 5.5in, 5.8in and 6.5in models of iPhone. 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).

How much storage do I need?

Each iPhone is available in two capacity options. It's important to consider how much you need before buying because iPhones don't have a microSD card slot that will allow you to add additional storage at a later date. Although 32GB may sound like a lot of storage, 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. 

With that, here's a breakdown of each iPhone model to help you decide which is best for you.

iPhone XS Max

iPhone XS Max

Available to buy from Apple now
For contracts, visit: Best iPhone XS Max contracts

The latest, most expensive iPhone is the XS Max. It is the largest iPhone ever at 6.5in and also the most expensive, starting at £1,099/$1,099.

It has Apple's A12 Bionic processor, the same as the XS and XR. It has the biggest screen and battery ever in an iPhone, though the cameras are the same as on the XS and the discontinued X.

It's got an edge-to-edge screen, Face 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, 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.

iPhone XS Max specs

  • iOS 12
  • 6.5in Super Retina 2688x1242, 458ppi
  • A12 Bionic processor
  • 64/256/512GB storage
  • Dual 12Mp wide-angle, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp telephoto, f/2.4, OIS
  • 7Mp front facing camera, f/2.2
  • 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Nano SIM with dual eSIM compatibility
  • 3D Touch
  • IP68
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 77.4x157.5x7.7mm
  • 208g

Read our iPhone XS Max review

iPhone XS

iPhone XS

Available to buy from Apple now
For contracts, visit: Best iPhone XS contracts

The regular iPhone XS replaces the iPhone X in Apple's lineup and can be considered its flagship iPhone. It is the same size as the original 5.8in iPhone X - in fact all old cases will fit as it is the same dimensions.

The XS adds a gold colour option, 512GB storage option and faster performance than before. But it is an incremental update compared to how far the iPhone X pushed Apple design forward when it came out.

The XS starts at £999/$999.

Read our iPhone XS review

iPhone XS specs

  • iOS 12
  • 5.8in Super Retina 2436 x 1125, 458ppi
  • A12 Bionic processor
  • 64/256/512GB storage
  • Dual 12Mp wide-angle, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp telephoto, f/2.4, OIS
  • 7Mp front facing camera, f/2.2
  • 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Nano SIM with dual eSIM compatibility
  • 3D Touch
  • IP68
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 77.8x159.3x7.3mm
  • 178g

iPhone XR

Available to buy from Apple now
For contracts, visit: Best iPhone XR contracts

The iPhone XR is not the iPhone SE replacement some were hoping for. Instead, it takes the design of the iPhone X and puts it in a handset that is £250/£250 cheaper than the iPhone XS.

It has an LCD screen rather than the OLED on the XS and XS Max, but you won't notice too much of a difference. There is also only a single camera on the back.

It comes in several bright colours (we are team yellow) that recall the iPhone 5c from 2013 and while not 'cheap' from £749/$749, it represents a more affordable way to get a phone with Face ID and the A12 processor.

Curiously, it is a different size to both the iPhone XS and XS Max at 6.1in. This means if you want the smallest X-design iPhone, this isn't the one - that's the XS.

iPhone XR specs

  • iOS 12
  • 6.1in LCD, 1792x828, 326ppi
  • A12 Bionic processor
  • 64/256/256GB storage
  • 12Mp camera, f/1.8, OIS
  • 7Mp front facing camera, f/2.2
  • 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Nano SIM with dual eSIM compatibility
  • Haptic Touch
  • IP67
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
  • 194g

iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 8 Plus

Available to buy 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 a lower cost. But for £50/$50 more you can get the newer, sleeker iPhone XR.

The 8 Plus has 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.

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)

Read our iPhone 8 Plus review.

iPhone 8

iPhone 8

Available to buy from Apple now
For contracts, visit: Best iPhone 8 contracts

The iPhone 8 has glass design and wireless charging, as well as the A11 processor.

It's available in 64GB and 256GB configurations, with the smaller capacity costing £599/$6599 and the bigger capacity costing £749/$749.

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. But you might want to pony up for the newer iPhone XR.

The iPhone 8 is worth considering for the 4.7in screen size. Depsite the X iPhones, the 4.7in size is desirable if you want a small iPhone, given Apple no longer sells the iPhone SE.

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)

Read our iPhone 8 review.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 Red

Available to buy now from Apple
Also available from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Mobile Phones Direct, Mobiles.co.uk, O2 | Tesco Mobile | Three | Virgin | Vodafone

Apple's iPhone 7 Plus is 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 four colours: Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.

The iPhone 7 Plus is available in 32GB and 128GB capacities, the former priced at £569/$569, and the latter at £669/$669.

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)

Read our iPhone 7 Plus review.

iPhone 7

iPhone 7

Available to buy direct from Apple
Also available from Carphone Warehouse, EE, Mobile Phones Direct, Mobiles.co.uk, O2 | Tesco Mobile | Three | Virgin | Vodafone

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 dust-proof, but without the dual-lens cameras on the rear there's no Portrait mode available.

The iPhone 7 is available in 32GB or 128GB capacities, with the former costing £449/$449 and the latter £549/$549. It's available in all of the same colours as the iPhone 7 Plus.

It's now the cheapest iPhone in Apple's line up.

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)

Read our iPhone 7 review.

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 if someone is looking to sell their current handset. Here's how to buy a second-hand iPhone.

iPhones reaching back to the iPhone 5s can run iOS 12, although some features such as AR won't work properly on older models that don't have powerful enough processors.