Which iPhone Should I Buy in 2020?

See the differences between all iPhones and find the best one for you

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

iPhone 11 Pro Max at Best Buy

"If you can swing the imposing price, you should consider grabbing one."

iPhone 11 Pro at Best Buy

"It’s the same phone as the Max model, just stunted."

iPhone 11 at Best Buy

"Wields the tried-and-true Liquid Retina display, which lacks 3D Touch and is based on LCD."

iPhone XR at Amazon

"You can have a modern iPhone experience without eating into next month’s rent."

iPhone 8 at Target

"A fantastic option if you like compact phones."

iPhone 8 Plus at Target

"The model to consider if Apple’s new-era wares don’t excite."

Our Top Picks

iPhone 11 Pro Max

iPhone 11 Pro Max

 Courtesy of Apple

What We Like
  • Best battery life

  • Massive OLED display

  • Premium build

What We Don't Like
  • Super expensive

The iPhone 11 Pro is the best iPhone Apple has ever made, and if you can swing the imposing price, you should consider grabbing one. It’s the biggest iPhone available, featuring a massive 6.5-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display with enough vibrance, brightness, and sharpness to burn your actual retina right off. As with any contemporary iPhone, the iPhone 11 Pro builds on the all-screen design Apple favors with a familiar-looking metal shell. However, this monster also sports stainless steel over the aluminum found in lesser models. And yes, IP68 water resistance is back. What’s not so familiar is the rear camera plate, which holds three 12-megapixel sensors — one is a regular f/1.8 sensor, another gives you telephoto zoom with f/2.0 aperture, and the third is a 120-degree f/2.4 ultra-wide-angle sensor. 

As for software, the iPhone 11 Pro Max ships with iOS 13, the latest update featuring exciting new additions like dark mode, a new keyboard, and a more natural voice for Siri. Apple’s latest A13 Bionic chip with a third-generation Neural Engine is at work for application processing and gaming needs, and as you’d expect, it’s all delightfully smooth in operation. Battery life is insane on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and it’s perhaps the biggest reason it’s 2019’s highest-rated smartphone. You can easily get more than a full day with moderate usage. And though the battery is bigger, fast charging is finally available in a Cupertino-made smartphone. It’ll get you back to 50 percent in about 30 minutes on the charger. The iPhone 11 Pro Max is available in Space Gray, Silver, Midnight Green, and Gold with storage capacities of 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB.

Need a case? Check out our roundup of the best iPhone 11 Pro Max cases.

iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro

Courtesy of Verizon

What We Like
  •  Vibrant and sharp OLED

  • Great battery

  • Tri-camera system

What We Don't Like
  • Costly

The iPhone 11 Pro Max is there to appease demand for insanely large screens, but if you’re in need of something smaller, you may be more interested in the regular old iPhone 11 Pro. It’s the same phone as the Max model, just stunted. That means you get the new OLED Super Retina XDR display at a wieldy 5.8 inches, a build made from matte-textured glass and stainless steel, three 12-megapixel rear cameras for all your photography needs, and more. 

The smaller size means you’ll suffer on battery a bit, but it doesn’t drain that much faster than the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple says the iPhone 11 Pro’s battery lasts four hours longer than yesteryear’s iPhone XS, which already harbored a battery fit to survive a full workday. Everything is identical beyond that, including new additions like Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset, storage options of 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB, four neat colors, and 18-watt fast charging. The iPhone 11 Pro family sits at the top of the heap for today’s smartphones, and it has the dreadful price tag to prove it.

iPhone 11

iPhone 11

 Courtesy of Apple

What We Like
  • Very affordable

  • Dual cameras

  • Same internals as iPhone 11 Pro

What We Don't Like
  • No OLED or 3D Touch

If the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are here to take over for the iPhone XS family, then the iPhone 11 is this year’s version of the XR. It’s a weakened iPhone model compared to its contemporaries, but that doesn’t mean it’s a weak smartphone. The major differences lie in build quality and display technology. The iPhone 11 wields the tried-and-true Liquid Retina display, which lacks 3D Touch and is based on LCD instead of the OLED goodness in Apple’s more premium models.

The other big difference is the camera, as the iPhone 11 has just two 12-megapixel cameras — one wide-angle and one ultra-wide — versus three in the Pro models. It also has slightly weaker water resistance (it can’t be submerged as deeply, but still supports two meters), and there’s an aluminum build instead of stainless steel and textured glass. Beyond all that, the iPhone 11 has everything the others do, including the all new A13 Bionic chip, which feels insanely fast in action. Your prize for the downgrade is a much lower price tag, as the 64GB model starts at just $400.

iPhone XR

iPhone XR

 Courtesy of Apple

What We Like
  •  Inexpensive

  • Good battery life

  • Essential iPhone experience

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks OLED

The iPhone X was the biggest leap forward for iPhone in years, and Apple followed up by releasing three devices. The iPhone XS and XS Max were the top-billed products, but it was the iPhone XR that stole the thunder in 2018. Apple positioned it as the "affordable" option for iPhone owners and that meant downgrades like a return to the still-excellent Liquid Retina LCD display (which doesn’t support 3D Touch). The 6.1-inch smartphone also only had one 12MP camera on the rear.

But there were more than enough reasons to buy one, including longer battery life, more colors to choose from, and a much cheaper price tag. It’s an even better value now in the face of the thousand-dollar stars currently filling Apple’s lineup. It’s up to iOS 13 on software, and the hardware inside — Apple’s six-core A12 Bionic chipset featuring a quad-core GPU — still feels every bit as powerful as anything available today. With Qi wireless charging, Face ID, IP67 water resistance, and more, you can have a modern iPhone experience without eating into next month’s rent.

iPhone 8

iPhone 8

Courtesy of Apple

What We Like
  • Very affordable

  • Classic design

  • Updated features

What We Don't Like
  • Short shelf life

The iPhone 8 is the latest traditional iPhone model available from Apple. In 2017, it launched right alongside the iPhone X as an alternative for people who weren’t ready (or didn’t have enough money) for the future. Two generations later, it’s a perfectly acceptable buy with its mid-range price tag. For now, at least, the iPhone 8 is still being updated with the newest versions of iOS, albeit with a few feature exclusions. It lacks some of today’s niceties like multiple cameras (you have just one 12MP sensor out back) and Face ID, but you’re getting an iPhone that runs very well thanks to an A11 Bionic chip that still provides a swift iOS experience. 

The iPhone 8 is also a fantastic option if you like compact phones. Its Retina LCD display is just 4.7 inches in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means it’s easy to operate with one hand. And for all the iPhone 8 appears to lack, modern inclusions like wireless charging and IP67 water resistance make it feel fresh among newer devices. Even as we approach the third year of its existence, the iPhone 8 has more than enough to keep you satisfied.

iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 8 Plus

 Courtesy of Best Buy

What We Like
  • 1080p Retina

  • Long-lasting battery

  • iOS 13-ready

What We Don't Like
  • May be on its final update

The iPhone 8 Plus is the model to consider if Apple’s new-era wares don’t excite. It’s essentially a bigger version of the iPhone 8, which falls in line with Apple’s traditional design language before all-screen became the fad. Its Liquid Retina LCD display stretches out to 5.5 inches, and it’s sharper with a 1080p-equivalent resolution compared to the 720p iPhone 8. You’ll get 50 percent better battery life for the size, too, with Apple rating it for 21 hours of talk time. The improvements round out with a slight bump in RAM to 3GB, up from 2GB. 

Apple’s A11 Bionic chipset was all the rage when the iPhone 8 Plus first launched in 2017, and it has aged very little. The phone is upgradable to iOS 13 — the latest available as of this writing — and handles the operating system just as efficiently as the newer, more powerful units. You’re also getting other iPhone essentials, including wireless and 18-watt fast charging, Touch ID (fingerprint scanner), IP67 water resistance, Apple Pay, and a sharp 12-megapixel camera.

Want to keep exploring your options? Check out the best smartphones overall.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular iPhones on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 6 different products overall, read over 35 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the phones themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.