Buying an iPhone? We've compared all Apple phones for 2020

Buying an iPhone? We've compared all Apple phones for 2020

The Apple iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones on the market, especially due to the closed ecosystem of both software and hardware that hails from a single source. However, Apple is now moving deeper and deeper into individual product classes; introducing entry-level, mid-range, and high-end iPhones throughout the calendar year, which makes it very difficult to get a broad market overview. In this buying guide, you can find out which iPhone is particularly suitable for you.

  1. Buy the cheapest iPhone: the iPhone SE 2020
  2. Modern design at an affordable price: iPhone XR
  3. The smallest iPhone with an OLED display: iPhone 12 mini
  4. The iPhone with the best camera: iPhone 12 Pro Max
  5. Used iPhones: Refurbished iPhones going cheap

Price overview: In this article, we will introduce iPhones that cost between £399 and £1,099. Three out of four iPhone recommendations here are below the magical £1,000 ceiling, which is a figure that only a few are willing to cross. We will show you the pros and cons of current iPhone models and tell you whether it is even worthwhile to buy much older iPhone models, like the iPhone 7 or iPhone 8.

1. The cheapest: iPhone SE 2020

iPhone SE 2020
The iPhone SE 2020 is the only "current" iPhone with a home button. / © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pros

  • Powerful processor
  • Home button
  • Bokeh effects for both cameras
  • Cheap price
 

Cons

  • Outdated LCD display
  • No expandable memory (on all iPhones)
  • Portrait modes limited to just humans

iPhone SE (2nd generation) - Price overview

  • 64 GB: £399
  • 128 GB: £449
  • 256 GB: £549

The 2nd generation iPhone SE appeared on the market at the beginning of 2020 and caused quite a stir. It was small enough to generate waves of hype! This is because the original iPhone SE proved to be an unprecedented success for Apple, and with the SE series, Apple has included the latest technology underneath the hood of a well-loved and accepted case. The iPhone SE 2020 is based on the iPhone 8, but comes with a newer processor (A13 Bionic). The iPhone SE is perfect for old school users who want to have a physical Home button to unlock the smartphone quickly and who do not like the notch design found on newer iPhones. The iPhone SE, therefore, has relatively wide bezels and comes without Face ID technology. The 2nd generation iPhone SE is currently the cheapest iPhone with iOS 14 and A13 Bionic that Apple offers in their shop.

Our conclusion in testing the iPhone SE 2:

"Anyone who calls the iPhone SE a spare parts store is not wrong. Dressed in the iPhone 8 garb, looking through the glasses of the iPhone XR and doing its work with the heart of the iPhone 11, Apple has rummaged deep in its toolbox and created a powerful iPhone mix that combines not the best, but the most solid iPhone technology at an affordable price. Apple is playing Frankenstein with the iPhone SE; the difference is that they were aware of the creation of a price-performance monster from the very beginning." - Julia Froolyks, NextPit

2. Modern design at an affordable price: iPhone XR

iPhone SE 2020
The iPhone XR has an LCD display and lacks the punch of OLED. / © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pros

  • Portrait Mode on front and back cameras
  • Face ID
  • Modern iPhone design
 

Cons

  • LCD display is comparatively dark (625 Nits)
  • No Night Mode
  • No charger and EarPods included

iPhone XR - Price overview

  • 64 GB: £499
  • 128 GB: £549

The iPhone XR from 2018 was a huge sales success story for Apple. It was the first of a more affordable iPhone model that sported the new notch design since the introduction of iPhone X and is considered one of the best smartphones in the single-sensor camera segment. Underneath the hood of the iPhone XR lies Apple's A12 Bionic processor with 3GB of RAM. Buyers of the iPhone XR would have to make sacrifices when it comes to the display: Apple does not use an OLED panel here, but rather, the Liquid Retina panel, which is a LCD display that was considered one of the best LCD displays on the market at the time.

Compared to the iPhone SE 2020, you end up with an older processor, but a larger display with Face ID technology. The iPhone XR is therefore the ideal choice for price-conscious iPhone users who prefer a design that is contemporary from Apple while sporting a larger display. This year's update to iOS 14 also landed on the two-year-old iPhone. The iPhone XR will receive at least two more major version updates, which makes it quite a keeper for a while longer.

3. The smallest iPhone with an OLED display: iPhone 12 mini

iPhone 12 mini
The iPhone 12 mini has the sharpest display at 476 ppi. / © NextPit

Currently being reviewed (as of 20.11.2020)

Pros

  • To be listed after the review
 

Cons

  • To be listed after the review

iPhone 12 mini - Price overview

  • 64 GB: £699
  • 128 GB: £749
  • 256 GB: £849

The new iPhone 12 mini has it all: The new Apple A14 Bionic is one of the fastest and most efficient processors on the smartphone market. Apple incorporates the new processor in all four new iPhone 12 models, with the iPhone 12 mini being particularly attractive here. Apple is not reinventing the wheel, but is returning to one of the most successful times the company has seen. With the iPhone 12 mini, Apple finally succeeded in creating a compact smartphone that is reminiscent of the iPhone 5. Compared to the iPhone 12, buyers make no compromises. The dual camera on the iPhone 12 model is there as well as a Super Retina XDR display (OLED) and 5G connectivity.

In return, the panel measures a mere 5.4-inches. This results in a pixel density of 476 ppi - making the iPhone 12 mini boast one of the sharpest displays among the 12 series (thanks to our reader Paganini for the important hint). Aluminium and glass usher the old form factor into the year 2020 and paves the way for wireless charging with and without MagSafe charging solution. The iPhone 12 also supports Apple's latest MagSafe, which not only allows the Apple smartphone to be charged wirelessly, but also brings numerous new accessories into play.

The iPhone 12 mini is currently being reviewed. You can read the full review here soon.

We have compiled an overview of the MagSafe accessories for you here:

4. The iPhone with the best camera: iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 12 pro max test
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the best camera setup. / © NextPit

Camera review is being worked on (as of 20.11.2020)

Pros

  • To be listed after the review
 

Cons

  • To be listed after the review

iPhone 12 Pro Max - Price overview

  • 128 GB: £1,099
  • 256 GB: £1,199
  • 512 GB: £1,399

What a racket! The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the largest iPhone that Apple has ever released. Although the casing is only a few millimetres larger compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the difference in size is noticeable. With new (old) flat edges, the 6.7-inch OLED display, and the glossy stainless steel frame, iPhone 12 Pro Max is a real eye-catcher that wants to stand out. The largest and most expensive iPhone 12 is for those of you who want nothing less than the best iPhone camera. For the first time ever, iPhone offers a 2.5x optical zoom (Apple calls it a "5x optical zoom range"), HDR 3 and, thanks to the LiDAR scanner, can create impressive photo results even in low light conditions. Apple uses three camera sensors at 12-megapixels each:

  • Ultra-wide angle: ƒ/2.4 Aperture
  • Wide-angle: ƒ/1.6 Aperture
  • Telephoto lens: ƒ/2.2 Aperture

Another difference compared to the 11 Pro Max is the available Night Mode in ultra-wide-angle. With iOS 14.3, Apple also wants to integrate the new Apple ProRAW photo format, which allows iPhone images to be reworked more extensively afterwards. We will only see how well this works after the rollout of iOS 14.3. In front, the camera in iPhone 12 Pro and Max is also equipped with a new Night Mode and offers Night Mode time-lapse for the very first time.

selfie iphone 12 pro max
The selfie camera of the iPhone 12 Pro Max: Here with the mono stage light bokeh effect. / © NextPit
cookie iphone 12 pro max
Focus on the nose: Those who own dogs know how difficult it is to get hold of such snapshots. / © NextPit

In DxOmark's camera test, the iPhone 12 Pro Max scored 130 points, placing it in fourth place while vying for a spot among the best smartphone cameras, right behind the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, and Huawei P40 Pro. The reviewers were particularly impressed with the autofocus and image texture capability. The bokeh effect, as well as the Night Mode, did not convince the reviewers though; especially when Huawei is way ahead of the rest of the flagship pack where Night Mode is concerned.

5. Used iPhones: refurbished iPhones going cheap

All the above-mentioned iPhones satisfy different consumer needs and are officially available from Apple. Of course, you can buy older iPhone models through authorised third-party retailers. Compared to the recommended retail price (MSRP), you will save a lot of money depending on the model. It becomes even cheaper with so-called refurbished models.

You can always find cheap iPhone bargains at Amazon, which are also protected by Amazon's Refurbished Guarantee for that added peace of mind. We have taken a closer look at the most popular iPhone models of past years and tell you if it is still worth buying in 2020.

These articles tell you all about the new features in iOS 14

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