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Are iPhones the best phones?

Apple’s smartphones are known for their speed, ease of use and product support. iPhone users can also benefit from the apps available through Apple’s App Store. These include exclusives and early access titles. 

For extra reassurance, Face ID, which is on many of Apple’s newer iPhone models including iPhone 13, makes unlocking your phone a simple and even more secure process.

What should I look for when looking for the best iPhone deal?

If you’re a new iPhone customer looking to make the switch from Android, or an existing iPhone owner who’s looking for an upgrade, there are a few things to know before you take the plunge. While Apple’s phones pride themselves on their interconnectivity and seamless transitions, there are some notable upgrades with each of the new iPhones, as they come out. 

Face ID 

If you’re hoping to leave PIN codes behind and use Face ID to unlock your phone and make payments, you’ll need a phone from the iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 or the latest iPhone 13 ranges.

iPhone camera 

Apple’s much-loved portrait mode is available on the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, X, 11, 12 and 13 models. It keeps the subject of a photo in focus, while putting everything in the background out of focus. The result is a professional looking photo with striking foreground detail. 

And remember, the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 models boast triple-lens cameras that feature what Apple terms an ultra-wide-angle lens. It enables users to capture on camera an extremely wide field of view. 

Accessories 

Remember, the iPhone 7 and later models use the Lightning charge connector to connect audio devices, although adapters are available. 

Keep in mind, the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models don’t include EarPod headphones anymore, so you’ll need to use an existing pair, buy a set separately, or buy a pair of AirPods, Apple’s answer to wireless headphones. 

What are the best iPhone deals?

It's hard to say what the best iPhone deals are. That’s because everyone uses their phone for something different, but iPhones are available on various contract deals, including pay monthly and upfront purchase options. You can tailor your package to include more data, call minutes and texts, or even go all out and pay for unlimited everything. 

When comparing iPhone deals, be on the lookout for any freebies. These can be gifts like tablets, speakers or games consoles, or things like vouchers and cashback. Different phone providers will have different incentives, so it’s worth comparing. That’s where we come in.

iPhone 13 deals

The iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max were launched in September 2021. 

The big jump introduced with the iPhone 13 is the new A15 Bionic chip, which is an upgrade from the iPhone 12’s A14 chip. 

With the camera, the iPhone 13 introduces recording in “cinematic mode” in 1080p at 30fps. It also boasts a stronger battery life, 19 hours of video playback, up from 17 hours with the iPhone 12. Finally, the iPhone 13 starts at 128GB storage, rising to 512GB. This is double the 64-256GB offered by the iPhone 12. The iPhone 13 also features an OLED, HDR display, with the screen protected with the same Ceramic Shield technology from in the iPhone 12.

What is the iPhone 13 Pro best for?

Just like previous Pro upgrades, the first noticeable improvement the iPhone 13 Pro makes is that it features the telephoto lens, which allows greater zoom functionality over the base iPhone 13. Compared to the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone allows the same “cinematic mode” found in the base iPhone 13, allowing you to film in 1080p at 30fps. Optical zoom for the base iPhone 13 is 2x, for the iPhone 12 Pro it’s 4x, but the iPhone 13 Pro offers 6x optical zoom. 

In terms of performance, the iPhone 13 Pro offers a slightly more powerful version of the A15 chip, compared to the base iPhone 13, while the A15 chip is an improvement compared to the iPhone 12 Pro’s A14 chip. Battery life is also improved, with the ability to play 22 hours of video, compared to 17 hours with the iPhone 12 Pro and 19 hours with the base iPhone 13. Finally, the iPhone 13 Pro offers the largest storage available on an iPhone with a 1TB storage capacity. This is almost double the 512GB available with the base iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 Pro. 

What’s the difference between the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max?

The first difference you’ll notice between the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the price. The iPhone 13 Pro costs £949, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max costs £1,049 (at the time of writing). This is a £100 price difference between the two models. 

When you open the box, you’ll also notice the iPhone 13 Pro Max is larger than the iPhone 13 Pro. Specifically, 6.7 inches compared to 6.1 inches. Then, when using the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the battery life allows 28 hours of video playback, compared to the 22 hours with the iPhone 13 Pro. 

So, in terms of specs, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best iPhone to date.

Is the iPhone 13 mini the best small phone?

If you prefer a smaller phone, the iPhone 13 mini is a great option. It still packs great performance, but in a smaller package. The iPhone 13 mini screen comes in at 5.4 inches, compared to the 6.1 inch screen of the base iPhone 13. 

When compared to the base iPhone 13, it uses the same A15 chip, the same camera lenses and is made of the same materials. It also shares the variety of storage capacities available. 

With the only noticeable downgrades compared to the base iPhone 13 being the screen size and a slightly poorer battery life (17 hours video playback compared to 19 hours), the iPhone 13 mini is nearly the same as its big brother, but for £100 less (at the time of writing). This makes it a very solid option for someone looking for the power of the latest model, but wants to save money and space in their pocket.

Is the iPhone SE the best budget phone?

To start off, there are actually three iPhone SEs. The first was launched in 2016, the second in 2020, before Apple released the latest version in 2022. This makes the third generation iPhone SE the newest model available, at the time of writing. The iPhone SE is often referred to as a “budget” iPhone, but that doesn’t make it a bad one. 

In fact, that cheaper price tag could be a huge advantage for you. Compared to the iPhone that released in 2021, the iPhone 13, the SE was £360 cheaper at launch. This is especially interesting, considering the third generation iPhone SE uses the same A15 bionic chip that powers the more expensive iPhone 13. That’s definitely not worth ignoring.

So, what do you lose when paying almost half the price? Well, the screen is a lot smaller. The iPhone SE is a relatively small 4.7 inches, while the iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch screen. It’s also made using less durable materials and is less water resistant. Battery performance also isn’t as good, and you’ll instead be using Touch ID instead of Face ID. 

So, while you’re making some sacrifices in terms of quality, that’s exactly the point. At almost half the price at launch, you have to lose out somewhere. But that doesn’t mean the iPhone SE is a bad phone, by any means. It’s a great phone for anyone on a budget, who still wants to remain plugged into Apple’s ecosystem.

iPhone 12 deals

The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max were launched across October and November 2020. 

The iPhone 12 models were the first to feature 5G access, which offers dramatically faster speeds compared to what you’re used to with 4G. 

The base iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini both feature OLED, HDR displays, with the front screen also given better protection with their Ceramic Shield technology, which offers up to 4x better drop performance. They also feature haptic feedback for greater touch control, and are water resistant for up to 30 minutes (up to 6m deep). As for the battery, you can expect up to 17 hours of video playback for the base 12 model, while you should get up to 15 hours of video play with the 12 mini. 

Be aware, you’ll no longer get a free charging plug or Apple EarPods with iPhone 12 models. Apple have stated this it to hit their environmental goals, noting that most users already have these items from previous models. If you don’t have these already, you’ll need to buy them separately. 

What does the iPhone 12 Pro offer?

As for the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models, one of the main additions is the LiDAR scanner, which helps massively for Night mode portraits, as well as introducing new augmented reality features. The Pro and Pro Max models also offer great storage options, with up to 512GB available with both, compared to up to 256GB with the base iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.

What’s the difference between the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max?

The main difference between the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models is the size. The Pro’s screen is 6.1 inches, while the Pro Max’s stretches to 6.7 inches. This makes the iPhone 12 Pro Max the biggest iPhone yet, alongside the newer iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

The Pro Max also has a slightly better camera, allowing for 5x optical zoom range, compared to the Pro’s 4x zoom range. Finally, in terms of battery life, the iPhone 12 Pro can play video for up to 17 hours, while the 12 Pro Max can last up to 20 hours.

Should I get the iPhone 12 mini?

As phone screens continue to grow in size each year, the iPhone 12 mini could be a great alternative for you. It boasts many of the performance improvements of the rest of the iPhone 12 range, but packed into a smaller 5.4-inch screen.

What does the iPhone 11 offer?

The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max were launched in September 2019. 

Comparing the differences between the iPhone 11 and its predecessor, the iPhone X, there are a few things worth mentioning. To start with the iPhone 11 ditches the stainless-steel build from the X, instead swapping to an “aerospace-grade aluminium” which is supposed to be more durable. Should come in handy for those all too common drops. 

The headline feature comes in the form of its A13 Bionic chip, which offers far greater processing power than the iPhones which came before it. 

iPhones are the most popular cameras on earth, so the ultra-wide camera lens is welcome news. This allows you to capture far more in your shots, while also letting you crop and zoom more effectively when you edit your pictures. For selfie-lovers and FaceTime users, the front camera is 12 mega pixels, which should result in better pics for Instagram and everything else. If you’re filming video, the iPhone 11 supports Dolby Vision audio, as well as HDR while filming at 4K at 60 frames per second.

What about the iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max?

The Pro and Pro Max have a few more performance perks than the iPhone 11. Some of the features across the range include: 

  • A second ultra-wide camera; the Pro and Pro Max feature a third telephoto lens for higher quality portrait shots 
  • The iPhone 11 Pro is capable of up to 18 hours, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max will play video for up to 20 hours 
  • Water resistance up to two metres for 30 minutes on the iPhone 11, and up to four metres for 30 minutes on the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max 

Apart from a larger screen size and an improved battery life, the iPhone Pro Max performs in much the same way as an iPhone 11 Pro.

What does the iPhone X offer?

The iPhone X was launched in September 2017 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the company’s smartphone. 

Some of the iPhone X’s features: 

  • It’s made entirely of reinforced glass with an edge-to-edge display (there’s no home button). 
  • It uses facial recognition technology to unlock it. This technology, known as Face ID, can be used with Apple Pay transactions. The phone quickly learns what its user looks like through its 3D front-loaded camera. It only unlocks for its user. 

The iPhone X can be charged wirelessly using the Qi system. Just place the phone on a charging pad and your iPhone should get an instant boost.

Why consider an iPhone XS?

The iPhone XS introduced Apple’s A12 Bionic chip, which improved the phone’s processing performance and speed. The XS also has a slightly better battery life, up to 14 hours of video playback compared to the X’s 13, and also includes the option for 512GB of storage. That’s double the X’s best of 256GB.

What about the iPhone XS Max?

The iPhone XS Max is essentially the same as the regular XS, but the screen size jumps from 5.8 inches to 6.5 inches, making it one of the biggest iPhones ever. It has the same A12 Bionic chip, so performance should be the same, but the bigger size allows for a bigger battery, which should last a bit longer (up to 15 hours of video playback)

Is the iPhone XR good?

When it was unveiled in 2018, a lot of people referred to it as the “budget” iPhone. A fair point given it was £150 cheaper than the iPhone X at launch. Whether the iPhone XR is good depends on what you’re looking for, but let’s see how it compares to the base iPhone X. 

You’ll probably notice that the iPhone XR’s build quality feels slightly cheaper, swapping out stainless steel for aluminum, along with a screen that’s not as dazzling as the other iPhone X models. However, the XR’s screen is bigger. Up to 6.1 inches from the iPhone X’s 5.8. 

The XR also has an edge over the base iPhone X in a few other key areas. The chip that powers the phone is the A12 Bionic, which is an improvement over the X’s A11, while the XR also enjoys a better battery life. The XR boasts up to 16 hours of video playback time, which is a significant upgrade from the 13 hours offered by the iPhone X. 

So, it’s a bit of a trade off. The build and screen aren’t quite as good on the XR, but it makes up for it in a big way with a cheaper price tag and improved performance in some other key areas. Whether that’s worth it is up to you, but it’s certainly a good phone. 

Should I get the iPhone X?

The iPhone X was introduced as the start of a new era for Apple. Celebrating the 10-year anniversary since they launched their first iPhone model, they introduced significant new changes from their older phones, such as wireless charging, along with an edge-to-edge glass display, using the new Face ID system to manage and access your phone. 

However, the iPhone X is no longer the new star of the show. New iPhones have come out since, each making newer improvements across the board. So, while it’s still a good phone, it’s understandably not the best iPhone out there. 

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can avoid Apple’s most expensive models and still pick up a solid new phone for yourself. It depends what you’re looking for, so it’s always worth comparing phone deals to find the right fit for you. 

What about the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus?

Two other iPhone models, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, were introduced at the same time as the iPhone X. 

iPhone 8 

64GB-256GB   

Has a 4.7in screen retina HD display, made entirely of glass for durability, and it’s dust and water resistant. True Tone technology adjusts to match the light for a better viewing experience 

Qi standard wireless charging and up to 14 hours talk time 

iPhone 8 Plus 

64GB-256GB 

5.5in screen retina HD display, with good colour accuracy, made entirely of glass for durability. Dust and water resistant. 

Qi standard wireless charging with up to 21 hours talk time 

Which networks offer some of the best iPhone deals?

Deals available through Compare the Market include 12, 18 and 24 month contracts, unlimited data deals and free handset deals. 

Check the contracts on offer from eight mobile networks:

Three

Three are one of the UK’s ‘big four’ mobile networks. Their specialty is ‘all you can eat’ data plans, which mean you can use as much data as you like for unlimited browsing. Three are also one of the leading networks for 5G coverage in the UK. 

iPhone deals on Three include pay as you go, SIM only and contract phone deals.

EE

Formed after Orange and T-Mobile merged, EE is the largest mobile network in the UK. They were the first network to support 5G, and offer some of the widest 5G support across the UK. 

iPhone deals on EE include deals on phone contracts, SIM-only, and pay as you go. 

O2

Another one of the UK’s ‘big four’ networks, O2 is second only to EE in terms of customer numbers. Famous for their ‘priority’ offers, O2 offer some of the best and most diverse network benefits. These include free trials, discounts and competitions, as well as priority access for tickets to concerts and events at O2 venues. 

iPhone deals on O2 include pay as you go, SIM only and contract phone deals.

Vodafone

The last of the UK’s ‘big four’ networks, Vodafone offers almost complete coverage across the UK, as well as growing number of 5G locations. Vodafone also offers various benefits, with their ‘VeryMe’ rewards scheme offering its customers a wide range of weekly gifts and giveaways. These range from little treats like a free coffee or snack, all the way up to exclusive access to event tickets.

iPhone deals on Vodafone are a combination of pay as you go, SIM only and contract phone deals.

BT

Powered by EE’s network (EE are owned by the BT Group), BT Mobile customers get the same great coverage and 5G access as its sister network.

iPhone deals on BT are available on SIM-only contracts, with selected deals also offering access to the BT Sport app.

Giffgaff

One of the largest mobile networks outside the ‘big four’, Giffgaff uses O2’s existing network to cover almost the entire UK. Something that separates Giffgaff from some of the bigger networks is that they also offer refurbished, pre-owned phones. These can help you get a cheaper deal and, best of all, they all come with a 12-month warranty.

iPhone deals on Giffgaff include SIM-only deals, as well as phone contracts and the ability to buy phones outright. Their monthly SIM-only deals include rolling monthly contracts for ultimate flexibility.

iD mobile

Powered by Three’s network, iD mobile specialises in flexible, 30-day rolling SIM-only plans. Separating them from many of the bigger networks, iD mobile offers a data rollover perk, which lets you keep any data you don’t use and carry it over for the next month. They also offer a bill capping feature, which lets you stop yourself from going over your set limit.

iPhone deals on iD mobile include pay monthly phone contracts, as well as SIM-only deals.

Voxi

Voxi is the network that promises “endless social media”. They’re all about big data allowances, all the way up to unlimited, but using certain social media apps won’t count towards your data limits. Perfect for you social media addicts out there. The social apps excluded from your data usage are Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. 

Powered by Vodafone, Voxi offers coverage across almost the entire UK, as well as a growing number of 5G locations.

iPhone deals on Voxi include rolling-month SIM-only contracts, as well as monthly phone package deals.

Frequently asked questions

Should I get an iPhone?

iPhones have plenty of features, are easy to use and the build quality is high, so if you’re in the market for an iPhone, there’s plenty of reasons to get one.

Also, if you have other Apple products, like an iPad or iMac, it could make sense to get an iPhone because you can transfer files and photos almost seamlessly between all your Apple devices.

If you’re looking for iPhone deals on a budget, choosing a package with a slightly older model, a mini model of the SE could be the way to go. You’ll still get a great phone, it just might not be the newest on the market, or have the highest specs.

Which is the best iPhone?

That’s a hard one to answer, as it depends what you use your phone for and what your budget is. It probably won’t surprise you that the latest iPhone is ‘technically’ the best, as it boasts the newest technologies and best specs in the iPhone range. 

The latest and most powerful iPhone, with the most features, would be the iPhone 13 Pro Max. This has the largest screen of any iPhone, the best camera, the fastest chip (the A15), the best battery life and more.

What is the biggest iPhone available?

The biggest iPhone, in terms of screen size, is both the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max, which both have a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display. The iPhone 11 Pro Max comes in just slightly smaller at 6.5 inches.

Which iPhone has the best battery life?

The best battery life for an iPhone belongs to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone 13 Pro Max boasts a battery which can playback up to 28 hours in one charge.

Are iPhones waterproof?

iPhones aren’t waterproof, but they are “water resistant”. This means that they can survive splashes and spills, as well as water exposure for a certain amount of time, up to a certain depth. 

The latest iPhone 13 range models are water resistant to a depth of 6m for up to 30 minutes. However, water-resistant iPhones began with the iPhone 7, which was water resistant to a depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes.

How much does an iPhone cost?

iPhone prices vary massively, depending on the model you’re getting, the phone’s storage, the length of contract you’re getting, along with how many texts, minutes and data you’re adding to your package. Then, of course, it depends on which network you’re going with, as prices will vary there too. It’ll come as no surprise that the newer the phone, combined with the more data and add-ons you include, the more expensive your iPhone will cost you. 

In terms of just how much the iPhone itself costs, here’s a breakdown of how much each iPhone model cost at launch:

iPhone model
Storage
Launch price
iPhone 13 Pro Max
128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB
£1,049
£1,149
£1,349
£1,549
iPhone 13 Pro
128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB
£949
£1,049
£1,249
£1,449
iPhone 13 mini
128GB
256GB
512GB
£679
£779
£979
iPhone 13
128GB
256GB
512GB
£779
£879
£1,079
iPhone SE (3rd generation)
64GB
128GB
256GB
£419
£469
£569
iPhone 12 Pro Max
128GB
256GB
512GB
£1,099
£1,199
£1,399
iPhone 12 Pro
128GB
256GB
512GB
£999
£1,099
£1,299
iPhone 12 mini
64GB
128GB
256GB
£699
£749
£849
iPhone 12
64GB
128GB
256GB
£799
£849
£949
iPhone SE (2nd edition)
64GB
128GB
256GB
£419
£469
£569
iPhone 11 Pro Max
64GB
256GB
512GB
£1,149
£1,299
£1,499
iPhone 11 Pro
64GB
256GB
512GB
£1,049
£1,199
£1,399
iPhone 11
64GB
128GB
256GB
£729
£779
£879
iPhone XR
64GB
256GB
512GB
£749
£799
£899
iPhone XS Max
64GB
256GB
512GB
£1,099
£1,249
£1,449
iPhone XS
64GB
256GB
512GB
£999
£1,149
£1,349
iPhone X
64GB
256GB
 
£999
£1,149
 
iPhone 8 Plus
64GB
256GB
 
£799
£949
 
iPhone 8
64GB
256GB
 
£699
£849
 
iPhone 7 Plus
32GB
128GB
256GB
£719
£819
£919
iPhone 7
32GB
128GB
256GB
£599
£699
£799

 

Which iPhones can I compare with Compare the Market?

Our mobile phone deal checker allows you to compare contracts with the following iPhone models: 

iPhone 13 
iPhone 13 mini 
iPhone 13 Pro 
iPhone 13 Pro Max 
iPhone SE 2022 
iPhone 12 
iPhone 12 mini 
iPhone 12 Pro 
iPhone 12 Pro Max 
iPhone 11 
iPhone 11 Pro 
iPhone 11 Pro Max 
iPhone X 
iPhone XR 
iPhone XS 
iPhone XS Max 
iPhone SE 2020 
iPhone SE 2016 
iPhone 8 
iPhone 8 Plus 
iPhone 7 
iPhone 7 Plus 

How can I compare iPhone deals?

To quickly and easily find the iPhone deal that suits your needs, just use our mobile comparison service.

What do I need to find a deal?

Finding the best deal couldn’t be simpler:

  • Type in the phone model you’d like in the ‘search for a phone’, search box
  • Make your choice from the dropdown list
  • Sort your results by monthly cost, contract length or whatever matters most to you. Alternatively, you can shop by network or deal types – for example, 12-month contracts and unlimited data deals.
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Author image Holly Cox

What our expert says...

“iPhone users have enjoyed the benefits of high-spec tech and entertaining apps for over a decade now. Unique features such as FaceTime, Face ID and Apple Pay are simple to use and neatly packaged in high-quality handsets. Look out for data allowances that suit your needs.”

- Holly Cox, Digital expert

Why use Compare the Market?

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**Correct as of June, 2022.

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