Finding the best iPhone for the money doesn’t have to be tricky. While there are quite a few models and new releases to choose from, knowing exactly what you need out of your iPhone will guarantee you the best value.
And don’t assume that you have to blow $1,000 on an iPhone either. You can snag an iPhone for under $500 and still get nearly all the features that come with even the newest models. Whether you’re looking for speedy performance or crisp photo quality, we’ve got you covered on the best iPhones worth your money. And while Apple rarely holds sales, make sure to check out our other stories on how to score Apple discounts if you’re a student, teacher, or working in the military.
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1. The Best Budget iPhone: Apple iPhone SE
When you want only the best at a budget price, the iPhone SE ($429.99, Best Buy) is the cheapest iPhone you can get. Internally, it also has all the specs you would find in a more expensive iPhone. This device features an A15 bionic chip, which is the same type you’ll find in the iPhone 13, so you know you’re getting high performance — and at half the cost. Battery life is also decent and can last for about 13 hours at a time. Also, it’s equipped with a 12-megapixel camera so you can capture beautiful shots in bright and low-light settings.
Because Apple reused the iPhone 8 shell from 2017, it looks dated. For some, this could be a good thing, if you’re a nostalgic type like me. It also has a 4.7-inch OLED screen which is smaller than the regular iPhone. This benefits those with smaller hands, but it might not be ideal if you enjoy watching videos on a large screen.
Related: 8 Best Cheap Laptops Under $500, Plus How to Save on Big Brands
2. Best Small iPhone: iPhone 13 Mini
The small, yet powerful, Apple iPhone 13 Mini ($629.99, Apple) is a perfect example that sometimes less is more — or at least just as good as its bigger counterparts. It measures around 5.4 inches and fits comfortably in your pocket or handbag. It has an A15 bionic chip, which is also found in other iPhone 13 phones so you don’t lack power or speed in any way. And its 12-megapixel camera has a cinematic mode so you can get Hollywood-style videos every time you shoot.
While the iPhone 13 Mini boasts a longer battery life than the iPhone 11, you can find better. Expect the phone to last around a full day only before you have to recharge it.
Note that you can get $40 to $650 with an eligible trade-in. You can also get 3% cash back when you use your Apple Card.
3. Best iPhone for Performance: Apple iPhone 12
The Apple iPhone 12 ($629.99, Best Buy) is a great choice for an older iPhone. It’s designed with a 6.1-inch OLED screen, which is different from the curved iPhone 11 design. Instead, it comes with flat sides and a flat screen. A ceramic shield protects the phone against scratches and accidental drops.
The iPhone 12 has an A14 bionic chip so it can process data super quickly. Plus, it has a 12-megapixel camera that comes with a special night mode and 4K video recording. Moreover, the iPhone 12 has a magnetic charger that you stick to the back of the phone so you can still use it while it charges. It’s also water-resistant and is IP68 rated. Basically, this means it can survive up to 30 minutes in six meters of water.
When you purchase this at Best Buy, you can get three months’ worth of Apple TV, whether you’re a new or returning subscriber.
4. Best iPhone for Value: Apple iPhone 13
Design-wise, the iPhone 13 ($729.99, Best Buy) is nearly identical to the iPhone 12, except it weighs a little more. But you probably won’t even feel the difference, as both phones are still very light and comfortable to hold.
The iPhone 13 does come with upgrades to the screen, camera, and battery. It has a 12-megapixel camera with big sensors, which means that it’s able to capture more light to get better shots. Because of this, the camera is placed diagonally instead of vertically. It also has a brighter display for watching movies, playing games, and surfing the internet. Plus, there’s an A15 bionic chip for faster processing and a longer battery life that gives you 15 hours of user time. But unlike other top-tier phones, it doesn’t have a 120Hz rate. That just means you might experience slower response times when playing games or refreshing your screen.
If you’re a Best Buy Cardmember, you’re eligible for 12-month financing. You also get three months’ worth of Apple TV with your purchase.
5. The Best iPhone with Camera: iPhone 14 Pro
Since its release, the iPhone 14 Pro ($999.99, Best Buy) is arguably one of Apple’s most popular phones. At 6.1 inches, it’s the same size as an iPhone 14 and also has many similar specs.
It features a 48-megapixel camera, which is an enormous upgrade from the iPhone 14 and iPhone Plus 12-megapixel cameras. The camera also functions well in low-light settings and features a telephoto lens so you can shoot your subject from a distance with clear shots. Another cool feature to note is an always-on display. This lets you check the time or see incoming notifications without waking up the screen. Plus, it has a new Dynamic Island display so background activities like calls, playlists, and podcasts go to the top of your phone, making them easier to see.
For sharp photos and long battery life, this iPhone will not disappoint. And if you’re a Best Buy Cardmember, you can earn 5% back in rewards if you use your card.