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One of the most popular smartphones is Apple’s iPhone. In the U.S., roughly 45% of all smartphone owners own iPhones. Some people enjoy having the latest iPhone, regardless of expense. Others are happy to keep using the same iPhone for years.
If you like the idea of owning an iPhone, but you don’t want to overspend for features you may not use, you can purchase older versions of unlocked iPhones and take them to your cellular service provider to have them activated. Or if you like the idea of owning the latest iPhone, unlocked versions of these phones can be purchased, too.
There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for an iPhone, including storage capacity, screen size, battery life, and even color. This buying guide outlines everything you need to know to select the right iPhone for your smartphone needs. For the fastest shopping, browse our five favorite iPhones in the matrix above.
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When searching for the right iPhone, the most important thing to consider is which model is best for you. You can save quite a bit of money by buying an older iPhone model. Or you can pick up a new model if you don’t mind paying a premium price.
The iPhone 6 generation includes the 6 and 6S. Both phones have a 4.7-inch screen. The 6S is more durably constructed to resist damage from drops, though. The iPhone SE, with a 4-inch screen, is also in this generation of iPhones.
The iPhone 7 generation consists of the 7 and 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch screen, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a full HD screen, measuring 5.5 inches.
Like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 generation consists of the 8 and 8 Plus. These models also have screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. The iPhone 8 generation’s improvements over the iPhone 7 generation are a longer battery life, a faster processor, and more storage.
The iPhone X offers a high-quality, 5.8-inch OLED screen with greater than HD resolution, which is a significant advantage over past iPhones. It also offers up to 256 GB of storage. It has the same processor and dual rear camera of the iPhone 8 Plus.
Two iPhone models are in this generation: the iPhone XS and the XS Max. The XS has a 5.8-inch screen, while the XS Max has a 6.5-inch screen. Both phones feature OLED displays with greater than HD resolution. Maximum storage capacity is 512 GB with the XS generation.
The iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch screen, but it doesn’t quite have full HD resolution. It has a slightly faster processor than what’s found in the iPhone 8 generation. The XR also comes in unique colors versus other iPhones, including red, coral, and yellow.
Some people prefer a larger screen, especially if they use their iPhone for watching movies or streaming TV. However, a larger screen equals a larger unit, which makes it more difficult to carry your phone in a pocket.
The built-in storage capacity of an iPhone plays a big role in its price. iPhone models are offered with two or three storage options. Older iPhone models are offered with either 32 GB or 128 GB of storage. With newer iPhones, you can choose between 64 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB.
All newer iPhone models have both a front camera and a rear camera. The rear camera has 12 megapixels of resolution, and the front camera has 7 megapixels. The advanced models in each iPhone generation offer dual rear cameras. A dual camera setup offers better angles and better image quality than a single camera design.
All iPhone models have a strong battery life when new. But maximum battery life naturally shortens as the smartphone ages. You can expect between nine and 11 hours of battery life with a new iPhone.
For iPhone fans, the range of colors available is a big draw. Gold, silver, and space gray are common across all models. However, some iPhones also come in black, white, and rose gold.
An iPhone is an expensive and important piece of equipment, and you’ll want to keep it in top working condition. Cleaning it regularly and protecting it from drops is key. Here are a few other tips to protect your iPhone.
- Clean the screen of your iPhone with water. Never use solvents or cleaning solutions to wipe down the screen on an iPhone. Instead, use clean water and a lint-free, scratch-resistant cloth. Dip the cloth into the water to avoid using too much water.
- Add a case to protect against drops. There are a plethora of iPhone cases on the market for every model. Some cases have thick corner guards that provide maximum protection if dropped.
- Screen protectors are important, too. A glass screen protector provides the highest level of protection for an iPhone’s screen. Plastic screen protectors can protect the screen, but they smudge more easily than glass.
- Protect against thieves by using a six-digit passcode or Face ID. Should someone grab your iPhone, you can protect the data by enabling Face ID or a six-digit passcode. These log-ins are more secure than a four-digit passcode.