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Thursday, December 02, 2021

In the market for a new iPhone? Here is some advice

You asked for it, and here it is—our comprehensive Apple iPhone buying guide.

Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi |
Updated: November 3, 2021 11:35:28 am
iPhone, Apple iPhone, iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone 13 Pro Max, best budget iPhones, best iPhones, best iPhones under Rs 30,000, iPhones budget, iPhones cameraBuying an iPhone can be an intimidating experience. Here's how to choose model. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The iPhone is not only the most popular smartphone on the market but also the most desirable product regardless of its high price. Because Apple sells its iPhone in multiple models, it sometimes gets confusing which one to buy best for your needs. Whether you’re going to settle for something as basic as the iPhone SE or the top-end iPhone 13 Pro Max, we’re here to help you do your homework and figure out what to look for throughout the buying process.

iPhone SE (2020)

Price: Rs 39,900 onwards

It’s the most basic iPhone you can probably think of right now. It might not have the modern look or insane cameras, but cost half the price of the iPhone 13. This phone has the same A13 processor as the iPhone 11 and runs pretty much every app and game. The SE has a 4.7-inch screen, thick bezels, a home button, and Touch ID for secure unlocking. It’s the only model currently that does not have an OLED screen. Sure, it doesn’t support 5G, its battery life isn’t as good as the iPhone 13 and it also lacks a dedicated night mode. That being said, you aren’t buying an iPhone SE for the latest and greatest features. If you are in the market for a new iPhone that’s not only affordable but also pocket-sized, the iPhone SE is a great choice. Read our review of the iPhone SE (2020).

iPhone, Apple iPhone, iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone 13 Pro Max, best budget iPhones, best iPhones, best iPhones under Rs 30,000, iPhones budget, iPhones camera The iPhone 13 is the best iPhone for most people. (Image credit: Shruti Dhapola/Indian Express)

iPhone 13

Price: Rs 79,900 onwards

The iPhone 13 is a complete smartphone, aimed at a broad customer base. It still has a 6.1-inch OLED screen but gets features such as sensor-shift stabilization on the main camera and128GB of storage on the base version. The iPhone 13 feels almost perfect with all-day battery life and a super-fast A15 Bionic processor. It’s IP68 water-resistant, has 5G, and supports the MagSafe accessory system. Like its predecessor, the iPhone 13 has the wide and ultra-wide cameras but the picture quality has improved. Not to forget, the iPhone 13 now has this Cinematic mode, which adds Portrait mode with video and adds a blur effect around your subject. It might not be as sophisticated as an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max, but it’s one phone that gets a pretty good job at everything. Read our review of the iPhone 13.

iPhone, Apple iPhone, iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone 13 Pro Max, best budget iPhones, best iPhones, best iPhones under Rs 30,000, iPhones budget, iPhones camera The iPhone 13 mini is small enough to hold and use one-handed. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

iPhone 13 mini

Price: Rs 69,900 onwards

Some people assume because the iPhone 13 mini costs less than the iPhone 13, it is less superior. In fact, there is no performance difference between the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 at all. The iPhone 13 Mini is identical to the iPhone 13 except for battery life and screen size. Buy the iPhone 13 mini if you don’t like to carry smartphones with jumbo-sized screens. For those people, the iPhone 13 mini makes a lot of sense. It has a 5.4-inch OLED screen, has the same modern design with slim bezels like the iPhone 13, dual cameras on the back, and the A15 Bionic chip inside but in a compact size. Read our review of the iPhone 13 mini.

iPhone, Apple iPhone, iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone 13 Pro Max, best budget iPhones, best iPhones, best iPhones under Rs 30,000, iPhones budget, iPhones camera The iPhone 13 Pro Max is a giant phone. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

iPhone 13 Pro: Rs 1,19,900 onwards, iPhone 13 Pro Max: Rs 129,900 onwards

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro aren’t designed to appeal to the masses and that shows the way they have been priced. They target a specific gentry who wants the best display, the best cameras, and the best battery life in a phone. Just look at the iPhone 13 Pro Max, for instance. It’s made of a mix of stainless steel and glass, has a 6.7-inch ProMotion OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate screen, longer battery life, and an extra graphic core that pushes gaming to another level. The triple-cameras include a 3X optical zoom and a new macro camera mode is a lot of fun. Apple has also added the ability to capture ProRes video, a high-quality compression format that’s widely used by Final Cut Pro users. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is worth playing extra cash, if you know the potential of this phone and how to take advantage of this device as a professional tool. The iPhone 13 Pro, on the other, is the same phone as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, with slightly less battery life and a smaller 6.1-inch screen. You still get the high-refresh-rate display, and the cameras are exactly the same. Get the model, if you don’t want an iPhone 13 Pro Max because that thing is enormous. Read our review of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

iPhone, Apple iPhone, iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone 13 Pro Max, best budget iPhones, best iPhones, best iPhones under Rs 30,000, iPhones budget, iPhones camera Grab the iPhone 12, if you have a tight budget but still want a powerful smartphone. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini

iPhone 12 mini: Rs 59,900 onwards, iPhone 12: Rs 65,900 onwards

If you don’t want the latest-generation iPhones and plan to save some cash, then get the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. Buying an iPhone 12 makes a lot of sense in 2021, because this device is very much identical to the iPhone 12. So you are not missing the most important features. Sure, you lose out on features such as Cinematic Mode but they change the photography/videography experience. But yes, the iPhone 12 starts at 64GB of storage, whereas the iPhone 13 at 128GB. Who doesn’t want extra storage, right? That being said, the iPhone 12 is still fast and zippy, thanks to the A14 Bionic chipset. Its battery life is also good, lasting a full day on a single charge. If you get an iPhone 12 for less online, grab it because it will get guaranteed software updates for at least five years.

As far as the iPhone 12 mini, this device isn’t too different from the iPhone 12, except for a smaller screen and a smaller price. However, the iPhone 12 mini’s battery life was really problematic and which is why we would recommend getting the latest iPhone 13 mini instead. The latter phone gets a slightly longer battery, plus the phone is a heck of a deal who wants a small and compact device. Read our review of the iPhone 12.

The iPhone 11 is still a great phone, despite being launched in 2019. (Image credit: Bloomberg)

iPhone 11

Price: Rs 49,900 onwards

Despite being launched two years ago, the iPhone 11 is a solid buy in 2021. It has a speedy processor, two rear cameras, an OLED screen, all-day battery life, water resistance, and wireless charging. If you want a modern-looking iPhone, but don’t want the bells and whistles of newer iPhones, the iPhone 11 is worth getting it. It’s a great iPhone on a budget, costing less than Rs 50,000. Read our review of the iPhone 11.

Tech tips

Things to consider when buying an iPhone

With so many iPhone models available for sale, choosing one can be quite overwhelming. Obviously, price is something that helps narrow down your choices further, but you also need to focus on key features such as cameras and battery life.

Release date

There is no best time to buy a new smartphone. But in the case of the iPhone, there is one. Apple announces new iPhones in the month of September. With the launch of the iPhone 13 series, for example, iPhone 12 prices were reduced further. Diwali is the best time to buy an iPhone — new, old generation or refurbished.

Size

Size is an important factor when considering buying a new iPhone. The iPhone 13 Max has a 6.7-inch screen, but it feels heavy to hold. The iPhone 13 mini, meanwhile, has a 5.4-inch screen size and is comfortable to hold but sacrifices on-screen real estate. The iPhone 13 lands right in between the two in terms of size and weight.

Screen

Every new iPhone Apple is releasing has an OLED screen, the display technology which produces deeper blacks, richer colors and more life-like images. The iPhone 13 features an OLED screen and so does the iPhone 12. But the new iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max not only have OLED screens but include the ProMotion display technology, bringing a 120Hz high refresh rate to the iPhones for the first time. The downside is that you’ll have to pay a lot more for a Pro and Pro Max model.

Camera

The camera plays an important factor in buying an iPhone. If the camera is most important to you, then go for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Both have triple rear cameras, delivering photos that are professional-looking. But if the camera is not your priority, Apple also sells the iPhone SE which has a single camera on the back. It’s a decent camera, if you are an average user.

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