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What is the newest iPhone? We break it down

Everyone wants the latest iPhone. That’s the whole reason Apple releases new models every year — and why new launches cause many to become dissatisfied with what were perfectly good smartphones up until then. The thing is, with so many models now doing the rounds, it can be hard for the more casual phone enthusiast to know which is the latest and “best” iPhone.

That’s where we come in. This article provides the lowdown on the newest iPhones, as well as offering capsule reviews of the latest iPhones Apple is selling through its website. Hopefully, this should keep you up to date with the current state of the iPhone and help you zero in on the one for you.

The newest iPhone

The iPhone 13 is the newest iPhone available today. Apple officially unveiled it on September 14, so expect its successor to arrive on a similar date next time around. It was revealed along with three other models in its series: The iPhone 13 Mini, the iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Together, these four models are the latest iPhones you can buy right now, with the best hardware, the best performance, and the best cameras.

They aren’t the only iPhones available, though, and you can still purchase three other very recent models from Apple’s website. These are the following:

iPhone 13

An Apple iPhone 13 showing the home screen apps and widgets.
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

The iPhone 13 is the newest iPhone available today. As you can probably imagine, it’s also the best iPhone you can get right now — at least, when cost is factored into the equation (see the iPhone 13 Pro below if you’re prepared to spend a little more). It carries the latest Apple hardware, most notably the A15 Bionic chip, which harnesses 5nm transistors (smaller than those used with the iPhone 11 and earlier models) for super-fast performance. It also comes with 128GB of internal memory as standard, which is an upgrade from the iPhone 12. It also packs 4GB of RAM, which is more than enough to get the best out of the A15.

Its camera provides a subtle yet noticeable refinement compared to that of the iPhone 12. The basic setup is largely the same, comprising a dual-lens rear camera with a 12-megapixel wide and a 12MP ultrawide lens. However, the main wide lens has been enhanced with sensor-shift OIS (optical image stabilization), ensuring that photos are clearer and crisper than ever before. Otherwise, it continues to harness Smart HDR and Deep Fusion technologies, which helps it compensate for any shortcomings as a photographer, providing consistent results under the vast majority of conditions. Its Portrait Mode remains excellent, as does its Night Mode, which copes very well with low light.

It’s also worth pointing out that the iPhone 13’s battery builds on the improving reputation of its predecessors, offering a great lifespan even to heavier users. At 3,240mAh, it looms large over the 2,815mAh cell of the iPhone 12 and is capable of lasting a day and a half under a heavier regime, compared to just over a day for the older device. Apple’s software optimization allows it to outlast the considerably larger batteries you find on many Android phones, while it recharges pretty speedily as well, with 23W fast charging support, meaning you can go from 0% to 50% in about 30 minutes.

While the iPhone 13 looks eerily similar to the iPhone 12, a couple of design alterations serve to distinguish it. For one, its notch is now 20% smaller than last year’s model, meaning you get a little bit more touchscreen real estate to work with. At the same time, its rear camera module has been given a slight makeover, with the two lenses now appearing in a diagonal (rather than vertical) formation. In other words, it may not be a massive departure from the iPhone 13, but it’s certainly an improvement.

Read our full iPhone 13 review

iPhone 13 Mini

Person holding out the iPhone 13 Mini.
John Appleseed/Unsplash

A lower cost — and physically smaller — alternative to the iPhone 13 is the iPhone 13 Mini. It’s practically identical to the iPhone 13, with the same camera setup, internal hardware specs, and software support. However, where it does differ is having a 5.4-inch display (as opposed to a 6.1-inch display) and a smaller, 2,438mAh battery. It’s also $100 cheaper than the iPhone 13, so if you want to save some money and would prefer a smaller phone (and don’t mind a less-long-lasting battery), it’s a great option.

Read our iPhone 13 Mini vs. iPhone 12 Mini comparison

iPhone 13 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro home screen.
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

The iPhone 13 Pro is part of the latest iPhone range. It takes the same core hardware as the iPhone 13 but adds a few enhancements, which may or may not justify its $200 price increase. These enhancements include a third, 12MP telephoto camera lens, which is a nice extra to have but arguably isn’t essential. They also include an incredibly impressive 120Hz refresh rate, which is a first for an iPhone and which really does make a noticeable difference to the 6.1-inch display’s quality. On top of this, you get a time-of-flight 3D LiDAR sensor, which improves portrait shots by sensing depth and perspective more effectively than a regular camera lens.

The Pro can also be bought — for $1,499 — with a hefty 1TB in internal memory, which should be more than enough for even the most compulsive of users. The highest you can get the iPhone 13 up to is 512GB, so if storage is important to you, it may be the way to go.

Read our full iPhone 13 Pro review

iPhone 13 Pro Max

iPhone 13 Pro Max in box.
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

You can view the iPhone 13 Pro Max as pretty much identical to the iPhone 13 Pro, save for a few key differences. The most obvious is the much larger 6.7-inch Super Retina OLED display, which looks even more impressive than the iPhone 13 Pro’s 6.1-inch screen. Another big difference is the 4,352mAh battery, big enough to last a full day of intensive use with a substantial chunk of power still left in the tank. That’s pretty much it, though you may want to keep its extreme size in mind. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is significantly bigger than the iPhone 13 Pro — which may be obvious, given it has to house a larger display and larger battery. But it’s so large, in fact, that some people with smaller hands may find it uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time. Still, it’s a stunning phone and arguably justifies its $1,099 price tag. It’s the biggest, most powerful iPhone available today and the iPhone to grab if you want a massive screen.

Read our iPhone 13 Pro Max hands-on

iPhone 12

iPhone 12 what is the newest iPhone

The iPhone 12 is last year’s model, and despite its relative age, it remains a great smartphone. As with the iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic chip, its A14 also harnesses 5nm transistors, which really do get the best out of its 4GB of RAM. One downside, however, is that it comes with only 64GB of internal memory as standard, which may be too little for many users.

That said, its camera is very nearly as good as the iPhone 13’s, given that it offers the same basic dual-lens arrangement and many of the same software enhancements. On the other hand, its battery is smaller at 2,815mAh, but it is still capable of lasting more than a full day under pretty heavy use.

It’s also worth remembering that the iPhone 12 was the first iPhone to support 5G networks, another feature that puts it on a level footing with the newer iPhone 12.

Read our full iPhone 12 review

iPhone SE (2020)

iPhone SE 2020 Back Red
Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

The iPhone SE is one of the latest iPhones, and at $399, it’s a fantastic option if you want a high-performing iPhone at a low price. It combines the smaller frame of an iPhone 8 with the same internal processor as the iPhone 11, the A13 Bionic. This chip gives it much more computing power than it has any right to have, allowing it to outperform many smartphones selling for twice its price.

The iPhone SE also incorporates an excellent 12MP main camera lens. It lacks the ultrawide and telephoto lenses of the iPhone 12 series, but the main lens still takes excellent photos in a wide variety of conditions. Thanks to the use of the A13 chip, as well as its use of optical image stabilization and Smart HDR, the camera really does rival the main wide lenses you find on more premium devices, with pics looking realistic and well-balanced.

Some people may also like the fact that, in a world of gargantuan flagship phones, the iPhone SE is comfortably compact. However, one of the downsides of this is that its 4.7-inch display doesn’t look particularly impressive, although this is mostly because it’s LCD-based rather than OLED-based like the iPhone 12 range. At only 1,821mAh, its battery also isn’t especially long-lasting, although it’s fine if you aren’t a heavy user.

Read our full iPhone SE review

iPhone 11

iPhone 11
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Released in 2019, the iPhone 11 remains an excellent device and is still being sold by Apple. Its headline features include the A13 Bionic chip (as seen with the iPhone SE, above), a dual-lens rear camera, excellent battery life, and an affordable $499 starting price.

Basically, you can view the iPhone 11 as a not-quite-as-advanced iPhone 12. Like the iPhone 12, it offers a 12MP main rear camera lens and a 12MP ultrawide lens, although these lack some of the subtle refinements of the two lenses housed by the iPhone 12. It also boasts a 6.1-inch display, though this is an LCD screen, so not quite as striking as the iPhone 12’s OLED-based counterpart. On the other hand, it does come with a bigger, 3,110mAh battery, which provides just a little more staying power than the iPhone 12’s 2,815mAh cell.

Of course, it also needs to be mentioned that, unlike the iPhone 12 and 13, the iPhone 11 doesn’t support 5G. Its design is arguably a little more attractive, though, with its curved sides preferable for some to the flat, angular sides of the newer models.

Read our full iPhone 11 review


The newest iPhone is the iPhone 13, along with the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. These are fantastic smartphones, providing top-notch performance and lasting you several years (assuming you aren’t a compulsive upgrader). However, they aren’t the only iPhones being sold by Apple right now, with the manufacturer’s website selling three other recent models: The iPhone SE (2020), iPhone 12, and iPhone 11. These are also great phones and remain highly recommended, particularly if you don’t want to pay top dollar.

Of course, it’s only likely to be a year before Apple announces the next generation of iPhones, putting at least some of the above models at risk of obsolescence. So keep checking this space if you want to keep abreast of the latest iPhone models.

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