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Apple Phones: The Ultimate 2024 Buyers Guide

a pile of apple iphones on a table

Since the release of the original iPhone in 2007, Apple has dominated the smartphone market in the United States. With every iteration of their famous phone line, Apple has stayed on top of the game, with the newest series, the iPhone 15, coming in as the most powerful and innovative iPhone yet.

Choosing the Right Apple Smartphone for 2024

While Apple does not have the overwhelming number of options you would find looking for an Android device, you still have a lot of iPhones to choose from in 2024. These differ in price, power, and overall quality, meaning that people will prefer different iPhones. Of course, you can opt for an iPhone with almost every provider, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Here is a rundown of the best Apple iPhone models you can pick up today.

What’s New With the Best iPhones?

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Key Features

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is currently the most powerful iPhone you can buy. It has everything the base iPhone 15 has, but it is significantly bigger with its impressive display quality.

The phone runs on iOS 17 out of the box and comes with several Apple applications. Unlike the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, the Pro Max has an A17 bionic chip, plus it's rated IP68 for water and dust resistance. The Pro model starts with 128GB of storage space with the option to upgrade to a terabyte.


The advantage of the phone is that it is the most powerful iPhone on the market, with a large, high-quality display and all the latest bells and whistles from Apple. All new iOS updates and apps are compatible with the 15 Pro Max.


The biggest drawback of the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the high price point. The retail value of the iPhone 15 Pro Max on the Apple website is $1,199, far exceeding any other iPhone model. At this price, the iPhone 13 Pro Max stops being financially competitive, making the decision for a new phone more difficult.

While you can still try for a trade-in at checkout or purchase a used phone from the Apple store, a new iPhone 15 Pro Max will never be cheap.

iPhone 15

Key Features

Outside of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the base iPhone 15 is the model with all the latest bells and whistles. Since the last generation of iPhones, battery life, display quality, and size have increased.


The iPhone 15 is the face of Apple’s most advanced line of phones. The iPhone 15’s price is considerably lower than the iPhone 15 Pro Max, meaning you get all the software benefits without losing out on anything but size. Additionally, the iPhone 15 has a USB-C charging port, leaving behind the Lightning charging port of the iPhone 14 and earlier models, wireless charging, an OLED display, a top-of-the-line camera system with Ultra Wide and telephoto lenses, and allows face ID.


The iPhone 15 has technological flaws, like less-than-stellar charge times. The phone does not have the impressive specs of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but they are very similar outside of size.

iPhone 14

Key Features

The iPhone 14 series came out right before the iPhone 15 series, which is very similar due to how recently it came out. The main difference is that the iPhone 15 is more expensive and runs on an A16 instead of the Apple iPhone 14's A15 chip. Beyond that, it still has the Lightning port, and does not feature the Dynamic Island the Apple iPhone 15 has.


Despite being a generation old at this point, Apple still supports the iPhone 14. It is compatible with all the latest iOS updates and is 5G compatible, which will become increasingly helpful over the next few years. It is not radically different from the iPhone 15, so the lower price point makes it a desirable option. Of course, it also comes in the iPhone 14 Pro, Plus, and Pro Max models.


The older chip means that the processing power of the iPhone 14 is lower than the iPhone 15. The battery life is also considerably lower on the 14 than on the 15. The only real reason to choose the iPhone 14 over the 15 is the price, so make sure you have an idea of your budget before making your choice.

iPhone SE

Key Features

The way new iPhones come out, we might consider the iPhone SE to be an "old but gold" option as it's now pushing three years of age. The Apple iPhone SE is Apple’s way of providing a budget option for people who want an iPhone without the high price point. We are currently in the third generation of iPhone SE phones, and they manage to maintain many of the best features from the pricier models like the iPhone 15 while shedding some things to keep the price relatively low.


Starting at $429 for the base 64GB version, the iPhone SE is a very competitive phone in terms of price. It runs on the same chip as the iPhone 13, making it a pretty modern iPhone experience. It is also a little smaller for people who prefer more compact smartphones.


The SE is a technological downgrade to accommodate its lower price. The pixel density, battery capacity, and display are significantly less impressive than most modern phones. The iPhone SE is a solid budget phone, but if a budget phone is not what you are looking for, you would be better off with another device on this list.

Apple Phones to Avoid

iPhone 1-8 and iPhone X

Any iPhone before the iPhone 12 would be difficult to recommend to anyone who wants a modern smartphone experience. The hardware on these models is unable to keep up with the regular software updates that Apple puts out, making them obsolete both physically and in terms of software.

Depending on the device, you may miss out on things like Apple Pay and Apple Trade, integrations with Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch, and possibly even the outdated touch ID technology.

5G is starting to integrate into the country’s infrastructure fully, replacing 4G LTE connectivity, and only the iPhone 12 and up are 5G compatible. This is just one of many ways the older models, the iPhone 8 and its predecessors, are falling behind the new ones.

The Bottom Line

What should you do next? Choose the best 2024 Apple iPhone for you.

If you are in the market for a budget phone, you should look at the iPhone SE. If you want the best top-of-the-line phones on the market, then the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a great fit. Finally, the iPhone 13 base model is the way to go if you want something in between.

You can learn more about the best Apple phones and which ones to choose by using Navi. Navi uses industry insights and data to help you choose the right phones and plans.

Once you know what kind of phone you want, Navi can help you use those parameters to find the best phone deals. Choosing the right iPhone for you can be tricky, but Navi can make the process easier.

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