You don’t need to spend $US800 or more to get an incredible smartphone experience in 2018. You can find plenty of excellent smartphones around the $US500 range.
But what if you’re only in the market for an iPhone?
Not everyone wants the newest or most expensive iPhone available – plenty of people just want a great phone at a great value.
Apple sells eight distinct iPhone models right now. Take a look at which ones give you the most bang for your buck:
8. iPhone X
Price: $US999 for 64 GB, or $US1,149 for 256 GB
New technology doesn’t come cheap. The iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone you can buy right now, as it’s the newest and most futuristic smartphone Apple makes, with Face ID to replace Touch ID and its gorgeous OLED screen.
The iPhone X starts at $US150 more than the next most-expensive phone on the list – the iPhone 8 Plus with maxed-out storage – but the few differences between the iPhone X and iPhone 8 probably won’t justify the price gap for many customers.
7. iPhone 8 Plus
Price: $US799 for 64 GB, or $US949 for 256 GB
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus share many of the same features as the iPhone X, including Apple’s A11 Bionic chip that powers the phone, similar cameras on the front and back, and support for wireless charging.
That said, the iPhone 8 isn’t that much cheaper than the iPhone X.
It costs $US800 to start – almost $US1,000 if you want more storage – but its design will feel very familiar if you’ve ever owned an iPhone 6, 6S, or 7. It also doesn’t perform that much better compared to older iPhones; the exception is battery life, which is far better on the iPhone 8 Plus than any other iPhone available.
6. iPhone 8
Price: $US699 for 64 GB, or $US849 for 256 GB
We’re starting to get into the areas of better value. If you’re ok with a smaller screen, no portrait mode, and not-as-crazy-good battery life, you can have all the benefits of the iPhone 8 Plus for $US100 less by getting the normal iPhone 8.
Still, you’re paying $US700 for an iPhone in 2018 that looks – and performs – similar to iPhone models that are two to three years old.
5. iPhone 7 Plus
Price: $US669 for 32 GB, or $US769 for 128 GB
You might not be too impressed with the iPhone 7 Plus’ price if you compare it to the iPhone 8 – its starting price is only $US30 cheaper – but if you compare it to the next big phone, the iPhone 8 Plus, you’ll see how much of a value you’re getting.
For a near-identical design and overall experience, the iPhone 7 Plus is $US130 cheaper to start than the iPhone 8 Plus – and if you wanted to max out the storage on either phone, you could save about $US180 by going with the iPhone 7 Plus instead of the iPhone 8 Plus.
4. iPhone 6S Plus
Price: $US549 for 32 GB, or $US649 for 128 GB
If you want an iPhone with a big screen, the iPhone 6S Plus does seem like great value – at first. Among the “Plus” models, its starting price is $US120 cheaper than the iPhone 7 Plus, and a whopping $US250 cheaper than the iPhone 8 Plus.
But if you don’t care about big phones, and we’re talking about the value of any iPhone, it’s tough to put this three-year-old phone ahead of the newer iPhone 7, which has the same starting price of $US549, but faster innards, more impressive specs, and a more aesthetically-pleasing design to boot.
3. iPhone 6S
Price: $US449 for 32 GB, or $US549 for 128 GB
The three-year-old iPhone 6S is just one of two Apple-made phones that you can buy for under $US500 right now. It’s $US100 less to start compared to the iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 7.
Still, it’s important to keep in mind that the iPhone 6S is about to turn three years old in September, and the new version of iOS will likely make this old hardware feel even older: Slowdowns and battery drain are common symptoms when older devices get new software, and iPhones are no exception to this rule. Even though Apple does everything in its power to make older devices run well after software updates, it’s no secret that newer hardware tends to be more compatible with the latest software.
And so, the iPhone 6S is great value, but be wary of its ageing A9 chip.
2. iPhone 7
Price: $US549 for 32 GB, or $US649 for 128 GB
The iPhone 7 is priced the same as the iPhone 6S Plus at just $US549 to start, but when you compare it to other iPhones you can buy, you’ll see its incredible value.
First of all, consider this: The iPhone 7 is less than two years old, but it is almost half the price of an iPhone X, and can compete very well in terms of specs and features. It doesn’t have a dual camera for portrait mode, it doesn’t have an OLED display, and you can’t send Animoji on an iPhone 7, but all of those features, while nice, are rather inessential. All of the reasons you buy an iPhone – for the security updates, and the app ecosystem, and the general ease of iOS – are here in the iPhone 7, which is still a very fast phone with its A10 Fusion chip.
1. iPhone SE
Price: $US349 for 32 GB, or $US449 for 128 GB
iPhone-wise, you won’t find a better bang for your buck than the iPhone SE.
The iPhone SE is basically all of the innards of the iPhone 6S – including its A9 chip, Touch ID fingerprint scanner, and 12-megapixel camera – crammed into the body of an iPhone 5S, which was one of the best-looking phones Apple ever came out with. The iPhone SE is obviously smaller than the iPhone 6S, but if you look past the design, you’re basically holding the same phone.
That said, the price is the ultimate winner here: At just $US349 to start, the iPhone SE is:
– $US100 cheaper than the iPhone 6S.
– The most affordable iPhone sold by Apple right now.
– The only iPhone you can buy directly from Apple for under $US400.
– The only iPhone with a 4-inch screen Apple continues to manufacture.
And yet, the iPhone SE remains a luxury device that has all the best benefits of all iOS devices, like the App Store, and software updates straight from Apple.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.