The best iPhones in our opinion

We studied the current iPhone models, looked at the assortment of Russian online stores and compiled a list of Apple smartphones that are worth a closer look:

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best of the best.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is the first alternative to the best of the best.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro is the second alternative to the best of the best.
Apple iPhone 15 is the best choice.
Apple iPhone 13 is an alternative to the optimal choice.
Apple iPhone SE (2022) is the most affordable.
Apple iPhone 11 is an alternative to the most affordable.
Apple iPhone 13 mini is the best compact.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The most powerful and sophisticated iPhone with a large screen and the best camera.

Last year’s 14 Pro Max had almost the same specs as the 14 Pro. But the new 15 Pro Max received a serious bonus – a telephoto lens with five times optical zoom. A regular camera has a three-fold zoom.

With a 5x zoom it is more convenient to shoot distant objects such as mountains or buildings. Otherwise, there are almost no differences between the 14 Pro and 15 Pro.

The main camera of the 15 Pro Max is a 48 megapixel module, like the 14 Pro, but with minor improvements. Thanks to its high resolution and Apple algorithms, the smartphone can do digital 2x zoom, which is almost no different from optical zoom, with good detail and color saturation.

The iPhone takes excellent photographs in any lighting conditions – the frames are bright and clear, with natural color rendition. In addition to the main camera and telephoto camera, there is also an ultra-wide-angle camera for shooting buildings and large companies. Additionally, a LiDAR sensor was placed next to the cameras. It is needed for quickly focusing the camera in the dark and for augmented reality applications in which virtual objects are superimposed on the real environment.

The screen is the best on the market. Thanks to the large diagonal of 6.7 inches, it is comfortable and pleasant to watch movies and TV series on it, especially since it is an OLED matrix with perfect blacks, calibrated color reproduction and an expanded palette of HDR shades. Movies look better on this phone’s display than on most TVs.

Basic iPhone models have screens with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which means that when quickly scrolling through menus or long sites, you may notice jerks and the image becomes more blurry. Firmwares starting with 13 Pro have a twice as high refresh rate, 120 Hz, so the image is smoother.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max display itself switches the frequency in the range from 1 to 120 Hz. This is done in order to save energy when the image is static, when smoothness is not required.

The A17 Pro processor is the most powerful chip for smartphones. Owners of the iPhone 14 and even the iPhone 13 will not feel the difference in operating speed, because even the older models had enough power for any task.

But the new chip still makes sense: the processor has become so powerful that it allows you to run some console games on your smartphone. Death Stranding, Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Resident Evil were announced for iPhone 15 Pro. Basic iPhone 15 and older models will not have these games available.

Alternative 1. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is outdated only nominally: in terms of performance, camera quality, screen and battery life, it still outperforms most current Android flagships. This is a smartphone that has an amazing display, lasts a day and a half to two days, and takes great pictures.

The only drawback compared to the new model is that the processor can’t handle console games, and the camera’s zoom is only three times.

Alternative 2. iPhone 14 Pro – the same model, only a little smaller. The characteristics are identical, only the screen diagonal and battery capacity differ. The phone is convenient to operate with one hand, but it only works for a day, not a day and a half.

Apple iPhone 15

In Russia, the iPhone 15 is expensive. But I don’t want to recommend the iPhone 13 or 14 instead : the new model has too many improvements.

Firstly , the display has been redesigned – instead of a notch, there is a dynamic island, which was previously in the 14 Pro. Peak brightness has also increased noticeably: in the sun, the display has become almost twice as bright as the screen of the base iPhone 14. The refresh rate has not changed – 60 Hz. Increased Hertz is still available only on  Pro versions .

Secondly , they improved the camera. There are two modules – regular and ultra-wide-angle. The second one is useful when photographing massive buildings, narrow spaces or large companies. The main camera has been seriously upgraded: almost the same 48 megapixel module is installed as in the 15 Pro. Thanks to the new matrix, the smartphone can crop from a full frame in high resolution, which is comparable to a 2x optical zoom. This is how the developers elegantly replaced the telephoto lens in the basic iPhone line.

As a result, the iPhone 15 shoots about as well as the iPhone 15 Pro. The main difference is only in the zoom: the basic model has a 2x zoom, the Pro has a 3x zoom, and the Pro Max has a 5x zoom.

Thirdly , this is the first iPhone with USB Type-C . The charging speed has not changed, but now your phone, tablet and laptop can be charged with the  same cable. And don’t be afraid that your friends with Android won’t have a suitable charger.

iPhone 15 is powered by the A16 Bionic chip from the iPhone 14 Pro. Performance and stability are unquestionable even when running the most demanding games or video editing applications.

The phone supports MagSafe accessories: wireless charging, card holders, even small power banks that are attached to the back panel with magnets. This feature appeared in the iPhone 12 and is found in all newer models except the SE line.

Alternative. The iPhone 13 is already in its third year, but the model is still in production and plans to support it for many more years.

The iPhone 15 has gone far in terms of hardware: it has a noticeably better camera, screen and performance. But that’s not to say the 2021 iPhone is bad for everyday use. If you compare the iPhone 13 and 14, the difference is minimal.

The phone is comfortable to use for any task: it is fast enough to not slow down in menus and games, and the camera takes bright pictures, albeit without a high-quality 2x zoom. It also costs significantly less.