Which iPhone is best for you?


WhistleOut
27 October 2017

It’s easy to assume that the latest iPhone is also ‘the best’ one and leave it at that. But, let’s be honest; a big reason that a lot of people to buy an iPhone is because the iOS software is good -- and you may not need the latest and greatest iPhone for this. So long as everything works smoothly, you needn’t always spend top-dollar on the newest handset. In fact, you may even prefer one of the older models.

Current iPhones



iPhone X


The iPhone X is Apple's new crown jewel, and boasts the most radical redesign of any iPhone yet. The front is almost all screen, the home button is gone, and so is the fingerprint reader. It's also the most expensive iPhone yet, with a starting price of at $1,579 for 64GB.

The iPhone X's key features include: 

  • A "Super Retina" 5.8-inch edge-to-edge display
  • An A11 Bionic Processor
  • Dual 12MP rear-facing cameras with optical stablisation
  • Facial recognition
  • Wireless charging 
  • IP67 water-resistance

iPhone X 64GB Plans

With at least 10GB data | Filters
iPhone X 64GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $50 Red Data Plan
  • 16GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $93.86/mth
  • Min. cost $1,628.96
Optus
Optus
  • $85 My Plan Flex
  • 16GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $107/mth
  • Min. cost $2,568
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $80 Phone Plan
  • 16GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $113/mth
  • Min. cost $2,712
Telstra
Telstra
  • $99 Go Mobile Swap Lease Plan
  • 20GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $129/mth
  • Min. cost $3,096

iPhone X 256GB Plans

With at least 10GB data | Filters
iPhone X 256GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $50 Red Data Plan
  • 16GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $100.80/mth
  • Min. cost $1,878.80
Optus
Optus
  • $85 My Plan Flex
  • 16GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $117/mth
  • Min. cost $2,808
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $80 Phone Plan
  • 16GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $123/mth
  • Min. cost $2,952
Telstra
Telstra
  • $99 Go Mobile Swap Lease Plan
  • 20GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $139/mth
  • Min. cost $3,336

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus


If you're after a cheaper 2017 vintage iPhone, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus are your two choices. They're roughly the same shape and size as last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but the backs are now glass. Pricing is also in line with last year's models, with the iPhone 8 starting at $1,079 for 64GB, and the iPhone 8 Plus at $1,229 for 64GB. 

Key features include: 

  • Either a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch True Tone display
  • An A11 Bionic processor
  • A 12MP rear-facing camera on the iPhone 8, and dual 12MP rear-facing cameras on the iPhone 8 Plus
  • Wireless charging
  • IP67 water-resistance

You can read our iPhone 8 review here, and our iPhone 8 Plus review here

iPhone 8 64GB Plans

With at least 5GB data | Filters
iPhone 8 64GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $40 Red Plan
  • 6GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $69.97/mth
  • Min. cost $1,118.92
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $55 Phone Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $79/mth
  • Min. cost $1,896
Optus
Optus
  • $65 My Plan Flex
  • 5GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $83/mth
  • Min. cost $1,992
Telstra
Telstra
  • $79 Go Mobile Swap Lease Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $91/mth
  • Min. cost $2,184

iPhone 8 Plus 64GB Plans

With at least 5GB data | Filters
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $40 Red Plan
  • 6GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $74.13/mth
  • Min. cost $1,268.68
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $55 Phone Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $85/mth
  • Min. cost $2,040
Optus
Optus
  • $65 My Plan Flex
  • 5GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $88/mth
  • Min. cost $2,112
Telstra
Telstra
  • $79 Go Mobile Swap Lease Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $99/mth
  • Min. cost $2,376

iPhone 7


Apple’s iPhone 7 might be last year's iPhone, but it's still a great buy.

Display

Curiously, there is no change to the size or resolution of the screen in this new phone. Apple again bucks the trend to make displays larger and sharper and is sticking with the same 4.7-inch panel with 1334 x 750 pixels, or what Apple refers to as a Retina display. The genius of this display isn’t in the number of pixels on screen though, it is in the rich, vibrant colours that bring the screen to life. Mathematically, the iPhone has millions of pixels fewer than the latest Samsung phones, but you’d be hard-pressed to spot this.

Apple’s 3D Touch technology carries over from the iPhone 6s to the 7, but Apple is promising greater feedback via a new ‘Taptic Engine’ powered haptic feedback (vibrations). With the new engine, the iPhone 7 can give a wider array of vibrating feedback when you touch the phone to enhance its response to specific interactions.

Camera

With a 12-megapixel sensor, the camera in this iPhone may seem like a rehash off the 6s' shooter, but again there are a few important differences. Chiefly is the addition of optical image stabilisation or OIS. This is a tiny collection of springs that subtly shift the lens to counteract the shakiness of your hand. Many smartphones try and do this digitally, but OIS is always the superior method and gets the best results.

There are a number of other techy under-the-hood enhancements as well, like a wider colour gamut and an enhanced LED flash, plus a new 7-megapixel camera on the front for better selfies and FaceTime calls. But, if you are really serious about your photos you should definitely consider the iPhone 7 Plus, which we will discuss a little later.

Who is it best suited to?

The iPhone 7 is one of the best phones of the 2016 and will appeal to anyone who wants the latest and great from Apple, but doesn’t want the big screen of the iPhone 7 Plus. But again, if you are serious about the photos you take, the iPhone 7 Plus should be your first choice, regardless of its size.

You also need to think about which storage option to take. Apple has generously increased the options this year to 32GB, 128GB and 265GB. For most, 32GB will be more than enough, especially when you consider how much of your content can be hosted in iCloud and other online storage services. 256GB is enough storage for many laptops, and unless you have an enormous media library, it really is overkill for most.

Carrier Inclusions  
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $40 Red Plan
  • 6GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $63.58/mth
  • Min. cost $888.88
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $55 Phone Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $72/mth
  • Min. cost $1,728
Optus
Optus
  • $65 My Plan Plus
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $75/mth
  • Min. cost $1,800
Telstra
Telstra
  • $79 Go Mobile Plus Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $95/mth
  • Min. cost $2,280

iPhone 7 Plus


For many, the Plus sized iPhones are just the same phone with a bigger screen. In many ways this is true, but keen photographers should really put the iPhone 7 Plus at the top of their shopping list.

iPhone 6s similarities

By most of the important measures, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are similar. Both run on the same iOS 10 operating system, so they have the same core functionality; the same apps and tools, the same menus and navigation.

However there are several key differences as well, some which make the investment in the iPhone 7 Plus a smart choice. For example, the screen is not only larger (5.5-inches compared to 4.7-inches) but it is also Full HD resolution (1080 x 1920 pixels).

Camera

The iPhone 7 Plus has a major advantage over the smaller iPhone 7, thanks to the additional of a second camera lens. One lens is the standard wide-angle lens also found on the back of the iPhone 7, while this second lens is a telephoto lens capable of zoomed view 2x closer than the other. This means that when you are lining up a shot, you can switch between the two lenses if you need to get closer, or if you want to take in more of the surroundings of your subject.

The other use for two lenses is in creating more realistic looking shallow depth-of-field. This is the effect you often see in portraits where the subject is in sharp focus, but the background is blurred out. The iPhone 7 Plus is actually capable of achieving this effect by the use of the lens alone, but with the wide and telephoto lenses working together, and a bit of software magic, you can achieve a pretty stunning result.

Who is it best suited to?

Obviously anyone looking for a larger screen will love the iPhone 7 Plus. Whether it is for watching videos, or just a larger view of webpages and documents, many will find the advantages of the big screen outweigh the burden of form factor.

But it is photographers who fair best from this selection. The new dual lens arrangement adds important functionality that many will find useful every time they launch the camera app. You might also find that the 128GB or 264GB storage options are also a better option if this describes you. iCloud is great for storing some photos, but if you are shooting all the time, the local storage could really come in handy.

Carrier Inclusions  
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $40 Red Plan
  • 6GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $69.13/mth
  • Min. cost $1,088.68
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $55 Phone Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $79/mth
  • Min. cost $1,896
Bendigo Bank Telco
Bendigo Bank Telco
  • Smart 5GB Handset Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $79.50/mth
  • Min. cost $1,908
Optus
Optus
  • $65 My Plan Plus
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $85/mth
  • Min. cost $2,040
Telstra
Telstra
  • $79 Go Mobile Plus Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $105/mth
  • Min. cost $2,520

iPhone 6s


Apple’s 2015 flagship remains an excellent choice for anyone shopping for iPhone, but hunting for a bargain. This is the model that Apple introduced 3D Touch to its screens, giving you the ability to press ‘into’ the screen and reveal different options - sort of like a right-click on a PC mouse. It was also the first year that the iPhone shipped with a 12-megapixel camera, which is great to have.

Who is it best suited to?

You want an iPhone, but you don’t see the benefit of buying the newer iPhone 7. You want the core functionality that you get from the software and the apps, but some of the hardware enhancements don’t seem like they are worth the premium price. The iPhone 6s is still an excellent smartphone, arguably better than many of the newer models from competitors, so you shouldn’t feel like you are missing out making this decision.

Apple has also increased the storage variants since the launch of the iPhone 7, so that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus now come in 32GB and 128GB configurations. 

Carrier Inclusions  
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $55 Phone Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $55/mth
  • Min. cost $1,320
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $40 Red Plan
  • 6GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $59.41/mth
  • Min. cost $738.76

iPhone 6s Plus


With its big 5.5-inch screen, the iPhone 6s Plus is a great choice for phablet loves and a way to dodge the uber-expensive iPhone 7 Plus price tags. You get essentially the same screen as the new model, and while Apple will argue that the iPhone 7 Plus is a faster phone with slightly longer battery life, we really don’t think you’ll spot the difference in everyday use.

When choosing between the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, it is also worth noting that the Plus includes optical image stabilisation in its 12-megapixel camera, while the smaller iPhone 6s does not. This may not sound like a big deal, but photographers will find that the Plus takes better shots because of this feature, and it can shoot great moving video with a lot of the camera shake removed on the fly.

Who is it best suited to?

You want a bigger screen, but you don’t want to buy the most expensive phone in market (which the iPhone 7 Plus 256GB has the honour of being). You want to take great photos, and you want to enjoy the detail on a larger, higher resolution screen.

Carrier Inclusions  
Optus
Optus
  • $65 My Plan Plus
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $94/mth
  • Min. cost $2,256

iPhone SE


The release of the iPhone SE was a surprise to many, but it is proving to a be a popular choice. It’s 4-inch screen many seem tiny by today’s standard by there are a number of people who seek out smaller phones and who value single-handed use above many other considerations. The iPhone SE delivers on this.

But the advantage of choosing the iPhone SE is that you get some of the benefits of a newer iPhone in the smaller package. It has the same Apple A9 processor that you would get in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s, and it comes in the same great range of colours, including the popular Rose Gold.

Who is it best suited to?

You want the power and performance of a newer iPhone, but you want the size and convenience of a small one. The iPhone SE is a great middle ground, and it is a bit cheaper as well. Or, maybe you just want a cute pink iPhone and you don’t want to spend any more than you have to.

Carrier Inclusions  
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $55 Phone Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $55/mth
  • Min. cost $1,320
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $40 Red Plan
  • 6GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $55.25/mth
  • Min. cost $589
Optus
Optus
  • $65 My Plan Plus
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $65/mth
  • Min. cost $1,560
Telstra
Telstra
  • $79 Go Mobile Plus Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $79/mth
  • Min. cost $1,896

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