Which iPhone is Best Value for Money in 2021?

Finding which iPhone is best value for money you pay depends on your requirements and usage. Apple keeps launching its best iPhone versions and giving customers many options out of its large selections. You can buy the old iPhone SE 2020 series to its newly launched iPhone 12 family.

Apple is continuously working on new features and improvements to its iPhone. We have so many choices to buy from and in all budget.

iPhone 2021 is getting better with the recently launched iPhone 12 lineup, although nothing is perfect. The iPhone 12 lineup has a beautiful new design, a great camera, and 5G support. There are 4 different models of iPhone 12’s: The basic iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro MAX, the iPhone 12 pro, and the iPhone 12 mini.

We had selected the newest iPhone 12 basic, and iPhone Pro Max for the test. Although, most people will prefer iPhone 12 basic, which is also a great buy and better than any Android smartphone. We have tried to compare two devices and pointed to differences only for better decision-making and answering to which iPhone is best value for money.

iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone Mini

Deciding which iPhone is best value for money is very hard, especially if you are looking for a smartphone for few extra years of usage. Buying any iPhone model is like; it is going to be outdated with the next iPhone variant release. We are expecting the iPhone 13 will also launch in late 2021. Kuo says; The iPhone 13 will come with a ProMotion 120Hz display, improved ultrawide camera, and more. Although, getting an iPhone 12 is still the best iPhone bet.

1. iPhone 12: Best iPhone for the money

The new iPhone 12 shares the most similar specifications to the other iPhone 12 variations like the same overall design, face ID system, wireless charging, processor, front camera, 5G support, MagSafe connectivity, and rare camera. The iPhone 12 isn’t the cheapest (starting at $799) but cheaper than the next 2 iPhone variants.

The iPhone 12 is better for many reasons and you will pay around $200 less with most of the features available in iPhone 12 Pro.

Which iPhone is best value for money

Apple iPhone 12 specifications are shared below. We will compare all iPhone 12 variations differences only to find out which iPhone is best value for money. You will be able to make better decisions in your next smartphone purchase.

ConnectivityGSM, CDMA, LTE, and 5G
WIFI and Hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0 (LE, ATDP), NFC, GPS, USB 2.0
SensorsUWB (Ultra Wideband), Face ID, Accelerometer, Proximity, Digital Compass, Gyro, Ambient Light Sensor.
BatteryLi-Ion 2815 mAh last up to 9hrs in actual, Fast Charging, QI magnetic fast wireless charging
BodyIP68 Splash, Water, Dust resistant (6 Meters, 30 Minutes), Gorilla glass front and back, Aluminum frame.
Display6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR HDR10 Display, Ceramic glass, Dolby Vision, Oleophobic Coating
OSiOS 14.1 (Upgradable)
Camera1. 12 MP front camera with f/2.2, 23mm wide, 1/3.6″ SL 3D, 4K Video recording (26/30/60fps), 1080p Video recording (30/60/120fps)
2.12 MP main camera with f/1.6, 26mm wide, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS.
12 MP with f/2.4, 13mm ultrawide, 1/3.6″, 120˚
4k Video recording (24/30/60fps), 1080p Video recording (30/60/120/240fps), HDR, Dolby Vision
ProcessorA14 Bionic Processor
Colors AvailableRed, White, Green, Black, and Blue
Storage64GB, 128GB, and 256GB
Weight164 grams

2. iPhone 12 Mini: Best iPhone for the money

Everything is the same as in iPhone 12 basic but in a smaller size. iPhone 12 mini is for those who are used to older iPhone sizes or with somewhat smaller hands. The 5.4-inch screen size makes it super compact and easy to operate with one hand. The iPhone 12 mini weighs 133 grams, whereas the iPhone 12 basic weighs 164 grams, which means you will be carrying 31 grams less weight as compared to iPhone 12 basic.

If you want an iPhone 12, but in a compact size which you can grip securely and want to hold it for around an hour with no strain in your hand, then the iPhone 12 mini is best iPhone for you, and you can get it for around $100 cheaper than the iPhone 12 basic. The price starts from $699. There are some small differences between these two models, but they are worth having.

hand holding white iPhone 12 mini

Which iPhone is best value for money? To answer this, we have compared the iPhone 12 basic and the iPhone 12 Mini. It’s up to your usage and requirement since both of the devices are the best.

iPhone 12 BasiciPhone 12 Mini
Weight164 grams135 grams
Display6.1-Inch OLED Super Retina XDR5.4-Inche OLED Super Retina XDR
Resolution1170 x 2532 pixels at ~460 ppi1080.2340 pixels at ~476 ppi
Dimensions5.78 x 2.81 x 0.29 inches5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches
Battery2815 mAh Li-Ion2227 mAh Li-Ion

iPhone 12 Pro: Best iPhone for the money

The iPhone 12 Pro has many of the same features as in iPhone 12, but if you look closer, you will find various extra specifications in the iPhone 12 pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is $200 more expensive than the iPhone 12 basic, the price starts from $999 for the 128GB version. If you are going to pay extra for the iPhone 12 pro over its standard edition ‘the iPhone 12, then it’s worth knowing the main differences between these two models.

The iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 pro share the same display, as they both have OLED, 6.1-inch super retina XDR display with a resolution of 2532 x 1170 but the iPhone 12 pro is brighter than the iPhone 12. If you are looking for the iPhone 12 and want a shiny iPhone 12 with a surgical-grade stainless steel body, improved camera performance, and other fundamental upgrades, then you should pick the iPhone 12 pro.

hand holding blue iPhone 12 pro

Differences comparison between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro to find out the answer for “which iPhone is best value for money?”. The iPhone 12 features are similar to other iPhone 12 variations.

iPhone 12 BasiciPhone 12 Pro
BodyAluminum.Stainless steel.
Display625 nits maximum brightness800 nits maximum brightness
Storage64GB, 128GB, and 256GB128GB, 256GB, and 512GB
CameraNo telephoto camera
Dolby Vision HDR up to 30fps
Main 12 MP with f/2.0,
52mm telephoto, 1/3.4″
Dolby Vision HDR up to 60fps
Colors AvailableRed, White, Green, Black, BlueSilver, Gold, Graphite, Pacific blue
Apple proRAWNot AvailableAvailable
Weight164 grams189 grams

iPhone 12 Pro Max: Best iPhone for the money

Whether you pick iPhone 12 Mini or iPhone 12 Pro Max, all iPhone 12 models are the best and great competitors of other smartphones in the same price range. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max have the most features in common. But, you’ll notice the difference when you hold them in your hand. The iPhone 12 pro max comes with a bigger display, improved zoom functionality, and more. The 12 Pro Max is a bit larger in hand. However, the large display and bigger battery justify it.

If you are the one with the big hands and loves photography, an iPhone 12 pro max is a decent option for you. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the first iPhone with a larger screen, but it is marginally larger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The price starts from $1,099 for a 128GB storage version. You can say, iPhone 12 Pro Max is the improved large version of the iPhone 12 Pro. Look at the differences between iPhone 12 Pro and the 12 Pro Max.

hand holding apple iPhone 12 pro max

Finally, when you already know the differences between the iPhone 12 basic and iPhone 12 pro, we believe you are aware of the specifications and similarities also. Following the similarities between all other iPhone 12 variations, we are comparing the differences between the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max to make it comfortable for deciding which iPhone is best value for money.

iPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Pro Max
Size5.78×2.82×0.29 inches6.33×3.07×0.29 inches
Weight189 grams228 grams
Display6.1-Inch, 1170 x 2532 pixels6.7-Inch, 1284 x 2778 pixels
Cameraf/1.6 (wide-26mm), 1.4µm with OIS
f/2.0 (telephoto-52mm) with 2.0x Zoom
f/1.6 (wide-26mm), 1.7µm with IBIS
f/2.2 (telephoto-65mm) with 2.5x Zoom
Battery2815 mAh Li-Ion3687 mAh Li-Ion

iPhone 11: Best alternative to iPhone 12

With the release of the iPhone 12, Apple reduced the price of the iPhone 11 to $599, making it much cheaper than the iPhone 12 mini. Previously, it was released in September 2019 with a starting price of $699. The iPhone 11 was Apple’s most successful iPhone from 2019 to 2020.

Buying an iPhone 11 isn’t a bad idea yet if you want to save a few bucks. We are sorry to say, being a good option, for now, doesn’t mean it is a future-ready device unless you are the one who upgrades their smartphones every year. If you are someone with a small budget or first time iPhone user, you should purchase an iPhone 11. If you can invest $100 extra on your purchase and don’t mind a 5.42-inch smartphone, then get an iPhone 12 mini. Although, the iPhone 11 is pretty much similar to the iPhone 12 min and iPhone 12 basic. Here is a detailed comparison between iPhone 12 and iPhone 11.

hand holding white iPhone 11

Now, if you are looking for buying an iPhone 12 lineup smartphone, you can easily decide which iPhone is best value for money. However, the iPhone 11 is a cheap alternative to iPhone 12 basic and iPhone mini. You can get it for as low as $599 (locked or unlocked). We have compared the differences to find out which iPhone is best value for money.

iPhone 12iPhone 11
Connectivity5GDoes not support 5G
Size5.78 x 2.81 x 0.29 inches5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches
Weight164 grams194 grams
BodyFlat edges, AluminumCurved edges, Aluminum
Display6.1-Inch OLED, 1170 x 2532 Pixels, Dolby Vision6.1-Inch IPS LCD, 828 x 1792 Pixels
ProcessorA14 BionicA13 Bionic
Water/Dust ResistanceIP68 up to 6 Meters for 30 MinutesIP68 up to 2 Meters for 30 Minutes
Cameraf/1.6 (wide-26mm) main cameraf/1.8 (wide-26mm) main camera
Battery2815 mAh Li-Ion3110 mAh Li-Ion
Colors AvailableGreen, Red, Blue, White, and BlackRed, Yellow, Purple, White, Green, and Black

iPhone SE 2020: Best yet cheapest iPhone

Buying an Apple iPhone SE in 2021 may confuse you whether it’s worth the money or not. The iPhone SE 2020 was launched in April 2020, which is the successor of the old iPhone SE launched back in 2016. So, Apple will introduce more iPhones in the iPhone SE lineup with improvement in display and processor as they did with iPhone 12.

No one can tell when the next iPhone SE series will launch. Believing in rumors, Kuo said, ‘in his note, Apple will release iPhone SE 3/iPhone SE Plus in early 2022’. According to William Yang (jp morgan supply chain analyst), Apple will launch iPhone SE 3 in the first half of 2023. We can at least assure you that you will not see an iPhone SE next lineup in 2021.

Now, the question is, “Is the iPhone SE worth it?” The answer is yes. The iPhone SE is a basic smartphone with a nice look and good functionality, and if you can do without flashy features and are searching for a cheap iPhone for average use, this is the best alternative for purchasing a low-cost iPhone for only $399.

hand holding black iPhone SE 2020

With a single hand-friendly form factor, fast processor, and a great look, the iPhone SE 2020 will surely justify its price. If you were looking for an answer for which iPhone is best value for money under a small budget, you should pick the iPhone SE 2020.

ConnectivityCDMA, GSM, EVDO, HSPA, LTE
Bluetooth 5.0, Wifi, GPS, NFC, and Dual Sim card support.
Display4.7-Inch IPS LCD retina display, 750 x 1334 pixels, Oleophobic coating for fingerprint resistant.
Body148 grams weight, Tempered glass coated with Aluminum
ProcessorA13 Bionic
Storage64GB,128GB, and 256GB with 3GB RAM
CameraMain Camera- 12MP, f/2.2 aperture (wide-32mm), 5x Zoom, HDR, Panorama, Quad-LED, 4K Video recording (24,30, and 60fps)

Front Camera- 7MP, f/2,2 aperture, HDR, Video recording at 1080p (30fps only)
Sensors & FeaturesFront mounted fingerprint sensor, 3-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, compass, Ambient light sensor, and barometer
Battery1821 mAh Li-Ion, supports 18w fast charging.
Colors AvailableRed, Black, and White

Which iPhone is best value for money in 2021?

Now, you must have found the answer to which iPhone is best value for money you pay, this will depend on your usage, budget, and features you want. Pay for what you are going to use. If you are willing to buy an iPhone 12, but you are not going to use a MagSafe charger, or you are looking for a cheaper alternative, get an iPhone 11. If your iPhone supports QI (possibly all iPhones launched from 2017), you can use MagSafe charger with that also, though all iPhones launched before iPhone 12 will charge very slow, so there is no point in that.

If you want to purchase an iPhone 12 only for 5G connectivity, save your money unless your hopes are higher than buying an iPhone with 5G because 5G is already being developed and could take years. Before you get an iPhone with 5G, check for 5G accessibility and connectivity quality in your city.

Avoid older iPhones like iPhone SE (2016), iPhone x, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, etc. They are not going to receive future updates, and the processors are not up to the mark to support the latest software. iPhone XR comes with a bigger 6.1-inch display, 195-gram weight, face Id only, old A12 Bionic processor, and it costs $499. Despite the reason that iPhone XR could be a good choice, you should get an iPhone SE 2020.


Also read; Best gaming gadgets for mobile.

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