We chose this list based on our extensive experience with the entire iPhone range available in Australia. Our expert reviews team has covered every single iPhone ever sold in Australia in one way or another over the years, so we know our way around the ins and outs of Apple's very popular smartphone range. All choices are based on our extensive reviews of each iPhone model, comparing them against prior models and available competition in the Android space.
In the 2023 Finder Retail Awards, we surveyed over 34,000 Australians about their retail purchases to discover which were their favourite brands across 170 product categories and over 1,200 total brands.
For mobile phones, Apple was ranked 10th for value for money, 1st for performance, 1st for ease of use, 1st for features and design and 4th for battery life.
16 brands were rated across these decision criteria.
Every year, Apple tries to one-up itself with new iPhone models. The company's 2022 crop of iPhones splits neatly between the Pro and regular models, with only the Pro variants getting the new A16 Bionic Processor. It's fast. Really, insanely fast for a mobile processor to a level where we're still struggling to find apps that'll really push it hard on the go.
While the iPhone 14 Pro Max features a larger display and battery, we'll give the plaudits to the smaller iPhone 14 Pro. You get the same camera systems with astonishingly good performance from telephoto to ultra-wide and especially with low-light captures as well. The smaller size relative to the iPhone 14 Pro Max also makes it easier to handle for photographic duties.
The 120Hz 6.1-inch screen is gorgeous, and while Apple can't lay claim to inventing an always-on display, its implementation with dimmed photos at minimal battery life cost is second to none.
While the design hasn't changed a whole heap from 2021's iPhone 13 Pro, where Apple has innovated is in the camera notch – or in this case, its replacement with the "Dynamic Island" hole-punch camera. This still allows for both selfies and Face ID for purchases, but it's also integrated within iOS 16 for a range of animated shapes that form relative to your activity. For music playback, you get icons and volume; for Face ID, you get a larger checkmark; for timers, you get a clock and so on. It's a really smart and rather fun way to use what would otherwise be dead-screen space.
The biggest strike against the Apple iPhone 14 Pro is its price. The cheapest model starts at a wallet-thumping $1,749, which may be enough to put plenty of prospective buyers off. If you can meet its price though, you get one hell of a phone.
Apple makes it very clear that the iPhone SE line is its entry-level offering, designed to get folks on board with the entire Apple ecosystem at a price that's a fraction of what you'd pay for an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro.
With pricing starting at just $719, it's Apple's most affordable model, and that might make you think that it's going to be a deeply compromised model. There are some concessions to the price, especially as it's still built around the chassis of what Apple used to sell as the iPhone 8. That means you get no Face ID and still work in a Touch ID world, though some may actually prefer that. You also get a 4.7-inch display, which means that the iPhone SE 2022 has a smaller display than any of Apple's "Mini" iPhone models.
That older design also didn't give Apple much space for batteries in the iPhone SE 2022, and this is an area where it struggles under heavy load. The only reason it can get under that heavy load is because Apple chose to equip it with the A15 Bionic processor. That's the same processor as you see in the iPhone 13 models, which means that this is the most powerful phone in its price bracket across the board. It also means that the iPhone SE 2022 should see years of iOS upgrades to come, making it a great long-term value prospect.
Apple currently offers a couple of choices when it comes to brand-new large-screen iPhones, with the iPhone 14 Plus taking on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The Plus model is substantially cheaper, but if you're after a larger display, we feel it makes more sense to opt for the model with the faster display and processor on board – and that's the iPhone 14 Pro Max in a nutshell.
It's not inexpensive to put it politely, but you are getting a lot of other features as well, including some of the best cameras we've ever tested and the best battery life we've tested and experienced on any iPhone model to date. The A16 Bionic that underpins the iPhone 14 Pro Max is an absolute beast, and right now, it's more power than anyone seems to be able to harness in an app sense. That does mean that it's a super-fast phone now and will retain that speed for some years to come.
There are challenges, of course. If you just want a big screen, then the Plus is substantially cheaper. If photography is your passion, that big viewfinder is nice, but the iPhone 14 Pro is easier to hold in your hand for actual shot framing. But if you want the best big-screen iPhone, there's just no doubt that the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the model you should buy.
Apple has seemingly opted to discontinue its experiment with "mini" iPhones, as there's no iPhone 14 Mini to be seen. However, it still sells the iPhone 13 Mini. Its new lower price makes it a genuinely compelling option for budget buyers – at least in an iPhone sense – if the smaller screen of the iPhone SE 2022 is just a touch too titchy for your needs.
Still, small is king when it comes to the iPhone 13 Mini, and that means you're getting an iPhone that dodges right around the issues of large and unwieldy phones in favour of a 5.4-inch display, dual rear cameras and a range of fun colour choices. We've no idea why Apple keeps its brightest and fun colours for its non-Pro phones, but the iPhone 13 Mini certainly benefits from this arrangement.
It also benefits from having the same A15 Bionic processor as the rest of the iPhone 13 range, making it a real pocket rocket in performance terms. The downside there is that such a small iPhone can't pack in the battery cells the way a bigger one might, so investing in a battery pack or spare charger to see you through the day is a wise investment.
Apple didn't invent mobile phone photography with the original iPhone, but anyone who wants to claim that it didn't massively popularise it is deluding themselves. Year in and year out, camera quality has been a hallmark of the iPhone experience, right up to 2022's iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Both share the same triple rear camera system, which comprises a primary 48MP sensor, 12MP ultra-wide sensor and 12MP telephoto lens.
The bigger Pro Max model does benefit from longer battery life, meaning you can shoot for longer, but we find the smaller, less expensive iPhone 14 Pro a lot easier to handle for actual shot taking and framing than the bulky Pro Max model. The iPhone 14 Pro has some of the best low-light performance in the business, alongside Apple's highly refined post-processing options including its new Photonic Engine rendering pipeline.
While it's less pricey than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, there's no getting around the fact that the iPhone 14 Pro is still an expensive phone by any definition. If you crave heavy telephoto chops, Apple still trails the likes of Google and especially Samsung in this regard too. Camera pros will love Apple's ProRAW format for true photographic flexibility, but they're also likely to curse the iPhone 14 Pro's fixed storage allocations, with no allowance for on-the-go storage card expansion or swapping.
Apple for the longest time had big issues when it came to battery life, with most of its phones struggling to make it through even a single day before needing to be plugged in for charging.
That changed when Apple started doing "big" phones. The best big iPhone for battery life that we've tested to date is the current flagship phone, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max. Because it's the flagship phone it's not inexpensive, but you do get a lot of battery performance for that money.
It's also exceptional in that it's got a lot of features that should pummel the battery, but somehow don't, from the triple lens array of cameras at the back to the 120Hz capable "ProMotion" display at the front. Even with heavy usage, it flips the traditional script, because you'll generally struggle to run out of battery within a single day's usage. It's also very powerful, rocking the new A16 Bionic processor that runs Apple's Pro-grade iPhone 14 models. That does mean you get very similar performance to the cheaper Apple iPhone 14 Pro, but that phone can't match the iPhone 14 Pro Max for battery endurance.
The catch here is in the size, because a larger phone won't suit everyone's hands or needs in every circumstance. It's also a pricey phone, and it only just beats out the iPhone 14 Plus for battery endurance; that's a less fun iPhone with more constrained screen and camera features, but if you're in a budget crunch and want a good battery life iPhone it's also a good option.
There's no shortage of refurbished iPhone models to pick from. None of them come directly from Apple, of course, because it's never sold second-hand models in Australia in any form. If any retailer tells you it's selling an "Apple refurbished" or "Apple supplied" refurb-model iPhone, run a mile.
Still, because the iPhone's been so popular here for such a long time, there are plenty of just about every model at just about any price point you'd care to name. Some quick research found multiple retailers offering refurbished iPhone 6 models at very low price points – but we wouldn't recommend you buy such an old iPhone model.
What you should look for is a phone that can still run current iOS and has a shot at seeing at least 1 or 2 future upgrades. That's why we'd suggest the iPhone 11 Pro as a good balance between features, processor quality and iOS compatibility. You get Apple's first crack at a triple-lens camera system, which means you can use it for a wide variety of shots. You get the power of the A13 Bionic, and while Apple has faster models now, that's still a very capable device.
There are of course limitations. The iPhone 11 dates from before Apple got on the 5G bandwagon if that's important to you. While it's iOS 16 capable, Apple never makes explicit promises around how long an iPhone will see updates, so it may only be good for those for a shorter time.
Naturally, with any refurb model, you're also taking on the wear and tear from the original user, and pricing can vary a lot depending on that condition. Be sure to get a clear picture of the expected quality before paying for any refurbished iPhone model.
Let's face it: iPhones are expensive. That's particularly true on the high end, where you can expect to pay almost $2,000 for the largest and most feature-filled models, and even more, if you want to up the storage beyond 128GB. Grabbing an older iPhone, such as the iPhone 11 or iPhone XR, could be a great option for anyone on a budget, especially since Apple is notorious for its fantastic post-launch update support.
iPhones are often some of the speediest devices on the market, thanks to Apple's expertise in chip design and fantastic optimisation within iOS. All 4 variants of the iPhone 12 come with Apple's new A14 Bionic chip, which is one of the fastest you can find in a smartphone. If you need specifics for each device, we thoroughly test phone performance through benchmarks, which you can find in our reviews.
For quite some time, iPhone buyers had a choice between a standard iPhone and a plus model. With the latest iPhone 12 launch, Apple served up 3 different screen sizes for you to choose between. The standard size is 6.1 inches, but you can go up or down in size if that's more your style. If you're a big fan of extra screen real estate, you're going to want the iPhone 12 Pro Max for its gorgeous 6.7-inch screen. If you prefer smaller phones, the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini would be your best choice.
iPhones don't have the best reputation for having great battery life, but that doesn't mean they're poor performers. While iPhones often look as if they have much worse battery performance on paper, stellar optimisation within iOS often means iPhones can hold their ground against Android devices with far bulkier batteries. If you're looking at a second-hand phone, the battery life will often be significantly worse than it was fresh out of the box.
When it comes to camera quality and features on Apple devices, the 2 top dogs are the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. There isn't much differentiating the 2 devices, with them both touting ultra-wide, wide and telephoto lenses. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini share the same 2-camera array, which is also fantastic. iPhones have long been known for top-notch camera quality and are generally considered to be among the best on the market.
Until the iPhone 12 hit the market, no iPhone user had access to the blazing-fast speeds that come with 5G. But that has all changed. Unlike some companies, Apple included 5G as standard on all of its iPhone 12 models. That means you can make use of the speedy new tech as it rolls out across the country, regardless of whether you're using an iPhone 12 Mini or the iPhone 12 Pro Max. If you're looking to buy an iPhone 11, iPhone SE 2020 or any older iPhone, you'll be stuck on 4G.
Storage on the iPhone typically starts at 64GB, which isn't all that much when we're storing catalogues of downloaded shows, movies and music on our devices all at once. The iPhone 12 Pro has the most storage available, with up to 512GB, but that amount of space costs an eye-watering amount. Once you buy an iPhone, you're stuck with that amount of storage until you upgrade. There are ways around a lack of storage, like backing up photos to the cloud, but that can be an ordeal itself.
Apple was late to bring wireless charging to the iPhone, but now it's here. It's available on all of the iPhones still sold by Apple. The iPhone 12 also supports wireless charging via the re-imagined MagSafe magnetic interface, which is the first phone to support the new tech. If you're buying a much older iPhone, make sure to check whether wireless charging is supported.
Some people might remember the old MagSafe chargers found on MacBooks before their switch to USB-C, but this is entirely different. The new tech embeds magnets underneath the back panel of the iPhone 12, allowing for fast wireless charging and for accessories to be securely attached. The new version of MagSafe is only available on the new iPhone 12 family of devices for now, but we can assume it will continue to be a part of new iPhone launches for years to come.
Additional things to consider
Included accessories. We're all used to unboxing a new phone and digging out included earphones and charging cables, but Apple has switched things up recently. The company removed the included power adapter and EarPods from iPhone boxes, a move that will lower its carbon emissions. Every iPhone available directly from Apple comes with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable in the box, but that's it.
Water resistance. All of the iPhone 12 variants have the same IP68 water-resistance rating, which allows the phone to be 6 metres underwater for up to 30 minutes. The story isn't as clear with older iPhones, as Apple says the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are water-resistant to different levels. The iPhone SE has the weakest overall water resistance. If you want to know more about water resistance on phones, you can see our full guide to waterproof phones.
Security. Apple relies on its biometric security features to buy stuff in the App Store and iTunes, to pay with Apple Pay, to sign in to certain apps and to unlock your phone. Not every iPhone has the same type of security. The 2020 iPhone SE uses Touch ID, but every other phone Apple sells has ditched it in favour of Face ID.
Ports. Apple has something of a reputation for getting rid of as many ports as it can from its devices. Every single iPhone the company still sells today has just one Lightning port. It's a charger, a data transfer port, a headphone jack and everything else all in one. If you were expecting at least one model to have a 3.5mm headphone jack, you're out of luck.
1 Brand considered
37 Products compared
7 Best products chosen
We considered every possible iPhone model sold in Australia – going all the way back to the iPhone 3G, though not the OG model as that was never launched locally.
We chose each phone against the criteria for each category carefully, considering applicability as well as price.
The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.
Why you can trust our picks
For each category, we considered the currently available "new" model iPhones sold by Apple and its retail and telco partners as well as historical models that may be available at lower price points in refurbished form.
While selecting our choices, we ensured that multiple retailers were still selling each model, making them easy for Australian consumers to pick up. For current generation iPhone models, there's rarely much price cutting to speak of. Apple never really cuts prices on current-generation models, and the margins are so tight that it's rare to see third-party sellers doing so for genuinely new models.
For each category, we weighed up the important considerations within that category against our extensive knowledge of how each model performed, whether that was for battery life, screen size, camera capabilities or just general performance. Not all iPhones are created equal, even though Apple is the only company that makes iPhones!
After carefully considering the choices, prices and availability of iPhone models in Australia, we've come up with the definitive list of the best iPhones in each category.
Not really, no. Apple's never released a modular iPhone that could accommodate that kind of functionality.
If you buy your iPhone outright (or your contract has ended), you can always try selling your existing model to help fund the purchase of a new one.
Happily, iPhones have tended to keep their value way longer than competing Android models, so while you shouldn't expect to get full retail price for a second-hand iPhone, you can slice a lot of the cost of a new model away by selling your existing one – as long as you've kept it in good condition.
Refurbished iPhones are often sold at significant discounts to new models, with some selling for only a few hundred dollars or less. They promise a full experience, but there are some risks to take into consideration.
For a start, they're typically older models, and that may mean they're models that no longer receive full iOS upgrades, or in some cases, app updates at all. You're also paying less for a refurbished model that may in some cases have third-party screens, sensors and buttons in place, and sometimes, those don't play well with specific Apple features such as Touch ID or some camera features.
Apple does sell refurbished products through its online store in Australia, but that's limited to some Macs and iPad models, and never iPhones, so there's no such thing as a "refurbished by Apple" model that you can buy. Apple may not assist you with repair queries around an iPhone filled with third-party replacement parts.
Condition is everything when it comes to refurb iPhones, and different retailers use different scales to determine what they think the difference between a "mint" and "near mint" – not to mention "worn" – iPhone might be. It's wise to get pictures and a good idea of what you're actually likely to get before you put your money down.
Not always, no. Apple has tended to put its biggest and best features into the "Pro" models in a given year, but recently it's been offering the same camera and processor features in both its Pro and Pro Max models. What this means is that you get a trade-off between screen size and battery capacity, which is larger on the Pro Max models, against hand comfort and a lower price point for the regular Pro models.
There's no one absolute "right" fit for everyone either, and that's where smaller models like the iPhone SE 2022 or iPhone 13 Mini come into play.
A multi-award winning journalist, Alex has written about consumer technology for over 20 years. He has written and edited for virtually every Australian tech publication including Gizmodo, CNET, PC Magazine, Kotaku and more. He has also been the Editor of Gizmodo Australia, PC Mag Australia, CNET.com.au and the Tech and Telco section at Finder. Alex has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New England and a serious passion for retro gaming.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We are committed to our readers and stands by our editorial principles
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labeling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
We make money by featuring products on our site. Compensation received from the providers featured on our site can influence which products we write about as well as where and how products appear on our page, but the order or placement of these products does not influence our assessment or opinions of them, nor is it an endorsement or recommendation for them.
Products marked as 'Top Pick', 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan and read any disclosure documents (such as any Target Market Determination (TMD) and/or Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)) issued by the provider before making a decision.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.