In this article we will try to find the answer to the question: “Which iPhone to buy in the current year, 2020?” If specific features and certain technical characteristics are not important for you, but there is a desire to purchase an Apple smartphone, then this question can be answered briefly:

“Buy any of the current iPhone models your budget allows.”

Автор статьи Evgeny Zakharov

The author of the article, Evgeny Zakharov, is a regular contributor to the social knowledge sharing service Quora.

Why it is advisable to buy the current iPhone model

The current iPhone is one that is officially sold by Apple and can be found in the corresponding section of the company’s official website.

As of Fall 2020, the following Apple smartphone models are officially on sale: iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone SE 2020.

In mid-October 2020, Apple updated its flagship lineup with the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro models. The new flagships are based on the latest Apple A14 Bionic processor.

Significant changes have affected the appearance of devices. The frameless design of the case is made in the spirit of the once popular iPhone 5S model. The display is protected by the new Ceramic Shield technology.

Buying an up-to-date smartphone model, you can be sure that the technical characteristics of the device are up to date and that technical support and service from the manufacturer will be guaranteed.

Another useful “bun” can be considered a free subscription to Apple services. Buyers of new, officially-on-sale iPhones receive a one-year subscription to Apple TV.

Несколько телефонов iPhone

If you can’t buy the current iPhone model

The current iPhone models always have a high price tag, that’s a fact. What choice to make in this case, and which smartphone model to buy in 2020? The author of this article offers his own answer to this question:

“Buy any iPhone your budget allows. But under the following conditions: the phone is new, not activated; the seller provides a guarantee for the purchased product. “

In the first quarter of 2020, at the time of this writing, “got out of the way” and very decent devices are not officially sold. We are talking about last year’s flagships iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. In the fall of 2020, references to the iPhone 11 Pro disappeared from Apple’s website. They have given way to the current flagship iPhone 12 Pro.

But this does not mean at all that these phone models have lost their relevance. Rather, on the contrary, with modern technical characteristics and premium design, these devices have noticeably lost in price and have become a good option for buying.

Budget iPhone models

When talking about “budget” models of Apple smartphones, firstly: you should take the word “budget” in quotation marks; secondly: given the technical characteristics, capabilities and price tag of the device, there can be no talk of any budget option in the classical sense of the word.

This article was edited on October 16, 2020. This year, 2020, the role of state employees is the iPhone XR and iPhone 11, iPhone SE 2020.

All of these smartphone models are officially presented on the Apple website. This allows them to be classified as current device models that will receive technical support in the form of an operating system update in the future.

Оригинальное изображение iPhone 11

Original iPhone 11 image

Significant differences between iPhone XR and iPhone 11 are: Apple A12 / Apple A13 processor; one main camera module / two main camera modules; lack of U1 chip / presence of U1 chip; lower cost / higher cost – according to the order of the designated models.

Comparing the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 – in most cases, you can safely make a choice in favor of the iPhone XR – if you want to get a decent gadget at an affordable price.

The purchase of the iPhone 11 can be recommended when there is a desire to buy modern hardware without overpaying for the older iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro and at the same time, so that the device is somewhat “fresh” iPhone XR.

The photographic capabilities of the iPhone 11 are better than the iPhone XR – this is also a note if you are a fan of mobile photography.

The 2020 iPhone SE is a rather weak model and not a good choice. With its compact size and low price tag, the device inherits many features of the iPhone 8, with the exception of the more powerful Apple A13 Bionic processor. The autonomy of the 2020 iPhone SE is not a strong point of the device, to put it mildly.

Refurbished iPhone

Refurbished iPhones are officially refurbished smartphones at Apple factories that arrive at retail after a full cycle of refurbishment and rigorous testing. These phones are significantly lower than new designs.

Officially refurbished iPhones are a very good purchase option for those who can’t afford to buy a completely new device. I would like to note that Refurbished does not mean poor quality.

Visually, such smartphones cannot be distinguished from new ones and they are in no way inferior in quality. Typically, such devices arrive at Apple factories after a factory defect or return is found. After eliminating all faults and defects, refurbished iPhones are equipped with a completely new headset and charger.


Refurbished iPhones, in addition to the reduced price, have a shorter warranty period, which does not reach 12 months.
Sometimes there are unscrupulous sellers who, under the guise of refurbished smartphones, can sell “handicraft” refurbished devices using non-original components. As a rule (but not necessarily) these are very outdated smartphone models such as iPhone 6S / 6S Plus, iPhone SE.

Legacy iPhones

In this section of the article, I need to say a few words about the rather outdated iPhone models that are still sold in retail in a new state. Stocks of various sellers are still full of such models as: iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7 / Plus.

The author of the article does not recommend buying these iPhone models. The devices listed above still do their job well and receive updates to the iOS operating system. But there are certain “BUT”.

But as of 2020, they are all outdated morally. They use the outdated Touch ID unlock method. Those who start using the phone with a new one – Face ID, will no longer want to go back.

Another important point lies in the form factor of the display of all new iPhones, which has a characteristic cutout at the top because of the so-called “bangs”. All new applications are developed primarily for the new screen form factor.

Support for classic display proportions and shapes may not be fully implemented or completely ignored. Since the introduction of the banged screen in the iPhone X, two generations of iPhones have been produced and it is highly likely that application developers’ support for standard, rectangular screen shapes will wane.

Starting with the iPhone XR and older, smartphones are equipped with much faster Apple A12 / A13 processors. In the lines of current models, photographic capabilities and autonomy have been significantly improved – the battery charge lasts for a full working day in active use scenarios.

If the above arguments do not bother you, you can look closely at the “classic” iPhone and choose a suitable device for the price.

Features of Legacy iPhones

Let’s take a quick look at the features of outdated iPhone models that can still be purchased in stores in a new state.

iPhone X


iPhone X Image

The iPhone X is a highly controversial smartphone model from Apple. Buying this device in 2020 is a rather controversial issue.

One of the features of the iPhone X is that this particular phone model was able to set a kind of anti-record – stayed in the retail network (official) for a little less than a year.

Buyers of the first batches of the product faced many different technical problems, which were most often caused by a banal factory defect.

IPhone X users were most often faced with poor workmanship of the case, which manifested itself in squeaks. Another known issue was the fairly frequent display failures.

iPhone X is still on sale today. How quickly Apple was able to eliminate the detected defects in the latest shipments of the phone is unknown. A clear plus of buying an iPhone 10 may be its relatively low price.

The tenth iPhone, from a technical point of view and design, is a very decent device even now. But you need to be careful when buying and check with the seller for warranty obligations in order to protect yourself from possible problems.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus


Picture of iPhone 8/8 Plus

If you are not chasing the latest innovations from Apple, appreciate the classic design features of iPhones and at the same time want to have a phone with decent hardware performance, then take a closer look at the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus.

These smartphone models are still equipped with a physical Home button with the familiar Touch ID sensor and the classic control of the iOS operating system interface.

Good performance and speed are provided by the Apple A11 Bionic processor, which is quite productive by the standards of 2020.

This unit will not disappoint those who like to take photos and record videos. The camera still demonstrates a decent quality of the resulting photos. A pleasant bonus will be the wireless charging system, like all modern flagship devices.

The characteristic features of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and the good price make this model a good candidate for purchase in 2020 for those people who are judicious in their choice and are not supporters of unnecessary spending.

What you shouldn’t forget – the body of the device is made of glass. Don’t overly trust marketing gimmicks and brand credibility. Better to take care of the safety of your phone and buy a bumper case.

 iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus


Picture of iPhone 7/7 Plus

If you have not opted for the above iPhone models, then you can consider the options iPhone 7 or 7 iPhone Plus.

Despite the fact that these phone models were flagship a few years ago, this is still an interesting device that could catch the attention of potential buyers in 2020.

Some iPhone 7/7 Plus owners are still satisfied with the operation of these devices and do not plan to part with them this year. If you want to join the Apple ecosystem and on a tight budget, you can opt for the seventh iPhone.


The author of this article set forth his own opinion and tried to give an exhaustive answer to the question under consideration. The reader’s opinion may differ and may not coincide with the opinion of the author of the article.