What is the best iPhone to buy in 2015? This iPhone buyer’s guide will walk you through a comparison of the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and what you need to know about the rumored iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 so that you can buy the best iPhone for your needs.
The best iPhone to buy depends on your needs, how you will use your new iPhone and how much money you want to spend. For some users, the iPhone 6 is the absolute best, and well worth the price. For other iPhone buyers the older iPhone models offer more value and enough features to fit their needs.
In this iPhone buyer’s guide we will walk highlight the differences between the four main iPhone models that Apple sells and what you need to know about the new iPhone that Apple may start selling later this year.
Finally, we’ll help you pick the best iPhone color and storage options to fit your needs and budget.
Should I Buy a New iPhone or Wait for the iPhone 6s Release?
Apple releases a new iPhone every year and this year we don’t expect a change. It’s unlikely that Apple plans to release the iPhone 7 this year, but an iPhone 6s is definitely something we are counting on.
The iOS 9 release date is set for fall 2015, and Apple normally delivers a new iPhone just days after the newest software arrives on older phones. With this in mind, some shoppers would rather wait until the latest iPhone arrives to upgrade.
Ultimately it’s up to you to decide if you want to wait for a new iPhone 6s or upgrade now, but there are a number of compelling reasons to wait for the iPhone 6s.
How iPhones Compare
Use this guide to see how the four iPhones that Apple sells stack up and guide you to which iPhone you should buy. There are many similarities, but the differences are very important for shoppers to understand.
Display Size & Resolution
- iPhone 6 Plus – 5.5-inch 1,920 x 1,080
- iPhone 6 – 4.7-inch 1,334 x 750
- iPhone 5s – 4-inch 1136 x 640
- iPhone 5c – 4-inch 1136 x 640
- iPhone 6 Plus – 16GB, 64GB, 128GB
- iPhone 6 – 16GB, 64GB, 128GB
- iPhone 5s — 16GB, 32GB
- iPhone 5c – 8GB
- iPhone 6 Plus – Apple A8 64-bit with Enhanced Motion Tracking
- iPhone 6 – Apple A8 64-bit with Enhanced Motion Tracking
- iPhone 5s – Apple A7 64-bit with Motion Tracking
- iPhone 5c – Apple A6
- iPhone 6 Plus – 8MP iSight Camera with 1.5µ pixels, Auto focus pixels, Optical Image Stabilization
- iPhone 6 – 8MP iSight Camera with 1.5µ pixels, Auto focus pixels
- iPhone 5s – 8MP iSight Camera with 1.5µ pixels
- iPhone 5c – 8MP iSight Camera
The prices below reflect the on-contract price of a new iPhone, but you can also pay $0 down at most carriers and spread payments out with no financing charge.
- iPhone 6 Plus – $299 and up on contract
- iPhone 6 – $199 and up on contract
- iPhone 5s – $99 and up on contract
- iPhone 5c – Free on contract
All of these iPhones use a new Lightning connector to sync and charge. The iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus all support Touch ID to unlock the phone with a fingerprint. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus support Apple Pay to make mobile payments using just the phone.
Which iPhone is Right For You?
The iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 are the newest iPhone models with the most features and the biggest screens. The iPhone 6 Plus screen is too big for some users, but others love the added room for games or movies and the added battery life over the iPhone 6. While the iPhone 6 Plus includes an added camera feature we have not noticed a major difference in our use.
Apple’s iPhone 6 is the go to device for many new iPhone buyers and upgraders. The screen is larger, but still very easy to use with one hand, the phone supports Apple Pay and will get many major iOS updates for the coming years. If you want the latest and greatest without the biggest screen, the iPhone 6 should be at the top of your shopping list.
For users who are on a budget or who simply want a 4-inch screen the iPhone 5s is the best iPhone to consider. This device will receive at least two more major iOS upgrades if Apple sticks to the current traditions. The iPhone 5s also includes touch ID to unlock the phone, a decent camera and plenty of accessories on the market.
The iPhone 5c is an Ok option, but users are giving up a lot of storage and taking a major hit to the camera quality. If you plan to buy the iPhone 5c, make sure you aren’t using it to store a lot of apps, games, videos and photos. If you are a new parent who plans to take loads of baby photos, go for a newer iPhone.
How to Pick the Best iPhone?
With the information above you can start to decide which iPhone to get, but you’ll also need to read reviews to find out what works and what doesn’t live up to the hype. Our iPhone reviews below are a great place to start deciding which iPhone to get in 2015.
While many of the points are still valid months later, keep in mind that new software may fix some complaints about the phones and the comparisons to other devices will change some.
Should I Buy the iPhone 6 Plus?
Do you need the latest and greatest iPhone with the biggest display? The iPhone 6 Plus is the phone that you need to buy.
Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus is the biggest iPhone sold and it is designed for users who rarely put the iPhone down. The big screen is great for reading, entertainment and for productivity.
One of the biggest concerns is that the iPhone 6 Plus is too big for pockets or hands. The iPhone 6 Plus fits in most pockets without a problem. You might want to test the iPhone 6 Plus in the pocket of your favorite jeans just to be safe.
The iPhone 6 Plus can be a challenge to use with one hand, but after months of use we’ve discovered that Siri helps with this in some situations and in many others it is easy to adapt. Apple also includes Reachability, which pulls the top of the iPhone screen down for easy access to on-screen items that would normally be out of reach.
If you can adapt your usage and you want the absolute best Apple has to offer, the iPhone 6 Plus is the phone you should buy.
Should I Buy the iPhone 6?
Most iPhone shoppers will want to buy the iPhone 6. It delivers almost every feature the iPhone 6 Plus includes, but in a smaller package that fits the hands and budgets of more buyers.
Shoppers who want a great iPhone camera experience and a good size screen for games and apps should check out the 4.7-inch display on the iPhone 6. This is a popular upgrade from the 4-inch iPhone 5 or from the 3.5-inch iPhone 4s that adds a lot of viewing area without a huge size increase. iPhone 6 owners also get Apple Pay and the latest features, plus years of software updates.
If you want the newest iPhone features in a more affordable and easy to handle design, the iPhone 6 is the phone you should buy.
Should I Buy the iPhone 5s?
The iPhone 5s is still the best iPhone to buy if you want a 4-inch display. Users who simply cannot fathom buying a phone with a larger screen can still get some of the great options like Touch ID and a decent camera with a 4-inch display that keeps the size of the phone in check.
At $99 for the 16GB version the price is also easier for many users to work into a tight budget. This is a good iPhone that will meet the needs of many users and that will see many more iOS upgrades over the coming years.
It’s unlikely that we will see a new iPhone 6c this year with a 4-inch display, at least according to analysts, so this might be the only option to buy an iPhone with a smaller display for at least the next year. Buy the iPhone 5s.
Should I Buy the iPhone 5c?
The iPhone 5c is the phone you want if you need a colorful iPhone shell without a case. While it is likely that Apple will upgrade the iPhone 5c to another major software version next year, it is nearing the end of life.
Apple only offers an 8GB iPhone 5c that doesn’t leave much room for photos, apps and videos. While the price is tempting, many users will be better off looking for a deal on an iPhone 5s or iPhone 6 instead of signing a contract to use an iPhone 5c for two years.
If you must have a colorful iPhone, the iPhone 5s or iPhone 6 with a bright case is a better option that offers more storage and vastly improved cameras. Buy the iPhone 5c.
What Color iPhone Should I Buy?
Choosing the right iPhone color is a big deal to some buyers, but most of the choice comes down to your personal preference. For more on which iPhone color is best, you can read our comparison of the new iPhone colors including gold.
If you choose to buy the colorful iPhone 5c with a plastic back, the color choice is much more about personal preference. The front of the iPhone 5c is black while the rear is more colorful and the choice comes down to what color you like best.
How Much iPhone Storage Do I Need?
It is possible to get buy with a 8GB or 16GB iPhone, but most users who will download lots of apps, keep photos and videos on the iPhone and plan to store music locally will want to upgrade to the 32GB or 64GB iPhone models.
The 32GB iPhone 5s is $149 on contract, the 64GB iPhone 6 is $299 on contract and the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus is $399 on contract. Most users will not need the 128GB iPhone models, unless they plan to carry a lot of media on the iPhone.