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Time for a new phone? Check out this guide to the best iPhone for your needs (and wants) 📱
You’ve lived through all nine movies of the Star Wars ‘trilogy’, watched flared jeans go in, out and back into fashion, and seen fads in business and education being spruiked as original when you know full-well they were disasters last time.
It can be hard to keep up, hey?
That’s especially so when it comes to technology. There’s been more iPhone models than Rocky movies (and that’s saying something). So, if you’re old enough to remember adult life without mobile phones, read on to find out which iPhone will be best for you.
First, celebration of your individuality.
We know that not everyone over the age of 60 is looking for the same things in a phone (or, indeed, in any part of life).
Some reading this guide will use their phones simply for keeping in touch with family and friends, whereas others will be keen users of their phone for photography and videography. And some of you others will use your phones busy with your use of apps, streaming, image editing and keeping up with everything going down on social media. You might even rival your grandkids for screen time usage!
So, this guide isn’t going to only have one suggestion. We’ll look at options so you can align your ideal phone with your ideal lifestyle. And, anytime you have a query about a specific feature, check out this side-by-side comparison webpage.
Factors to consider.
Before we recommend specific iPhone models, here’s a quick run-down of some of the factors we’ve considered:
1/ Size: Remember how huge the original ‘brick’ mobile phones were? Since then there was a clear trend towards ‘smaller is better’ but that’s reversed, with later iPhone models increasing in size. Perhaps you prefer a smaller phone that easily fits in your hand (and pocket) or you might prefer one with a larger screen for easier photo and video watching.
2/ Durability: Be honest – how often do you drop your phone? If the answer is ‘lots’, you’ll be interested in newer developments like ceramic shields as well as accessories like cases and screen protectors. If you’re super careful (or have good Spiderman-style reflexes, you can base your decision on other factors,
3/ Accessibility: Some accessibility features rely on the phone’s hardware, whereas others are based on which operating system your phone has updated (the version of iOS). If you need to use, or appreciate the features of accessibility tools like VoiceOver, Magnifier, Speak Screen and Assistive Touch, make sure your chosen iPhone has capability for them.
4/ Battery life: If you’re out and about lots and use your phone while on the go, making sure your battery can keep up with you is important. However, if you’re mainly at or close to home, this is less of a concern.
5/ Cost: Just like most of the finer things in life, mobile phones aren’t cheap. Newer models are always the most expensive so, if cost is a consideration, you’ll be pleased to see some older models included in our recommendations.
OK, now to our top picks:
Our overall winner for best iPhone for those over 60: iPhone SE
Taking all of the above factors into consideration, if we could only recommend one phone it would be the iPhone SE, a model released in 2022 (there were earlier SE models but we’re referring here to the 2022 version, which is often referred to as the 2nd Generation).
The main reason for this recommendation is that it’s the most recent iPhone that has a home button. All other recent models have a space-saving but more confusing method of unlocking and navigating between apps, which, frankly, can be confusing.
Not only does the 2022 iPhone SE offer this home button familiarity, it offers Touch ID (where the phone unlocks based on your fingerprint rather than a passcode), which is a saviour for anyone with sore fingers or less dexterity.
The phone’s specs are solid: it’s powered by the A15 Bionic chip (one of Apple’s fastest), has good battery life (you could potentially watch 15 hours of video without recharging), supports wireless charging and has the durable Ceramic Shield technology along with solid dust and water resistance.
It’s also pretty affordable and comes in red, white or black, so there’s a lot to like.
Now let’s look at other options that might appeal more depending on your individual needs:
Best iPhone on a budget: iPhone 11
If you’re not planning to shoot an epic home-movie, you’re happy with straightforward photos and your top priority is cost, we recommend the iPhone 11.
It’s got everything you need for all the basics of mobile phones as well as ease of use and accessibility features.
The iPhone 11 doesn’t have Ceramic Shield technology so the screen glass will be more prone to cracks but, unlike the iPhone SE, the 11 has Face ID as an option, which can be time-, finger- and memory-saving for unlocking the phone and accessing passwords.
Best iPhone for butter-fingers: iPhone 12
If you’re prone to dropping your phone, you’ll love the Ceramic Shield glass technology which Apple testing has shown to have four times the ‘drop protection’ compared with earlier models.
It’s also the first phone to support 5G technology, which can help you stay in touch with loved ones as this network rolls out around the country.
Best phone if you want the best of all worlds: iPhone 13
The iPhone 13 came out in late 2021 and remains a great all-rounder phone. The camera is great, it offers Ceramic Shield technology to help reduce the risk of cracked glass, it has the same screen size and visuals as the earlier 12 and the later 14.
If you like the idea of upgrading to the newer non-home-button technology and are a general user of phones, check out the iPhone 13 as a good all-round option.
Best iPhone for photography: iPhone 14 (or 14 Plus)
Hasn’t phone photography come a long way?! Many of us no longer need a separate camera and that’s especially so as phone camera technology improves even further.
If you use your phone for photos and videos and care about quality and image options, we highly recommend the iPhone 14, which represents a real step up from previous models (not that the 12 or 13 are bad).
The iPhone 14 introduced a 6.7 inch Super Retina XDR display (if you’re not sure what that means, it’s essentially a bigger phone with amazing visual optics). It has three camera lenses, allowing sharper photos, three-times the zoom of earlier models, great capacity for low-light and night photography and better stabilisation.
This model introduces a concept called ‘pixel binning’, which might sound bad but actually results in brighter photos with less ‘noise’. You can even photograph in RAW format. For those into video, the iPhone 14 offers cinematic mode, which applies a depth-of-field to your footage.
Best iPhone if you’re not in a hurry and want the newest: iPhone 15
There’s no set date yet for the release of the newest iPhone in development: the iPhone 15. Apple hasn’t even officially confirmed it has plans for this newest model (mind you, they never do until the actual launch) but analysts are predicting September 2023.
Those same analysts also reckon (but don’t actually know) that iPhone 15s will have a lighter titanium body, bigger battery, more protruding camera lenses that have even more capacity than the iPhone 14, and a switch from the ‘lightning’ style charger to USB-C.
If keeping up with trends is your thing, it could be worth waiting for more news of the iPhone 15. However, if you need a new phone now, don’t want all the bells-and-whistles of a brand new model or simply aren’t a fan of uncertainty, don’t let FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) get you and, instead, look at all the other great options we’ve covered!
One last thing: A phone isn’t worth much without a plan
Just when you thought the decision-making was over, a reminder that you’ll need a great plan to go along with your new iPhone.
You might have started your mobile phone plan life on a postpaid plan (where you pay for what you’ve used) but these days, we totally recommend prepaid plans.
All amaysim plans allow you to transfer your existing phone number, offer unlimited talk and text and never lock you into a contract.
If you’d like to be introduced to amaysim’s iPhone offers and postpaid plans, please either check out amaysim’s website or get personal attention by calling our friendly customer service team on 1300 808 300. We’re here Mon-Fri 9am-6pm and, on weekends, 10am-5:30pm.