What is the Newest iPhone Out Right Now? [December 2021]

Content updated on Dec. 4, 2021, to reflect the latest iPhone models/releases.

What is the Newest iPhone Out Right Now? [December 2021]

Apple’s new iPhone lineup for 2021 proved to be well worth the wait. Gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all iPhone; it seems Apple developed a device for everyone, no matter your budget or your hand size.

So, if you’re ready to explore Apple’s changes to the iPhone, you’ve come to the right place. From the Mini to the Max Pro, there are a total of five different iPhone 13 models to choose from right now, in addition to customized features such as internal storage size and color.

Note: Although we make every attempt to confirm accuracy on model specifications and comparisons (there’s a lot), the content is subject to potential inaccuracies or outdated information and serves as a guide only.

If you’re interested in purchasing an iPad, feel free to check out our article on the latest iPad models available.

The Latest iPhone models (December 2021)

1. iPhone 13

Let’s kick things off with the namesake itself: the iPhone 13. Apple’s design language for the iPhone hasn’t changed much since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017, and the rounded aluminum body of the device goes back to the launch of the iPhone 6 in 2014. That all changed with the iPhone 12, and now the iPhone 13 follows suit, which returns to the same design style used way back on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Sharp corners and flat sides make for a striking phone design, which many consider the pinnacle of Apple’s entire lineup of phones.

Still, don’t let the new design fool you: this is still an iPhone through and through, and it builds on last year’s excellent iPhone 12 in some truly fantastic ways. The display has been improved dramatically, for starters, with a switch from OLED to AMOLED that delivers higher nits brightness or amount of light per square meter. The iPhone 13 features 800 nits max brightness (typical) and 1200 nits max brightness (HDR) versus the iPhone 12 at 625 nits max brightness (typical) and 1200 nits max brightness (HDR). The higher the nits, the easier it is to see in direct sunlight. Therefore, the iPhone 13 models are more viewable outdoors than their predecessor (iPhone 12 models).

The camera features HDR4 versus HDR3 on the iPhone 12, plus, there’s a bump in storage capacity to meet ever-changing demands (128GB, 256GB, or 512GB versus iPhone 12 with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB).

The 6.1″ and 5.4″ pixel densities match the iPhone 12’s specs, and they are identical for both sizes, so buyers no longer have to choose based on the screen quality.

Most changes extend to all four of Apple’s newest phones (iPhone Pro, Pro Max, mini, and the standard iPhone 13). According to Apple, they introduced a new Ceramic Shield front covering for the iPhone’s glass that is stronger than any smartphone glass, and it initially made its appearance on iPhone 12. The company also reintroduced MagSafe as a brand-new feature for the iPhone 12, which continues on iPhone 13, allowing you to charge wirelessly with magnets while including a whole new line of magnet-equipped accessories.

One last significant change for the iPhone 13: the camera. Apple has once again opted to include two 12MP lenses on its standard iPhone 13, but the wide-angle lens now features a lower aperture, which should allow for improved low-light performance. We’ll have to wait and see how Apple’s new camera setup compares to the likes of the Pixel 6, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Apple’s iPhone 13 starts at $799 on all major carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

Here’s the complete spec list for the iPhone 13:

  • Weight: 164g
  • Dimensions: 71.5 x 146.7 x 7.4mm
  • Operating System: iOS 15
  • Screen size: 6.1 inches OLED
  • Resolution: 2532 x 1170 pixels (460ppi) 
  • Chipset: A14 Bionic
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Battery: 2775mAh (rumored)
  • Cameras: 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP front-facing
  • Starting price: $799

2. iPhone 13 Mini

Before we head into this year’s Pro lineup of phones, it’s worth quickly looking at the iPhone 13 Mini. This model is the smallest phone Apple has produced since the iPhone 5s, with a smaller footprint than the 4.7″ iPhone 6 while still featuring a larger 5.4″ display.

The entire phone industry has primarily left smaller phones behind to focus on producing larger and larger devices—and indeed, Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max (alongside iPhone 12 Pro Max) is the largest phone the company has ever produced. With the iPhone 13 Mini, Apple has finally returned to making a phone for anyone who wants a smaller device.

Outside of a reduction in estimated battery life, there are no tradeoffs for choosing the iPhone 13 Mini over its 6.1″ counterpart. The phone still features a high-resolution OLED display, and thanks to the smaller screen, it has the highest pixel density of any iPhone to date. The phone gets powered by Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, features 5G, includes Magsafe, and has identical camera specs as the larger model. For anyone stuck between this mini phone and the standard iPhone 13, it comes down to the device’s size and how it feels in your hand.

Apple’s iPhone 13 Mini starts at $699 on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

  • Weight: 141g (4.97 ounces)
  • Dimensions: 5.18 inches (131.5 mm) x 2.53 inches (64.2 mm) x 0.30 inch (7.65 mm)
  • Operating System: iOS 15
  • Screen size: 5.4 inches (diagonal)
  • Resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels (476 ppi)
  • Chipset: A15 Bionic
  • Storage: 125GB/256GB/512GB
  • Battery: 2,406mAh
  • Cameras: 12MP wide rear + 12MP ultrawide rear, 12MP TrueDepth front-facing
  • Starting price: $699

3. iPhone 13 Pro

This year is the third year that Apple used the “Pro” moniker for their high-end iPhones. However, unlike in 2020, the differences between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro are less than ever before. Sure, the Pro series still uses a stainless steel body like the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini, and the display on the iPhone 13 Pro is brighter in everyday use. But with the iPhone 13 now offering a high-res OLED panel rated at the identical resolution as the iPhone 13 Pro, the differences between the two comes down to a single factor: the cameras.

While the iPhone 13 Pro’s wide and ultrawide lenses remain identical to the standard iPhone 13, the Pro series also includes the telephoto lens for 2x optical zoom, as well as a new LIDAR sensor, first seen on Apple’s iPad Pro. That LIDAR sensor is mainly used for improved augmented reality, though Apple has also enhanced low-light performance and autofocus thanks to the additional sensor. While the bump to the iPhone 13 Pro also doubles your storage, unless you need the telephoto lens, for most buyers, the iPhone 13 is much easier to justify at its $799 price tag.

As with the previous two models, the iPhone 13 Pro includes everything else you’d expect from this year’s iPhone: Ceramic Shield, MagSafe charging, and support for 5G networks.

Here’s the complete spec list for the iPhone 12 Pro:

  • Weight: 7.19 ounces (204 grams)
  • Dimensions: 5.78 inches (146.7 mm) x 2.82 inches (71.5 mm) x 0.30 inch (7.65 mm)
  • Operating System: iOS 15
  • Screen size: 6.1 inches
  • Resolution: 2532 x 1170 pixels (460 ppi)
  • Chipset: A15 Bionic
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Battery: 3,095 mAh
  • Cameras: 12MP Telephoto + Wide + Ultra Wide rear, 12MP TrueDepth front-facing
  • Starting price: $999

4. iPhone 13 Pro Max

If you’re looking to pick up one of Apple’s Pro-series of iPhones, this is the device you should consider. While the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro offer fewer differences than ever before, the iPhone 13 Pro Max immediately makes its distinction clear: the big display. At 6.7″, this year’s Max-sized iPhone is the largest yet and matches the iPhone 12 Max Pro, with a .2″ increase in display size over 2019’s iPhone 11 Pro Max. That also gives it the largest battery of the four devices, though as we’ve seen across the board, the battery is slightly smaller than what got included in 2019’s iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Surprisingly, Apple’s largest iPhone (iPhone 13 Pro Max) contains exclusive camera features that the Pro model and other versions do not have. Thanks to the phone’s sheer size, Apple continued iPhone 12’s features by including the new, larger sensor for the primary wide lens, along with the improved OIS that shifts the sensor while moving rather than the entire camera. However, the iPhone 13 Max Pro adds ProMotion (refresh rates up to 120Hz) to the XDR display, which is something that the iPhone 12 Pro Max did not have.

The telephoto lens upgrades the 2.5x ‘optical zoom in’ to 3x, the 5x ‘optical zoom range’ to 6x, and the ‘Digital zoom’ up to 15x rather than 12x, while the 2x ‘optical zoom out’ remains the same.

As for the chipset, Apple upgraded to A15 Bionic with a 5-core GPU versus the 4-core that the iPhone 12 A14 Bionic chip had.

Once again, Apple’s top-end iPhone includes all the standard features, including the Ceramic Shield front display, MagSafe charging, support for MagSafe accessories, and 5G networking.

Here are the full specs for the iPhone 13 Pro Max:

  • Weight: 8.46 ounces (240 grams)
  • Dimensions: 6.33 inches (160.8 mm) x 3.07 inches (78.1 mm) x 0.30 inch (7.65 mm)
  • Operating System: iOS 15
  • Screen size: 6.7 inches
  • Resolution: 2778 x 1284 pixels at 458 ppi
  • Chipset: A15 Bionic
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Battery: 4,352 mAh with offline video playback up to 28 hours and audio playback up to 95 hours
  • Cameras: 12MP wide +12MP telephoto + 12MP ultrawide rear, 12MP TrueDepth front-facing
  • Starting price: $1099

5. iPhone SE (2nd Generation) 2020

After years of rumors, Apple finally launched a successor to the original iPhone SE in April of 2020. The 2nd Gen iPhone SE delivered what everyone expected to see, for better or worse. This newer model ditches the iPhone 5S design language and implements the look of 2017’s iPhone 8, right down to the 4.7″ screen and the rounded camera bump on the back.

Think of the iPhone SE as an iPhone 8 crossed with an iPhone 11, featuring IP67 water resistance, up to 256GB of storage, an improved camera, and an A13 Bionic processor, all for just $399. Compared to the iPhone 11 series, Apple’s redesigned SE is a cost-efficient option with great power in a smaller frame. This phone is perfect for anyone that enjoyed using the iPhone 8, aside from its downgraded camera features and specs.

Here are the full specs for the iPhone SE (2020):

  • Weight: 5.22 ounces (148 grams)
  • Dimensions: 5.45 inches (138.4 mm) x 2.65 inches (67.3 mm) x 0.29 inch (7.3 mm)
  • Operating System: iOS 15
  • Screen size: 4.7 inches (diagonal)
  • Resolution: 1334 x 750 at 326 ppi
  • Chipset: A13 Bionic
  • Storage: 64GB/128GB
  • Battery: 2,406 mAh with offline video playback up to 13 hours and audio playback up to 40 hours
  • Cameras: 12MP wide rear, 7MP FaceTime HD front-facing
  • Starting price: $399

Which iPhone Should You Buy?

This question is more complicated than ever before. If you want the best of the best and you don’t mind the larger display, the iPhone 13 Pro Max includes one of the best cameras you can find on a smartphone today. Likewise, if you’ve been dying to return to a smaller phone, Apple’s iPhone 13 Mini is what you’ve wanted for years, and it’s an easy buy at just $699.

For everyone else, the similarities between the iPhone 13 and its Pro counterpart make it challenging to choose. If you don’t mind sticking with 64GB of storage, the cheaper iPhone 13 is probably the right option.

Ultimately, your final buying decision should likely focus on your budget limit. The consideration should come down to the cameras for those stuck between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. If a telephoto lens is worth the price increase, the iPhone 13 Pro is the right phone for you. Otherwise, you should stick with the standard iPhone 13.

Updated on Dec. 04, 2021, by Steve Larner
Originally posted on Apr. 8, 2021, by William Sattelberg

One thought on “What is the Newest iPhone Out Right Now? [December 2021]”

Beryl says:
thank you for this info. I need a good phone for livestreaming lessons etc. and it looks like the IPro 12 Max would be the one to use or would the IPhone 12 or even the IPhone Mini which I imagine would be easier to handle be able to manage several hours of recording? Where can I purchase one of the above at the quoted price?

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