iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

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LifeIsGood
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iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by LifeIsGood »

My iPhone 6 is getting a bit tired. For the most part, I've never been one to buy the "latest & greatest". I'm considering the iPhone XR but wondered if there might be another model that would improved the price to value ratio ?
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lthenderson
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by lthenderson »

Life is too short to spend hours comparing old models to see if lifespan and price pay add up to a deal. I just ditched my iphone 6 for a iphone 12 pro and haven't been happier.
whereskyle
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by whereskyle »

LifeIsGood wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:49 am My iPhone 6 is getting a bit tired. For the most part, I've never been one to buy the "latest & greatest". I'm considering the iPhone XR but wondered if there might be another model that would improved the price to value ratio ?
My family and I swapped our 6s/5s for the 11, and we love them! My attitude is that I will upgrade again in 2-3 years due to the rate of tech advancement. If you want to have the phone for 5 years, get the 12.

Have fun with your new phone!
"I am better off than he is – for he knows nothing and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know." - Socrates. "Nobody knows nothing." - Jack Bogle
02nz
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by 02nz »

Looking at the charts, the 11 at $600 is an excellent value - much newer internals, great camera (the 11 generation got a big jump in photo quality over the XS gen). But I'd go with the 12, because it has an OLED display and especially for the Qualcomm modem instead of Intel. Even if you don't care about 5G at all, the Qualcomm modem performs MUCH better and more reliably on 4G LTE. All my dead spots are gone. This is a hugely underrated "feature" of the new 12. The 12 is also a good bit lighter and a little bit smaller (narrower bezels), even though it has the same size display. Definitely get 128GB of storage ($50 over base).

The 12 Pro is not much more ($120 comparing like storage capacities) but also not a big upgrade. It's significantly heavier, too. For most users the regular 12 is the right answer.
Last edited by 02nz on Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
bloom2708
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by bloom2708 »

You could move up to a Mint XS Max on Swappa for ~$450.

That would feel like a major upgrade. We have 2 XR, they haven't been as good of phones as the XS Max.

Browse on Swappa to see what your buck gets you. I always ask for the Battery Health % on Mint phones. I want them 95%+ battery health.

My XS Max is 100% battery health after 2+ years. Still fast and snappy.
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mmmodem
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by mmmodem »

I consider iOS updates as the metric for bang for buck. I only buy base model new iPhones. The newer the phone, the longer it will be supported by Apple. Best bang for the buck is arguably the iPhone SE 2nd generation for $400 as it's CPU is only 1 year old.

Next would be the iPhone 12 mini for $700. But it's a $300 premium over the SE for 1 generation newer CPU. Most would find, though, that the newer design and camera is worth the extra cost.

Then we have the iPhone 11 at $600. It's the same CPU as the SE but improved camera. I would go for the 12 mini for the newer design and newer CPU with longer support. It's definitely not worth twice the cost of an SE.

And finally we have the bargain basement iPhone Xr at $500. I currently own this phone. It's pretty much the same as the SE in every way but with a larger screen. It's not worth the $100 premium over the SE as the CPU is 2 generations old at this point.

I would personally only consider the SE and the 12 mini if buying new. The 11 and Xr is just too old and expensive at this point to purchase new. Used at a bargain would be acceptable.
Workaholic
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by Workaholic »

LifeIsGood wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:49 am My iPhone 6 is getting a bit tired. For the most part, I've never been one to buy the "latest & greatest". I'm considering the iPhone XR but wondered if there might be another model that would improved the price to value ratio ?
I have the base iPhone 12 with 128gb of memory and found it to be the best value of any iPhone. The camera plus 5G alone is worth the premium over the iPhone 11. I don't find the Pro a compelling value as it just doesn't offer much more over the base 12.
John Z
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by John Z »

mmmodem wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:07 am I consider iOS updates as the metric for bang for buck. I only buy base model new iPhones. The newer the phone, the longer it will be supported by Apple. Best bang for the buck is arguably the iPhone SE 2nd generation for $400 as it's CPU is only 1 year old.
Exactly! But even better, if with ATT you can get this phone for $198.90, 64gb for 30 monthly payments of $6.63. Both DW and I have them and totally satisfied. We don't use the phones for banking or most other online transactions. It has the iphone 11 processor.
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LifeIsGood
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by LifeIsGood »

Thanks everyone for sharing your opinions and experience.
I've got a couple of factors to consider that I didn't mention in the interest of brevity:
1. I'm a veteran so I'm eligible for Apple's 10% discount.
2. I've got a very basic prepaid plan with Redpocket so a deal with one of the major providers is out.
3. I've got quite a few Apple gift cards that I got from cashing in some Citi and Chase points at a 20-25% premium so I'd like to stick with purchasing from Apple - either new (10% off) or refurbished (15% off). That also gives me a warranty as well.
A refurbished XS Max w/ 64 MB = $639 and 128MB = $759
I don't see any iPhone 12's list as refurbished yet.
A new 12 w/12MB = $791 so it appears a current generation phone is just a bit more than a refurbished last generation so this looks like my best bet.
dsmil
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by dsmil »

I just got the new iPhone SE and it seems like a great value. It's also about the same size as your iPhone 6, so it would be a good choice if you're not looking for a larger phone. The full retail is $400 but I got $250 off with my existing carrier, Xfinity Mobile. It looks like the phone is now free if you are a new customer.
tenkuky
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by tenkuky »

dsmil wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:09 pm I just got the new iPhone SE and it seems like a great value. It's also about the same size as your iPhone 6, so it would be a good choice if you're not looking for a larger phone. The full retail is $400 but I got $250 off with my existing carrier, Xfinity Mobile. It looks like the phone is now free if you are a new customer.
+1
I did too, I got it for $250 with Consumer Cellular which is my provider for a 64GB new one.
It is a significant improvement on my old 5S. For me, this was the best bang-for-buck and I'll keep it 4 years like I usually do.
oxothuk
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by oxothuk »

02nz wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:06 am Even if you don't care about 5G at all, the Qualcomm modem performs MUCH better and more reliably on 4G LTE. All my dead spots are gone. This is a hugely underrated "feature" of the new 12.
I too have noticed the improved LTE reception, but was unaware of the cause. Thanks!
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climber2020
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by climber2020 »

LifeIsGood wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:49 am I'm considering the iPhone XR but wondered if there might be another model that would improved the price to value ratio ?
If you want a big phone, the iPhone 11 is probably the best deal. $600 brand new, not including your discount. As long as you don't require 5G, there isn't a massive difference between this year's phones and last year's phones as far as performance, and the 11 has really good battery life.

If you want a small phone, either the SE or 12 Mini are both solid for the price.
Lee_WSP
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by Lee_WSP »

The annualized marginal price increase from an 11 to a 12 given the time you (OP) keep your phone is so small as to be almost non existent. Get the better, newer phone.
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by jebmke »

oxothuk wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:19 pm
02nz wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:06 am Even if you don't care about 5G at all, the Qualcomm modem performs MUCH better and more reliably on 4G LTE. All my dead spots are gone. This is a hugely underrated "feature" of the new 12.
I too have noticed the improved LTE reception, but was unaware of the cause. Thanks!
Same here on my Mini (compared to my old LG4). I have 5G shut off but I do get better LTE reception in areas that were marginal with the LG.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
02nz
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by 02nz »

I also think that, given the OP has held onto an iPhone from 2014, he/she should get the 12 to ensure longest period of software updates and enhancements. Apple typically provides iOS feature updates for phones for 4-6 years from release.
Last edited by 02nz on Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
killjoy2012
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by killjoy2012 »

SE2 is probably the best value.
12 or 12 Pro would be the best buy & hold strategy if you want better performance than the SE2.
Monsterflockster
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by Monsterflockster »

John Z wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:25 am
mmmodem wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:07 am I consider iOS updates as the metric for bang for buck. I only buy base model new iPhones. The newer the phone, the longer it will be supported by Apple. Best bang for the buck is arguably the iPhone SE 2nd generation for $400 as it's CPU is only 1 year old.
Exactly! But even better, if with ATT you can get this phone for $198.90, 64gb for 30 monthly payments of $6.63. Both DW and I have them and totally satisfied. We don't use the phones for banking or most other online transactions. It has the iphone 11 processor.
AT&T also has the iPhone XS for $30 ($1 a month) if you want to lock in for 30 months. iPhone 11 is $5 a month with trade in, $10 without.
tenkuky
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by tenkuky »

One of the key issues with the low pricing and the big carriers is the upcharge for the monthly plans.
For example: comparing a $200 SE2020 at AT&T with a $250 similar at Consumer Cellular is not apples to apples until you compare the plans.
We have 3 phones with unlimited text/talk and 500MB shared data (don't use data much at all) for $55. Beat that, AT&T! :twisted:
123
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by 123 »

Over the last few years I resisted the iPhone due to cost and an inexpensive android phones worked just fine for me, even though I had to replace them every 2 years due to lack of further android upgrades or mechanical/electric failure. I switched to the SE2 when it came out to give the iPhone a try since the price was only $399. I'm happy with it. It does everything I need or want to use. More expensive iPhones have fancier cameras with features that likely I would seldom, if ever, use.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by jabberwockOG »

I rarely change/upgrade my phones. I went from a 6s to an iphone 12 last month. The 12 is an excellent phone with great battery life. My view is that it's well worth paying a premium for the latest technology if you tend to keep phones for several years.
tashnewbie
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by tashnewbie »

I’m writing this comment from an iPhone 6 that I’ve had since January 2015. If you’re like me and keep your phones 5+ years (sounds like you do), I’d go ahead and upgrade to a 12 model (mini or regular would be my choices).
UpperNwGuy
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

My iPhone 6 is still working like a champ!
an_asker
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by an_asker »

123 wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:23 pm Over the last few years I resisted the iPhone due to cost and an inexpensive android phones worked just fine for me, even though I had to replace them every 2 years due to lack of further android upgrades or mechanical/electric failure. I switched to the SE2 when it came out to give the iPhone a try since the price was only $399. I'm happy with it. It does everything I need or want to use. More expensive iPhones have fancier cameras with features that likely I would seldom, if ever, use.
My biggest peeve against iPhones is how tightly it is locked up. Let me explain with an example:

I use whatsapp to communicate with friends and family.

If someone sends me a photo or a video, with an android phone, all I need to do is plug the phone to my laptop, navigate to the directory then move/download the file to laptop.

With an iPhone, that is just impossible. The only photos/videos I can move/download to my laptop from the iPhone are those that I personally took.

Similarly, if I record a music performance (audio only), I don't know of a way to download it from my iPhone. On the android, once again, all I need to do is plug in the phone, navigate to the directory....

Maybe I am missing some trick??
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AerialWombat
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by AerialWombat »

Today, I switched from a 6S to the new generation SE. Same form factor, easy to port over. Clearly faster, battery actually works, better camera. Effectively many of the 11 internals. Happy camper here.

It was free, via Chase UR points. So that helps. :)
For entertainment purposes only.
Thegame14
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by Thegame14 »

my wife got the iphone SE (2020) edition it was like $400 and she LOVES it... same feel as the old iphones but upgraded tech and cheap!!
mogg
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by mogg »

killjoy2012 wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:36 pm SE2 is probably the best value.
12 or 12 Pro would be the best buy & hold strategy if you want better performance than the SE2.
The experts agree: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/revi ... martphone/
liynus
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Re: iPhone - What Model Gives Most Bang For The Buck?

Post by liynus »

I would look again at the iPhone for its ability to save individual files such as PDFs or movies. With the new iOS upgrade you can save individual files in a file system. There is now a native app called Filea. You can even save into a network drive if you have it shared on the network. It didn’t use to be that way, but iOS has met a lot of feature parity with android. Just look at widgets on the Home Screen.
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