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Group test: what's the best Apple iPhone?

The best Apple iPhones you can buy right now

PC Advisor reviews the best Apple iPhone smartphones you can buy in the UK right now. These phones run the Apple iOS 4 mobile operating systems.

5. Apple iPhone 3G

Apple iPhone 3G
  • Reviewed on: 28 July 08
  • RRP: From free, depending on O2 contract
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

If you've been cautious and waited a year for the second generation of iPhone, your patience will be rewarded. The iPhone 3G improves on the original iPhone's audio quality, offers access to a faster data network, and sports built-in GPS functionality. You'll also be getting in on the ground floor of the exciting new world of third-party software written for the iPhone. And business users will appreciate the iPhone's new Exchange syncing features. If you're an existing iPhone user, the fact that your current phone will be able to take advantage of all the iPhone 2.0 software features, including Exchange syncing and third-party applications, blunts some of the excitement of this upgrade. If you live in an area with a 3G network and find yourself chafing at the comparatively slow speeds of the EDGE network all the time, it's probably worth the upgrade. But if you don't mind the internet experience on your current phone, you'd be better off installing the 2.0 software update and holding on to your existing device.

4. Apple iPhone 3GS

Apple iPhone 3GS
  • Reviewed on: 25 June 09
  • RRP: From free, depending on contract
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

The iPhone 3GS addresses most of the fundamental weaknesses of the previous models, adding raw speed, voice-activated phone and music navigation, an improved autofocus camera, and video-recording features.




With two major revisions in the past year, the iPhone platform has also progressed a long way. Beyond the wide variety of third-party apps, the base system has added copy-and-paste support; support for Microsoft Exchange calendars, contacts, and email; built-in voice recording; and search capabilities.



All of it works together to produce a more refined iPhone that first-time buyers will love and upgraders will appreciate.



If you’re upgrading from the iPhone 3G, you’ll appreciate the speed, although unless you qualify for a discount or have a friend or family member to give your iPhone 3G to, the upgrade price might make you consider waiting for what Apple’s 2010 iPhone might have to offer.



Users of the original iPhone will be floored by the speed of the phone and of the 3G wireless network, though they may find the phone’s shiny plastic back a step down from the original, elegant brushed-aluminium edition.



If you’ve never had an iPhone before, but are considering the purchase of a smartphone for the first time, you will not find a better internet-connected phone than the iPhone 3GS.

3. Apple iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4
  • Reviewed on: 29 July 10
  • RRP: £319
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

Apple's fourth-generation smartphone really is its best yet, notwithstanding controversy about external antennae. In our tests, reception was outstanding. Its screen is the highest resolution of just about any screened gadget, with amazing colour and definition. An HD video/5Mp stills camera is joined by front-facing camera for Facetime video chats. Longer battery life (up to three days in real-life use), faster processor, multi-tasking OS and an incredibly responsive multitouch display are adjuncts to what is still the easiest and most intuitive phone ever made. An unrivalled smartphone against any other.

2. Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4S
  • Reviewed on: 8 December 11
  • RRP: £499 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

The iPhone 4 remains one of the fastest, longest-lasting and easiest to use smartphones on the market. The Apple iPhone 4S ups the ante with a faster processor – and graphics to take on dedicated consoles – improved camera optics and a talking assistant that can genuinely make your life easier. There’s a lot to be said for refining an already winning formula. It may resemble last year’s vintage, but the iPhone 4S pours a lot of new wine into an old bottle. Since iOS 5 is available for free, there’s not a huge reason for existing iPhone users to upgrade to the 4S. Whether the iPhone is better than the S3 is a difficult case to make. Suffice to say they are the best phones in town: Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Apple iPhone 4S comparison review.

1. Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5
  • Reviewed on: 17 June 13
  • RRP: £529 (16GB)
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

The iPhone 5 really is much more than a tall iPhone 4S with a new plug. The people may demand a revolution every upgrade season. But Apple may just have supplied what the people need, not what they say they want. And that's a powerful evolution on the theme of iPhone which is currently putting the competiton back on the starting blocks.

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