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The Best Basic iPhones in 2022

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The Best Basic iPhones in 2022

Apple’s great lineup of iPhones leaves you clamoring for more and more with each feature. However, the problem is that most newer models of iPhones are too expensive for us to even consider buying. Instead of going for those expensive high-end models, go for the older and basic iPhones instead. These may lack the modern features you are looking for, but it’s still the Apple experience on a budget.

There have been countless iPhone models out there already, but if you want to find the best basic and budget-friendly iPhones, you’ve come to the right place. These best basic iPhones are going to help you get the Apple experience of your dreams without having to go overboard when it comes to your budget.

01 Apple iPhone 13

At the top of this list is Apple’s flagship phone from last year. When it launched, the iPhone 13 was praised for all of its upgrades and additions.

The iPhone 13 is one of the best smartphones to date. That shouldn’t be surprising as this is one of the phones that Apple really worked hard on. It might only be surpassed once the company releases the iPhone 14 later this year. In terms of specs and performance, the iPhone 13 is a step above the iPhone 12S. There are a few adjustments from the previous model, but what Apple focused on upgrading, they did really well in the iPhone 13.

As it’s last year’s model, the iPhone 13 is considerably cheaper than most iPhones now. It will also be cheaper once we get the new iPhones this year. The iPhone 13 feels like a premium device, and it comes in an amazing selection of colors, including Apple’s new Alpine Green. Now that we’re done talking about the outside, let’s talk about the insides.

The iPhone 13 comes with the A15 Bionic chip, which is the latest processor to come from Apple. Aside from being considerably faster, the iPhone 13’s chip also enables a lot of new iOS features as well. The display is a lot brighter than previous models, but what makes it really stick out is its 60 Hz refresh rate. The Pro variant comes with a 120 Hz refresh rate, which is one of the highest on the market right now. It’s perfect for a lot of tasks.

The iPhone 13 is the best basic iPhone that Apple has to offer right now. Its amazing features and upgrades are certainly worth getting. For a discounted price, this makes the iPhone even more perfect.


  • Slick operating system
  • Great build
  • Amazing picture and build quality


  • No headphones and charger in box


  • Price $829.00
  • Screen 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display
  • Battery 3227 mAh
  • Front Camera 12 MP
  • Rear Camera 12 MP + 12 MP
  • Memory 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
Apple iPhone 13

02 Apple iPhone 12

Before the iPhone 13, there was the iPhone 12. As the predecessor to the iPhone 13, this smartphone was beloved for the upgrades it brought up against previous models. This makes it one of the best entries on this list.

If you don’t want to splurge on an iPhone 13, the good news is that the iPhone 12 is a great, cheaper iPhone to invest in. In terms of feature upgrades from predecessors, the iPhone 12 comes with a lot of changes as compared to the iPhone 11. When it was first released, the smartphone was praised for its amazing features, which made it an easy favorite for fans and critics alike, even by today’s standards for iPhones.

There’s a lot to love about the iPhone 12. Those upgrades include a new design, a new and improved screen, and much more. The iPhone 12 only comes with the A14 Biochip, but despite this, the phone is still pretty powerful. The only thing we can say we actually hate about this iPhone is that it doesn’t come with a charger and a pair of Earpods in the box. This marks the first time that Apple has done this, and it greatly disappointed fans.

The A14 Bionic chip is still very good, and it results in great shots with the phone’s camera. In terms of entertainment, you can really enjoy your movies and music with the phone’s more than amazing video and audio system. It can work well across a variety of genres, but most importantly, its speedy interface lets you enjoy your media even further.

The iPhone 12 is an amazing phone that you can get for a cheaper price right now. If you wait even longer, you’ll snag an even bigger discount from Apple.


  • Great OLED display
  • Superb sound
  • Speedy interface


  • No charger in box


  • Price $414.94
  • Screen 6.1 in OLED
  • Battery 2815 mAh
  • Front Camera 12 MP
  • Rear Camera 12 MP + 12 MP
  • Memory 64 GB
Apple iPhone 12

03 Apple iPhone 12 Mini

The iPhone 12 might be cheap, but if you still want to go a little lower, and you don’t mind a minor display downgrade or a small phone in general, then you’ll definitely want to get your hands on the iPhone 12 Mini.

The iPhone 12 Mini is basically a version of the iPhone 12 that’s perfect for people with small to average-sized hands. When it comes to smartphones, the mantra bigger is better often counts but with the iPhone 12 Mini, that’s an opinion you don’t have to agree with. It’s a given that this iPhone isn’t good for those with big hands, but other than that, it’s hard to see why anyone would be a hater of this amazing iPhone.

Although designed as a downgraded version of the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Mini still feels premium inside and out. It delivers a subtler and more discreet design that can fit in almost all sizes of pockets. This iPhone has a market to cater to, and it does so very effectively. As such, if you’re on the lookout for a small phone that’s powerful and worth it, this is definitely the iPhone for you.

The flat edge design makes the iPhone 12 Mini just as every bit stylish as its bigger counterpart. In terms of features and specs, the iPhone 12 Mini doesn’t hold back anything from the iPhone 12. It’s still speedy, it’s smooth performing, and it’s a very powerful iPhone in general. Of course, the smaller price means that the iPhone 12 Mini is a lot cheaper than the iPhone 12, so it’s a great deal for budget buyers all-in-all.

The iPhone 12 Mini is a great design by Apple. Hopefully, it develops more iPhone Minis in the future as there’s really a market for phones of this size.


  • Speedy interface
  • Great OLED screen
  • Compact


  • Subpar battery life


  • Price $619.25
  • Screen 5.4 in OLED
  • Battery 2277 mAh
  • Front Camera 12 MP
  • Rear Camera 12 MP + 12 MP
  • Memory 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

04 Apple iPhone 11

When it launched in 2019, the iPhone 11 was highly criticized because it lacked a few key features that its two Pro siblings didn’t have. However, the price disparity made the iPhone 11 a great find regardless.

The iPhone 11 is designed as a cheaper and downgraded version of its Pro counterparts. That’s apart from the fact that it’s a smaller iPhone in general. However, despite being a downgraded version, the iPhone 11 is still a great phone because of its cheaper price and its stunning all-around performance as well. Ideally, we’d recommend getting one of the two Pro models instead, but if they’re too pricey for you, then this iPhone is the better alternative.

One of the highlights of the iPhone 11 is its powerful camera. It gives great results, but even better is the fact that it’s a point-and-shoot camera. This means that even if you lack the camera skills to make the iPhone 11’s camera work, you’re still going to get great shots whether you’re taking photos or videos. Of course, the iPhone 11’s camera rewards those with the necessary skills as well, so veteran photographers are still going to enjoy it.

One downside of the iPhone 11 is that its screen isn’t OLED. However, it can still produce a great sound quality when you’re playing music or videos. The good news is that the iPhone 11 runs on the same processor as the Pro and Pro Max. This means that when it comes to performance, you’re still getting a top-performing phone on your hand with the iPhone 11. For a smaller price, the iPhone 11 is a great option for budget buyers.

If you want a larger screen, then you should, of course, go for the Max or Pro Max levels. Other than that, however, the iPhone 11 is still a great smartphone all in all.


  • Very affordable
  • Great audio and video
  • Great camera


  • Basic design


  • Price $582.12
  • Screen 6.1 in LCD
  • Battery 3969 mAh
  • Front Camera 12 MP
  • Rear Camera 12 MP + 12 MP
  • Memory 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
Apple iPhone 11

05 iPhone SE (2020)

When Apple launched the iPhone SE back in 2016, things weren’t received well. The phone was panned by critics and Apple fans alike. However, things started to change when Apple relaunched a new iPhone SE back in 2020.

The iPhone SE was a big surprise to Apple fans during the pandemic. It had a lot of improvements all across the board. It’s Apple’s budget-friendly smartphone and behind the phone’s neat design and cheap price tag are a lot of great features that make this iPhone more worth it to get. The iPhone SE is the best budget-friendly phone from Apple right now but despite this, you’re still getting an amazing iPhone in your hands.

One of the upsides of the iPhone SE is the fact that it comes with amazing battery life. The 2942 mAh battery life makes it one of the top-performing iPhones out there in terms of life and battery longevity. That being said, the iPhone SE is undoubtedly one of the most reliable iPhones out there. This is a far cry from Apple’s history of iPhones that have a smaller lifespan as compared to other smartphones.

The original iPhone SE was considered as being an iPhone 6s in an iPhone 5s’ body. The new iPhone SE is basically an iPhone 8 with a few improved specs. One of the most important improvements of them all is the A13 Bionic processor which is a great addition for a budget-friendly iPhone. It delivers better shooting and faster response times as well. You rarely find a budget-friendly iPhone that’s as fast or as good as the iPhone SE.

The iPhone SE used to be a controversial line of smartphones but with the 2020 version, you’re getting the most out of your money with it. It’s a great find that you won’t see elsewhere easily.


  • Great build
  • Colorful screen
  • Great sound


  • Camera is problematic in low light


  • Price $459.99
  • Screen 4.7 in LCD
  • Battery 1821 mAh
  • Front Camera 7 MP
  • Rear Camera 7 MP
  • Memory 128 GB
iPhone SE (2020)

06 Apple iPhone XR

Last but not the least, we have the iPhone for those that are truly on a budget. The iPhone XR is a model that launched back in 2018. Despite being a bit older, this is still one of the best phones out there right now if you’re looking for something basic and cheap. Despite the downgrades it has from the more modern iPhone models, the iPhone XR is still a great find for many reasons.

First off, the iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch LC screen that’s both large and capable of producing quality displays. It allows for a well-rounded and natural picture. Whether you’re using the iPhone XR for games, movies, or anything else, the simple, well-built screen is more than enough to keep you happy and content with what’s in front of you. Thanks to its price, the iPhone XR is one of the best steals from Apple’s market right now.

For its price, the iPhone XR still delivers the world-class iOS operating system. You’re still getting a speedy and well-performing iPhone. On top of it all, the iPhone XR comes with a great battery life that will allow you to use the device for longer periods as compared to other iPhones out there right now. It might not be the best iPhone on the market, but the iPhone XR delivers quality that you’ve never seen from a phone of its price.


  • Great audio
  • Superb build
  • Decent battery life


  • Not OLED


  • Price $699.99
  • Screen 6.1 in LCD
  • Battery 2942 mAh
  • Front Camera 7 MP
  • Rear Camera 12 MP
  • Memory 256 GB
Apple iPhone XR

Jonas Sunico

Nov 16, 2022

Jonas is a writer with over 6 years of experience in the tech and gaming industry. He holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from University of the East Philippines and is one of the proud leaders of the academe's Journalism Society. At heart, he's a hardcore tech junkie that loves video games, the latest gadgets, and the wonderful science behind social media and AI.

314 Articles Published

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