iPhone Upgrade Guide 2024: Find Your Perfect Match (and Price Point)

Feeling the Apple itch? You're not alone. With each new iPhone, Apple ups the ante, making even a few-year-old model feel a bit… well, aged. 

But navigating the upgrade maze can be tricky, especially when budget plays a starring role. Worry not, intrepid iPhone warriors! This guide will slice through the confusion and reveal the best upgrade options for every scenario, based on both your current iPhone and your wallet's desires.

The iPhone upgrade criteria

1. Your iPhone Age

Antique Age (Bucket 1)

iPhone 8, X, XS – Time to retire these veterans! They lack Face ID, struggle with modern apps, and their cameras are… underwhelming. Upgrade ASAP!

Mid-Lifers (Bucket 2)

iPhone XR, 11, 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro – These 3-5 year-olds are decent, but camera quality, battery life, and 5G capabilities are starting to feel dusty. Consider an upgrade, especially if you're a photography enthusiast or crave speed.

Newish Kids (Bucket 3)

iPhone 12, 12 Pro Max, 13, 13 Pro Max, 12 Mini, 13 Mini – These are solid performers, but if you're a tech trendsetter or crave cutting-edge features, an upgrade might be tempting.


2. Your Budgetary Realm

Thrifty Savvy (Bucket 1) Under £499 

Value reigns supreme! Hunt for deals, explore certified refurbished options, or embrace the mighty iPhone SE (3rd Gen) for a significant tech leap without breaking the bank. Consider waiting for potential Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals for maximum bang for your buck.

Balanced Choices (Bucket 2): £500-£800

  • More room to maneuver! Target newer models like the iPhone 13 with its stellar camera (currently around £550) or the iPhone 12 Mini for its compact charm and A15 Bionic chip (around £450). 
  • If camera performance is your priority, the iPhone 13 Mini punches above its weight despite its size. 
  • For a blend of size and performance, the iPhone 12 could be a budget-friendly option (around £400). However, if you desire the latest A15 Bionic chip and 5G capabilities, consider stretching your budget slightly for the iPhone SE (3rd Gen) at around £499.
Tech Enthusiasts (Bucket 3): £800+

The world is your oyster, but choose wisely! This is where things get interesting. Here's a breakdown based on your current iPhone:

Upgrading from iPhone 12 or 13 (non-Pro)

The iPhone 14 series offers incremental upgrades at a premium price. 

The A16 Bionic chip offers a slight performance boost, but the camera improvements might not be noticeable for everyday users. 

Unless you desperately crave the ProMotion 120Hz display or specific Pro model features, consider waiting for the iPhone 16 series for a more significant leap.


Upgrading from iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro offers a slightly brighter display, faster charging, and a refined telephoto lens, but the A16 Bionic chip doesn't translate to a huge performance jump. 

You'll get excellent photos from both phones. Unless the aforementioned upgrades or the Dynamic Island notch pique your interest, holding onto your iPhone 13 Pro for another year might be the wiser financial decision.

Upgrading from iPhone 12 Pro Max

Similar to the 13 Pro, the iPhone 14 Pro Max offers incremental upgrades like a brighter display and faster charging. 

The camera advancements might be appealing to photography enthusiasts, but the overall experience for most users likely won't feel significantly different. 

Consider waiting for the iPhone 16 Pro Max or focusing on your accessory game with a fresh wireless charger or AirPods Pro to enhance your current phone.

Upgrade Matrix - Let's Matchmake!

Current iPhone Bucket

Budget Bucket

Upgrade Pick

Reasons to Upgrade

Upgrade If

Antique age (1)

Thrifty Savvy

iPhone SE 2022

Modern design, A15 Bionic chip, improved camera

You’re on an iphone 8 or below and you don’t want to spend more than £300

Antique age (1)

Balanced Choices (2)

iPhone 13

Huge camera leap, longer battery life, 5G connectivity

You’re rocking an iPhone 11 and need a better camera or battery

Antique age (1)

Tech Enthusiasts (3)

iPhone 15

Cutting-edge A17 Bionic chip, Dynamic Island notch, titanium design (Pro models)

No need for at least a couple of years

Mid-Lifers (2)

Thrifty Savvy

iPhone 11 Pro

Premium build, excellent cameras for the price

You want a style upgrade or better camera and features

Mid-Lifers (2)

Balanced Choices (2)

iPhone 13 Mini

Compact size, A15 Bionic chip, vibrant OLED display

You want something powerful but small

Mid-Lifers (2)

Tech Enthusiasts (3)

iPhone 15 Plus

Large display, all-day battery life, powerful performance

You want to go big, but not on budget

Newish Kids (1)

Thrifty Savvy

N/A

Your phone is still a powerhouse!

Keep a hold of it. If it needs more battery life, just repair it

Newish Kids (3)

Balanced Choices (2)

iPhone 14 Pro

ProMotion 120Hz display, improved telephoto lens (Pro models)

Newish Kids (3)

Tech Enthusiasts (3)

iPhone 15 Pro Max

Biggest display, best camera system, ultimate Apple experience


Our top upgrade picks

Still stuck on what to do? If you want a higher end iPhone but still snag a saving Currently, We recommend the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 pro. Typically, the latest model -1 year (so essentially last year's model) has always been a good strategy. 

2024 is probably the first year where that’s not strictly the case, and an iPhone 13 / 13 Pro is an equally compelling choice especially when you consider the extra savings. 

Typically, we’d recommend the last year's model if we're solely talking about battery life, because each year the battery is optimised better for the latest operating system and just generally on a used or refurbished phone the lithium ion battery is newer. 

Simply put, lithium ion batteries degrade over time naturally, so the older they are the less effective they can be.

If you want to read more battery nerdiness read our Ultimate guide to smartphone batteries here.

This being said, we have a range of “Like new” grade phones that all come with 100% battery life - so essentially new batteries that get’s around this problem. 

Extra savings and offset the cost

Trade-in your old device with reboxed here sell.reboxed.co and get up to 80% off your new device with our speedy cashback. A great way to get extra savings and be more sustainable.

Bonus Tips:

  • Battery Woes? If your battery dips below 80%, consider an upgrade to avoid power anxiety.
  • Future-proof Yourself! Newer phones receive software updates longer, ensuring compatibility with the latest apps and technologies.
  • Accessorize Your Upgrade! A new case, screen protector, or charger can complete your tech refresh.

Featured products

£50 off
Apple iPhone 14 128GB / Midnight / Premium Condition #Colour_Midnight
iPhone 14 128GB
Starting at £449 Was £499
From £37/pm
£180 off
Apple iPhone 15 Pro 256GB / Black Titanium / Premium Condition #Colour_Black Titanium
iPhone 15 Pro 256GB
Starting at £919 Was £1,099
From £76/pm
£40 off
Apple iPhone 12 128GB / Purple / Premium Condition #Colour_Purple
iPhone 12 128GB
Starting at £269 Was £309
From £22/pm