iPhone buying guide: Should you buy an iPhone SE, a 6s Plus, or wait for the next one?

The new iPhone SE adds to Apple's growing product line, which adds another choice to the mix. Here's our handy guide to help how you choose the best iPhone for you.

iphone buying guide

Once upon a time, choosing the best iPhone was easy: Apple made sure that the iPhone got slightly better with each upgrade cycle, so you couldn’t really go wrong with simply choosing the latest model.

With Apple’s announcement of the new 4-inch iPhone SE this week, however, the iPhone is no longer one-size-fits-all—we have five (five!) models to choose from, and three of them pack Apple’s latest and greatest features. But more options could potentially bring about more confusion. Which iPhone is right for you? Let’s break it down.

iphone lineup 2016

Bigger is better: iPhone 6s Plus

Apple’s most expensive iPhone is certainly the best smartphone money can buy if you like screen real estate, but this premium phablet is not for everyone. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus won’t go unnoticed, especially with its glorious 1920x1080-pixel resolution. This device is perfect for people who love playing games or watching videos on their iPhone. The iPhone 6s Plus can even replace an iPad in some cases, especially if you’d rather leave your larger device at home. Just be careful if you have small hands—navigating around the touch screen can be difficult without enabling Reachability.

iphone 6 iphone 5se

Out of all the iPhones currently on the market, the iPhone 6s Plus is the only one that offers optical image stabilization for video. Other than that, the only thing that really sets it apart from its smaller 6s counterpart is its size—oh, and the price. While owning a bigger iPhone can be a big draw, it’s going to cost you. The iPhone 6s Plus is $100 more expensive all around.

You can purchase the iPhone 6s Plus directly from Apple here.

Color options: Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Rose Gold

Storage options and prices: 16GB ($749), 64GB ($849), 128GB ($949)

Who it’s for: People who use their iPhones as a multimedia player, or for doing work-related tasks. If you own the biggest TV and the biggest computer monitor and never go to the movies unless it’s to see something on IMAX, the iPhone 6s Plus will be a big draw.

Best bet all-around: iPhone 6s

The 4.7-inch iPhone 6s may be easier to grasp, in more ways then one. This iPhone is also top-of-the-line with the latest A9 chip, 3D Touch, faster Touch ID, Live Photos, 4K video recording, a 12-megapixel iSight camera, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Basically, it has all the latest bells and whistles also found on the 6s Plus, except optical image stabilization, in a smaller frame.

iphone 6s space grey

If the 6s Plus is too large and the iPhone SE is too small, the iPhone 6s may be just right. As the “medium” option in Apple’s small/medium/large sizing lineup, this device can be a great start when choosing a new iPhone. From here, you can see how you like the phone and better weigh your options of going bigger or going smaller (and cheaper). There’s a reason why the iPhone 6s sold four times as many units as its larger counterpart when the two first came out.

You can purchase the iPhone 6s directly from Apple here.

Color options: Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Rose Gold

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