Want an iPhone without splurging out anything close to the amount demanded by the price tag of the base model of the iPhone XS (Rs 99,900 at the time of writing)? Well, while complaints about the pricing of the new iPhones are flying around thick and fast, the fact is that there have never been as many iPhones to choose from. At the time of writing, there were close to a dozen models of the phone many like to call the Godphone available in different sizes, shades and variants. And price points. But which of the current lot of iPhones can be considered affordable, and by what parameters? We consider five of the best options, as per different parameters:
iPhone XR – for all ye in search of iPhone newness (Rs 76,900)
Yes, that price makes one redefine the term “affordable,” but on the flip side, there can be no arguing with the fact that the iPhone XR is almost a fourth cheaper than the base iPhone XS. And while that price cut does come with compromises in terms of hardware (no full HD display, no dual cameras, an aluminum frame rather than a steel one), the XR also has its own share of aces up its sleeve – the A12 processor is the same seen on the XS and XS Max and delivers similarly stunning speed, the design is easily the most colorful in recent iPhone history (and the XR is a looker), the single camera is good enough to make you doubt the need for dual ones (a la the Pixel 3), and well, the battery life is the best we have EVER seen on ANY iPhone, easily getting past a day of normal use. The most affordable phone? Not by a mile. The closest thing to the most affordable new iPhone? By a mile.
iPhone X – once star, now the wannabe (Rs 74,999)
It was THE iPhone to have for the best part of a year, and laid the foundations of the current iPhone range of iPhones, with its edge to edge display and of course that (in)famous notch (and that crazy price). There was some talk of it being phased out when the XS, XS Max, and XR were launched, but it remains very much in circulation and at a significantly lower price, which puts it right alongside the XR and 8 Plus in terms of price. No, it does not have the A12 chip that drives the new iPhones, but the iPhone X remains rapid enough by most standards and at the time of writing, will handle most of the tasks that its successors do well enough. The cameras remain among the best in the business and face unlock can be addictive. And if you have faux new iPhone ambitions, well, it looks exactly like the new iPhone XS.
iPhone 8 Plus – the notchless middle path (Rs 69,900)
There will, of course, be some who will wonder why someone willing to spend close to Rs 70,000 would not opt for the iPhone X, which is available for slightly more. Our answer: well, simply because a lot of people prefer the conventional fingerprint scanner and home button as compared to the gesture-based interface on the iPhones with the X moniker, and there are just as many people who hate the notch (notwithstanding its adoption, indeed absorption, by Android). For such consumers, the 8 Plus remains quite the best option even now – the dual cameras remain good ones, the speakers excellent, the processor speedy enough to handle most tasks and then some, and well the battery life is still at least as good as the XS if handled carefully enough. There is wireless charging on board too, and water and dust resistance are on point. Not a bad proposition at all, especially for all ye not impressed by the X-factor!
iPhone 7 – the old guard (Rs 39,900)
Yes, there will be some who will be surprised to see this one in this group. But for many people, the iPhone 7 was perhaps the last REAL original iPhone – incredibly compact, a very distinct design (especially the black edition) and of course, at the time of its release, excellent hardware. The design has aged well – we still think it looks a whole lot better than the iPhone 8 which had the same display size but brought a glass back and wireless charging to the mix. But if the design has aged well, the same cannot be said of the hardware – the camera is not quite on par with other devices in the market today, and battery life which was never the greatest, is quite ordinary in comparison to what we are getting on the X series. It does run most apps well and is a dab hand at handling routine tasks even now. So why would anyone buy it? Well, simply because for the most part (battery and camera aside, and the camera can still do magic from time to time), it just works. And in our opinion, is one of the most distinct looking iPhones around, thanks to that compact form factor and design.
iPhone 6 – just for the name (Rs 22,999)
Want an iPhone because an iPhone is an iPhone is an iPhone…(repeat an infinite number of times) – well, this is the best option without breaking the bank. And while the camera will remind you of one of the earlier generations of Moto G, and battery life will be about as reliable as a shaky political coalition between the extreme left and the right, what cannot be denied is that this indeed is an iPhone. And to be fair, thanks to the software magic of iOS 12, the iPhone 6 generally performs most routine tasks smoothly (that A8 chip might be a little long in the tooth, but it was the bench. Just do not get too deep into gaming mode or open too many apps and all will be well.