iPhones have a great reputation for quality design, intuitive UI, and focus on data privacy. However, they also command a premium price when compared to Android phones. Are they worth the investment? And if so, which model should you select? Check our comprehensive buyers guide below before you decide.

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Top Apple iPhone Price List 2021

Top 10 products Price Store
Apple iPhone X RM 1,787.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone Xs Max RM 1,618.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone 8 Plus RM 1,299.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max RM 4,188.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone 7 Plus RM 950.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone Xs Max 256GB Gold RM 6,099.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone 11 RM 2,758.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone 11 Pro RM 2,899.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone 8 RM 1,450.00 Shopee
Apple iPhone 12 RM 3,639.00 Shopee
Most Popular
Apple iPhone X

Cheapest at Shopee RM 1,787.00 RM 3,574.00 Go to Shop

How to Choose the Best iPhone

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The iPhone arguably revolutionized the mobile phone industry when it was introduced in June 2007. Prized then, as now, for its quality design, intuitive UI and solid security features, the iPhone has rightly earned its’ place as one of the icons of the early 21st century.

But as a premium product, it also commands a premium price. Is it worth the investment? To help you decide whether it is and, if so, to help you choose the best iPhone model for your budget we have put together a Buyer’s Guide and organized it around four questions:

What makes iPhones different?

iPhones are different from Android phones in so many ways. Let us explore five key differences:

The Bionic Chip

The Bionic chip is the processor which powers all of Apple’s mobile products. Before we jump into what makes the Apple Bionic chip different from processors powering Android phones, we need to understand where it comes from.

Qualcomm (for Android) and Apple both source their processors from ARM – a British software and semiconductor company and the market leader in the development of mobile processors.

Creating new chips to outperform the previous generation is a long and tedious process. Apple has the advantage of having an architectural license with ARM. This allows Apple to design their own processors from scratch, taking precious weeks off from the development cycle.

Given they are designing processors just for their phones, Bionic Chip can also be tailored to Apple’s requirements. Compare Qualcomm which needs to create a one-size-fits-all chipset for all OEMs (including Samsung and Xiaomi).

Finally, given their control over the design of the Bionic chip, Apple also has full control of all the components in their phones. This allows them to optimize the hardware with software (and vice-versa). As such, with an iPhone you are less likely to experience bugs, heating issues, and sub-optimal performance.

The iOS

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iOS is the operating system Apple designed for its mobile devices. Introduced in 2007 for the first-generation iPhone, it revolutionized the mobile sector. Back when Windows mobile, Palm OS, and Nokia Symbian were the market leaders, smartphones were seen more as a “capable” PDA for businessmen, techies, and entrepreneurs.

Apple iOS - by focusing on simple and intuitive UI, makes their devices so simple to use, anyone can use them.

Camera system and sensors

Have you ever wondered why iPhone cameras provide better quality photos compared to cameras in Android phones? Despite them having a lower megapixel count? Sometimes, picture quality is not just about the size of the camera’s sensor, but also how the picture is processed. Thanks to the Bionic Chip, Apple has better Image Signal Processing (ISP).

The ISP is the “brain” of the camera which turns light gathered by the sensors into images. It analyzes the raw images to determine their color and size. It controls all the variables - from the light sensitivity (ISO), focus, shutter speed - which determines the image quality. Because Apple has full control over their processor design, they have optimized the ISP to work with their iOS. Without this control over the total system design Android phones need to rely on megapixels to provide quality images.

This control of the processor design also allows Apple to better incorporate camera technologies and sensors into their phones. The latest being the LiDAR sensor on the iPhone 12. LiDAR uses lasers to assess distances and depth by measuring the distance of the light traveled. It then creates a map of dimensions detected to create a 3D image (similar to the way Face ID works, but in longer distances).

The LiDAR sensor enables new iPhone models to improve focus accuracy for better background blur as well as provide better low-light performance. LiDAR technology also improves AR (augmented reality), allowing your phone to build better maps of a room or add more detail.

Retina Display

Apple uses IPS LCD and OLED screen technologies. Each screen technology has its’ pros and cons as below:

Screen Type

Pros

Cons

IPS LCD

  • Brighter screen which prevents glare
  • Accurate colors
  • More affordable to manufacture
  • Reliable technology
  • Black is not as deep
  • LCD is not flexible
  • Smartphones are thicker to make room for backlight
  • Lower refresh rate

OLED

  • Deeper blacks
  • Energy-saving – to display “black” a pixel just needs to switch off
  • Better contrast ratio since black emerges without light from background
  • Better viewing angles
  • Vulnerable to humidity and water damage
  • Prone to pixel burn-ins (icons on the phone can imprint on the screen panel)
  • Prone to dead pixels
  • More expensive to manufacture

What is unique is not the use of the above (all phone manufacturers use these technologies) but what Apple calls Retina Display which the company has used to enhance the performance of IPS LCD and OLED screens.

An image on a screen is made up of many thousands of small dots (called Pixels). Apple, by making each pixel smaller (0.16mm in diameter on a Retina screen compared to 0.26mm in diameter on a typical standard screen) they can pack four times the number of pixels into the same area. This creates a cleaner and crisper image.

Where this benefit the most is text. Characters look smoother with less blurring on curves.

Macworld.co.uk

Non-retina display (left) and Retina display (right)

Battery and Charging

Apple uses Lithium-ion batteries for their iPhones. This type of battery has higher power density compared to Li-polymer batteries, meaning they can store more energy. Moreover, Lithium-ion batteries are less prone to “memory effect”. Memory effect occurs when, if the battery is re-charged before all its stored power is drained, the battery starts to remember this level as partial charge level as zero (effectively reducing the useable battery capacity).

On the downside, Lithium-ion batteries can suffer from aging. Aging happens when a battery’s capacity declines over time due to physical damage and usage. Lithium-ion batteries are also liable to combust if they are damaged.

Thanks to Apple’s in-house processor manufacturing, Apple can control and ensure the safety of their phones. The hardware and iOS batteries are optimized for the battery, requiring less mAh to run an iPhone.

iPhones are also equipped with the latest battery technologies such as fast and wireless charging, and Magsafe charging. Magsafe charging is an iPhone accessory that uses magnets and a single-coil NFC (Near-field communication) reader to properly align your iPhone on a wireless charger at 15W of peak power.

iPhone vs Android – should I make the switch?

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To help you make the right choice, let us explore the reasons to switch from an Android Phone to an iPhone (as well as the reasons why, maybe, Android is a better choice for you).

Why should you switch to an iPhone?

Here are reasons why you should switch to an iPhone:

  • Intuitive UI – Apple’s main selling point -- and a valid reason to switch -- is their intuitive UI. An iPhone is so easy to use and maneuver around that anyone can pick one up and adapt to the interface. Since the OS is the same for any iPhone, upgrading or downgrading to a different iPhone is seamless. Compare this to Android, where each brand has their own custom skin of the Android OS. This can be a nightmare for someone who just wants a smartphone that works.
  • Better Data security / Privacy - Apple has always been adamant about protecting the privacy of its users’ data. Instead of creating and uploading online a profile from your data, Apple keeps all this information on your iPhone. The only way it can be accessed is if someone hacks the phone itself. Safari also has intelligent tracking prevention that uses machine learning to block cross-site tracking and minimizes the amount of data passed to third-party search engines. The newest iOS gives the user ability to customize these privacy settings.
  • Better Performance in Specs – Apple’s full control of their design means the hardware / software is better optimized to work together. As such, apparently, lower-spec iPhones can outperform higher spec Android phones. For example, the iPhone SE 2020 (the cheapest in the range) can go up against a Samsung S20 Ultra in terms of performance. As a user, you are guaranteed a phone which excels in performance and experiences little to no lag.
  • Higher Quality Apps – The list of apps available for iOS is regulated and curated by Apple for its users. Developers need to go through a long list of checks and procedures before their apps become available on the App store. Having only one operating system also means it is easier to develop apps on iOS, compared to Android’s many OS versions. This makes apps run smoother and are optimized to the current iOS.
  • Accessing the Apple ecosystem – Apple is one of the first tech brands to introduce an “ecosystem” to their products. Something they have maintained and refined with each new generation of devices. This ecosystem approach allows you to link your iPhone to your other Apple devices -- like your Apple Watch or Macbook – and seamlessly transfer user profiles, files, and media between them.

Why shouldn’t you switch from Android Phone to an iPhone?

For a well-rounded perspective, here are reasons why maybe you should not switch to an iPhone:

  • Limited Models – Given the range of brands producing Android Phones. Android gives you a lot more models to choose from. There are Android phones specifically designed for their big battery, for their gaming controls, and for their high-performance cameras. Apple, by comparison, has a limited number of choices.
  • Less Customization – Because Android is an open-source operating system, developers can use third-party programs to customize and incorporate more features to the system. You also gain control over the system source code in a process called rooting. This can allow you to remove unwanted pre-installed software (which might burden the system), remove bulky software skins, receive updates faster, and optimize for better battery life.

While the recent iOS 14 update gives users a chance to better customize widgets and add picture-in-picture feature, these are things attributes that many Android users have been enjoying for a long time.

  • Less affordable – iPhones are premium products and priced as such. It is easier to find a cheap Android phone than a cheap iPhone. Even the iPhone SE 2020 (the cheapest iPhone available) is still expensive compared to a Xiaomi or a Motorola Android phone.

When is the best time to buy an iPhone?

Apple typically releases new phone models towards the end of the year. Given the release of a new model leads to a reduction in the price of the older model, it’s often better to wait for the next generation. If you can’t wait – and want to get the latest model -- we recommend buying the phone six months after release (ie look to buy that new phone between March and May).

We tracked the prices of the iPhone 7, 8, X, Xs, and iPhone 11 (with the Silver 256GB variant) phones from their release date. On average these models saw a 5% decrease in price six months after release, and a 16% decrease a year after, and as much as a 45% decrease in price two years after release.

The iPhone X saw the biggest price drop at 27% from its initial price a year later. This may be due to Apple discontinuing the X model to focus on the Xs.

The research also found out iPhone prices can fall more than 50%, three years after its original release date. This is what happened to the iPhone 7, which fell from RM4,199 to RM1,900 after three years.

Which iPhone model should you get?

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Whether for the premium build, its intuitive UI or the quality of the camera, an iPhone is a great choice.

Here are our top pics of the best iPhones you can get today.

The ultimate flagship – iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple Inc.

The highest spec iPhone model money can buy, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, is an upscale version of the iPhone 12 Pro.

Out of the box, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 6.7” screen with frosted Gorilla glass back and a solid ceramic shield protecting the display from scratches. It has a square design with rounded corners as with all the iPhones of this generation. Since this is a big phone, it is tough to reach the corners of the phone with one hand and the stainless-steel frame doesn’t provide a lot of grip.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max houses the largest ever iPhone battery. At 3687mAh, the battery can last the whole day even if you are a heavy user. The model also supports 20W fast, wireless and Magsafe charging.

Like the other iPhone 12 models, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is integrated with the Apple A14 Bionic Chipset. It shares the same RAM and iOS version as the 12 Pro, so they are equal in terms of performance.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max camera is awesome. Hardware-wise, it houses a larger camera module to house bigger main camera sensors. Coupled with its new LiDAR sensors, improved image stabilization, it is a powerhouse in low-light conditions.

iPhone 12 Pro Max Specs

Release Period

October 2020

Chipset

Apple A14 Bionic Chip

OS

iOS 14.1, upgradable to iOS 14.5

Camera

Triple-lens 12MP+12MP+12MP

Screen

Super Retina XDR OLED 6.7” (1284x2778), ~87.4% screen-to-body ratio, ~458ppi

Storage

28GB/256GB/512GB

Battery

3687mAh, wireless charging capable

The most affordable – iPhone SE 2020

Apple Inc.

Our pick for the most affordable phone is the iPhone SE. Originating from 2016, Apple updated this model in 2020 with new features including wireless charging, better camera, and a new chipset.

The iPhone SE 2020 is small with a 4.7” Retina LCD display and slim with a big forehead and chin (ie bezels at the top and bottom of the screen) and a home button. It has a thin and lightweight build plus a familiar iPhone glass-back finish. Given its size, it can make for one-handed use which is a great refresher from all the large 6” phones in the market today.

This may be the fastest phone you can get at a budget. The iPhone SE 2020 has the Apple A13 Bionic Chipset, the same as the iPhone 11. It supports wireless charging but, given it’s small size its only houses 1821mAh battery.

As with all iPhones, the phone is upgradable to the latest iOS operating system. For a budget phone, it has a great performance overhead, meaning your phone’s processor and OS would not be out-of-date for the next 3-5 years.

In terms of the camera, you get a single-lens 12MP rear camera supported by the A13’s neural Engine to augment your photos. Thanks to its small camera sensors the picture quality is not the best. Further, the camera does not have a night mode and suffers in low-light conditions.

iPhone SE 2020 Specs

Release Period

April 2020

Chipset

Apple A13 Bionic Chip

OS

iOS 13, upgradable to iOS 14.5

Camera

Single-lens 12MP

Screen

Retina LCD 4.7” (750 x 1334), ~65.4% screen-to-body ratio, ~321ppi

Storage

64GB/128GB/256GB

Battery

1821mAh, wireless charging capable

The one-hander – iPhone 12 Mini

Apple Inc.

Like the iPhone SE 2020, the iPhone 12 Mini is getting a lot of attention thanks to its small size. This compact, one-hander phone has been praised by reviewers like Mark Spurnell, Austin Evans, and Jonathan Morrison, and for good reason.

The biggest selling point for this phone is the size. It is a small 5.4” phone with glass front and back and an aluminum frame. The industrial squared off design and rounded corners gives it a modern feel and is easy to hold. It does take a while to get used to a small screen when typing or gaming but being able to do everything with one hand makes this phone extra convenient.

The iPhone 12 Mini shares the same camera system as the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro minus the Telephoto and Lidar sensors. It has a dual-lens 12MP wide + 12MP ultra-wide camera system. The ultra-wide can be softer than the main camera but functions well, nonetheless.

The iPhone 12 mini also shares the same chip as the 12 and 12 Pro, meaning it will have the same performance. The only difference between these models is the RAM. Being a “mini” it has 4GB RAM compared to the 6GB in the 12 Pro. Even so, this phone will function without a hitch and can compete with other flagships in the market today.

The key drawback with this phone is the battery life. Thanks to its small frame, it is only able to pack 2227mAh battery capacity. Arguably, it is enough for tasks such as browsing, social media, or taking calls. Long periods of use of the phone for gaming or taking video can drain your battery. It does, however, support 20W fast and 12W Magsafe charging.

iPhone 12 Mini Specs

Release Period

October 2020

Chipset

Apple A14 Bionic Chip

OS

iOS 14.1, upgradable to iOS 14.5

Camera

Dual-lens 12MP+12MP

Screen

Super Retina XDR OLED 5.4” (750 x 1334), ~65.4% screen-to-body ratio, ~476ppi

Storage

64GB/128GB/256GB

Battery

2227mAh, 20W fast charging and wireless charging capable

The budget-friendly (with big screen) – iPhone XR

Apple Inc.

If the iPhone SE 2020 is too small, the iPhone XR may just be the right iPhone for you. While some people might be put off because it is an older model, it’s definitely worth a look. The iPhone XR debuted alongside flagship models, the iPhone Xs and Xs Max in 2018. It was the cheapest iPhone at the time, and it continues to be a favorite. The iPhone XR is built like a flagship product with an iconic iPhone glass-back and aluminum railings.

In terms screen, the iPhone has a 6.1” screen which is large, although smaller than the Xs and Xs Max models. The colors are sharp and vibrant plus there are no color balance issues. While it does have larger bezels and lower resolution compared with the flagship model, for most users this should not be a problem.

At the time of its release, the iPhone XR was praised for its’ large battery life (which at 2942mAh exceeded that of the Xs and Xs Max). Whilst impressive at the time, today it falls short of today’s flagship models. This might pose an issue with battery life as the phone ages. On the plus side, the phone support 15W fast and wireless charging.

In terms of performance there is also no issue in using this phone: It is powered by the Apple A12 Bionic chipset (like the Xs and Xs Max) and, as with all iPhones, software updates will allow you to install the latest iOS.

But note the iPhone XR only has 3GB of RAM compared to the 4GB of its flagship siblings. This means, that it may need to force close apps that are not used in the background.

iPhone XR Specs

Release Period

September 2018

Chipset

Apple A12 Bionic Chip

OS

iOS 12, upgradable to iOS 14.5

Camera

Single-lens 12MP

Screen

Liquid Retina IPS LCD 6.1” (828 x 1792), ~79% screen-to-body ratio, ~326ppi

Storage

64GB/128GB/256GB

Battery

2942mAh, fast charging and wireless charging capable

In conclusion

In the iPhone, Apple has developed a device that has literally changed the world. And today’s generation of iPhones still leads the pack in terms of superior design, intuitive UI, and an operating system focused on data privacy.

But an iPhone is not necessarily an instant upgrade from an Android. If you like the customization, a model tailored to your specific needs (be it gaming or photography) or a super affordable price tag, you should choose your next phone from a wide selection of Android options.

But if you want a premium product, and your wallet – taking our advice of when to buy to get the best deal – can stretch to the price, we’d strongly recommend this brand. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone SE 2020, iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone XR are our recommended models (depending on your needs and your budget).

To help you find the best price, we’ve prepared a list of offers from trusted online merchants. Use the iPrice platform to compare and find the best deal!

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Marjorie Mae Mendoza

iPrice Tech Writer

Marjorie (MJ) is iPrice Tech Writer in Residence. Always on the hunt for the inside scope on the newest smartphones, computers, and electronic devices, MJ provides a no-holds-barred analysis on what’s hot (and what’s not) in the latest tech releases. In her free time, MJ enjoys first-person video games and digital illustrations.
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