The Best Used iPhones to Buy in 2022
Which iPhone is the best value for your money?
If you're serious about iPhone photography or take a lot of videos on your phone, it's worth looking into your iPhone camera quality. Find out which iPhone has the best camera, and which features really make a difference when it comes to taking great pictures and videos with your phone.
The camera quality of your iPhone is important, whether you use your phone for creating social media posts, sending pics to friends and family, FaceTime calls, or more complex photography and video. iPhone cameras have come a long way since early models, and they're more advanced than ever.
If you're looking for an iPhone with the best camera, this won't come as a surprise: the newest and most expensive iPhone model probably has the best camera. However, the good news is that all premium iPhones released in recent years actually have pretty similar cameras. This means you can save a lot of money on an iPhone with a great camera if you compare recent models closely while shopping.
It's much cheaper to buy a refurbished iPhone, and you won't be comprimising on great photos and videos either. Read on to learn the differences between iPhone cameras and find the iPhone with the best camera for your needs and budget.
Hint: Since the iPhone 11 Pro & Pro Max are no longer available new from Apple, consider getting a used & refurbished iPhone 11 Pro to score excellent iPhone camera quality at a great price. If you're looking for even more savings, the iPhone XS also has a really good camera for about half the price of the iPhone 11 Pro.
While Apple did release a few new camera features on the iPhone 13, the newer model still shares many camera features with the iPhone 12. Both iPhone 12 and 13 have a 12 MP front camera and back dual camera system with Wide and Ultra Wide cameras and 2x optical zoom out. There are also plenty of advanced features that are available on both the iPhone 12 and 13 cameras. Photography modes such as Portrait Mode, Night Mode, Deep Fusion, and more are available on both models. Buying a refurbished iPhone 12 will allow you to get an iPhone with the same camera specs as the 13, at a fraction of the cost.
There are some camera features that differ between the iPhone 12 and 13, of course. The iPhone 13 has an updated diagonal rear camera layout that allows space for a larger sensor on the wide-angle camera. The ultra-wide camera on the iPhone 13 also has a new sensor, which Apple says allows it to capture up to 47% more light for better photos at night. Photographic Styles were also added to the iPhone 13, along with Cinematic Mode for videos. If you want these features on your iPhone camera, you can still save money by shopping for a used and refurbished iPhone 13.
While the cameras on the iPhone 12 and 13 have similar specs, there are some other differences that you might want to consider such as the display and battery life. For a more detailed review of the differences between these two models, check out our iPhone 12 vs 13 comparison.
iPhone cameras are good, but Apple devices can be expensive. If you want an iPhone with a really great camera that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, consider a refurbished iPhone XS or XS Max. Once the iPhone 14 comes out, you’ll probably be able to find even more cheap deals on later models of iPhones too, so it's worth keeping an eye on refurbished phones from Back Market. In the meantime though, a refurbished iPhone XS or XS Max offers high quality photo and video at a low price point.
What differentiates these iPhones from earlier models is their additional lenses and portrait modes. Since they have more cameras, they’re able to have a few focal lengths, so you can zoom in and out like you can on an actual camera. Other iPhones offer digital zoom if you pinch the screen in the camera app, but this is not quite the same thing as optical zoom. While both allow for close-up pictures from a distance, you’ll probably be able to tell the difference between digital vs optical zoom when you inspect the picture quality of these photos. Thanks to multiple lenses, you'll get optical zoom and higher quality pictures with a refurbished iPhone X, XS, or XS Max.
Keep in mind that essentially the more lenses a phone has, the more zoom it can have. If you plan to use zoom often when taking photos with your smartphone, you might want to consider the iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max, which has three lenses and provides more available zoom range. The iPhone 11 Pro also offers Night Mode, which is able to capture more detail in low-light conditions.
The iPhone XS is about a year older than the 11 Pro Models, but both have great iPhone cameras. Depending on how much you plan to use your iPhone camera, it may be worth getting the upgraded features of the iPhone 11 Pro models. Be sure to check out this iPhone XS Max vs iPhone 11 Pro Max comparison to see the differences and help you decide which iPhone camera is best for you.
No matter which model you choose, buying a refurbished iPhone ensures you'll get great camera quality while saving money. Not only that, you're also helping the environment by reducing e-waste and cutting carbon emissions. That makes Black Friday deals look kind of lame, huh? ;)
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