The best used iPhones to buy in 2023
Updated Jan 24, 2023 - Which used iPhone is the best value for your money? Here’s how to choose the best iPhone for your needs and lifestyle.
Published Feb 2, 2023 - With the introduction of the iPhone 14 series in 2022, comes Apple's newest heavy hitters in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. These come with a high price tag, so is it worth the upgrade at the end of the day? We don't think the iPhone 14 series offers any new impressive features to justify the price, but we'll break down the specs below so you can decide for yourself.
Apple iPhones have reigned supreme in the smartphone market particularly in the US over the past couple of decades and in 2022 we were introduced to the newest flagship devices in the iPhone 14 series. iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 stunned the market in 2020 and 2021, but now at the top of the newest series are the two powerful, albeit expensive models: the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which will cost you $999 and $1099, respectively.
The Pro and Pro Max versions of any iPhone series have often been associated with top of the line sophistication, size and general performance. With updates to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, Apple ensured the newest iPhone 14 features would showcase a longer-lasting camera, always-on display screen, advanced low-light sensitive camera, improved Dynamic Island, and better performance. The updated models allow 5G connectivity and emergency satellite connectivity for those that need the most coverage no matter where they are.
A quick look at the iPhone 14 Pro or the bigger iPhone 14 (6.7”) Pro Max, doesn't show much improvement in technical, design or even user experience, especially for those who've been using iPhone 13 Pro Max or the iPhone 12 Pro Max. However, for users of earlier iPhone models such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the experience will be notably improved and might be worth considering an upgrade. So if you’re considering an upgrade, we’ll help you break down the Pro/Pro Max so you can determine the answer to the question, ‘is the iPhone 14 worth it?’
iPhone 14 Pro Dimensions: The iPhone 14 Pro is light, weighing 7.3 ounces (206 g), and measures (147.5 x 71.5 x 7.9 mm) making it pocket-sized.
iPhone 14 Pro Upgrades
The iPhone 14 Pro is available in 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB models.
The iPhone prices vary depending on the memory capacity. The iPhone 14 Pro price ranges starting at $999 for the 128 GB model, and increases to $1,099 for the 256 MB, $1,299 for the 512 GB, and $1,499 for the most storage at 1 TB. The iPhone 14 Pro is available in Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple, with Deep Purple replacing the Sierra Blue color from the iPhone 13 Pro series.
Remember, you can always check Back Market for reliable iPhone options at a steep discount! Our prices will get progressively lower for the iPhone 14 as newer generations come out, but you can be sure you're getting a certified refurbished phone that has been cleaned, repaired, inspected and tested by professionals to ensure it's working like new.
The iPhone Pro 14’s 48MP Quad-pixel main sensor improvements in the camera are one of the model's major upgrades. The software is a quad, meaning it gives four times the image details while adapting the image to the environment's lighting. The 48MP ProRAW camera version offers overall smoother textures, higher resolution and truer to life colors for a superb photo experience. We’ll go over the main camera features here, but make sure to check out our full iPhone 14 camera spec review for even more details.
The selfie camera: Since the front camera connects to the photonic Engine and the updated version has a Standard self-focus, users get better selfie results. Again, the camera produces low-light photos due to its fast apertures. The camera is also fitted with a face recognition app for instant recognition and isolation. The Siri knowledge-included app does an excellent job with animals and plants. However, don't lean your full weight on its editing tools. The tools are quite slow and poor in filters.
The new Photonic Engine: Ever wondered why iPhone 14 Pro's images in dark or dim places turn out perfect? Before compressing any image frames, the photonic engine feature uses Apple's TrueDepth deep infusion tech to enhance low-light zoom pictures.
Optical Zoom: Although the camera gives a 3x optical zoom and 0.5x wide angle, you will still have the best photos with an iPhone 14 Pro's 2x shots. Through the cinematic mode, up to 4K at 60fps resolution videos can be recorded in 256 GB and larger pro versions. The new Action mode feature with Dolby Vision and ProRes allows stable shots and recordings even when the object or photographer are in motion.
The 12MP Ultrawide sensor: It boasts two-times greater sense when compared to the iPhone 13 Pro. The Telephoto lens remained at 3x while a 2x optical zoom was added to the main sensor making four zoom options; ultrawide's 0.5x, the main lens' 1x, and 2x. We expect more updates that match up to their counterpart, Pixel 7.
Telephoto modes: The iPhone 14 Pro has two telephoto modes with a 3x optical zoom. With the modes, the photos appear brighter, though some details may be over saturated with color or be lost.
The A15 Bionic chipset in iPhone 13 Pro can't compare to the A16 Bionic chipset in iPhone 14 Pro. It is the secret behind the power efficiency, fantastic display engine, and novel image signal processor. While featuring a 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine, the Apple Silicon chip improves the iPhone's performance. When it comes to gaming, it is as smooth as it can be. For video enthusiasts, superb video editing is a guarantee. On-go video edits turn out just cool.
In terms of improvement and performance, Apple is leading over its counterparts when it comes to Geekbench scores. Additionally, there are more memory options and modem upgrades with iPhone 14 Pro.
The iPhone 14 Pro 6.1-inch screen display comes with a beautiful Dynamic Island. It features a hardware and software amalgamation that houses the iPhone's front camera and the biometric ID TrueDepth sensors. The faceID sensor helps the user to unlock the iPhone screen. You can access the music album art from Apple Music or Spotify, adjust your Airpod volume and even view your timer on display.
Only swipe up to leave an active app and leave the Dynamic Island display on. To get back to the streaming app, tap on the Island Icon. But, if you want to make an action on the Island, long-press on the icon you want to use. For instance, long press on the timer, and once it is fully displayed, you can stop it or adjust it as you wish. The Dynamic Island is an interactive interface, so users can expect more upgrades to this nifty feature down the road.
There were high expectations for the iPhone 14 Pro expected battery life, as this is normally one of the major upgrades we'll see from model to model. However, the iPhone 14 Pro battery is disappointing compared to the latest version of the iPhone 13 Pro. The 13 Pro boasted an extra two-hour battery life when set in similar conditions. That said, the iPhone 14 Pro 3,200 mAH battery still provides an average 10-hour battery life when tested using online browsing, light usage, active photography, and a dynamic display screen. The average charging speed is 20W, 15W MagSafe, and 7.5W wireless.
All iPhone 14 models come without a SIM card track in the US. This is a slight inconvenience if you plan on using your phone internationally. On the positive side, US-based users enjoy 5G connectivity, thanks to the X65 modem. Additional connectivity advantages are the Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3 support (an improvement on previous versions).
iPhone 14 Pro Max Specs: The iPhone 14 Gen Pro Max only weighs 8.07 oz (240g) and measures 6.7" diagonally (160.7 height x 77.6 width x 7.85 mm deep). It is indeed a lightweight and single-hand-use tech.
iPhone 14 gen Pro Max upgraded features:
iPhone 14 Pro Max single and multicore performance produces a Geekbench score of 1,853 and 5,279, respectively. That's because of the 2022 Apple's A16 Bionic chipset processor. The processor is incredibly fast and powerful to run many tasks smoothly. Ranking as the best processor in the industry, the upgrade has outdone other iPhone models like the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, which all use the A15 Bionic silicon chipset.
If you're looking to get the most out of your battery performance, you'll need to spend $100 more to get an iPhone 14 Pro Max, which has better battery life than the iPhone 14 Pro. The 4,323mAh battery can consume 60% of the power with Wi-Fi and high brightness in a day. iPhone 13 Pro Max, however, favors 3D gaming while 14 Pro Max favors web browsing and video playbacks.
In recent years, iPhone chargers are not included with your purchase. You are therefore required to get your own or, better yet, embrace the MagSafe wireless charging options. If you choose the wired charger, the standard charging is 20W, but a faster 30W speed is also possible with the iPhone Pro Max.
If you expect a lot of changes in the physical appearance of the modern iPhone, you might be disappointed. Since the iPhone 12 series, the upgrades have been minimal in the design department, largely because the current structure gives it strength, practicality, and durability. But that's not to say that the look is not unique or boring - it simply hasn't been significantly enhanced in the past few iPhone generations.
The sides are made of steel, and the rear Ceramic Shield makes it durable, with top and bottom speakers. The main speaker produces quality audio and features a mute switch, IP68 water resistance, and a lighting cable. As far as headphone compatibility, of course you can still use any version of AirPods, but you're still limited to Bluetooth connected earbuds since the iPhone 14 Pro Max does not provide a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a single-hand-use gadget since it is generally flat, though slightly slimmer, giving it a longer look. But with the newest large camera sensor at the back, the phone can't lie flat on a surface. The design is necessary to house more hardware upgrades.
Notably, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the first to embrace the use of an eSIM. The feature is, however, geographically limited to the US.
For the most adventurous users, the iPhone 14 Pro Max makes it possible to send your location or emergency text through the Emergency SOS via satellite. However, it is a 2-year trial version limited to the US and Canada and strictly for emergency messaging.
Colors: The iPhone 14 Pro Max is available in the same colors as the iPhone 14 Pro: Silver, Gold, Space Black, and Deep Purple. Although the colors may be limited compared to earlier generations, you might expect Apple to release a limited time color in the future, as it did with the Alpine Green iPhone 13.
As with the iPhone 14 Pro, the Pro Max also features the Dynamic Island display. The feature displays some iPhone activity for easy-access interaction such as AirPod call notifications, playlist details, pairing/charging prompts, face recognition and other custom widgets.
Additionally, unlike its predecessors, the iPhone 14 Pro Max allows for an Always-on display feature, thanks to an improved 1-120Hz refresh rate. That means some widgets like your clock and lock screen wallpaper will be dimly visible at all times unless the phone has been out of use for a long time, facing down or in your pocket. If you feel the feature is distracting, you have the option to disable it.
You'll also find that the XDR OLED ProMotion Display offers a bigger, brighter screen (6.7 inches) with the 14 Pro Max version. This phone can produce up to 2,000 nits brightness, and in HDR, up to 1,600 nits.
For users looking to upgrade from the iPhone 13 Pro Max series, you may not notice many changes in the camera output. However, unlike previous iPhones with 12MP cameras, the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with a 48MP main camera sensor with an f/1.78 aperture.
Main camera sensors: The 48MP sensor is a major improvement, especially in photography done in the dark. The photonic engine, a new software feature, helps improve the image texture and detail in dimly lit environments. With a 24 mm field of view resulting from the larger aperture, the 14 Pro Max delivers better color resolution, sharpness, and dynamics. The 12MP front camera also autofocuses and produces almost instant recognizable features, making it one of the best selfie cameras on the market.
Zoom Photos: Connected with a 12MP telephoto, the iPhone 14 Pro Max gets a maximum of 3x optical zoom and a 2x zoom. It is the best natural close-up tool since it crops out the main camera sensor.
Ultra-wide-Angle Camera: Although you may expect similar camera performance in the previous and current Pro Max series, minor changes on the current tech cannot be overlooked. For example, the 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera with 120 degrees of rotation makes the difference.
Video quality: The cinematic mode guarantees unmatched video recording of 4K resolution at 30fps with perfect dynamics, sharpness, and colors.
Higher prices may point to any improved or upgraded tech, but that's not always the case with Apple. The iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099 for 128 GB, despite not having much more to offer than the iPhone 14 Pro. You will need to spend $100 more for more storage—up to $1,599 for the largest version of 1 TB iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 Pro Max series is also available in storage sizes of 256 GB and 512 GB, giving buyers a few options depending on their preferences.
Just when you think you have the best smartphone with the most advanced tech, boom! Apple drops a new iPhone series at the end of the year. In 2022, it was the iPhone 14 series, which compared to the iPhone 13, may not actually be a significant improvement over after all. A few notable upgrades include the camera performance, an always-on screen, the new Dynamic Island, 5G connectivity, and SOS via satellite—but we don't feel that these greatly enhance the experience for the average user, especially at prices above $900.
But, if you have to select between iPhone 14 Pro or the bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max, you might want to save yourself some money and stick to the iPhone 14 Pro. The Pro Max might give you a larger 6.7-inch screen and a better battery life, but you'll have to ask yourself if that alone is worth the $100 upgrade.
The 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max generations may not impress you if you are not a photography enthusiast. You might be better off sticking to the iPhone 13 or even the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max versions.
The only unanswered question remaining is; What if you cannot afford a new iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max from the Apple Store? At Back Market, you can access similar refurbished iPhones from previous generations like the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. If you’re dead set on getting the newest iPhone, then you can find the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max on our site as well, but keep in mind that you won’t find drastically amazing deals until newer generations are released.
If you need a little help with your budget, you can also sell your old iPhone for a little more cushion for your next purchase. You’ll also be doing the planet a favor by keeping your old phone out of our landfills :D
After spending over a decade in the retail electronics repair space with Apple handling both hands on repairs, as well as logistics and operations, Dylan joined Back Market as the Refurbishment Operations Manager in May of 2021. He has a passion for all things electronic and has turned his love for tinkering into a career. Supporting objectives such as Right to Repair, he has a strong focus on consumer rights and supporting a circular economy as well as protecting the environment by limiting the impact the consumer electronics world has on it.
Did you find this article useful ?
Updated Jan 24, 2023 - Which used iPhone is the best value for your money? Here’s how to choose the best iPhone for your needs and lifestyle.
The used & refurbished iPhone 8 combines great value and performance, even years after its release.
Updated Feb 24, 2023 - We revisited the iPhone XR in 2023 to see how it stacked up to the most recent iPhone models. While this phone isn't going to win any hearts based off of new smartphone innovations or features, it still performs great for a phone over 4 years old. You're going to want to find out why we think the iPhone XR is one of the best smartphone deals on the market today.
Is the iPhone X still a good phone? Should you buy it?
We'll help you decide which used iPhone you should choose to buy
Updated Feb 24, 2023 - We took another look at a used iPhone 7 today to see if it's worth buying for all you deal-seekers. While this iPhone no longer receives software updates from Apple, find out why it might still be a good phone for you in 2023.
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.
New iPhones are uncool. Find out why
Which is better, iPhone XS or XR? Check out these differences between the iPhone XR vs XS camera, battery life, display, and performance before you buy a used iPhone.
Let's talk about how much storage you need in an iPhone.
Repair or replace a broken iPhone?
We used up all of our allowance to buy Apple’s latest phone and compared it to the refurbished iPhone 8, X and 11 so you wouldn’t have to. Here are our conclusions; we’ve done our best to be as objective as possible.
Find out which colors are available for iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, plus all the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max colors. If you're shopping for an iPhone 13, you'll want to check out these new shades.
We tested the iPhone 13. Read our full review for all the features and specs you need to know before buying an iPhone 13.
The highly anticipated wait for the launch of the iPhone 14 is finally over. Leaks about satellite emergency services, more splash, water, and dust resistance, and major camera improvements had Apple fans excited for the new iPhone 14. We’re breaking down all the features of the new iPhone 14 in this review, to give you a complete overview of what’s really new and what’s just hype.
Updated Sep 9, 2022 - Apple announced the newest smartphone in their lineup: the iPhone 14. Read our breakdown of all the camera specs and newly introduced features on the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro models.